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I love the mountains

by @garyfallsover
Thursday 1st October 2015
Tags  Moviment   |   Dolomites   |   Gary Dalton

Run247 columnist Gary Dalton takes a trip to the Dolomites to check out Moviment, in search of finding a holiday destination that will appeal to all the family


I love the mountains. Give me a gnarly rugged mountain trail any day and I’m a happy man.

My wife loves the mountains too, albeit in a slightly different, aren’t they pretty way over there where they’re supposed to be kind of way. So whenever the subject of summer holidays comes up we generally have quite different ideas of how things are going to work out. And unsurprisingly I have yet to win one.

But when I was asked if I’d like to visit a new development in the Dolomite mountains designed specifically to welcome more people into the mountains who otherwise may not have visited I couldn’t say no. The Moviment concept began back in 2011 when a local man, Andy Varallo, was walking the plateau between La Villa, Corvara, San Cassiano and Pralongià and thought that the area would be perfect for a purpose built activity facility to encourage more people into the area to enjoy the natural activities of the mountains.

In the four years since then the Moviment area has morphed into a stunning network of paths and linked adventure facilities and refuges that add to the natural beauty of the area and encourage people of all activity levels to participate in outdoor sports. From e-bike paths to climbing walls, trampolines to archery ranges, slacklines to paragliding there’s something for all ages and abilities. And plenty of mountain refuges to refresh yourself at if you do exert yourself a little too much.


When I went over in June of this year, the area was just beginning to awaken for the summer season, because the area and it’s facilities are all above 2000m it opens slightly later than you may expect, in mid June, then stays open until mid September when it closes down and re configures itself for the Ski season. I got to enjoy it in the full flush of summer and simply put, if you haven’t seen the Dolomites then you really need to get over there.

Now I thought I was a bit of a mountain connoisseur, I’ve climbed and ran in the Far East, Eastern and Northern Europe, all around the Alps and Pyrenees and parts of the states, as well as having seen the best the UK has to offer but I was blown away here. The Dolomites are incredible. Amazing. The way the light fell on colours and textures, which I had never seen in a mountain range before, completely blew me away. It was my first visit to the area but it certainly won’t be my last. In fact it wasn’t even my last in June as I returned the following week to report on the Lavaredo Ultra trail in the same area. But that’s another story. (HERE)

Our ski life took us from the picturesque village of La Villa up over the ski runs to our base for the day at Piz la Ila, where we grabbed some e-bikes to ease ourselves around the variety of trails linking the different sites. True to form though, as the rest of the group disappeared off on the guided tour, I found myself distracted by a mountain or a marmot or something similarly incredible to me and turned around to find they’d all fecked off. Never mind I thought, we’ll just have a wander ourselves. And wander we did, the e-bikes making short work of the undulating tracks, ensuring we just needed to pedal easily to cover the ground. Of course this also had the added benefit that we could pay more attention to our surroundings, rather than just having our heads down trying to stuff our lungs back into our chest cavity.

When the café at Piz Arlara came into view we thought it’d be rude not to stop and have a coffee. Strictly in the name of research of course. Well three hours later we’d tried pretty much everything on the menu, purely in the interests of a fuller report you understand, and I’m delighted to say that I’ve rarely had better food at sea level never mind prepared in a mountain refuge at over 2000m. It was simply incredible.

All too soon we were off again, this time to take a slightly less conventional route down off the plateau. My first experience of paragliding and it was everything I’d hoped it might be. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever spent a more enjoyable time in such close proximity to another man. Not since the end of my rugby days anyway. It was an incredible feeling of freedom, floating out over the town below before being handed the flight controls to have a go myself. And never a more exhilarating experience have I had, the instructor exhorting me to spin faster and faster, of course always under his strict guidance but feeling like I had our destiny in my hands.

So in short if you’re a lover of mountains, of outdoor activities or you want to introduce less active members of your family to the great outdoors then Moviment could be just what you’re looking for. I might even be able to persuade my wife to go back.


Check out www.moviment.it/en/ for more information
Twitter @movimentab


About The Author

Gary Dalton

Gary Dalton is a rugby loving, crime fighting, white Irish Muslim ultra runner. Despite all this he's not a complete eejit. 

Gary is originally from the west of Ireland and can't actually remember when he moved to London - he blames a heavy diet of being tackled by prop forwards and potatoes for the memory loss. He hates going out for runs, canals and borderline hypothermia and loves ice cream and going out for runs. 


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