My trip to The Dolomites in 2019 certainly stands out. The Grandeur of The Italian Dolomites is a pull factor so strong that adventurers from all over the globe descend upon this impressive mountain range. With some of the most mesmerising scenery one can witness, this mountain range is no doubt one of the most spectacular alpine destinations on offer. In early July 2019 I travelled to this part of the world with my good friend Heikki from Finland, staying in his dainty red VW transporter aptly named Cherry.
After a few days roaming around we hired Via Ferrata gear. A Via Ferrata, Iron Path, is a route with fixed protection, that aids travellers in moving safely through the mountains. For those with a strong sense of adventure and a head for heights, they are a superb way of exploring the Dolomites and gaining access to more remote limestone peaks that are characteristic of the area. Via Ferrata date back to the 19th Century, but were particularly pertinent during World War 1 as the Dolomites experienced some very intense fighting.
After taking on two beginner routes we planned a much harder route that took us up Cima Cadin on Via Ferrata Merlone. We packed our camp stuff and planned to sleep on the summit, to witness an incredible sunset and sunrise in the mountains. Although exposed the route is very secure, there were few sections that got the blood pumping so it’s not for the faint hearted. After an hour or so of exhilarating (for the average hill walker) climbing, we reached the jagged summit of Cima Cadin just as golden hour began. After witnessing an incredible sunset we turned in for the night, sleeping right on the precipice of the peaks with heart wrenching drops either side.
At around 3am I was woken up abruptly. Even with my hat tucked tightly over my face, there came a brilliant flash that flickered, illuminating the night sky, so bright I witnessed it with my eyes closed. Barely awake and with groggy eyes, I slowly peeled up my hat, and that was when I first witnessed it, my jaw wide open. Lightning came, a brilliant shock of white in the graphic sky. It was not a bolt, but more like an almighty camera flash that blanketed everything simultaneously, casting a spotlight on the most famous peaks in The Dolomites.
Heikki was awake too, so I immediately jumped out of my sleeping bag, grabbed my camera and tripod and went and sat next to him, in awe of the show mother nature was putting on for us. We never heard the thunder, and as predicted the storm was around 80 miles away on the border and moving away from us. Therefore there was no sense of impending danger. We simply got to witness one of the most amazing sights I've ever seen, as the flashes of light illuminated the instantly identifiable peaks of Tre Cime Di Lavaredo.
There are a few treks in Peru I’d love to do, and it’s always been a dream of mine to visit the Himalayas. Most of my dream locations are remote mountain ranges, as going to the mountains for me has always been about getting away from it all. Some of the better-known locations are often so busy that it detracts from the feeling of really being out there in a wild place".