Category: Essays

A road with irons: Dolomites Via Ferrata Tridentina

I stood at the bottom of the cliffs, staring up at my first Dolomites via ferrata, or “road with irons,” — the Via Ferrata Tridentina.

“Where does it go?” I asked the others with me as we slipped on our harnesses and helmets to head out on the Tridentina route in Italy’s Dolomites. I squinted into the sun, trying to make out any of the iron stairs, cables or ladders along the route on the rock face stretching to the sky above. “Can we see it from here? It doesn’t go straight up THAT, does it?”

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Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run: I think I can, I think I can…

It was only 7 a.m. and we were still in the Sierra high country making our way over snow banks when the first warm gust of wind brushed my eyelashes. “Well, that’s a harbinger of things to come,” I mumbled aloud to no one in particular although the comment elicited grunts from the Western States 100 competitors who happened to be near me only two hours after the pre-dawn start in 2006. Per Murphy’s Law, the temperatures just days before the 33rd running of the granddaddy of 100 milers on June 24, 2006, suddenly spiked to about 106 degrees...

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