Thank you for hiking with us

Summer witnessed a truly special edition of “Incontri d’Alt(r)a quota” (Other High Altitude Encounters), the programme organised by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation to involve the mountain huts even more closely in the World Heritage context. Here are all the video-stories that show the splendid relationships, and wealth of knowledge and opportunities, that have been created as a result of this initiative.

A long journey at high altitude

The first mountain hut to take part was Rifugio Berti, at Vallon Popera, in Comelico Superiore. Producers from the Network of Quality Producers and Products of the UNESCO Dolomites, managers Bruno Martini and Rita Zandonella, and chef Alessandro Gilmozzi treated the 80 participants to a special cultural, culinary and aesthetic experience: a unique occasion, certainly, but also one to be repeated!

Just like the Brenta Open meeting, during which a group of amputee athletes demonstrated once again how the hardest barriers to overcome are not the physical but the mental ones. Starting from the Agostini mountain hut, they went up into the surrounding mountains together with their guides, and sounded out the inspiring notes of the Hymn to Joy. The practical steps we are taking to make our mountain area more accessible will continue to represent one of the great strengths of the work of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation.

The mountain hike arranged for August 31st and September 1st and led by the Agordo photographer Moreno Geremetta, proved a memorable experience for all the camera enthusiasts taking part. The group walked from Malga Pramper (Val di Zoldo) to the Pian de Fontana mountain hut (Longarone), passing through the wild scenery of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. This gave them the chance to encounter some amazing landscapes, completely new to many in the group. They were welcomed at the start by the President of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, Ennio Vigne; the Mayor of Val di Zoldo, Camillo De Pellegrin; the Commander of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park section of the Carabinieri Forestry Corps, Lt. Col. Marina Berto; the Director of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, Marcella Morandini; the representative of the Scientific Committee, Cesare Lasen, and the President of CAI Veneto (the Veneto branch of the Italian Alpine Club), Renato Frigo. The photographers were also accompanied by the young volunteers who, together with the CAI and the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, created the new Alta Via (High Trail) through the Park. The route taken by the hiking group is the first stage in this project. The event aimed to avoid the clichéd images typical of social networks, and this spirit was perfectly summed up by Elena Zamberlan, manager of Rifugio Pian de Fontana: “The mountains offer something different every morning. If you have eyes, you’ll see it.”

The organisers of this year’s events also had to shoulder the important responsibility of those who promote an intelligent and prudent approach to the mountains. Adverse weather forecasts led to the cancellation of the geology event due to take place at Cava Buscada mountain hut. Seventy people had already booked for this session, involving the Dolomiti Friulane Natural Park and MUSE of Trento. However, thanks to the bulletin on Noi Dolomiti UNESCO, many were still able to learn about the rich culture and landscape of the Val Zemola, and to see the work of the Corona family in reclaiming the old marble quarry, closed since 1994.

Finally, there was the hike to Pradidali mountain hut, under the great crests of the Pale di San Martino, where we enjoyed the hospitality of Piera and Duilio Boninsegna, and the stories of Matteo Melchiorre accompanied by bassist Nelso Salton. It was a chance to salute a season spent with our boots on, our eyes on the Dolomites, and our minds on the responsibility that living here entails.