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Crossing the Dolomites on skis - Corridors, panoramas and dolce vita in South Tyrol

On our right, the Milan-Turin tgv rushes towards Piedmont across the Po plain, under a bright sun. After two months of winter season at a frenetic pace between ski resorts, high school sports students, training weekends and white valleys, we are off again for skiing, but this reunion with friends on an Italian motorway service area gives a whole new flavor to the next days. The Dolomites are ours! The snow is missing, but let's forget the beautiful turns. We go there for the aesthetics of the crossing, the beautiful landscapes, the unique culture of Süd-Tyrol. And then, we will find many old powder at the bend of a well oriented coomb...


I take the troupe on a guided tour of the center of Bolzano, where every street corner is full of souvenirs. The weather is good this afternoon in the capital of the autonomous province of South Tyrol Alto Adige. The shopping arcades on either side of Via dei Portici resonate with Italian and German with a strong Dolomite accent. Multiculturalism is expressed here in the architecture and town planning, with a city split between the historic center in the Austrian style, and the new, more Italian city, in the middle of which flows the Isar. But also in restaurants, with a wide gastronomic gap ranging from bruschettas to knödels. The bars, Kantine, Kellerei and Brauerei compete with Weissbier, Helles, Dunkel, and wines from the proud vineyards of Firmian and Eppan an die Weinstraße. Walking in this crowd, under the beautiful colorful facades and the fine plaster moldings reminds me how good it was to live here. At the crossroads of via dei Portici and Piazza delle Erbe, in front of the fountain, the same eternal little old woman has her little stainless steel stall on wheels. Wearing the local blue apron, over a shirt with small white and pink checks, her white hair cut short, she has not changed and still serves her Weißwüstel and Meraner Würstel.

A pizza at Frédéric's, and we quickly go back to bed at the youth hostel. We all need sleep, and I'm barely in bed when I die in a deep sleep.

 

Sunday morning, we wake up early, excited about the upcoming departure. Here, much further east of the time zone, our benchmarks are off by almost an hour. It is 6:30 a.m. at the beginning of March but it is already broad daylight. From our windows we see the massive walls of Rosengarten to the east, with the elegant Tori de Vajolet to its left. The gateway to the Dolomites rises majestically above the pastures and forests of Carezza. We swallow the hearty breakfast, and cross the street to catch the bus that takes us from the station to the ski resort of Nova Levante. Hardly arrived that we climb in a cabin of the ski lifts. This was essential given the current snow cover and the length of the day's stage, to save several hours of walking uphill along the slopes. In 15 minutes we are propelled to 2300m, in the heart of the matter. We exit at the foot of the Rosengarten. The forcella della Coronelle is plumb, we see the first slopes but can only guess the exit. The fault winds up in the mountain, and the pass escapes our gaze. We equip ourselves with crampons, put the skis on the bag and the ice ax on the shoulder, and we launch into the first ascent of this crossing. The landscapes around us are already spectacular. On the other side of the valley, the Latemar massif, with the Lago di Carezza, a little jewel in a setting of spruces and pines. In the distance, to the west, the Ortles, the Cevedale, the Gran Zebru, and even more to the south, the Adamelo. To the north, the peaks of the Alpine arc mark the border with Austria. We go up the 300m in an exceptional setting. The white limestone towers soar towards the sky, draw multiple reliefs in which the gaze is lost, as many crests, edges, chutes, chimneys, cracks which attract the rock climber. La forcella is a splendid gateway, an introduction to our trip. A few more steps in this sometimes hard, sometimes pulverulent snow which subsides under our passage, and we reach the Pas de la Coronelle. In front of us stands the infinite expanse of the Dolomites, with juxtaposed micro-massifs, which give this unique impression of an abundance of mountains and peaks. Above the bottoms of valleys wooded with conifers, with gentle reliefs in the heart of which nestle pretty little villages with meticulously maintained houses, proudly stand the sculpted dolomitic bastions. My companions who discover these landscapes for the first time are amazed. And I who know them well and return there regularly, I never tire of contemplating this marvel of nature.

We put on our skis and attack the first descent of the raid. The snow is not easy, the hard slab tends to give way under our feet as soon as we are not perfectly centered on the skis, but we still manage to make some good turns in the north reverse slopes sprinkled with a few centimeters of fresh snow. Further down, we find on the southern slopes a much more pleasant thin peeling carpet. We ski on the reserve, because the snow cover is low and the stones are never far away. The heavy bags of roaming also upset our balance, and snow changes are all the more difficult to manage.

