Due to a recent high level of interest from our guests, organisers from Haus Valentin made sure that a walk through the WW1 tunnels was on offer this week.
Upon arrival to the car park, the 30 minute zig-zag route alongside Lagazuoi, which leads to the entrance of the tunnels, could be seen. We made our way up the gravel track as views opened up over the Marmolada and surrounding mountain peaks. Getting geared up for the adventure ahead sent excitement through the group as everybody checked that torches were working and helmets were on sturdy. Ready and raring to go, organiser Alice lead the guests into the tunnels where the cooling air made for a nice break from the 20⁰+ temperatures outside.
Almost instantly the conditions of WW1 came to life as we carefully walked through what was once home to many soldiers. Sections of Via Ferrata cable are still being used to guide your way around open ledges leading to look-out posts and ammunition stations. After a quick look, we headed back inside to begin climbing the many steps that reach some 600m to the top of Lagazuoi.
During our ascent, guests enjoyed sticking their heads out of the ‘evacuation’ points (for disposal of rubble and rock during construction) which could be found every 50m or so. Information plaques have been placed periodically at points of interest, many of which have been quoted from soldiers’ diaries; this was made more dramatic as our guests took it in turns to read them aloud to the group.
A sense of disappointed radiated through everybody as we made our way out of the tunnel. A dramatic back drop of peaks against the Lagazuoi Rifugio created a perfect spot for a snack as comments were passed back and forth about how fantastic it is to enjoy such an important part of history for free.
Plenty of people gathered at the Rifugio as our guests found a nice, quiet spot overlooking the beautiful landscape to enjoy their lunch. With some more time to spare we meandered over to the cross which sits at the official highest point of the mountain and is a fantastic spot to take some time to absorb the surroundings. With only one thing left to do, we all hopped on to what has to be one of the steepest cable cars in the Dolomite Mountain range, practically dropping us to the door of the car – a wonderful end to such a pleasant day walking and exploring with our wonderful guests.