When I looked up the definition and the criteria for selection, it became obvious why The Dolomites in Italy are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It became a dream come true to actually physically stand front and center surrounded by this spectacular landscape. The vastness made me feel tiny yet I felt larger than life when experiencing that feeling like I am on top of the world. I am so thankful the stars aligned for this adventure and afforded me a joy reaching far beyond my expectations.
My time was spent in the far northern reaches of Italy veering on touching the border with Austria. Some said this area had a more Austrian feel than an Italian feel. Signs and such would lead you to that conclusion. For me, I was in Italy and living the Italian style.
We completed five hikes in the region as are displayed on this GoogleEarth Map. These are my tracks recorded on my Garmin 64s, except for our first hike to Lago di Braies. A member from my group forwarded me his track. In all the excitement I put uncharged batteries into my unit. We used different devices and methods for recording our hikes and compared at times what our distances and gains were.

I recorded my summit experiences on Peakery. Durakopf was listed there but no one had recorded hiking there or reaching the summit. In the eyes of Peakery, I was the first one to summit Durakopf so earned the flag which I will have forever. I also earned "King of Mountain" but there just needs to be one other person to summit it twice and I will be dethroned.
my three Italian Dolomite summits
We had quite the guide and how lucky we were. Our group was his third last to lead. Two more groups to guide and then he is off heading down a new path in life. With mixed emotions he leaves this life of five years behind to move to another country and begin a new career path which is the polar opposite to a guiding in the mountains lifestyle. I enjoyed hearing his adventurous stories. He knows the area well and had lots of facts to share with us. He is at home in the mountains and that showed with his "happy feet" and being comfortable standing in precipitous places. I liked that he took us off trail at times, getting us across creeks and at times into the bushes with some light bushwhacking. I thank him for appeasing me when I wanted photos incorporating my antics.
I wish you the best of everything in life!
I came away with just short of 1000 special split seconds in time. Following are two small collections of some of my favourites for one reason or another. I look at them and I am drawn to them.
I enjoyed sharing these days with the others in my group. Our guide told me this company is most popular with the people from Great Britain. He was surprised and seemed delighted when I met him at the airport and told him I was from Canada. We had members in our group from United States (Colorado & Wisconsin), Australia, Wales and England. It surprised me how much some of the group knew specifically about Calgary, Alberta and some had even been to Banff National Park. If you ever find your way to this part of the world please be in touch. You can contact me in the upper left corner here under view my complete profile and then click on contact me. It would be my pleasure to show you our mountain lifestyle.
I am only now feeling like myself again as that jet lag is no longer lingering. All the vacation laundry is complete, my fridge is full again, the suitcase is back in the basement. My blog posts are finalized, the collection of maps are filed away and I made the last visa payment. Even though, I still don't feel ready to let Italy go. I know as time passes the vividness will blur a bit. Wonderful memories have been made and I will always have those.