Hikes and Walks
The Val Pettorina and the Marmolada are ideal for all sorts of hikes and walks. The tourist office can provide maps indicating the paths, along with difficulty levels and the times required. You can also consult weather forecasts and ask for advice on places to visit.
In addition to the normal caution that should be exercised for any outdoor activity, it is always important to take account of factors such as physical fitness and training, altitude and weather conditions.
Before setting off, never forget to consult the Meteo Dolomiti weather forecast and find out about the technical details the itinerary presents.
Inexperienced hikers or those unfamiliar with the area should rely on the assistance of the local Alpine and Hiking Guides.
Malga Ciapela – Falier Refuge (2080 m)
Departure 1449 m, arrival 2080 m, maximum altitude 2080 m. A splendid route through the Val Ombretta, one of the most beautiful valleys in the Marmolada, with stunning views of the south-west wall of the Marmolada and a large number of traces of Great War events. Trail no. 610. Time required in total: 4.00 hours along the road, 2.30 – 3.00 hours if you take the shortcut.
From Malga Ciapela, a well-surfaced minor road heads towards the "Malga Ciapela" campsite. About an hour after the campsite you will come to a bridge closed by a bar.
On the other side of the bridge, take the broad mule track that goes up to the left; it is rather steep to begin with, but it then levels out, as mountain roads dating back to the First World War usually do, because the slope had to be moderate in order to allow for the transport of heavy weaponry and ammunition, even at high altitudes.
Ignore the steep shortcut, which takes off to the right, and continue along the good road that goes up slowly round wide bends at the foot of Monte Fop (2550 m). Once you come to the crossroads, where path no. 689 takes left towards the Val di Franzedas, turn sharply to the right, continuing on along the broad mule track, which soon leads to the mouth of the Val Ombretta. Here you can admire the stunningly beautiful valley that opens out, with the fabulous south wall of the Marmolada on the right and the Pale del Monte Fop on the left, closed off in the background by Monte Ombrettola (2931 m), Sass Vernale (3058 m) and the eastern Ombretta peaks (3011 m), standing out from which is the peculiar silhouette of the Fungo d' Ombretta (2653 m) that looks down onto the Falier Refuge. The mule track ends here, and you can continue along a clearly visible path that passes through the dairy huts of Malga Ombretta (1904 m) and rises up slightly on the hillside before reaching, in about 40 minutes, the Onorio Falier all’Ombretta Refuge, which belongs to the Venice section of the Italian Alpine Club, managed for years by the Dal Bon family from Canale d' Agordo.
Our hike ends here, but if you wish to continue, there are two options offered by path no. 610, which continues towards the Ombretta Pass, and by trail no. 612, which starts out from behind the refuge and climbs up the Vallon d' Ombretta before branching off towards the Banca di Val Fredda Saddle (2777 m) with trail no. 678, or no. 612, which leads to the Bachet Saddle (2863 m) or the Ombrettola Pass (2864 m). Built in 1911, during WWI the Onorio Falier all' Ombretta Refuge was used as a military command post of the 206th "Val Cordevole" Regiment. Struck by the Austrian artillery, which razed it to the ground, the Refuge was rebuilt thanks to the contribution of the Falier family. Interesting to visit are the galleries carved out into the rock, located under the refuge on the outside.
Col di Rocca - Albe - Vallier - Palue (1456 m)
Departure 1200 m, maximum altitude 1456 m, arrival 1222 m. Very easy route at the foot of Monte Migon, among old houses and haysheds from a rural age that is now history. Time required: 1. 30 – 2 hours.
For those coming from Rocca up towards Malga Ciapela, just a few metres before you come to Col di Rocca, on the right, near a crucifix, a little road sets off from the trunk road and heads into the woods, climbing slowly up below the dark, overhanging walls of the Sass Negher. The fairly wide, cobbled road, was once the main communication route that ran between the valley bottom and the two villages, now abandoned, of Albe and Vallier.
Along the first stretch of the path there are plenty of benches you can stop for a rest on. After you pass another crucifix, the path becomes steeper; after two little bends it emerges from the woods and reaches the top of the hillside, from where there is a wonderful view out over the upper part of the Val Pettorina and the mountains and grassy clearings around it. From here, around the hillside, a path quickly leads up close to the village of Albe, which you should cross very carefully, because the ruins of the buildings have collapsed onto the path, and the tall grass often makes it difficult to see where you are stepping. Just after the last houses you should stop to quench your thirst at the large tank of nice cool water on the right of the path, carved from a single block of rock.
