Cold rain drenching down on us, rebounding off the rock walls we made our way back down chossy gullies, rock steps and cliffs, rickety metal ladders and rungs. Down to the scree slopes tumbling onto the steep alpine meadows below.
Clipped into hundreds of meters of steal cable at 2000m on an exposed mountainside is not a place to be in a thunderstorm.
So when the second ominous rumble of thunder rolled and crackled through the clouds from an undistinguishable location, it didn’t take long before Elsy and I exchanged a look and voiced our opinions (both having just spent the season Field Managing and running the abseil tower ~along with Karl our Safety Officer~ we had a fairly healthy respect for rumbling skies).
Let’s call it there. Time to get ourselves someplace less vulnerable. In others words, down.
And so it was we began our precarious way back down the via ferrata, the warm sunshine of the mornings ascent a distant memory in the rolling mist.
Just like that with an expected five hour adventure turning into a nine hour mission our Dolomites adventures had begun!
Over the next nine days, despite a poor forecast, periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms forecasted for nearly every afternoon or evening we ticked of adventures from via ferratas beneath waterfalls, on knife edge ridges and at 3000m, to a full day adventure ride with 2000m of descent.
Although being the middle of Italian summer it pays to remember that the Dolomites are very much an alpine environment and no forecast is going to be all sunshine and perfect conditions. Nor is the predicated weather set in stone ready to run like clockwork. Especially when you have only a small ten day window to get out there and amongst it.
The mountains will do what the mountains will do.
Sometimes an attitude for an adventure is needed right from the outset. A willingness to step out the door, into the rain. Climb 1000m to turn around again. Do it in miserable conditions. Only get halfway.Or maybe you’ll get up there and it’ll be brilliant.
You just have to give it a nudge.
Below is a selection of other images from the trip. I hope you enjoy!!