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Take a virtual tour of the Dolomites Wednesday

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By The Staff

Inspired by the cover photo of Delago Tower in the March 2009 issue of Rock and Ice magazine, Allison Fritz and Jason Halladay began researching travel and climbing logistics in the Dolomites of northern Italy.

As they read more about the Dolomites’ climbing history, long limestone routes, easy access, great hut system and of course, superb food and drink, they quickly decided that they would spend a week in the Dolomites during their European vacation in the summer of 2009.

The community can learn more about their excursion when Halladay discusses the Dolomites during the Los Alamos Mountaineers’ next meeting.

The Dolomites are named after French geologist Déodat de Dolomieu who studied the mountains’ mineral composition and differentiated between dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate) and calcite (calcium carbonate), the two main types of limestone that make up the Dolomites. Not knowing much about geology, Halladay said that at first this didn’t make a huge impact on him. But after reading about a 12 pitch 5.7 climb with grand views of the Croda Del Lago Mountains, he said he got “terribly excited to go explore the Dolomites.”

Fritz and Halladay spent seven days hiking, climbing and scrambling in the Dolomites. During their time there they climbed a number of fun, moderate routes as well as clipping into a couple via ferrata- iron cables and rungs that lead scramblers up, around and even through the mountains.

All of their adventures were day trip excursions affording them showers, tasty meals and comfortable beds at the end of each day. The easy access and hut infrastructure in the Dolomites makes for efficient and low-committing outings with full value.

Halladay of Los Alamos has been mountain climbing for more than half his life.  His addiction to the outdoors and mountain climbing began in his teenage years as simple backpacking trips but has evolved into technical rock, snow and ice climbs of more difficult and demanding peaks. Halladay honed his alpine climbing skills while climbing all of Colorado’s 59 14ers not once but twice in the past nine years in all seasons of the year.

He has climbed some of the United States’ highest summits including the West Buttress of Denali, the Liberty Ridge of Mount Rainier, and a snowboard descent of Mount Hood’s south face. He has also led successful expeditions to four of the “Seven Summits” - Denali (20,320 feet, Alaska), Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet, Tanzania), Aconcagua (22,841 feet, Argentina) and Mount Kosciusko (7,310 feet, Australia).

Join Halladay and Fritz and the Los Alamos Mountaineers on Wednesday.  The meeting will be held in the main room of Fuller Lodge.  

It will begin with dessert and social time at 7:30 p.m., followed by a discussion of trips past and future.  

The presentation will begin at approximately 8 p.m.

The club offers trips that range from easy hikes to technical mountaineering and is committed to safe outdoor practices.  

Membership information and the Mountaineers, schedule can be found at www.lamountaineers.org.