Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: nature

Ötzi

I am flying above the Alps this very moment and I am trying to remember the names of the places where I have been ski touring in March and April. Your have to know that it has been a tiring start of the year, both mentally and physically. I have been following the priorities set by my work and I have ignored some of the personal plans I had previously being following so rigorously. One of the few exceptions to this otherwise strict rule has been the luxury of ski touring, which I did over three weekends with my parents and with my Tuscan friends.

In early March I went to Rifugio Carlettini, 1300 meters high. I was with Nicola, Birgit, Federica, Paolo, Francesco, or the slowcai group that I met two years ago: do you remember? The first day we made it all the way up to Tombola Nera at 2413 meters; the second day I am not so sure any more (but I think we reached Cima Ravetta at 2266 meters). Those were two days of fantastic weather, loads of food, little snow. Ideas for future excursions in the area: Cengello, Lasteati, Cima d’Asta.

 

Then in early April I went to Cevedale together with my parents for one day only. The weather was incredible. We arrived on Cima Solda, which is situated at 3387 meters. In the future we will have to go all the way up to the top. For that to happen, we either need to leave our house in Trento at 3AM or get a cabin in South Tyrol.

 

Getting a cabin in South Tyrol is precisely what we did at the end of April, when we skied on the Glacier of the Similaun, or the place where the found Ötzi. We slept at Rifugio Bellavista, 2845 meters. As a sort of retribution for being too kind to me in the previous two excursions, this time the weather conditions were horrible: cold, snow, and wind. The first day we reached a mountain slope next to the Fineilspitze at 3400-and-something meters. The second day we went in front of the Giogo di Tisa but I cannot really recall the altitude.

Next time I will go up the mountains it will be Summer and, who knows, perhaps I will be with Manuel, Mindo and Giallu again.

 

 

 

The place where we were

So I wrote I was going to upload some more pictures concerning this little adventure I had together with my dad, Giallu and Nico. Here they are: they have been taken by the organizers themselves and I highly recommend taking part to at least one of their next events.

Addendum: people complimented me about the new glasses. In fact, they belong to Giallu. The reason why I am wearing them is I lost both contact lenses on the way to the lake – yes, crazy: they flew away, both at the same time, while we were speeding up in the dust. Loyal Giallu was kind enough to borrow me his glasses. We are almost equally blinded, so that worked out pretty well.

Se non ci sarà, lo troveremo

A tradition is a tradition. This month of July, for the fourth year in a row (see our previous outdoor experiences here, here, and here) I/we went hiking up on the Dolomites with some of the people I truly care about. Well, one of them at least, and a friend of him – and you know the adagio, the friend of my friend is my friend, etc. So there we were: Giallu, Niccolò, and I. A far smaller group than we initially anticipated, but a very solid one indeed.

Now, a little bit of background. The Dolomites are unique mountains that are located only one hour away from the place where I was born. They are famous for their cantankerous shapes and romantic colours, surely a legacy of the time when they used to be a great coral reef underneath the water. In the nineteenth century they were called the Pale Mountains: they lost this name after World War One, which was fought on these sacred heights. This year we hiked precisely on the Italo-Austrian line of fire next to the majestic Marmolada.

It was by far our hardest hike since 2013. Giallu is a veteran now, as this is his third stroll with me; Nico is a newcomer, but his stunning preparation helped pulling the group through a fairly insane itinerary. The first day we climbed up about 700 meters of altitude to get from Passo San Pellegrino (1918 m) to Passo delle Cirelle (2683), and down to Rifugio Falier (2080) where we slept. The next day it was all up and down: up from Rifugio Falier to Cima Ombretta (3011), down to Rifugio Contrin (2016), up to Passo san Niccolò (2338), down to Malga Ciampie (1830), up to Rifugio Passo Selle (2530), where we slept. So the second day we did more than 2000 m of ascent, about twice as much as it is usually recommended. This is one of the reasons why on the third day we only walked down, from Rifugio Selle to Passo San Pellegrino, and back home. The other reason is that we had to save energies because later in the same day we were going to cycle for more than 100 km by bike in what will go down as one of the craziest ride I have ever done. But this is a story for my next post.

