Training the trainers: this is the intent of three courses dedicated to the Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail and organised in June by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation. Aimed at: Alpine Guides and Medium Mountain Guides, thanks to the collaboration of the Colleges of Trentino, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. This new training activity is based on the experience gained by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol, which, through its Parks Office, has trained numerous guides on the geological value of the World Heritage Site.
The common purpose of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Colleges of Alpine Guides and Medium Mountain Guides has also extended to the Dolomites Project, which oversaw the organisation of events in Veneto and Friuli, and to MUSE and the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, which offered their support for the event. This support is essential to getting the Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail project definitively off the ground, so that it can achieve its aim of stimulating conscious tourism by spreading the word about the geological value of the Dolomites. Who better to convey this than the people who accompany hikers among the cliffs of the fossil archipelago every day? Each alpine profession has its own focus, but the increasingly international nature of tourism and an increasing interest in understanding why the Dolomites were included on the World Heritage List requires training over a broad spectrum of topics including how to move through space and time with equal confidence, and traversing the lithogenesis, orogenesis, and morphogenesis of the Dolomites. In this way, also those who do not possess the necessary hiking skills to tackle the Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail, which in some sections presents technical difficulties and gradients that should not be underestimated, will find in the alpine guides and medium mountain guides not only the right guidance to live this experience safely and serenely, but also valuable help in the exciting exploration of the geological history of the Dolomites.
Lagazuoi, Val Zemola and Val d’Ambiez
Alpine Guides and Medium Mountain Guides came together along some of the stages of the Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail during the second half of June: in Veneto at the Falzarego Pass, Forcella Lagazuoi, Forcella Travenanzes, and Forcella Col dei Bos; in Friuli through the Val Zemola passing by the Cava Buscada mountain hut; and in Trentino in the Brenta Dolomites, along the Val d’Ambiez towards the Forcolotta di Noghera – Pozza Tramontana. The participants were accompanied by the authors of the Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail who described the geology of the landscape and showed them how to ‘read’ it. They also tested out different ways of presenting the phenomena in order to learn how to make these concepts understandable to a less experienced public. This educational experience and synergy will surely bear fruit, given the growing international interest in geotourism.