Refuge in the Dolomites of Italy

Sunrise lights up the rugged mountain of Monte Cristallo.

Late June, I attended a tour to the Dolomites so that I could get to great spots for sunrise and sunset without having to do all the research, as I was crunched for time working on my new book. I hadn’t take someone else’s tour in a long time, and it was fun not to be working! We had unsettled weather most of the tour, which in fact produced some of the more exciting images. I darn near killed myself, I’ll admit it, as I just wasn’t in the shape I needed to be in to carry my photo gear, lots of water, and personal items for 3 nights out at remote huts at about 6-7000′ elevations. By the end of the week I could finally breath normally. The huts were situated in spots where you could hike out from them in any direction and make beautiful images, and although ‘remote’ they served up hot dinners, cappucino, drinks, and had hot showers! I love ‘REMOTE’ like this.

On our last morning, we headed out from the Rifugio Auronzo, under broken cloudy skies, hopeful that we’d finally have some killer sunrise light. But it wasn’t meant to be. We had light, and it held some potential, but it wasn’t what we’d hoped for. But I’ve learned you don’t rush back to the hut right away, you give it a little time, and on this morning, it was worth it to wait a bit, in spite of being chilled and hungry. When the light broke through the clouds, it illuminated Monte Cristallo and skimmed across the plateau beneath it, revealing another hut (that I sure want to stay at sometime).  An incredible moment, and the scale of the mountain is expressed by the smallness of that refuge hut, and the low angle of light brought out the topography of it all so well. I look forward to getting back there again soon.

Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!

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Brenda Tharp
Brenda is an award-winning photographer, author, keynote speaker, workshop instructor and tour leader. Her acclaimed books include Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography, and Extraordinary Everyday Photography.
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