Staying in Rifugio Nuvolau, the oldest mountain hut in the Dolomites (dating back to 1883), was definitely one of the highlights of the past year for me. I remember getting up around 4:30am, grabbing my stuff, and stumbling out of the hut to find myself in a dark, cold, and cloudy world. The plan was to go to Ra Gusela, a prominent peak next to Monte Nuvolau, to photograph the refuge and its surroundings. But to be honest, I was not so sure about this anymore because of the looming clouds, which could bring anything, from light rain to heavy thunderstorms. Despite my doubts, I didn’t linger, put on my headlamp, and scrambled down the via ferrata to get to the ridge connecting the two peaks. From there, it was a short but steep hike to Ra Gusela. When I reached its summit, I was completely surrounded by clouds and could not see the hut for a long time. So I decided to descent back to the ridge. This turned out to be a good decision because halfway the ridge, the sky in the east opened up while Ra Gusela behind me remained shrouded in clouds. It was a fantastic moment, with glowing sunlight setting the valley below on fire and revealing some spectacular jagged peaks in the distance. The sun also lit up Monte Nuvolau, with the refuge on top, as well as the steep rock face of Averau in the background. All in all, it was quite an experience. Because circumstances can change so quickly, the mountains always fill me with a sense of awe, being scary and wonderful at the same time. In that regard, they have never disappointed me.
A glorious morning in the Dolomites (Cortina d’Ampezzo, Veneto province). First photo: Monte Nuvolau with the rifugio on top and Averau in the background. Second photo: burning rocks and, in the distance, the jagged peaks of the Croda da Lago group. Third photo: the little climbing heaven of Cinque Torri down in the valley. All shots were taken with the Fuji X-T5 and Fujinon XF18-55mm lens.
Time lapse of the cloud movement around Rufugio Nuvolau after the sky had finally cleared up.