Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 71 , Dolomiti, Italy

Sita is begging me to make another stop over in Italy ....she wants to see the Dolomites......

The Dolomites, a section of the Alps, located for the most part in the province of Belluno, the rest in the provinces of Bolzano-Bozen and Trento (all in north-eastern Italy).
Conventionally they extend from the Adige river in the west to the Piave valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east.

The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana).

But the Dolomites spread also over the Piave river (Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave) to the east; and far away over the Adige river to the west is the Brenta Group (Western Dolomites); there is also another smaller group called Piccole Dolomiti (Small Dolomites) located between the Provinces of Trento and Vicenza.

Why do you want to see the Dolomites Sita?
It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere,with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys.

A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems.

It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records.

Okay, let's go on a hike
The range and its characteristic rock take their name from the 18th-century French geologist Dieudonné Dolomieu, who made the first scientific study of the region and its geology. Geologically, the mountains are formed of light-coloured dolomitic limestone, which erosion has carved into grotesque shapes. Formed 200millions years ago out of the primeval ocean, today they reach 3,000 metres into the sky.
I want to touch this rock....oh, my word, a salty powder comes off the fingers, a reminder that the Dolomites originated aeons ago as coral reefs under the sea!

These landforms include jagged, saw-edged ridges, rocky pinnacles, screes (pebble deposits) of limestone debris, deep gorges, and numerous steep rock faces at relatively low levels.

Glaciated features occur at higher levels; many glaciers lie in the region. Many of the lower and more gentle scree slopes were once forested; only patches of woodland remain,however, interspersed with grassy meadows.

Name metres feet Name metres feet
Marmolada 3344 10,972 Pale di San Martino 2996 9831
Antelao 3264 10,706 Rose ngartenspitze / Catinaccio 2981 9781
Tofana di Mezzo 3241 10,633 Marmarole 2961 9715
Punta Sorapis 3229 10,594 Cima di Fradusta 2941 9649
Monte Civetta 3220 10,564 Monte Agner 2872 9416
Vernel 3145 10,319 Fermedaturm 2867 9407
Cristallo 3221
Cima d'Asta 2848 9344
Cima di Vezzana 3192 10,470 Cima di Canali 2846 9338
Cimon della Pala 3184 10,453 Croda Grande 2839 9315
Langkofel / Sassolungo 3181 10,427 Vajoletturm / Torri del Vajolet (highest) 2821 9256
Pelmo 3169 10,397 Sass Maor 2816 9239
Dreischusterspitze 3162 10,375 Cima di Ball 2783 9131
Boespitze / Piz Boè (Sella group) 3152 10,342 Cima della Madonna (Sass Maor) 2751 9026
Croda Rossa (Hohe Gaisl) 3148 10,329 Rosetta 2741 8993
Piz Popena 3143 10,312 Croda da Lago 2716 8911
Elferkofel 3115 10,220 Central Grasleitenspitze 2705 8875
Grohmannspitze (Langkofel) 3111 10,207 Schlern 2562 8406
Zwölferkofel 3091 10,142 Sasso di Mur 2554 8380
Sass Rigais (Geislerspitzen) 3027 9932 Cima delle Dodici 2338 7671
Tre Cime di Lavaredo 3003 9853 Monte Pavione 2336 7664
Kesselkogel (Rosengarten) 3001 9846 Cima di Posta 2235 7333
Fünffingerspitze 2997 9833 Monte Pasubio 2232 7323
The Dolomites are celebrated not for their height but for their grotesque yet beautiful forms. In the setting sun they glow red, mauve and purple in the darkening sky........

truly another wonder of Nature and deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Compared to other mountains we have seen these seem brighter, more colorful, more monumental, and they certainly seem to be architecturally inspired.

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