Hiking Dolomite's

Jan 10th, 2009, 10:18 AM
  #1  
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Hiking Dolomite's

My husband and I want to hike for 2 weeks this summer in the Dolomite's. We can go during the first 2 weeks of July or the first 2 weeks of September. I'm thinking September might be better as less crowded and still good weather. Any advice?

Were it not for expense we would go with a tour company but we are experienced solo hikers (Swiss Alps) and feel comfortable going it alone. Has anyone done something similar? Can you suggest a route? We don't want to carry much more than a day pack or enough for 1 night in a refuge. Mostly we would like to hire transportation of our bags from inn to inn. Do you know if this is feasible?

Any ideas will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
sherrys is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 10:55 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi sherrys----if you "click" on my name you will find a thread about hiking in the Dolomites in September. I have been there twice before for hiking--a self-planned trip such as you would like to do---but not in September.

On that other thread, you will find some great suggestions by Steve_James and Paul, and links to websites for several different valleys.

We did our hiking from a holel base, 3 nights each in several places, and this was great. If you want to hike hut-tohut, there are several 3- to 4- day routes suggested in the Lonely Planet guide, "Walking Italy", as well as in the Cicerone guide "Walking in the Dolomites" by Gillian Price. You can probably get that from Amazon.

One thing I found is that the Dolomites are not quite as "user-friendly" as the Swiss Alps for hut-to-hut hiking. While there is a good bus system for hikers and trailhead access (the Sud Tirol Autodienst, or SAD), I don't believe they will transport your luggage.

What you might consider (and this is what I am thinking for our trip) is to book 2 nights in a small inn, 3 or 4 nights apart, and hike a loop from there, leaving your luggage behind at the hotel. Or you could end up someplace else and return to your original hotel by bus. Of course you would ask about this in advance to make sure it is OK.

The area is incredibly beautiful, and the people and food are wonderful. I set up whole previous trip by e-mailing the various places we wanted to stay (it helps that I speak German) and everyone was very kind and welcoming. Now I see many more of the places have websites where you can make on-line reservations. I still prefer the personal communication.

Between July and September, you will find that it is much less expensive to go in September. Prices for lodging drop in late August (like the 28th) when the kids return to school.
enzian is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 01:59 AM
  #3  
 
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Hi Sherry - Here's another recent thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...me=Steve_James

Hope this helps ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 08:31 AM
  #5  
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Thank you.

I especially like the idea of circle trips, leaving bags at our hotel. The idea of returning by bus appeals also. I need to check out bus schedules. Occasionally, in Switzerland, we ended our hike running to catch the last bus or train connection back to our apartment. This was very stressful after a long day hiking.

In Switzerland we usually rent an apartment and do mostly day trips. This makes for really long days and limited choice of hikes.

We did the TMB in August '08 with a company that provided a guide and luggage transport. We loved not having to return to home base each evening, but found we are more adventurous without a guide.

I already have the Lonely Planet book and 3 Ciccerone books that I got at Amazon. I'd like to try some of the easier Via Ferrata. I've ordered area maps also, but haven't yet found a good hiking map.

Does anyone know of a good topographic map? Better yet, does anyone know of a site offering GPS coordinates for hikes?

I will check out the links. Clearly, I must do a lot of research.

Thanks again!
sherrys is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 11:27 AM
  #6  
 
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Hi sherrys---The maps I found best are the Tabacco 1:25000 topographic maps. There are two different series---the "Carta Topographica per Excursionisti" (Topographische Wanderkarte" in German) and the less expensive
"Wanderkarte mit Panoramakarte".

I purchased them in the Dolomites. If you can find them online, the former series comes with a numbered index to the areas. 07 covers the Alta Badia; 05 covers the Val Gardena area; 03 for Cortina, etc. These are true topographic maps, and it is possible they have been re-issued with GPS information.

A couple of short loops I could suggest would be Rifugio Bolzano to Saltner Hütte from Alpe di Siusi (3 days, 2 nights), and the circuit around Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto (there are several huts along the way; you could do is in 2 days/1 night, or take 3 days and do some short side hikes).

You could add Rifugio Alpe de Tires to the first one for a longer hike. From my map, it looks like there is a via ferrata near that hut, but you would want a guidebook to confirm that.
enzian is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:03 AM
  #7  
 
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There are a number of long distance paths in the Dolomites, known as 'alte vie' i.e. 'high trails'. Discover them on http://www.dolomiti.it/eng/itinerari/altevie/dx.htm and http://www.dolomiti-altevie.it
These would be wonderful for you (the #1 is particularly suitable for first-timers as it is easier and has lots of accommodation en-route).
Unfortunately I am not aware of companies offering a baggage transfer service (and seriously doubt any exist). Hikers tend to carry their backpacks on these trails.
furs is offline  
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