You might wonder why I write down every single thing we did. It is not necessarily something I do for you, my dear reader. Rather the contrary: this blog is also my diary – sort of – and it will come handy in the years to come. A bit like this year – it was fun for me to go and look back at the posts I put online for our previous hikes.

But now – onto business! I have two distinct galleries pf photos. The first gallery is made of the pictures taken by Niccolò: this is the reason why he barely appears in it and I appear in way too many.

The second gallery is made of the pictures I have taken myself. It is funny, looking at the two galleries, how it almost looks like they document two different hikes. It just takes another camera and another photographer to have a completely different perspective on the very same experience.

 

A glorious week

So a couple of weeks ago I went skiing on the Dolomites with Giallu, Martin, and Thomas; and then, right afterwards, we traveled down to Rome to watch the disastrous rugby match between Italy and France.

Skiing was absolutely perfect and, as I wrote elsewhere, May the god of the skiers be eternally blessed for these glorious days up in the mountains where I used to come as a kid with my parents and I am now sharing with some of the finest friends I have met along the way. The trip to Rome was pretty messy, although it was good to be in eternal city and meet Sara, Paolo, Andrea and help Pierre moving back to Rome. At the end of the day I will remember this hectic March week with enormous gratitude for the weather, the mountains, the sport and, most importantly, for my humble friends whom I have met in very different occasions and yet they all fit together so grandly.

Because we are all very narcissistic and occasionally lazy, we took a lot of pictures and even a couple of videos (one and two) when we were on the mountains. But then in Rome it was rainy and crappy and we only took a few shots. I am putting everything online now to satisfy both my ego and my mother: the latter has been asking for some documentary evidence for the last few days, the former will gladly provide it now.

Banff Film Festival 2015

Popolo! Si fa festante annuncio che domani il Vostro sarà impegnato in questo festival fuori dall’ordinario. Niente male, eh? Venite anche voi?

Monte Sagro

It appears this year I have been better than the previous one in keeping up with my resolution of doing more ski touring. The main reason for it is quite simple: I read a book.

Books have a powerful effect on me. They get me trying to do things I would probably not have enough motivation to do otherwise. I already wrote how after reading Andre Agassi’s Open I started playing tennis – badly, but consistently, for the last year and a half. This year it was the time of Into thin air, by Jon Krakauer. A very fine book, somehow in between journalism and narrative, Into thin air details the chain of events that contributed to the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, when eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a rogue storm. I suspect you will hear more about the book in the upcoming months, for it has been turned into a blockbuster, Everest, which is due to come out in September 2015. However, the reasons why I read the book were completely unrelated. I read the book because I was looking for motivations to start using my ski touring equipment that I brought down to Florence one year ago and never used ever since. It worked.

Carola had been offering me ski touring excursions for more than a year now and I always had to turn them down, one reason or another. One week ago, after finishing the book I promised myself I would never say no ever again. And there I was, on a snowy Saturday afternoon, in a cabin above Carrara, just on the border between Tuscany and Liguria, headed to Monte Sagro with Carola and her group of friends – and what refreshingly wicked friends they are! Now, there are at least a couple of major differences between the story of Into thin air and our ambitions upon leaving for the weekend expedition. First of all, we did not intend to go for a 8000 – in fact, we never aimed higher than 1750 m. Secondly, we had no intention of sleeping out in a snowstorm – yes, we very much welcomed the comfort of a cabin. But maybe most importantly of all, we really had no plan of having eight people killed – in fact, we almost killed only one, and not quite. Considering the circumstances and our initial plan, we did pretty well.

Below are some original pictures of yesterday’s expedition. And, I must say, there are at least two shots that are quite stunning even in spite of my poorly developed photographic skills

Can happiness be haggis, neeps, and tatties?

My ride took a bit longer than expected. What was initially supposed to be a short stroll with the bike away from my laptop turned into a two-month journey across four countries and very different feelings. I have, in fact, been thinking a lot about myself, for reasons both professional and personal—but then who hasn’t? It is just that there are people who tend to think about themselves it more than anybody else: generally, it is either those who have a lot of spare time, or those who tend to be egocentric. I am a bit of both.

