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Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east.
The Dolomites are renowned for skiing in the winter months and mountain climbing, hiking, cycling (the Italian grand tour Giro d’Italia every year visits some passes of the mountain range), and BASE jumping, as well as paragliding and hang gliding. Free climbing has been a tradition in the Dolomites since 1887, when 17-year-old Georg Winkler (1870-1888) soloed the first ascent of the pinnacle Die Vajolettürme. Unfortunately, Winkler was killed by an avalanche on the face of the Weisshorn (a major peak of the Alps and Switzerland) at the age of 18, in 1888.
The mountain range is also known as the “Pale Mountains”. They were named after the carbonate rock “dolomite”, a mineral which
Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
In August 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO web site:
“The site of the Dolomites comprises a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems. It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records.”
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