/ dolomites too hot in august?

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islandlynx 07 Jun 2019

Hi All,

Has anyone got experience of climbing in the Dolomites in August? was it okay? are there good north facing options if its too hot?

thanks

shane

El Greyo 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

No, definitely not too hot in August. The altitude makes it pretty good conditions for climbing. One thing to be aware of is that thunderstorms often pop up in the afternoons so keep an eye on the forecast. Even if thunderstorms are forecast you can often get going early and be off the mountains by early afternoon.

beardy mike 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

It is too hot from the perspective that convection occurs most afternoons to creat storms. So you need to get out early and be at a hut by 2pm to sit out the storm and then go down. But yes you can climb plenty, just need to be aware of what is going on around you! Doesn't have to be north facing either...

DubyaJamesDubya 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

Not remotely too hot but too rainy for us a few years back...

gravy 07 Jun 2019

It can also be insanely busy later on - there is some public holiday that heralds the start of the busy times around  the middle of August - time to run and hide...

It will be hot low down but high up it is very nice but watch the weather - the storms are not something you want to be out in.

Toerag 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

In my experience of doing VF, the end of august would be fine as there were plenty of climbers about then (and the end of July) but bear in mind you could be looking at 20+ degrees on a south face on a nice day in shorts and t-shirt to 5 degrees on a north face on a bad day in all the clothes you can muster, fresh snow above 2500m anytime due to 'freak' storms and/or rain for the whole time you're there.  You've got to be prepared for everything because....mountains.  Perhaps a better way of thinking is 'what other things are important?' e.g.

1)space in huts and accomodation prices in general - august is peak Euro factory shutdown month and everyone and their dog goes on holiday. We've never had trouble getting the small rooms in huts during the week when booking a day or two in advance, but never tried weekends as we avoided them. At other times of year and in other places Friday nights at 'edge' huts (ones with easy access close to civilisation) get busy with people going straight up after work intending to get a full day's walking/climbing in on saturday. I would expect the Dollies to be the same.

2) bad weather options - Arco is much lower altitude and warmer - like 10+ degrees warmer.  It's 2 hours from the Brenta dolomites. Too hot in August really unless the weather is cold, but your best bet for getting something done in a week of Dolomite rain. the problem is that it's way more touristy and could be difficult accomodation-wise if you're not pre-booked anywhere.

henwardian 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

Yes, it's ok, yes there are good north-facing options for when it's hot.

The afternoon thunderstorms are more of a problem when it gets really hot. Getting a good next-day forecast so you can know if you should be finished by 1pm or 4pm or whenever it is forecast to crap out is a smart move.

Martin W 07 Jun 2019
In reply to gravy:

> It can also be insanely busy later on - there is some public holiday that heralds the start of the busy times around  the middle of August - time to run and hide...

The 15th of August is a public holiday in Italy.  And they take it very seriously.  I was working out there back in the 1980s and my UK company insisted that I should work on the local public holidays

Ferragosto was the worst.  When it came to lunchtime of course the canteen was closed - and so was just about every bar, cafe, trattoria and restaurant in the local town.  By a miracle, our taxi driver (probably the only one working that day!) managed to get us fed at the local Alpini Club (a bit like the British Legion).  Everyone there thought we were bonkers to be working that day, but they gave us a nice chorus of traditional Italian mountain soldiery songs at the end of our meal, which was nice of them.

gravy 07 Jun 2019
In reply to Martin W:

Yep that's the ticket - the Dolomites simply fill up - they will be swarming with people and every hut, every campsite, every road will be full last time I was there people were literally pitching tents inside other peoples' tents and the roads were stationary - if you are there around this time then, two days before hand drive north to Austria!

Toerag 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

3) thunderstorms - the 'afternoon storm' is definitely a thing (although I've not experienced it personally much). If you look on the lightningmaps website you can watch cloud building in the afternoon then erupting into thunderstorms. Guidebooks always said to avoid August for this reason, but I think the seasons are changing and it's not what it was.

ian caton 07 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

Only time I have been is August '17, the weather was perfect all month. Yes it's busy but that's because it is amazing. 

beardy mike 08 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

The filled up holidays thing, the further south you go the better it is. Stay away from Canazei and Cortina for starters. I’ve queued in traffic for 45 minutes to get back down to canazei before, then as soon as you hit the road back to my place, the road is empty. Areas like the Lagorai, pale di san lucano, moiazza and Sass di roccia at laste just don’t get as busy, and not because it’s not good...

gravy 08 Jun 2019

Nowt worse than being trapped behind a log jam of slow movers on a VF in the baking sun anticipating a thunderstorm because they've put you 3 hours behind schedule. If you're lucky you'll escape with nothing more than sunburn and heat-stroke.

tjekel 08 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

First, the wonderful thing in the dolomites is that you always have an alternative that is less often climbed... Selective guides only scratch the the surface, and if you are not after big name routes, you will have the routes to yourself. This true for routes in the cadinis, the moiazza, the southern civetta that still have world class climbing... Even in the Sella you will find perfect less well travelled routes that make for great days out. 

Planeandsimple 08 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

It was fine for me and my Scottish girlfriend. Obviously head high, try to stay in the shade, start big routes early, take plenty of water. But it wasn't hotter than June, just less opportunity to top up water bottles from melt water.

Planeandsimple 08 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

Also if its your first time don't use the wrongfax guidebook topos and route descriptions are at times dangerously inaccurate. Go to Cortina and get the IV Grado and Google translate it has really good sketched topos and descriptions are clear. 

And unless you are confident with lots of scrambling on loose scree over 1000m drops I'd avoid the serious via ferattas like the Giro di Sorapiss. While great fun and amazing it's a serious undertaking with only the safer bits protected. Wrongfax tells you to go anti-clockwise, there's a reason that all the locals go clockwise.

I can't emphasise enough how poor the wrongfax guidebook is even at simple venues like cinque torri. It honestly looks like the guy who wrote it drew the topos while looking at the IV Grado book trying to relate it to the features with a pair of binoculars, even trade routes are divorced from reality.

3
islandlynx 08 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

Thanks to everyone for your stellar advice. I'm looking at 16th -23rd so will need to bear the crowds in mind. 

Monk 08 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

I've had to bail out of Cortina due to snow in August before now... Generally speaking, I think it'll be pretty good. Altitude takes the sting out of the heat and good planning can avoid excessive sun. 

gustl 09 Jun 2019
In reply to islandlynx:

hello,

I live in Tirol and am climbing often in the Dolomites.

Just try to think of a few climbs you would like to do and you will be fine. There will be many people around, so it is better to pick not so famous routes or just get up realy early. Or if the weather is stable, start very very late.

For north faces august is the main season. You can also do south faces.

Have a nice holiday!


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