A declaration
of love to the


It was coming up on Valentine’s Day. And what do couples like to do to celebrate the god of love? That’s right. Spend the weekend together somewhere nice. And if both people in said couple are mad about skiing and like a good adventure, then naturally they head to the mountains.

No sooner said than done! We’d identified the perfect destination: The little Attilio Sieff bivouac hut, on the southern slopes of the Latemar Massif, 2,365 metres above sea level. With a wood stove, it’s comfortable enough on even the coldest winter days. And all around it; steep enticing chutes. Shouldering our heavy backpacks (the sleeping bag alone weighs around 2 kg) we managed a comfortable pace going up the Cima del Forcellone gulley.

Once at the top, we buried our bivy gear in a snow hollow before climbing to the summit. To the left, and a little below, is the entrance where you drop in to the Cima del Forcellone chute, which starts off at a bold 47-degree angle.

We made light work of it through perfect powder conditions before climbing back up to our stash at the head of the Cima del Forcellone gulley.

Seeing as the hut we were aiming for was less than 200 vertical metres down, in a diagonal south-easterly direction below the Cima del Forcellone gulley, we kept our skins on and headed over. Sitting by a roaring fire, we enjoyed a hearty Valentine’s meal, washed down with a shot of schnaps to celebrate the first day. The following morning, we were treated to an incredible sunrise, with an inversion shrouding the base of the valley in cloud.

Two friends were coming to join us that day, so we went to meet them at the col of the Cima del Forcellone gulley and skinned across to the Madonna col together.

The sight from there prompted huge grins all round – pristine powder was in the cards yet again. The joy as we floated down this chute was immense.

Then we donned our skins again and followed the forestry trail in the direction of Obereggen until we were standing below the summit of Punta della Chiesa. Here, a magnificent slope, that ends in a closed gully towards the top, runs to just below the summit. About 800 metres of finest untracked champagne powder awaited us again. At the end of a truly breathtaking ski day, we said goodbye to our two friends and dragged our heavy legs back up to the Cima del Forcellone col and back down to the bivouac hut.

That night was one of the coldest of the year (-20 degrees), but thankfully the wood stove meant that it was bearable inside the hut.

On Sunday, Valentine’s Day, my darling surprised me with chocolate hearts – heaven! We loaded up our heavy packs again and headed up towards the Forcella dei Camosci col. The ski tour was perfectly rounded off by a steep descent down the Chiesa chute followed by a cold, refreshing beer from the take-away box at the Epircher Laner Hut. What a weekend!

With the assumption that good things can also come in twos – and seeing as we’d already worked hard to shovel away the snow from the Attilio Sieff bivouac hut – it wasn’t long before we were back.

Another beautiful, sunny weekend was forecast, so we wasted no time in making our way back up to our Latemar ‘basecamp’. This time, we went up via the Torre di Pisa Hut, in the baking heat, before descending to our base. Late in the afternoon Michael started up to the narrow gully directly between the Torre Diamantidi and the Forcella dei Campanili col, but I decide to leave him to it because of the snow conditions, preferring to watch from below.

The following morning the same two friends who joined us last time, came to meet us at the hut. Together, we made our way up to the summit of Torre Diamantidi, the highest peak in the Latemar Dolomites, where we were treated to the very best corn snow conditions on the way back down. After a short break, we skinned back up to the hut and continued on up to the Forcella dei Campanili col.

At the top, we were greeted by a truly steep chute, but filled with beautiful powder. And just like last time, at the bottom of the chute, we donned our skins again and headed towards Obereggen along the forestry trail.

Michael and our two friends laid another skin track from below Punta della Pascolo to squeeze in another 400-metre-long ride. However, I decided to trudge on with my heavy pack to the Epircher Laner hut, where I sat and waited for the others, sipping a beer in glorious sunshine.
Yet another fantastic weekend of Dolomites ski touring at its best, in the Latemar Massif!


Evelyn Gafriller

Freund, Schatz und Skifahrer:
Michael Sinn

Die beiden Freunde auf Besuch:
Niklas Eisath, Philipp Waid


Latemarmassiv – Südtiroler Dolomiten

Wann: Februar 2021

Biwak Attilio Sieff 2365m


Michael Sinn
Evelyn Gafriller