We end our descent on the terrace of a beautiful stone and wood chalet, alone in the sun facing an incredible panorama. It is noon, we stop to picnic on these providential benches.

The day is not over, far from it! We probably did the most technical part, going up the forcella skis on the bag, but we still have 800m of climb to reach the Passo di Antermoia. Of course nothing is ever obligatory, and renunciation and alternatives are always possible, especially since the descent with a return to the valley at this point is quite possible, with bus connections from Vigo di Fassa to Canazei , our destination. We decide as a group to continue to the top of this climb, and to take a look at the pass. Then there will always be time to turn around. We unload Beatrice's bag, as the morning efforts on the ascent and descent with the heavy bag have already started well.

We go up the valley passing in front of the Vajolet refuge. At the beginning of this sunny afternoon, we meet many hikers coming down from the Passo Principe refuge. We are quite surprised, it is unusual for us in France to come across so many hikers, of all ages, equipped with mini-crampons to walk in the snowy mountains. Béatrice's lighter bag helps her find a correct rhythm, and our little group continues its progress in the heart of the Catinaccio group. The track winds on the reliefs and we go back to the north side. In a few steep conversions on the bottom of hard snow requiring the knives to avoid slipping, we cross this small steep slope and gain a foothold on the shoulder which leads to a last short crossing to the passo Antermoia.

Here, the morale of the group is quite good, Martin is struggling and seems to be in a bad place, but holds on with Ventolin and determination. We therefore choose together to continue our crossing, confirmed in our decision by the return of a local guide, a little earlier, who confirmed to me that the descent on skis through Val Duron was good until Campitello di Fassa .

We slalom between the outcropping stones, but still manage to find patches of snow brought back by the wind. It's quite unexpected, but the skiing in these northern combes is much better than we had imagined. At the Antermoia refuge, we take off our shoes for a hundred meters in an upward traverse, just to pass a last small pass after which we will only descend. The clock is ticking, the afternoon is advancing and the sun is beginning to hide behind the slender peaks we have just crossed. The light becomes more subdued and the shadows begin to stretch. In front of us, in the orange hues of the end of the day, it's a real spectacle. The Dolomites reveal themselves even more. In the distance at the bottom, we can make out the Civetta, a little hidden by the Marmolada which dominates in the middle of the panorama. The Piz Boé is also there, imposing, facing us. On our left, the Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piato present us with their steep cliffs, while on our right, to the southeast, stand the slender peaks of the Pale di San Martino.

Finally we switch to the Val Duron, the last stage of our day. We make our way through the forest and the arcosses to the bottom of the valley. It is past 4:30 p.m., we take off the glasses because the light is really starting to get weaker. Once again, with the time zone difference, our bearings are disrupted. Here at this time, it is dark at 6:30 p.m.

The Val Duron is empty and we do not meet anyone during this long descent-walk, except for a man at the wheel of his snow quad on caterpillars, which descends at full speed and without worrying about skidding the completely frozen forest track. The strip of ice enables us to traverse quickly, in the infernal noise of the skis which tremble and strike, this pretty calm valley with the few scattered chalets. We finally arrive at the end of this long first stage at 5:30 p.m., in the center of the village of Campitello di Fassa.

 

Monday. Under the cloudy and gray sky, we go back on foot in a gentle tranquility harbinger of spring. A few scattered snowflakes add to the mysterious character of the huge black and yellow cliffs that tower over us, capped at the top by ice falls. From the top of the moraine, three chamois are watching us. The climb is long but not unpleasant. In a kind of hypnotic, heavy and silent walk, we climb bands of snow in frozen limestone scree, to reach the foot of Val Lasties.

