Another stellar week in the Italian Dolomites! Dan and I hiked a good portion of the Alta Via 1 trek, staying at several stunning alpine huts along the way. My favorite was Rifugio Lavarella – great food, relaxing ambiance, pleasant staff, and a traditional Finnish sauna to relax your muscles at the end of a long day’s hike.
Exploring a bit off the beaten track, we hiked up to a high point above the Lavarella hut. A small rock rolled across the trail in front of me, so I glanced uphill. Nothing. Curious, I thought. It didn’t seem like somewhere I would see rockfall. Something would have had to kick it to get it rolling. I stopped again, and looked more intently this time. After a moment, I saw something move. Chamois. First just one, hiding in its stillness. Then a second appeared, blotting out the sun – and casting a perfect silhouette. Then a third. They skipped up the ridgeline faster even than Ueli Steck – and with one last glance back at us, they were gone. But not before I got a few postcard shots of their charming, distinctive outline along a striking blue backdrop.