Adam & Michelle reached out to me in 2018 when they were thinking about eloping to the Alps. They knew they wanted to combine their elopement with an epic multi-day hike, and their first thought was the iconic Haute Route from Chamonix in the French Alps to Zermatt in Switzerland. Looking at the technical difficulty of the Haute Route and their vision for their hiking elopement, I suggested some of my favourite locations in Tirol and the Dolomites. It wasn’t long before Adam & Michelle had found their dream location, so we started planning their epic multi-day hiking elopement in the Dolomites.
Hiking Elopement In The Dolomites
Adam & Michelle decided that the Alta Via 2 trail from Brixen to San Martino di Castrozza was the route for them. This challenging multi-day hike would take them over multiple mountain passes, sleeping in rifugios close to the peaks on most night of their adventure. During the planning stages, we emailed each other and chatted over Skype about how we’d meet on the trail (I’d be joining them for the last 3 days of their 10-day trip) and the logistics for their hiking elopement day.
One thing made us all a little nervous as the start of their adventure got closer. Lots of late snowfall across the Alps meant that many of the trails were still buried and a lot of the mountain passes would be a lot more difficult, taking longer to cross that normal. After a lot of discussion about the state of the route, we decided to stick to plan A, and Adam & Michelle set off on their adventure on the Alta Via 2.
While they were hiking the first sections of the trail along, we checked in with each other most days. They fed back to me on the conditions of the trails and to let me know that everything was still on schedule for us to meet up in the location we had arranged.
The night before we were due to join them on the trail and start our hike together, we met for a drink in their hotel on the San Pellegino Pass. With the snow conditions making everything so much harder, Adam & Michelle decided to make a small change to the last 2 days of their itinerary. Because the route on the last day before their elopement involved a very steep mountain pass that had not yet been crossed by anyone since the winter, the plan was to descend to a different rifugio for the night before their elopement. We all agreed on the new plan and were excited for the days ahead.
For the first 2 days we hiked together with full hiking packs. Whilst I had camera gear weighing my pack down, Adam & Michelle had their wedding clothes rolled up inside their packs that they’d carried with them along the whole trail for the last week. We crossed breathtaking mountain passes, hiked through knee-deep snow and had an amazing adventure. There was only 1 thing left for Adam & Michelle to do to make this trip the best adventure of their lives – to get married!
On the morning of their elopement we woke up early for sunrise, only to find dark rainclouds and stormy skies. But nothing was going to stop this day from being the best day ever, so after an intimate first look under the shelter of the roof of the rifugio, we made a plan for the day. Our plan B now needed a plan C.
With our car parked by we came up with a plan C. We’d drive around to a few places that we’d hiked through and hope to find gaps in the weather. Or at least, that was our plan of action. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t showing much sign of improving throughout the morning, so after a few attempts and running out whenever it eased off, we decided to drive to our hotels for the wedding night, check in the luggage and wait out the storm. And thankfully it worked!
As the storm clouds finally lifted, Adam & Michelle’s adventure in the Dolomites came to a perfect conclusion as they said their wedding vows to one another overlooking the stunning mountains of the Pale di San Martino.