April 24, 2017

Spring has checked in early in the Dolomites this year. Very low snowfall and an unseasonably warm March gave us many more hiking options than usual. Normally, we can wait for most of May to pass before finally venturing out above 2000 meters.

Here’s a taste of our Easter weekend to help get your trail tail wagging. We’ve headed up to Rifugio Calvi on the slopes of Monte Peralba in the extreme northeastern corner of the Dolomites. Our base was the village of Sappada. This is the source of the Piave River, which historically fed fresh water into the Venice Lagoon along with barge-loads of butter, timber and other alpine goodies from Cadore and beyond.

Of course, stiff winds, snow showers and a frosty lunch break are all par for the course this time of year in the mountains. Nonetheless, magnificent views towards the Visdende valley and crocus blooms in the fields below were enough to warm us from the inside out.

Most of the snow visible in the pictures is on slopes exposed to the north. The snowpack is also shallow at every elevation throughout the Dolomites. An early start to the hiking season this year? It’s looking very likely!