An Adventurer’s Guide to the Dolomite Mountains: Hiking Mount Grappa
Written by Phillip December 9, 2015
It was cold day in November and there was a heavy fog surrounding the mountain. Lauren Anderson and I decided that this would be the day that we would finally conquer the mountain we had been staring at for the past two months. We didn’t have any transportation set up so Dr. Al, the director of the program, offered to drive us to the base of the mountain.
Our adventure fell in the middle of November so at this point all of the leaves had fallen off most of the trees onto the mountain side. It was a very pretty sight, but the leaves had also lost all of their color. So for future Fall Cimbians reading this blog; seize the day as soon as possible. Don’t wait until half of the fall semester is over to make this journey, because I guarantee it will be a bit more colorful mid-September or October.
The very low visibility on the mountain made our journey quite unique. About an hour into our hike we couldn’t see much of the mountainside at all. We kept pushing up the mountain, eager to see the top and finally get to this famous café at the top. The further we went, the lower the visibility and at one point it was hard to see 40 feet in front of us. At certain points in our hike, the clouds moved vertically and we could see the mountain side for a few minutes and then it would disappear again.
An hour or so into the hike we found ourselves surrounded by an eerie silence and the view into an abyss created by a thick November fog. Most of the journey up was spent being mindful of our surroundings and absorbing the beautiful scenery only to be found on the mountainside.
At last, the top of the mountain. We looked over the valley but with the fog we couldn’t see anything really. To be honest, it was a little disappointing to feel robbed of the famous view of the valley from the mountain top, but it was amazing to see the top of the clouds. Once we got to the top we looked around for a café confused and somewhat famish. After a few minutes it was looking bleak and we checked our messages from our friends to look what trail we were supposed to take. “He said Trail 356. Which one did we take?” A silence fell over us as we stared the trail that read 150.
We walked parallel on the mountain side enjoying the view from the top of the clouds. We found the right trail and actually managed to walk our way down in great time. Hiking this mountain was just another small adventure in Italy that I will never forget. After paragliding and mountain climbing, I honestly feel like a changed person. There is nothing like pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and that is an experience you will never get unless you study abroad.