Continue slightly round the hillside past the Ru dei Termen irrigation channel, where the ruins of an old water mill can still be seen just under the path. A few minutes’ walk will take you up to the village of Vallier, which, like Albe, is visibly deserted, although a number of houses have been renovated. Here you can quench your thirst at two drinking troughs before heading back down for the last time down through the village of Palue in about ten minutes to the trunk road, a few kilometres further on from the point we went up from.
Sottoguda - Malga Ciapela (1449 m) through the Serrai di Sottoguda
Departure 1258 m, maximum altitude and arrival 1449 m. One of the most classic itineraries around Rocca Pietore, through a deep, extraordinarily beautiful canyon. Time required: 1 hour.
This route starts out from the little church of Sottoguda, which looks onto a beautiful little square surrounded by haysheds and old rural buildings, attractively decorated with geraniums and other flowers, in keeping with mountain traditions. From the church, continue on along the road, leaving behind the little hamlet of Sottoguda, which leads slowly through the narrow gorge flanked by high walls and continues for about 2 kilometres through to the green basin of Malga Ciapela, where the Ombretta and Ciamp D’Arei open out, the latter coming down from the Fedaia Pass.
On the left are a number of galleries carved out into the rock, dating back to the First World War. Walk on until you come to a little niche in the rock with a sacred image of the "Virgin of the Serrai", placed there in 1987 during the Marian year celebrations. Further ahead, the canyon opens out until we come to a little chapel on the right dedicated to Sant'Antonio, as indicated by the statue of the saint placed on the altar inside. In 1934, the little church, dating back to at least 1880 was dedicated in memory of the WWI military cemetery of Malga Ciapela.
Walk up until you come to a little waterfall on the left, the last leap of the waters of the Ru Franzei irrigation channel before it flows into the Pettorina Torrent. From here the valley opens out further, offering a glimpse of the Marmolada di Serauta, which indicates we have almost reached our destination.
Malga Ciapela - Franzedas Valley - Forca Rossa (2490 m)
Departure 1449 m, arrival and maximum altitude2490 m. Trail no. 610-689-694. Time required: 2.30 – 3.00 hours.
The Forca Rossa Pass, also known simply as Forca Rossa, was regarded as a point of considerable strategic importance during the First World War. It was no coincidence that on the very first day of the war, it was occupied by the "Val Cordevole" alpine battalion in order to gain complete control of it: the Pass is the main communication route between Malga Ciapela and the San Pellegrino Pass, and its importance during the war is therefore clear.
From Malga Ciapela, head towards Campin and cross Pian Grant from end to end, leaving your car at the bridge over the Ru Scalon irrigation channel. From here, continue along the military mule track that leads to the Falier Refuge; after a few bends, when the road forks, take left towards the beautiful Franzedas Valley and the mountain pasture of the same name. Pass by the pasture on the left and go up the valley along a fairly steep path. In front of you, you can look up and make out the Forca Rossa, wedged between Col Becher (2444 m) and the Piz Le Crane (2760 m), while on the left, the Auta chain closes off the left side of the valley. Once you climb up the grassy basin, come off trail no. 689, which leads to the Col Becher Pass, and continue along trail no. 694 , which soon leads along a broad mule track to Forca Rossa.
Sottoguda - Franzéi Saddle - Lèch di Giai (2051 m)
Departure 1285 m, max. altitude and arrival 2051 m. A route that runs through woodland and amid Dolomite peaks to a green basin with a pleasant little alpine lake. Particularly attractive and enjoyable as a result of the scenery, plants and wildlife. Time required: 3.5 hours.
Fedaia Pass - Padon Refuge - Bontadini Bivouac
Departure 2056 m., max. altitude and arrival 2550 m. Traces of wartime paths. The last stretch runs along volcanic rock, with the magnificent Marmolada in the background. Time required: 1.30 – 2 hours
Migon Refuge - Mont Da Laste – Crepe Rosse – Tabià Palazza (2223m)
Departure 1669 m, altitude and arrival 1965 m, max. altitude 2223 m. Path with breath-taking views over the Marmolada, Civetta and Pelmo, running through pastureland dotted with attractive little mountain chalets that were once used to store hay. Time required: 4 hours