Fanes Hut has a seat in one of the most beautiful amphitheaters of the world — majestic peaks of the Dolomites rise up around her. Built in the 1920′s, remodeled recently and meticulously maintained, this refugio combines old world charm with 5 star coziness. Day one of the Dynafit Press Event starts with a ski tour in the morning. We join a group to visit remnants from World War I left behind in this area of the Faines-Senes-Braies Natural Park, Italy.
We head up to the ridge along an old road that was probably built during the war. Franz, our competent guide, points out a bunker nestled high on one of the ridges. It’s a grim reminder of how good we’ve got it; to be here in our warm technical clothing, easily cruising along on our lightweight skis, touring for fun instead of battle.
We ski under beautiful blue skies on wind affected chunder. Passing magnificent rock, we climb to a small fortress wedged under the lip of large boulder perched on a ridge. Parts of the Dolomites were the front line between Austria and Italy during World War I. Soldiers on both sides excavated tunnels, built bunkers on ridges and fired at one another without really changing the line more than a few feet. Sadly, most soldiers died from avalanches and the elements; some historical accounts say that 2/3 of the casualties among the mountain troops were from the harsh winter conditions rather than battle.
The skiing down? Let’s just say it was a bit wind affected and leave it to your imagination rather then pixels. In this case, it’s more about the tour, anyway. Oh, and we’re enjoying some powder now in the Kitzbühel Alps. Normally, that sort of thing would erase memory of a ski trip on less than ideal snow, but in the case of Dolomite, the neurons will stay burned with alpine wonder for a long long time. Check out map below, showing Fanes Hut, Monte Castello is about 4 Kilometers directly south of the hut.