Once past the rocky lock, we arrive in a wide snow-covered valley. We put on our skis and find the crunching sound of hides and knives on the hard snow. This was covered with a few centimeters of fresh snow, which certainly fell during the night, brought back by the wind and preserved from melting by the slight inclination of these western slopes. Above our heads the clouds descend, mask the summits and the slopes, and gradually we plunge into the white day. We turn south and enter Vallon del Fos, which culminates at its summit in the forcella of Rifugio Pordoi. Lost in the white, we look for some reliefs on which to rest our gaze. Sometimes, at random from a gust of wind, the clouds part for a few seconds and let us see the rocky bars around us. On our left, as anticipated on the map, we can make out the flared arrival of the Alton Pass canal. We decide to have a look, and turn off to lean against the cliffs and regain visibility. The slopes are not too steep, 30-35° maximum at the bottom, then the cliffs narrow, the valley becomes a canyon, then a gorge, then a narrow channel of only a few meters. At the bottom of this steeper defile, the wind has beaten down the snow and underlying ice has formed. We take off the skis, put them on the bag, and climb this short, easy chute with crampons and ice axes. In front, Martin and Pacôme cut beautiful steps, with repeated tapping of their feet. The track must be comfortable for Béatrice, less at ease, and who above all likes this type of entertainment much less than the rest of the group. I accompany Béatrice, Lisa and Yannick follow us slightly behind in the ascent of this long magnificent staircase. Our cries of joy resound in the canal, this direct line to the Rifugio Boé improvised to escape being blinded by the fog is an excellent surprise in our day. Mountaineering is a subtle blend of experience, knowledge of the terrain, physical and technical ease, but also panache and creativity, and of course a sense of aesthetics.

At its summit, we reach the plateau on which the Boé refuge is perched. A few more gropings in the white light, and we reach the latter. A sign indicates the long-awaited winter room. At the top of a flight of metal steps, we close the door behind us on the wind and the sleet. In this recently renovated, isolated room for 4, we sit around a small table, simply sitting on the beds. We spread out the rest of our victuals in front of us...

Directly behind the hut, a deep gorge cuts into the mountain. We can only make out the first meters of these high limestone walls, which surround a steep slope in hard snow. A few bumps come to break the stiffness and give relief to the gully. From the top, we cannot see the bottom of the channel or the bottom of the slope. The clouds accumulated in the shadow of the walls give this access to Val Mesdi an air of the gates of hell. We plunge into the descent in a gloomy and austere atmosphere, only reassured by the map and the few traces of skiing in front of us.

After a descent in applied and controlled turns to best guide Béatrice on these 40° slopes, we break through the cloud cover and emerge into a large valley bordered by high cliffs. Neither Charon nor Cerberus await us at the bottom of this steep, narrow channel. Here we are in the famous Val Mesdi. Luck smiled on us, the wind and the morning precipitation brought about ten centimeters of fresh snow on the hard bottom, and no one got through before us. The tension disappears and we realize the privilege of having the valley to ourselves. We ski in big curves the big slopes that bring us back to Corvara, simply attentive sometimes to the rocky islets peeled by the wind. Having regained visibility, we pose in front of the cameras, immortalize these unique moments. Another steeper and more playful lock at the bottom of the valley, and we find a forest track which brings us easily back to the center of the resort.

At the outset of the project, there was the initial idea of crossing the Dolomites differently from the classic loop followed by the big agencies. Not that this one is not interesting, on the contrary it is a compendium of beautiful panoramas, beautiful descents and comfortable refuges and lodgings easily accessible thanks to the shuttles and ski lifts. The track connects the "most beautiful" peaks and corridors of the Dolomites for skiers wishing not to sweat too much on the climb. Based on my knowledge of this vast massif, I knew that it had much more to offer than just the aforementioned selection. With the desire to do as much as possible on foot and on skis, without using the ski lifts, I had imagined a large diagonal from the south-west to the north-east, with the first two long crossing stages, crossing passes and forcella, and nights in the valley in small typical villages. A wilder, more authentic crossing, but also much more technical and physical. A program for more seasoned ski tourers with a mountain spirit.

So, having arrived in Corvara, we catch a valley bus that takes us back down further into the Val Badia, to the charming little village of San Martino di Badia, perched on a small promontory around a slate-roofed bell tower. Above well-ordered pastures, bordered by spruce forests, the Ciastel of Torr dominates the village and watches over the valley.

We devour a fantastic meal in the Gasthof of the small town. After the traditional knödelsuppe, the friendly and amusing waitress, probably of Russian origin since she punctuates each sentence with a strongly accented "Daveï", brings us ravioli with goat cheese and spinach, a trio of canederli, risottos with chanterelles and porcini mushrooms. Far from the tourist places and overpriced tables of Corvara, we enjoy a pleasant evening in the real charming and authentic atmosphere of South Tyrol.

