Left: Postcard of Baita dei Cacciatori, m. 1790. Right: Trail we took starting from Colmean.
The last time we were in the Dolomites it was June 2008 and we had 10 days of glorious hiking in Alta Badia. So, when friends invited us along on a ski weekend in the Bellunese Dolomites, we figured “why not?” It was our first time skiing this season and our first time skiing in Europe. Add to that a recent broken fifth metatarsal , and the fact we aren’t fantastic skiers to begin with, and you could say we were a little nervous about how we would do.
We spent Saturday skiing at Passo San Pellegrino, that night at the Piccola Baita in Falcade, and the following day hiking up to Baita dei Cacciatori just under the Cima d’Auta group (Catena dell'Auta). We walked to the Baita under snowfall. Once inside the baita (or cabin) we hung our jackets by the stove (stua), ate a delicious lunch followed by a strudel like no other we’ve tasted, and took a bit of grappa before starting back down. A beautiful day where we hike to eat.
How did we do skiing? Just fine after a few runs. We rented boots, skies, and helmets for 45 euros for both of us together, which seemed like a deal compared to what we were used to paying in Washington State. The hike on Sunday was about 8 km roundtrip from Bar Colmean to the Baita. After the hike, we drove back to Bergamo listening to Vinicio Capossela (Che cosse’ l’amor) and Fabrizio de Andrè (Andrea).
Lunch at Baita dei Cacciatori and strudel (one of the best we’ve tasted).
Left: Christmas tree outside of Baita dei Cacciatori; Center: Nativity scene along sentiero 689. Right: Staring up at larch trees (Larix decidua).
Sentiero 689 (Valle del Biois Cima D’Auta Group).
Left: Skiing on Passo San Pellegrino. Right: View from Passo San Pellegrino (Col Margherita) toward the Pale di San Martino, the southernmost of the big Dolomite Groups including Cima della Vezzana.
Left: Wood stacked on Sentiero 689 below Baita dei Cacciatori. Right: Canederli at Passo San Pellegrino.