One thing that helps immerse you in the local culture is to crash local events. In this case it was very easy. There were flyers up all over Cortina, Italy advertising a speed climbing competition at the dam. We’ve never seen speed climbing in person before so we figured we’d go check it out. We were definitely the only non Italians there but it was fun to see what the locals do with their time. Plus, watching the speed climbers was amazing. These guys climbed up the side of the damn faster than I can run on flat ground.
Remember the climbing we did on the via ferrata? I mentioned in that post that even local kids climb on the via ferrata routes. This proved it. These kids could barely walk and they were climbing with no fear!!
Local kids practicing how to climb the via ferrata
Kid zip lining down off the dam
Here is some video of these guys flying up the side of the damn.
Travel Tip: Look in local magazines, look out for posters, talk with the concierge, find a local event and just show up. Who cares if you can’t speak the language. The poster we found for this event were in Italian but it had a picture of a climber, a time and a date. That was enough to figure out what was happening.