Category Archives: Summer

Crazy until you don’t do it

How many times in your life have you given up that amazing idea of yours?
Your dream was doing that certain thing – in a way it felt bold and powerful, but also crazy and hard to achieve. Doubts started creeping in and that huge ‘flame’ became a tiny ‘spark’.
Then, you built up some courage and decided to talk about it with those close to you –
mom, dad, wife … friends, etc. How many times did those exact same people extinguish the last
little spark in your ‘amazing’ idea?

Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut or – better yet – talk with people who have no idea of what you’re up to!

Just think how much progress would never have been achieved if the inventor would’ve listened to the voices around him or her.

I saw many flames die out and bubbles of ideas burst in thin air – but, that’s not how I react: I do just the opposite. The more people tell me something can’t be done or that my idea is too crazy, the more stubborn I get and the more I’ll stick to my idea until it’s done. Ok, let’s face it … many of those ideas will never have a sequel, but it’s from those failures that you learn to take better aim at your target when you get that next crazy idea.

It took me 3 years in order for the Mür dl Giat climb to be listed in the course of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel. Yes! That was MY idea  ;-). The first time I proposed it at a meeting, 14 votes out of 15 were “NO” votes…followed by laughs.
But, hey, to my satisfaction … even the pro peloton of the Giro d’Italia rode it on the finishing stage in Corvara in 2016. 

Then there was this other idea launched by pro photographer Jered Gruber and published on his Instagram feed and in the issue 62 of Peloton magazine:

While riding with @igortavella on the steep little farm roads that wind their way along the flanks of the Dolomites, I wondered if it would be possible to do 5000 meters (or more) of climbing on all the little roads in less than 100k. Igor laughed – of course! In that moment, an idea hit. We should do a ride later this year: invite anyone who wants to join us to get a big flavor of Igor’s backyard, his secrets – paved and dirt – but all doable on a road bike, so long as the rider is ok with gradients that are always north of 10% and isn’t scared of some dirt roads and a bit of amazing singletrack (meaning this won’t be everyone’s cup of hot chocolate). It will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both – everything will of course be based out of the Tavella hotel: the @UstariaPosta in Badia. We are thinking early to middle September. It will be the #YOLOMITES 5000 brought to you by @holimites and Igor. If the rider has had their fill at any point, they can cut it short whenever they want – we will never be more than 20k from the start at the Ustaria Posta. #yolomites5000 #conquereveryroad

Un post condiviso da Jered Gruber (@jeredgruber) in data:


This idea became the #YOLOmites5000

Imagine: all the locals here ride road bikes, but NO-ONE took part except me. Even so, people from Japan, Malaysia and USA flew to the Dolomites just to take part in this ‘crazy’ event.

Lastly – but it will not be my last idea for sure – I had this idea in mind: What would it be like to ride one of the most famous road bike loops in the Dolomites, the Sellaronda, … at Moonlight? I started to think about this even before the #YOLOmites5000. But, true to my nature, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I started to talk about it. Yet, instead of a flame turning into a tiny spark, the idea kept burning, growing bigger inside of me until one evening, at the end of July 2017, I typed in the Strava event planner:

1st Holimites Moonlight ride

At the time I thought that I would be alone on the ride and, honestly, I didn’t pay any more attention to it until enthusiastic questions from possible participants started coming in. Two, five, eight people were signing up to take part in the event considered by many a “crazy” ride. The result was a group ride with 14 great friends:

Looking back, it’s rather funny that I typed in “1st” when I wrote the title. Maybe it’s the optimist in me that expects that there will be more Moonlight Rides. If you don’t want to miss the next Ride – or my next crazy idea – make sure you join the Holimites cycling club on Strava.

The bottom line:
If you have an idea … go for it, don’t be influenced by others!

Igor
Owner and founder of this other crazy idea called Holimites :-D

Deer, beer, Wifi – the story of a dolomites trail run

 

DEER
They are nine.
They came from Alaska.
They are friends, wives, mothers, housewives. And they also are doctors, teachers, shop owners, freelancers and other.

So you can guess that: they have a lot to talk about, and in fact they talk, they talk ALOT: they talk while hiking, while running, while walking and during the pauses. Of course they talk (a very lot) at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they talk also – not really “of course” – while sleeping. So, in few words, they simply talk ALWAYS and LOUDLY.

Then one day Tata the guide sees a deer while traversing the woods, and says just one word (you know, he’s a mountain guy, they don’t talk too much): “DEER !”

