Alta Via n.1 - Day 4

Difficulty
Medium
Time
5 h 30'
Start
Rifugio Lagazuoi
Arrival
Rifugio Lagazuoi

From the Rifugio Lagazuòi you follow path n.20 north-estwards and return to the Forcella Lagazuòi, 2573m. Here you take path n.401, which soon takes you to the Forcella Travenànzes, 2507m, from where you look out onto the characteristic Val Travenànzes, surrounded by austere peaks and famous rock walls streaked with a myriad of colours. From the Forcella Travenànzes you can go down directly and easily to the Passo Falzàrego by path n.402 and from there continue on the Alta Via, but this would mean missing out one of the most beautiful stretches.

 

Therefore, we recommend continuing north-eastwards on the northern side of the Cima Falzàrego and the Col dei Bòs, always on path n.401-402 (which here has double signposting), until you reach Forcella Col dei Bòs, 2331 m, at the foot of the tragically famous rock fortress of Castelletto, theatre of heroic Great War battles.

 

The path n.402 descends directly to the locality of Ra Nona, while another path goes up north eastwards towards Castelletto and then onto the Ferrata Livella (see Variant 1 below). Take path n.404, which runs eastwards beneath the beautiful rock face of the Tofàna di Rozes, and offers a magnificent panorama. Along this stretch, it is possible to visit the Grotta della Tofàna, which opens above a leap that can easily be reached (via ferrata equipment and headlamp are necessary). Keep on the 404 until the Valon de Tofàna at a height of 2375m, located at the meeting point with the path n.403 that from the Rifugio Dibona goes up to the Rifugio Giussani. With a clear diversion south, go down by the 403, zigzagging until you meet the road which comes from the Dibona and ends here.

 

It is not strictly necessary to reach the nearby Rifugio Angelo Dibona, 2037m, but, as it was built in honour of the great alpine guide from Cortina, a visit is highly recommended. Privately owned, comfortable, open almost all year, it provides basic hotel services and overnight accommodation for 65 people; tel +39 0436 86 02 94; email: rifugiodibona@gmail.com.

 

From the abovementioned road, take path n.412 which takes you south-west, passing under the bank of rocks which support the path n.404 that we have just left. This stretch is also called Sótecòrdes in Cortina dialect, i.e. under the ropes, because the rocky rib appears just like a cordon of ropes. The path continues at high altitude, passes the ruins of a shepherds’ shelter and, at Rozes, 2183m, meets the military road which goes up towards the Forcella Col dei Bòs. Now, partly following the road and partly following the shortcuts, the path n.402 goes down to the south-west and meets the SS48 delle Dolomiti at Ra Nona (the ninth bend of the road), 1985m.

 

Follow the SS road for about 300m southwards and, at a bend which cuts through a marshy land, take path 440 which goes sharply south, then east and then south-east for “I Casonàte”. Then, go up quite steeply, on a basically good path, firstly through sparse woodland, then through the small Potòr valley, reaching the large knoll of rock slabs mixed with gravels, sparse pastureland and a dirt-track road north of the Monte Averàu, not far from the Rifugio Scoiattoli, 2255m. You can avoid the road (numbered 439), by following the path n.440 southwards and reaching the Rifugio Averàu, 2413m, near the Forcella Nuvolàu. Following a good path up the sloping side of the mountain, you soon reach the beautiful esplanade where the Rifugio Nuvolàu stands, 2575m. 

 

The Rifugio Nuvolàu, owned by the Cortina d’Ampezzo Section of the CAI, was built on the lookout point of the Cima Nuvolàu in 1883 and later rebuilt in 1970. It is an exceptional stop-off point, offering fine hospitality and spectacular views at dawn and dusk. One of the most spectacular, boldest structures in the Dolomites (high precipices drop down on three sides), it is open from mid-June to mid-September and offers basic hotel services. Sleeps 32; water inside; toilets outside; lighting with generator; CNSAS “118” Rescue Station. Tel: +39 0436 86 79 38; email: siorpaes@yahoo.com.

Rest points

Rifugio Dibona, Rifugio Scoiattoli, Rifugio Averau, Rifugio Nuvolau

Variations

Through the Galleria del Castelletto: From the Forcella Col de Bòs, 2331m, where path 402 descends to the south east and the 404 continues to the east, take the path that goes north-east and leads to the Galleria del Castelletto, a rocky spur famous for its role in the Great War. It was the pillar of the Austrian defence towards the Val Travenànzes and dominated the Italian stationing of Val Costeàna. At 3 o’clock on July 11th 1916, the peak of the Castelletto was blown up with 35 tonnes of nitro gelatin, causing important losses among the Austrian troops. The gallery can be visited, obviously with a lamp, first by crossing a rock wall equipped with metal ropes (traces of an encampment), then entering into the belly of the mountain, zigzagging up with an elevation gain of 100m and a length of about 500m, with the help of wooden steps and a handrail. There are signs indicating the various weapon pits. Lastly you come out onto the rockface, not far from the crater of the explosion. If you would like to continue on to the Ferrata Lipella, proceed on the Val Travenànzes side along a long downhill ledge until you arrive at the beginning of the metal ropes. If you want to get back onto the Alta Via n.1, you can follow a ledge and descend by a route equipped with a metal rope, until you retake the path that leads back to the Forcella Col dei Bòs, from where you continue as indicated for day four.

Info

Length
15 km
Positive elevation gain
635 m
Negative elevation gain
810 m