Matter of fact, I am about to speak about myself and stuff I have done – once again.

First I have ridden my bike. Quite remarkably, I rode with my dad the whole way between Trento and Tuscany. Although we did not make it to Florence because of sheer lack of time, it was a good ride. We had lot of water, huge meals, and approximately 400 km down the way. My dad is still stronger than I am when it comes to long-distance ride, which is not surprising as he does not waste too much energy thinking about himself.

Bike Ride
I have also written. My articles have been published on Unimondo: some of them in Italian (Università, il dilemma dei finanziamenti privati; Mondiali in Brasile, l’importante è partecipare;Regno Unito: una lunga serie di sfortunati eventi; Mondiali in Brasile: dove è la festa?), some others in English (How Eurosceptic is the new European Parliament?; A new deal between the EU and Turkey on immigration rules). But I have gone international too: Iris, Jasper and all the other Orange fella will be proud as my articles have been translated in Dutch (Voor het eerst vuurwerk in Europees Parlement; EU en Turkije sluiten nieuwe overeenkomst over immigratieafspraken).

I have been to the Balkans. First I went to Serbia for a volunteering program. After last year’s experience in Slovakia this year I landed in a town only 33km away from Belgrande. Lying between the rivers Sava and Kolubara, Obrenovac has been badly hit by the floods of the last Spring. I spent two weeks working with a group of international volunteers in the houses that had been damaged by the water and the mud. I then traveled south to Sarajevo, for an immersive three-day in one of Europe’s most inspiring places on the occasion of its international Film Festival. Much more should be said about this experience, but I won’t – not here, anyway.

I have hiked, keeping up with the good tradition started with Manuel and Mindo. This year, after the 2012 and 2013 editions, we managed to put together the whole crew, adding Dani and Giallu, and sleeping in a comfortable refugee, Dolomiti del Brenta. In spite of what Jonas thought before we left, we never got lost, as the pictures of us looking desperately hopeless in the fog can confirm.

Finally, I have read some books. While I am still trying to nail down War and Peace, I have been disappointed by Canada entertained by New Europe, and intrigued by the Consolations of the Forest. The latter is probably one of the richest, deepest, and most honest books I have ever read. Those of you who are into nature, philosophy, and vodka should probably go for it.

And that’s about it. I am in Edinburgh now and will be here for a month experiencing the joy of the local cuisine, the excitement of the upcoming referendum, and the company of some old and new friends. I am planning to make a better use of the blog than the recent past. But if the days keep being as beautiful as today it won’t be easy to keep up.

Questa foto non l’ho fatta con il mio telefonino. Non l’ho fatta oggi. Non l’ho fatta io. Ma rende l’idea.

Our common richness

 

There is nothing more to add. More posts about Cory Richards on my blog: here.

Molto

Welcome to Mount Scannon, 2800 meters on the level of the sea. Local time is 7AM and the temperature outside is 9°. On your right you can see Catinaccio, on your left Lake Carezza. We wish you a very good day.

Vediamo, tanto per cominciare qui siamo sul Latemar.

Ao, Giulia, vié qui che papà ha detto qualcosa di molto.

Sette sconosciuti, due cani e un’imprecazione nel cuore della notte. Gianluca, Manuel and I went back to the Dolomites one year later the magic night on Colle Margherita to honour the times gone by. Mindo, Fabio and Ghennet could not be with us.

In the morning it was pretty much like this. Rocks, mountains and clouds beneath us, sunrise and cold. Except for the cold, it was rather inspiring. Paraphrasing a not so-well known French author from the past I was able to write what follows the pictures.

Leaving the little shelter were we slept we were surrounded by the splendor of the virginal morning up in the Dolomites. We could stretch our arms in the cold pure air. Out on the rocks, we straddled our boots and packed our bags, getting drunk on light and space. We climbed up the top of the mountain and there we stood still, intoxicated by the beauty of just being able to breathe, just being alive .

Sopra Monguelfo