Galassi: a special prize for a special mountain hut

A special Pelmo d’Oro has been awarded to all the volunteers from CAI Mestre who have been managing the Galassi Mountain Hut, at the foot of the Forcella Piccola dell’Antelao, for over fifty years. Self-management means many things. Not only does it serve as a school of life for young people who choose to do their part and approach the mountains with respect for the sacrifices and rules they impose, it is also a testimony to passion and dedication that recognise no timetables, and to responsibility towards the Dolomites environment and those who frequent it. 

A collective thanks

The UNESCO Dolomites Special Prize was awarded on 23 July in Cesiomaggiore (BL). The awards ceremony gave us an opportunity to extend a collective thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, who rotate through on a weekly basis during the summer, for ensuring the smooth operation of a high-altitude facility like the Galassi Mountain Hut. The Pelmo d’Oro, curated by the Province of Belluno, is aimed at enhancing Alpine culture in the Belluno Dolomites. This year’s winners were Christoph Hainz from the South Tyrol for active mountaineering, Eugenio Bien from Agordino for his mountaineering career and Giuliano Dal Mas from Belluno for alpine culture. The special prize for the Province of Belluno went to Giuseppe Tabacco, founder and owner of Edizioni Tabacco, while the prize named after doctor and mountaineer Giuliano De Marchi was awarded to Dante Colli from Carpi. In addition to the usual sculpture of Monte Pelmo by master sculptor Gianni Pezzei, two works by sculptor Italo De Gol, who was born and raised between Cesiomaggiore and Santa Giustina, were also given in recognition.

Why a Special Prize?

The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation has chosen a number of important events in each of the five Dolomites provinces for awarding special prizes to those who have distinguished themselves in pursuing and communicating the core values of UNESCO recognition. The jury selected CAI Mestre for the following reasons: “This year begins the second half-century of self-management at the Galassi Mountain Hut at the foot of the Forcella Piccola dell’Antelao, a great mountain hut under a great mountain and a rare example of participation. Every year, members of the Mestre chapter of the CAI, including veterans and new recruits, work on a completely free and voluntary basis to guarantee the opening and complex management of a 90-bed mountain hut with a multimedia room available for organising meetings, conferences and courses”.