Escaping from big cities, in search of nature and relax
Life begins when you leave your comfort zone. Sleep in a high-altitude mountain refuge, away from traffic and the roar of motorcycles. Slurp hot soup outside in peace, under the shining stars, free of light pollution. Sleeping at a mountain shelter in the Dolomites is an experience to put on your bucket list!
Pack everything you need in your backpack; toothbrush and slippers included. You are leaving for a unique journey into the geographical centre, the true heart of the Dolomites. And you are doing it properly this time, as you set out to sleep there.
Val Ombretta welcomes you as only Mother Nature knows how in the narrow Pettorina valley, with the cheerful shrieks of marmots. The climb is tiring, and your backpack is more cumbersome than usual. But you feel strong, and your end goal is clear.
One step after another, relentless and unstoppable, you arrive at the Onorio Falier Refuge, under the south face of the Marmolada, and feel immediately at home. The atmosphere is pure, like that of the mountain. Dante welcomes you with a warm, tasty soup. Outside the sun begins to set, and the cool breeze reminds you that even during summer, the mountains can always get chilly.
In the dormitory you’ll find folk from all over the world; backpackers, Alta Via No. 2 hikers, climbers studying tomorrow’s route and solo travelers reading poetry and sketching mount Pelmo on a napkin.
You feel so far from urban chaos, stress and the hectic world in the valley.
The night is silent and almost surreal. Time flies by as you slumber and after you wake it’s almost time to leave, but not before Franca’s good coffee and strudel, so you are ready to begin a new day in nature!
Photo credits: Heart of the Dolomites