 
 

For the third day's stage, we had chosen to enter the Fanes massif by exploiting one of the three weaknesses in these walls, rather than accessing the Lagazuoi refuge like the vast majority by the Passo Falzarego gondola. Three accesses seemed easily possible to us when reading the map. The Col de Locia or the Forcella de Medesc on the western flank, the Ju de San Antone on the north. In this way, we could combine a first part of the day of climbing to the refuge, with a potential rab in the afternoon for the most motivated. Given the current low snowfall, we choose to enter the Fanes massif from the north. Tuesday morning at 9am, a taxi picks us up and takes us to the Späscia parking lot, the starting point of the hike. A few cars are already there, we thank Walther our driver and put on our skis in a large snowy field. The choice was the right one. Here, protected from melting, the bottom of the valley has kept its snow cover. Only a few tens of meters to our left, the western flanks are bare. The landscape is wonderful. In front of us, the imposing north faces of Piza dles Niesc and Piza dales Nü dominate us and plunge us back into the dolomitic atmosphere. At our level and behind us, huge barns and buildings sit enthroned in the middle of gently sloping fields. I linger to observe them, their sophisticated architecture amazes me. The construction of their frames goes far beyond the structural function. The cross-brace arrangement of the facade beams, the workmanship of the openings and the balconies, testify to the wealth of the farmers of the region, and to the attention paid to the appearance of their buildings. More generally, the attachment of the inhabitants of south-tyrol to the harmony of their valleys, villages, mountain pastures.

The climb is easy, the trail winds between the pines at the bottom of the valley until it comes out of the forest at a large flat under the pass. Everyone takes their own pace on this climb, and I take the opportunity to push a little ahead, something that hasn't happened to me for a long time on skis. This day before Pierra Menta, I'm doing a little prologue on my own, in my remote corner of the Dolomites, my heavy bag on my back and my ZeroG 95s on my feet. Out of breath and with burning legs, I see myself again among the runners, and bewitched in this nostalgic effort, I quickly swallow the conversions of the climb up to Ju San Antone. My spaced out companions join me in turn, and half an hour later we are reunited at the pass, when the wind picks up and the landscape becomes blocked. We meet Willy and the rest of his group, who have just descended from the Antoniosptize. They are currently 72 distributed in the massif, and are part of an association of international alpine clubs, which meet each year for an itinerant or star raid somewhere in the Alps. In the same logic as an exchange of correspondents, each year is organized by the local team which hosts the rest of the group. This year the Dolomites are in the spotlight, next year it will be Val d'Aosta. We sympathize, and conclude these first exchanges around a glass of Limoncello of its preparation, straight out of a transparent mini-barrel through which we already taste the precious yellow liqueur.

We descend easily under the fog that settles in the stepped circus at the bottom of which are nestled the Lavarella and Fanes refuges. Refuge is also not the right term. A groomed track serves the two huge hotel-like buildings. A small corner of paradise lost in the middle of the mountains, the contrast is striking between the luxurious comfort offered by the Rifugio Lavarella and the feeling of isolation. Apart from the unpleasant experience of being banned from picnicking, we are all satisfied to have returned early. No one plans to go out and everyone enjoys an afternoon of rest, between cappuccini, slice of apfelstrudel, board games and writing.

 

This morning, alone in the middle of Fanes, we glide quickly towards our objective. Béatrice chose to stay at the shelter to take a day off. So we chose to give a visit to Piz Lavarella.

Past the Utia Gran Fanes, at the bottom of the wooded valley, we branch off to the right towards our objective, leave the pines and slowly climb the valley to the pass between Piz Conturines, summit of the massif at 3064m, and Piz Lavarella. Knives on skis, we cross a steeper slope and hard snow to come up against a short rocky outcrop. Still balanced on my edges and knives, I take out the shovel and cut the now traditional platform of handles. Legacy of my years of ski mountaineering competitions, I like to find and arrange a comfortable place to put on the crampons and put the skis on the bag. Yannick joins me, and quickly the steep and frozen slope gives way under our energetic shovels to a beautiful terrace one meter deep by three meters wide, ready to welcome the rest of the group. The route usually passes on our right, through inclined slabs covered with snow, but we prefer the ascent of a small gully of 30 meters at 50°, which seems much less exposed to us.

We swapped our ski equipment for mountaineering equipment, and began to climb the easy and short strip of squeaky snow and ice. At its summit we find a rocky shoulder that we follow, until the last corridor of snow that separates the western and eastern peaks. From the small pass, we go to the right following the snow ridge, prominent in the center of Fanes. The feeling of height and smallness in the heart of this immense massif of the Dolomites is magical. The joy of the first blows of the ice ax and crampons has now given way to the stunned silence of the last steps towards the summit. I break the calm by pushing a few euphoric yodels, and here we are, the cross standing in front of us.

