Ari in the Air Series: Descending on the Dolomites
KEEN Ambassador Ari Delashmutt plays in the air as a paraglider and highliner, but he sees these sports as springboards for something even greater: Elevated connections with people and heightened perspectives of the world.
The KEEN film series, Ari in the Air, follows Ari on his high-energy pursuits of new experiences. Ari’s latest stop: The Dolomites in Northern Italy, where he explores new types of climbing, tries a crazy parachute stunt, and soaks up culture and insight from the locals—spending every day in Italy like it’s “a gift.”
Here are a few of the action-packed highlights of the 11-minute episode:
Paragliding meets skydiving
As if paragliding wasn’t already enough of a rush, Ari pushes himself out of his comfort zone by tacking on a skydiving element. “I am super scared,” Ari says to the camera. “But it’s over water, right?” With a BASE jumping parachute on his back, Ari jumps from about 3,000 feet over Lake Garda, falling for 12.5 seconds before pulling his chute. (Don’t worry, he didn’t need the safety net of the water.)
Hiking meets climbing
One way to explore the rock walls of the Dolomites is on a “via ferrata,” which means iron path. These protected paths are fortified with iron cables, steps, and ladders that are drilled into the rock so hikers can clip in and trek safely. Originally built for Italian soldiers during World War I, these hiking-climbing hybrid routes exist around the world and vary in difficulty and length. Hikers need a climbing harness and two anchors so they are always clipped in as they move through the rebar.
Via ferrata is so fun; it’s so fast and fluid; the movements are so free. The Italians really know how to do it.
Fork meets mouth
Ask Ari about the food he ate in Northern Italy, and you might not get him to stop talking. An avid chef himself, he sees food as a way to experience culture and history, and connect with people. Two restaurants that stand out to him from this trip: Pitzock, which sits in a picturesque little valley in Villnöss and serves quintessential Tyrolean dishes, and Talschlusshütte, a lodge at the end of a 2-mile hike that’s nestled between two mountain peaks in Sexten. (Trigger warning: The 3-course meal featured in the episode may induce immediate travel planning!)
A skier, highliner, paraglider, filmmaker, and self-described "fun-haver," KEEN Ambassador Ari Delashmutt puts a strong value on inspiring and helping others. His shoes of choice while adventuring through the Dolomites: KEEN Kona flip-flops, Glenhaven sneakers, and Targhee EXP waterproof hiking shoes. What is Ari up to now? Follow his adventures on YouTube and Instagram.