An exploration under the imposing peaks of the Dolomites reveals that the treasure is often below the tree line…
From Dirt Issue 134 – April 2013
Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Steve Jones and Sterling Lorence
It seems fitting to talk openly about bikes and the environment they work in every so often, the high mountain places these pages frequently visit. We can gossip about the people in those locations, either homegrown or seasonally bloated examples of villages both old and new, speak of the food, the historic or hand built trail infrastructure, the complex geology. Or we could simply say remote, cold, beautiful, dangerous…and staggeringly wet.
You could argue that the Alps are largely easily accessible these days and not exactly remote. Chairlifts, dense populations, still…rainy, cold and windy all the same.
Last year I found myself in the Italian Dolomites or the ‘Pale Mountains’ are they are frequently described. Not an unfamiliar place for mountain bike, it’s had a World Cup here back in 1999 I think it was. More famously it has been the set for The Pink Panther and 007’s For Your Eyes Only. Ferrari’s are more popular than Fiat Panda’s; it’s a place awash with fur coat shops. It can be wild and wickedly expensive. Compared to say Fort William, Cortina has the same largely linear urban townscape itself and is about the same height of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, except it sells ice cream all year round.>>