The summit, the goal of an ascent, must not be reached at all costs, adaptation and renunciation must always be considered. But this high point which attracts us like a magnet from the valleys remains, in my opinion, one of the pillars of our activities in the mountains, even if humility, prudence and reason must sometimes lead us to take advantage of it otherwise. This essential motivation engine embodies much more than the simple metric objective, it is the culmination of an approach, of decision-making involving a group, conditions and an itinerary, the culmination of a line that takes everything its meaning, once again, by its aesthetics. Patrick Berhault said he appreciated the difficulty and the performance of a route, a route, not for its rating, but for the moral commitment, the physical effort, the technical mastery and the beauty of the line that it implies. A mountain aesthete, whom I take as my mentor.

Climbing the last meters of the snowy ridge of Piz de La Varella and discovering the summit cross reminds me how powerful the joy of reaching a summit is, and how addictive this jubilant euphoria is. On this highest and isolated point of the massif, we take in all the Dolomites, from the Schlern to the Civetta. The wind died down as if by a miracle, and after a few photos around the iron cross, we improvised an unusual and enjoyable picnic spot, alone on our perch.

Before the last day. We split the group into two. I go down with Béa the valley by the snow-covered road to the Pederu hotel, to then go up by the forest track to the Fordara Vedla refuge. Lisa, Martin, Pacôme and Yannick continue the traverse from above, passing the Ciamin forcella. A beautiful western combe in hard snow, preserved from melting by the cliffs which border it to the south, leads to a first pass at 2395m which overlooks the Val de Meso. From there, walking up the southern slopes to the breach, they switch to the northern slope in the Gran Valun, at the foot of which we climbed to wait to watch them ski. The channel immediately resulting from the breach is in fact poor in snow, the stones just covered make the first turns impossible. After these first tens of unpleasant meters, which they descend in a dead leaf, we see them lead to a vast valley. The 300m long slope they are about to ski, facing north, looks fabulous from the bottom. We see them engage in it one by one, and sign the snowpack of the first sculls of the day. The snow wasn't actually as good to ski as it looked, with the near hard bottom making the supports slippery. Our four companions nevertheless have a smile in their ears, and the satisfaction of a new elegant crossing from above. We picnic together in the sun, facing the slope which is now being ravaged by the caravans of the international group which was on their heels.

At the Sennes refuge, the atmosphere is much closer to the refuge as we know it, unlike the Hôtel de Fanes that we left. We find the warm welcome of the mountain people at the manager and her waitress with whom we sympathize immediately.

A little later in the afternoon, we finally find a use for the small travel beam that I had carried in my bag. I lead a session of suspensions, pull-ups and sit-ups before the fingers let go, and we fall back on more childish entertainment. In the magnificent setting sun which illuminates the Cristallo in the distance, we crackle the facade of a barn with shards of snowballs, in a precision contest launched by Martin. It is almost 6 p.m. and our stomachs, accustomed to the rhythm of meals in the refuge, are already crying out for hunger. Our last projectiles exhausted, we rush to the table, impatient to send us our last hearty dinner à la mode du süd-tyrol. Once again, the knödel, minestrone, duo of penne, potato salads, huge omelettes come to delight our taste buds, deliciously accompanied by a good local table wine. Apfelstrudel and pine ice cream drizzled with liqueur round off this feast.

Friday, last step. I wake up with headaches and nausea from an evening too rich in alcohol. "Really this time, it's the last!". We know that one. The breakfast is like the banquet the day before. Are these vacations about skiing and scenery, or endless foodie? Both, dear reader, that is the magic of the Dolomites.

Outside the fog envelops the refuge and hides the summits. Béa and I will take the most direct route, that of the pass at 2331m which leads to the Seitenbachtal then to the lago di Braies, or Pragserwildsee. And yes, here the summits always have two, even three names, when in addition to German and Italian the name Ladine is added. Reading the map and snooping around the topos, we found a long northern channel that descends from the Kleiner Seekofel, or Pice Sas dla Porta. If it is snow-covered, it promises a beautiful and long steady descent at almost 40° to the flat above the lake. Once again, Lisa, Martin, Pacôme and Yannick go exploring. However, the success of their crossing is now less certain. The southern slopes to access the canal are plowed, which does not make the climb impossible but painful. The visibility oscillates between nil and bad, and above all we have had no feedback from the guard on recent passages. They will come up and advise up there.