And the magic happens: the whole group immediately stops. Don’t take me wrong: they don’t stop talking, they stop being loud, and proceed gently whispering (and trying to see the deer).

So this is the first keyword of the week, widely used all the times when the attention was needed: DEER !

BEER
Now you can imagine that: after so many hours talking while running, hiking, dining etc. etc. etc. they can be really very thirsty.

So that day we were reaching the Pisciadù Hut (elevation 2.580) after a long and hot hike, and the guide’s assistant (Mia, that’s me) said another single word (I don’t talk so much neither, even if – as widely stated – I’m not a mountain girl): “BEER !”

Suddenly the group started screaming and running hands-raised towards the hut. And this became the second keyword of the week, used to celebrate to most deserved and awaited moments of the day: BEER !

WIFI
And so this is us for the whole week: running and hiking for about 100 km and 6.000 mt up, and constantly talking about husbands, sons, daughters, school, colleagues but also books, the best and worst of the day (I did like that!) and some other questions that I didn’t understand (because listening takes resources too and those were not always available – I mean: they talk also very fast sometimes!).

At the end, we found there was only one situation (apart from deers, that’s obvious) where the group stopped talking, and this was kinda signal they where sending to each other, because there was only one good reason for not being talking: connection available!

And this became the third keyword of the week: WIFI !

***

Originally posted by Mia Battaglia on his Facebook profile after a week running on the Dolomites Alta Via #1 & #2 trails

***

Why now is the best time to travel to the Dolomites for US residents

No, the reason isn’t because of Trump ;-) … but the weak Euro makes it the best time to travel now.

In fact, if we compare the Euro to US Dollar exchange rate on a currency chart covering the last 5 years, the Euro is now at its lowest!

EUR vs. USD 5 years range

EUR vs. USD 5 years range

Not so long ago (just 3 years), the Euro to Dollar ratio was at its peak: you had to dish out roughly 1.35 Dollars for every Euro.

Just think about it. In 2014, our bestselling offer – the “Trekking Best of Alta Via #1 & #2″ guided package – cost 1,090.00 Euro, which was then 1,471.50 US Dollars.

The same package in 2017 costs 1,150.00 Euro – today that’s 1,207.50 Dollars. Math never lies! Right now you can save more than 250.00 bucks for the same offer!

What’s even better … all our proposals on holimites.com are 18% cheaper today than in 2014!
That means more money in your pocket to invest in some extra days visiting the Dolomites or
Italy.

That said:

  • if you love outdoor activities like trekking, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, and so on
  • if the Dolomites are on your travel bucket list
  • if you want an YOLOmites experience ;-)

it’s time to browse through the holimites.com website and pick the travel experience that fits you best – we’ll do the rest!

See you soon in the Dolomites!

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer

Colnago road bikes just arrived at the Holimites headquarters!

road bike hire dolomites

It’s not a secret that road cycling is the favorite sport of Holimites staff. Year after year, thanks to our great cycling tours on Dolomite roads, the number of guests pedaling with us through the Dolomites has grown exponentially.

The last summer season, we touched a point where we really had a tough time offering good and effective bike rental service to our guests. Local rental shops ran out of road bikes pretty fast – especially during weeks when events like the Maratona dles Dolomites are held. We really had to do somersaults in order to fulfill the demand by our guests.

So, last Fall we started making contact with different bike manufacturers. We were amazed that the first company that answered showing interest in partnering with us was one of the symbols of the Made in Italy bike brand. Yes, we’re talking about none other than COLNAGO!

Starting this summer you can rent this special Colnago CLX 3.0 with Ultegra 11v through Holimites. Don’t procrastinate if you need to rent a bike during busy periods like the Sellaronda Bikedays or the Maratona dles Dolomites! Get on the move and get in touch with us by filling out the following Colnago rental form.

road bike hire dolomites

The Colnago CLX 3.0 on icy ground

We needn’t state the obvious, but as soon this jewel checked-in, we took it out for a test run and what follows is Igor’s review:

I’m different! Or, it seems to me like I’m different. I’ve never been a big fan of carbon and I can’t simply understand all the carbon frame hype over the last years. Of course I’ve ridden many carbon frames: road bike, mountain bike and cyclo-cross. But as soon I can, I always switch back to my 15-year-old Scapin steel road bike. 

