Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Living and Climbing in the Dolomites
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By claramie
From Boulder, CO
Jun 12, 2010
Should I be trying this hard on a warmup?  photo b...
I've got this job that allows me to live anywhere that I have reliable broadband internet and I'm thinking about moving to the Dolomites for 3 - 4 months during the summer of 2011 to work, climb and study Italian.

Does anyone have recommendations or beta for me? Some questions:

Which town to live in? (ideally some place with a bigger climbing scene, international traffic and somewhere to study Italian)
How to find a room to rent for a few months?
Is broadband internet in the mountains even possible, or am I dreaming?
Any good websites for info on the area / climbing?

Thanks in advance!
Clayton

FLAG
By PTR
From GA
Jun 12, 2010
Cortina D'Ampezzo is a good option. I was there before he internet was invented, so not sure about broadband, but it's pretty central and a pretty cool town.

FLAG
By BrianH
From Santa Fe NM
Jun 12, 2010
Bob's Been to Joshua Tree!
You are wise to wonder about BB availability. You might have to pay more than you want, so check it out carefully.

Congratulations on living the dream, the Dolomites are awesome. I hope you post some trip reports.

FLAG
By Ricky Martin
From Davis, CA
Jun 12, 2010
pup and me
You don't happen to play online poker? That's my little gold mine and was wondering if there were any other full time climbers/poker players.

FLAG
By Ed Wright
Jun 12, 2010
Magic Ed
+1 for Cortina--just be aware that anywhere in Italy will be expensive.

FLAG
By paintrain
Jun 14, 2010
Chuck Norris can Divide by Zero
Cortina is very central to climbing, but not very central to anything else. It could go either way for a rental, but you would have fewer options than a real city especially for in house broadband.

If you are looking for something a little more metropolitan yet close to a load of climbing, I would recommend Bolzano/Bozen. From there you are close enough to places like Cortina or the Sellas, but have the resources of a city - you wanted broadband and a place to take Italian lessons. It is on a major autoroute and just north of Arco and lake Garda (both nice hangs).

Other options for city resource/access to the dolomites is Venice or some of the other cities south of the dolomites, but it adds to the driving and makes it more of a weekend thing.

PT

FLAG
By James Crump
Jun 14, 2010
I really like Canazei. It is half way between Bolzano and Cortina and is at the base of the Sella and Poi Doi Passes. Might be large enough to have broadband...

Bolzano is a good choice if you need more metropolitan life.

FLAG
By james-va
Jun 14, 2010
Canazei is great, and may be cheaper than Cortina. It's a lot smaller, though.

As others have said, it comes down to how you prioritize metropolitan-ness vs. access to climbing. Know that Dolomite roads are slow-going with a lot of hairpin turns, so I'd make sure you're situated closest to whatever will take the most of your time.

All in all, provided you can get broadband, I really don't think you can go too wrong here. The mountain village charm is part of what the Dolomites are all about. Sounds like a great way to spend a summer!

FLAG
 
By claramie
From Boulder, CO
Jun 14, 2010
Should I be trying this hard on a warmup?  photo b...
Thanks for all of the advice everyone, and please keep it coming for anyone just reading this thread. The broadband thing is a must because I'll be working full time from home. The Italian classes are a bonus, but I could get by without those just living and learning immersed in the culture. I don't want to be so far that climbing is a weekend thing only. It would be sick to be able to get out after work like I do here in Boulder, but I don't even know if that is a realistic expectation.

Are any of these towns within a half-hour of the climbing?

Any advice on how to go about finding partners out there and how readily available they are?

Thanks again!

Clayton

FLAG
By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Jun 14, 2010
It depends on what you're looking for in a mt. town. Climbing, via ferrata, biking...? Bolzano is a great town, but you're a good two hours from the peaks. Not far, but those mt. roads are slow.

Cortina is probably the biggest town but also the most touristy. Had the Winter Olympics back in the 50s or 60s, so it's kind of the Aspen of the Dolomites. It's also on the east side of the range, so you're close to some but not all of what's around. It is pretty close to Venice though, so getting there and back would be easy.

Canazei would be nice if you want a smaller town. I spent a honeymoon just up the road from there, in Corvara, which was really nice. Right below the Sella Pass. Via ferrata you can hit from town. A tall outdoor climbing wall. Some cragging nearby. Great scenery.

I'd figure out what you really want to do the most of, and then plan from there. Regardless of where you stay, if you like speck you're golden.

