Dolomites- early autumn 2016

For this trip the goal was very easy: Get two (or more) of the iconic peaks in the Dolomites in red sunset color!
The goal was defined very easy, but to get the shot you need the right season, the right weather and the right location. I wanted to be as high up as possible as well! Beginning of October most cablecars and mountain huts/hotels are already closed. This limited the choice of locations. I picked the Geisler group, the Tofane, the Civetta and the Sella as the peaks I wanted to shoot.

In the end it worked well with Geisler and the Tofane and I got some great long distance shots of Civetta, Pelmo and Marmolada before the weather changed and I returned to Munich.

Geisler / Odle

The first evening in the Geisler group was great. I started late in Munich and had not much time to climb up to the viewpoint I wanted to use. The clouds where not very promising and I did not expect to get a good sunset and all what counts are the last 25min before the sun is gone! Therefore I started slowly, but suddenly the clouds vanished and I had to rush. I payed for it dearly the next morning with very sore muscles.

But the shot was worth the effort. For the next day the forecast was great and I hoped for a second sunset.

The next evening was exactly the opposite. Nearly no clouds during the whole day, but suddenly out of nothing the sun was gone 40 min before sunset. Bad luck, but my mission was accomplished already and I decided to move on the next morning. As good as the location is for the Geisler as limited it is for other photo opportunities at least during fall. And it was good to move on to better pastures.

I drove up to Groedner Joch, down to Alta Badia and up again to Valparola/Falzarego Pass. The destination was Rifugio Lagazuoi high up over Falzarego, which could be reached by a cablecar still operating.
I never was up there and did not exactly know what to expect from the Rifugio and the viewpoints up there. I just knew, that it should be the best location available at this time of the year. I was not dissapointed, on the contrary it turned out to be much better than expected.

Tofane, Lagazuoi and more

The Rifugio and the neigbouring peak have a unique view as the altitude is more than 2700m. It is 360 degree and nearly all famous peaks of the dolomites are visible. From the Tofane to Monte Pelmo and Civetta, from Marmolada to Sella and the Geisler group. And right to the north are the vertical walls of Fanes and Lagazuoi. Composition is of course limited, you need color and clouds or both to make such pictures interesting.
I planned to stay three nights, but on the third day the weather changed and I left this unique place.

There is also another dimension up there, not only awesome views. It was the frontline of the mountain war during WWI. The rock faces are riddled with caverns and gun emplacements. It was not my priority to cover this dimension, but I spend some time in the caverns and trenches, which are maintaned as an outdoor museum. Very moving.

Back to the dolomites and their peaks, which really deserve their UNESCO world heritage status.

After going down I explored the area around Civetta a bit, but decided to drive home without spending another night. To many clouds and a lousy weather forecast made the decision easy. All the same it was a great and successfull short trip to the peaks of the Dolomites. At least for Geisler and Tofane the quest for the iconic red dolomites was accomplished.

Whats next? I am still hoping for another spell of good weather in the Dolomites, especially around Civetta and Pelmo, but for the moment it more looks like image processing!

Munich, Oktober 2016

PS My "From Patagonia to South Georgia and back again" workshop is now open for bookings. It is again a unique opportunity to see the highlights of this region. Please forward this workshop to anybody (german speaking only) who might be intersted!

Check out the workshop pages !