I was thrilled when we closed a deal with Colnago to supply their CLX 3.0 bikes to Holimites. And, because I’m a sucker for testing any kind of bike, I was antsy to put my butt on the saddle and try out this frame. A 1-km ride from my house at Ustaria Posta is all I need to tell whether I like a road bike or not. That’s where a series of 4 switchbacks will tell me whether I’m ‘controlling’ the bike or whether the bike wants to control me ;-) .

road bike hire dolomites

Riding the Passo delle Erbe in springtime is like to ride a roller coaster.

I already know that carbon frames usually perform differently downhill compared to steel or aluminum. But what I felt with the COLNAGO CLX 3.0 just amazed me! It felt so comfortable that, honestly, I couldn’t believe it was a carbon frame, and the handling was simply superb!

A few days later I opted for a long road bike ride on my favorite Passo delle Erbe route (view it on Strava). The Passo delle Erbe was still closed (I knew that, of course) and that meant I was the only one on the road. The UCI would have opted for the “Extreme Weather Protocol“ but those were the best conditions to test the road bike.

The bottom line is that this COLNAGO CLX 3.0 is really a great and comfortable ‘toy’ to ride up and down the Dolomite roads. And, I’m sure that every guest who will have the chance to rent it will be amazed at how comfortable this frame is.

Igor

road bike hire Dolomites

PS: If you’re a steel frame lover like me, check out and enjoy this video:

PPS: Oh, and if you’re a carbon frame aficionado, also take a look at the video above. But be aware, you might start falling in love with steel, too!

Road cycling Dolomites

How did the latest Holimites Trail Running tour come about?

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

Dolomites Trail Running Traverse by Holimites – Foto: ©PatitucciPhoto

With no real intention, we realized Holimites had been offering something new in trail running activities every 3 years.

Our first hut-to-hut trail running tour across the Dolomites was in 2007; this covered the traditional paths of the Alta Via 1. Trail running on the Alta Via 2 followed in 2010. In 2013, we asked clients which were their favorite runs and stops along the AV1 and AV2. What resulted is a tour that has become our absolute bestselling sports package: “The Best of Alta Via 1 and 2” for trail runners. It combines the most stunning locations of the Dolomite’s classic AV1 and 2.

The summer of 2016 will introduce Holimites’ newest trail running bonanza.

To create this latest tour, we took a novel approach by setting ourselves these 3 objectives:

1) It can’t be a carbon copy of one of the classic Dolomite Alta Vias and it has to avoid the same trails we already offer in other programs.
This time around we wanted to spice things up by creating our own, unique signature tour. Thanks to the multitude of trails that connect Dolomite mountain huts, it’s pretty easy to put together a beautiful itinerary like pieces of a big puzzle. Although we weren’t able to totally avoid stretches along trails offered on our other programs, we were able to limit this to just 8 km of the total 106 km…and those 8 are distributed throughout the stages. Not bad!

As we charted the route on paper, in-house we affectionately baptized the new traverse: “The Holimites Alta Via”.

2) It has to give the “Wow” effect.

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

©PatitucciPhoto

Of course, the Dolomites are famous for flaunting a plethora of breathtaking scenery and trails set amongst spectacular peaks. But, when pressed to choose, which highpoints are really “postcard perfect” and will last significantly in a trail runner’s recollection? Close your eyes and imagine you’re running through the first trail stage at the foot of the 3 Cime di Lavaredo. Your guide stops you and he or she points out the mountains that you will cover on your first 3 stages. The same thing will happen every day: you’ll get a sneak-peak of the next 3 stages in your scenic odyssey. “Wow”!

3) It has to have the best trails suited to running.
The Alta Vias 1 and 2 tours mirror the classic outdoor hiking route that, in certain spots, can be demanding to run on unless you’re a hardened vet like Kilian Jornet or Jenn Shelton (who was our trail running guest a few years ago). That’s why we designed the “Best of Alta Via 1 and 2″ program.

We wanted to push ourselves a little further on our newest tour. Hut-to-hut and stage-to-stage, we chose the trails that are most appropriate to trail running without compromising stunning panoramas of the Dolomite Mountains.  

That’s how the Trail Running Dolomites Traverse was born! (Between you and me, we won’t mind if you call it the Holimites Alta Via.) An extraordinary running adventure through the Dolomites, following dawn to dusk from East to West!

Anxious to know more? Dates and details are available on our website at the following link.

By the way…did you count how many times we repeated the number “three”? That means, if you’ve already strutted your stuff with us on two of our Dolomite trail running programs…as the old saying goes: All good things come in THREES!

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites

Trail Running Dolomites Traverse by Holimites