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Matevž Maček



If you wanna make a good photo of ski touring group you need to have a plan, and make some sideways while hiking up. Not to mention some extra #getvertical meters. What about if you plan to do a three days touring event in the heart of the Dolomites? Than you really need to make some next level planning.

And they did. Salewa has done almost 20 such events during the past 5 years. They know how to get people vertical. I was lucky that I could join their last edition of Get Vertical. But how did they solve all the logistic problems?

Lucky winners were chosen after they uploaded their best ski touring photos. There were around 1000 entries so decision was not easy. After 3 days with the group I must admit that Salewa picked the winnig team. Guys and girls from France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland and Czech republic were strong hikers, but not only - they know how to enjoy the mountains. And me? My mission was more or less to get some photos and now this typing thing.

The first task for all the participants was to organise the most efficient transport to get to San Martino di Castrozza. Sharing a car ride with others was the best way and mother nature was grateful I guess. Logical Logistic. Everybody is a bit reserved when you see 15 unknown people for the first time. We met in Ski residence hotel where we got our bags of Salewa gear. A small fashion show went off when we tried out all the stuff. Why not look good in technical mountain wear, right?

Then we officially open the event with a four course dinner in the hotel Regina. Logistic was easy. We just walked for 5 minutes through the center. All these nice old hotels make the village what it is. Next day our first ski tour was on. Taxi vans drove us up to Passo Rolle, then we took one cable car ride and from there on we were in hike&ride mode. After an easy pace climb up, we reached a Farangole Pass and from there it was all downhill to the east part of the Pale group. And what a first day it was. Sun, no wind, no crowds and what is even more important, there was even some powder left in the shade. A small bus waited for us in Falcade village and drove us back to our »base«. It was a perfect spring ski touring day in the Dolomites and I think we all asked ourselves »Can it even be better during the upcoming days«?

A short power nap during a drive helped us to think about it. Or not. The road there has so many turns that you better look ahead and think about the turns you just have made in the pow under rocky walls. I managed to do both. After we returned there was just enough time to take our extra backpack and go up to the Rosetta hut, or better, rifugio. It's high up on the plateau, so a gondola helped us to gain those vertical meters. After the top statiton it's only a short hike to reach the hut. Normally I would call it a day but I told you, the group was strong. I heard rumors that it was the best group ever. Just saying. So they went for a short evening ski tour on top of the Rosetta at 2743m, where they waited for the sunset. Yes, the one that you can only see in the Dolomites. Orange walls and pillars, snowy peaks and perfect light for a »money shot« or just for your Instagram update. Back at the hut we had dinner. Italian high cousine since we were at 2581m.

The second day was kind of a long day. I mean it was. First thing in the morning we dropped straight into powder gully just behind the hut. After that we put our skins on and jackets off. We went up the gully where it was already hot like at the beach. Climate change or just the sunny side, we were baked. Thanks for the side zippers on the trousers. With all this light ski touring equipment, things are getting easier and easier nowadays. For me it was another story. Since I'm on the splitboard, sometimes hiking up on hard snowpack was not that funny. Then you have to be in front of the group, and next minute at the back. This was more common for me. Everything for the shot, right?

We reached the first saddle, where we split up into two groups. The more motivated disappeared soon behind another ridge up front. For the rest it was time to fool around. A new layer of suncream, food time, drones were flying around, some rope »abseilling« into »canelone« etc. On the way back dawn, I even did some extra verticals back up to ride another line where snow looked less baked. Wrong, the snow was wind effected. Anyway, we finished a fun spring run down the gully but we were still far away from our final location for the day. First we had to hike back up to the Rosetta hut. Some had a beer there, some didn't but we all needed to move on over plateau to reach Pradidali hut. There we were the kings of the castle as the hut was open only for us and some wild music went off. The song » The Mountains Win again« is still in my head since it must have been on repeat for at least 5 times. I dont think that anyone even noticed this since the stoke was so high. Yes I know, mountains these days but still so pure. You just need to get some verticals. Some asked me if I'm a blogger or maybe even vlogger but I hardly explained them I'm not. This is my first blog. I mean it's not even mine, it's from Salewa right. Here are just my thoughts about this really tasty event.

Did I just type down the word tasty? It must be because of the crazy good risotto and lasagna we had back in the Pradidali hut. A big cake was just extra. We were celebrating after all.

The night in the tent or in the hut was another logistic question. Only few went for the first option. For me it was logical to test the Salewa tent and sleeping bag. I slept like a king. There were no problems with logistics in the morning while mountain guides from San Martino led us over another pass to reach the Pala plateau and enjoy powder run dawn to Gares valley. To be honest the fresh snow was on the top part, down in the woods we had quite a rodeo. Last run, last beer and for sure not the last goodbye. This goes to all involved in this event and to the magical Dolomites.

Follow Salewa to see what new event they will set up in the future and remember #getvertical to enjoy the #puremountain.

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