Snow Place Like Home: Snowshoeing in the Dolomites

Crystal blue skies, the wind whistling past my ears and the crunch of snow compacting beneath my snowshoes – the landscape absorbed me. I let my thoughts drift like the falling snowflakes, just for a moment, on the snowy escarpment. All around me, the dramatic crags of the Dolomites seemed to pierce the cold air like needles.

A steady, half hour climb had given us this reward. Through clusters of pine trees, branches laden with snow, we had made our way between the majestic mountains, their huge existence almost daring us to venture further. I let myself pause a moment, soaking up the morning sunlight and falling into a hazy, dream-like state.

“Keep going, we can do it!” Jackie steamed up behind me, scattering fresh powder as she surged through the snow. She was a fit 40-something on the trip, exhilarated by the challenge of the summit in front of us. Her enthusiasm was infectious;
I dug in my heels, took a deep breath of crisp mountain air and began to climb.

As we ascended, the wind picked up, sending flurries of snowflakes charging against my cheeks. The peak grew closer, tantalising us when our legs began to tire. On any mountainside, the forces of nature reign supreme. To be outside, amidst such magnificent scenery, was nothing short of a privilege.

The view that met us at the cusp of the climb was one of sheer, unadulterated beauty. The power of the three, proud peaks – the infamous Tre Cime – half submerged beneath a thick blanket of snow was sublime. Our leader, Sara, had smuggled a tiny bottle of Italian grappa with her, and our snowy celebration was held in awe-struck silence.

That night, nestled beside the log fire with fingers curled around the richest, creamiest hot chocolate I’ve ever burnt my tongue on, we sat and chatted easily about our day. The 4 star Hotel Adler was the perfect base to return to each night; it felt like coming home. The warm, casual atmosphere was accompanied by the Michelin recommended dinners that fuelled each snowshoe excursion, and evenings were filled with relaxing spa trips and dips in the pool, while the snow swirled outside and collected in the corners of the windows. As the first time I’ve ever tried snowshoeing, I couldn’t recommend better.

By Sarah Ellard, who travelled on our Snowshoeing in the Dolomites trip.

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