Friday, June 13, 2008

Alta Badia – Some Dolomite Hikes

Map showing some hikes in the dolomites.
We were in the Alta Badia for 10 full days and managed to get 8 nice hikes in. It wasn’t extensive coverage of the area but we were able to definitely get a taste of this region. We estimated that we hiked about 110 km (68 miles) in about 48 hours over the 8 hikes.

Some points to keep in mind:

- Early June is still low season so you won’t see a lot of folks on the trail nor will many restaurants, hotels, or more importantly, rifugios (refuges) be open. For us, that’s okay. Everything starts to pick up here we were told around July 1st. It would have been nice to have more rifugios open so we could lessen what we were carrying food-wise.

- We had a car so that we could drive to trailheads. We did not use public transportation. It exists though.

- We did not intentionally do any Via Ferrate, except a bit at Lagazuoi which was necessary to get in and out of the Lagazuoi tunnel (if you could classify that as a ferrata).

- We saw all sorts of weather in early June: sun, rain, lightning and thunder, hail, warm, and cold. Everyone kept saying this was a very strange spring as much of northern Italy has been experiencing. Regardless of this year, we would plan for changing weather in early June.

- See this post for the maps we used for hiking.

The specific hikes we did:

- Santa-Croce Hike. We took the Santa-Croce chair lifts (two of them) to the Santa-Croce rifugio at 2045m. Then we took #15 heading south to #12 heading east, then doubled back on ourselves and took #12a to #15 back to the chair lift.

- Capanna Alpina Hike. The goal was to hike to Rifugio Fanes. We followed trail # 11 all the way to the Rifugio. #11 and Alta Via 1 coincide for part of the way. Capanna Alpina is a rifugio just southeast of San Cassiano; there is parking lot there.

- Puez-Odle Hike. This was a loop hike that we started and ended from our hotel in Colfosco and which passed through the Puez-Odle park. We walked from the church in Colfosco up to the Edelweiss rifugio (follow the signs). From there we headed west on trail #8. When you reach Jimmy Hutte take trail #2 (which coincides with Alta Via 2) for some time passing by Lago Crespeina. At the next major trail intersection take trail #4 back to the Edelweiss rifugio.

- Cinque-Torre Hike. We took the Bain de Dones chairlift to Rifugio Scoiattoli (2255m) and then did the hike in two parts. First we hiked up to Rifugio Nuvolau (2575m) and then we hiked around Cinque Torre starting with the open air war museum there. The museum paths still had snow this early June.

- Passo Sella Hike. We drove from Colfosco to Passo Sella (2176m) and parked. We decided to circumnavigate the Sassolungo group clockwise, but first we took a detour to climb up to Col Rodella (2484m) for a quick view. Back down we followed trail #4-557 west. At Rifugio Sasso Piatto we caught trail #527 heading north and then east. Eventually we met up with trail #525 which took us back to the Passo Sella parking lot.

- Passo delle Erbe Hike. Leaving the Passo delle Erbe parking lot we took trail #8a until we reach the base of the Sas de Putia group and then we headed west to begin a counter-clockwise circumnavigation still on #8a. Eventually we met up with #4 (coincides with Alta Via 2) to the Forcela de Putia (2357m). At this point we took a detour to climb to the peak of Putia (2815m). After coming back from this 2 hour excursion we continued around following trail #35 for some time across the south side of the mountain group. Eventually we met up with trail #8b which took us back to our starting point.

- Lagazuoi Tunnels. The goal of this hike/walk was to visit the famous Lagazuoi Tunnels. We took the cable car up from Passo Falzarego to Rifugio Lagazuoi. From there we took some time taking in the view and then headed for the tunnel entrance. The approach to the tunnel and the exit were a little tricky. There were cables to hold on to, but if you are not one for heights, it may not be the best thing to do. Once inside the tunnel we spend several hours exploring passageways.

- Pisciadu Waterfall Hike. This hike we also started out of Colfosco. We took trail #651 to #26 to #666 to Passo Gardena to #8 to #8c which dropped us back in Colfosco.

All hikes were interesting, but the Passo Sella Hike and the Passo delle Erbe Hike stand out because of the interesting aspect of circumnavigating large rock masses and getting a good sense of the geography.

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