Passo Giau is where winter dreams come true. Sure, it’s not for the faint of heart. The road up to the pass is steep and winding and with a fresh blanket of winter snow, the road should be attempting by only hearty mountain drivers with 4WD.
Me? Well, I’m confident and experienced but in my 2WD car, I knew it’d be a mission especially when I wanted to stop the car every two minutes to take a photo. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Beautiful beams of golden light flashing through the clouds lighting up the sparkling snow. It was heaven.
I was making my way up to Passo Giau for a good old fashion walk in the snow. Armed with a wide pair of snowshoes to break the trail, we set out into the whiteout, ready to be fully immersed in winter.
A completely silent world of white, still and cold, noiseless except for the crunching snow beneath our snowshoes, we made our way into the clouds. Man, there is nothing I love more than fresh snow.
Every so often the surrounding mountains would peak through the clouds, showing their faces for a few minutes before disappearing into whiteness again. The high peaks remained elusive and mysterious, never fully revealing themselves.
After we had our fill of winter beauty, we headed back to the closest chalet for a quick warm-up and some hearty food. Of course just as we walked into the Chalet, the clouds began to lift and the views opened up. I’ll just have to come back, I vowed.
I returned to Passo Giau that evening to catch up what I hoped would be an amazing sunset.
The clouds moved back and forth over the peaks around the Giau Pass, and I put on my snowboots and followed some of the trails through the snow until it started to get dark. The views I was denied earlier were out in full force and I felt vindicated in my decision to return. The sunset from Passo Giau is one of those moments I’ll never forget. A mental image so beautiful it’s forever seared into my longterm memory.
Photo credits: Heart of the Dolomites, Liz Carlson