FLAG
By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Jun 14, 2010
Depending on what part of the Dolomites you end up in, you might have more luck learning German than learning Italian. A good part of the region was part of Austria until after WWI, when it was ceded to Italy. Lots of natives still speak German (or a dialect thereof) first, and Italian second. Bolzano/Bozen, Bressanone/Brixen (where Reinhold Messner grew up) and all those other towns with two names are in Süd Tirol (south Tirol), which is the province that Italy acquired from Austria in 1919. When I was skiing in Val Gardena in the early '70s, the only people who spoke Italian were tourists, the locals all spoke a dialect of German.

FLAG
By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Jun 14, 2010
In an odd twist on the language thing, another nice place to consider would be the Ticino, which is the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. Beautiful, good mt. biking, lots of peaks and good bouldering too.

You poor bastard. You've got some tough choices in front of you.

FLAG
By Brian in SLC
Jun 14, 2010
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
James Crump wrote:
I really like Canazei. It is half way between Bolzano and Cortina and is at the base of the Sella and Poi Doi Passes. Might be large enough to have broadband... Bolzano is a good choice if you need more metropolitan life.


Ditto that. Very small, though, and, might be difficult to run into folks looking for climbing partners.

Couple of other options: Predazzo, very near where La Sportiva is located (Ziano di Fiemme) looks like a neat place, which is a bit bigger (4400 people). Kind of on the southwest side of the Dolomites with good access to Trento, Arco, Bolzano...

Arco would be great, but, its a drive from there to the Dolomites (a few hours). Too hot in the summer? Gobs of cragging and a neat little town.

Alleghe looks nicely situated.

One thing about basing out of Cortina, and, maybe any other toursity mountain towns, is I wonder that it'd be hard to find local folks to climb. Most local climbers might be guides and you might be competing with them for partners (paying v non paying)? Dunno, just a thought. Although, with high tourist traffic you might find partners easier too.

Trento is bigger. Didn't spend any time there though...but, its not too far to get up into the hills.

Bolzano wouldn't be bad if you wanted a bigger town. Neat place. Plenty of climbing nearby. Easy access to the higher Dolomites.

I'd think any of the tourist offices in the towns could point you in the direction of finding a monthly rental. Another option might be to contact the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) and/or a few guide services. Sometimes that's a good way to find extended lodging.

Good luck!

-Brian in SLC

FLAG
By coppolillo
Jun 14, 2010
yo clayton...

i'd contact Dan Patitucci, who lives over there, runs, rides, climbs...he's american, photographer...

beware that small villages in the mtns often close down almost completely for mud season...you'd be bored out of your skull.

cortina might be a little spendy, but live up or down valley and you'll save cash...there'll be more doing on there, too.

have you considered Arco? mega-sport-climbing capital, hundreds and hundreds of routes within sight of town...

but then again, why dolomites? CHAMONIX, SISTAH!

rob

FLAG
By coppolillo
Jun 14, 2010
p.s. find Dan on FB...tell him i sent you.

FLAG
By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Jun 14, 2010
Arco is really nice. I spent about two weeks there back in the late 80s, during the Lycra Era. Rented a mt. bike at the local shop to get around (good biking by the way). Tons of stuff to climb, though I suspect places like Massone have gotten pretty slick. Still, the place will get you way strong. You can take days off at Lago di Garda, which is the largest and cleanest of the three big lakes. Good windsurfing, topless beaches. Good bouldering across the street from the campground. Can do long stuff (up to 10 pitches or so) on Colodri or half pitch sport all around town. You're probably about three hours from the mountains. Not sure what accomodations would be for several months, but I just camped. It got warm, but not so warm where we couldn't climb everyday we wanted to. Good time.

FLAG
 
By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Jun 17, 2010
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Among the larger towns, I'd choose Trento. Nice university town, good food, a little hot in the summer.

Arco has been mentioned for many a good reasons. Fatdad is right about the very slick limestone, at least on the popular routes. There are two recent guidebooks by the same publisher that cover hundreds of routes around Arco. I just came back from a few days in Torbole, which is 5 km from Arco, and directly on the lakeshore.

Being on the lake is a plus (better climate) and a few major crags are closer to Torbole than to Arco itself. However, I got the definite impression that in terms of climbing scene Arco beats Torbole hands down. The windsurfers, mountain bikers, and general tourists must have crowded out the climbers. (Torbole is Europe's "windsurfing capital," from what I've heard.)

The Brenta Dolomites are within one hour from Arco by car. While they are not strictly part of the Dolomites, they are made of dolomia principale and besides there's a reason why I go by the name of brenta on this and other sites.

I'm sure broadband is available around Arco, but I can't comment on quality of service because I connected only a couple of times to a GSM network.

I'm afraid Cortina may be more expensive than other options, but the location is fantastic. Canazei or any other place in Val di Fassa would be nice. I would also mention San Martino di Castrozza.

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.