With Béatrice, we cross in a slow and relaxing walk the plateau that separates the refuge from the pass. On our right, the rest of the group continues its climb, trying to take advantage of the few snowy slopes that remain. We pass the pass in the fog, then dive north on our last descent of the week. We negotiate the top of the route as well as possible, weaving between a few rocky bars, happy to have found a little visibility at this time: these were not clearly indicated on the map. Very quickly, the snow becomes heavy, the stones scrape the skis as soon as you leave the tracks. Fortunately there are still some on the path that runs through the undergrowth in the bottom of the valley, and we reach without taking off our shoes the flat facing the canal that the others are aiming for.

I find the radio contact with Martin when we stop to observe it, and note that it is all dry. Despite its orientation, it has very little snow, and that's what they could also see from the top. Too bad, we had to try, they will find us by joining our route.

We slide on the snowy track by the lake, crossing many walkers in boots and jeans, who look at us incredulously, even photographing us! Could this be the first time they have seen skiers? It must be said that Lake Braies is an extremely touristic place, which attracts a population that is not necessarily mountainous. After six days rather immersed in our raid, despite the luxurious parenthesis at the refuge of Fanes, this return to normal life is a bit brutal. Our little paradise crossing bubble has just burst, it's over, we are nearing the end of our trip.

We pose together in front of the lake, in front of the pontoon and the cabin on stilts, the last group photo to end our trip. The wooden posts protrude a good three meters from the muddy bottom, left uncovered by the retreat of the winter waters. Despite the low elevations of the last few days, the sequence of stages with our heavy bags is starting to leave its mark. Fatigue hangs over the group, and we go to the bus stop in a mixture of backlash from the goal achieved, and nostalgia for the road travelled. In just three hours by public transport, buses and trains with incredibly smooth transitions, we find Bolzano station and our youth hostel opposite.

 

"This one is lighter, lighter in colour: the Magdalener. 35 years ago when I arrived, it represented 95% of our sales, and we in South Tyrol drink it daily. Besides, we surely drink it too much! The Italians prefer these two others, stronger, sweeter and tannic, the Blauburgunder and the Lagrein. But their taste is too marked, we cannot drink 5 or 6 glasses a day like the first, it would be too much, disgusting in the long run."

While serving us a glass of Vernaccia red wine, the septuagenarian owner of Malojer Kellerei, a large wine cellar in Bolzano near via Weggenstein, gives us a presentation in German of the wines from her region. Leaning on a barrel table in the courtyard of their large house, we conclude our sporting, cultural and culinary journey with the citrus and rose notes of a Gewurzträminer, and the red fruits and woody aromas of a Lagrein Riserva. .

Our empty glasses and two cases of wine under our arms, we stroll through the already bustling streets of Bolzano. Even before we turn onto Piazza delle Erbe, we hear the noise and the bursts of laughter of Friday night drinkers, seated around a pint of Weissbier or a glass of Spritz. We are looking for somewhere to eat one last pizza for the week. I force fate by pushing the door of the Torglhaus, which turned us down earlier in the afternoon when I called to make a reservation. Behind the windows decorated with large multicolored birds, the waiters are already busy setting the table. Luck smiles on us, it is only 6:30 p.m. and we can settle in until 8:30 p.m. The server lets us in, the group can't believe it. And yet, the lessons of travel: you have to know how to keep confidence, let yourself be carried away by events, be ready to improvise. We savor the success all the more, while realizing that with a little optimism, the alignment of the stars is not so rare!


It's 4 p.m. Saturday and we're parked in the yard of our house. Since we crossed the border at the Fréjus tunnel, the sky has been gray and rainy. We left the colorful valley of the Adige where spring has already settled, and, still caught up in the magic of this week's holiday, everything here seems duller to me. However, our mountains really need these long-awaited rains, after a terribly dry winter.

Later, lying on our sofa, which I'm finally happy to find, with our two felines who had missed us so much - and it's mutual! - I finish completing the missing paragraphs of this modest story. By going back to my memories, by reliving these few days to extract the most striking moments, I am already looking forward to the idea of returning there in ten days, in this part of the Alps which is my second home.


Thanks to Béa, Lisa, Martin, Pacôme and Yannick for the 7 days of vacation!



📸 Yannick Fetet



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