Dolomites Holiday:
Our walks

Sunday 3 July 2011: from the Rif. Faloria

On a beautiful day whose blue skies contrast wonderfully with the whites of the Dolomitic rocks, we climb gently away from the Rif. Faloria

We're roughly countouring along the side of this mountain, and will return at a higher level

Dad ascends; behind him you can see the return route at the base of the cliffs

Panoramic view from our lunch spot - click on the photo for a larger picture

Across the valley to Monte Cristallo

Our return route snakes across the scree and snow

The last little ascent onto M. Ciasa Dio which peaks at 2362 metres

That nearest triple-log spans what seems quite a deep and steep gully - best to stride confidently across without looking down.

Looking back you can see our return route

All that remains is the descent back to the restaurant and the top of the cable car, with magnificent views ahead to Le Tofane

Monday 4 July 2011: Circuit of Nuvolao

After a cable car yesterday, today's walk starts with a chair lift which takes us from 1889m to 2255m.

That's Averau, and we will be coming over the col to its left later in the day.

Our walk starts with a little descent, hearing along the trod which runs up the picture just to the left of centre.

A look back at one of the Cinque Tori, which we'll visit later in the week.

The little descent just mentioned is now followed by a bigger steep descent down this gully. The path to be followed can just be seen regaining height on the other side.

A bit closer

A look back at that gully with descent - some idea of scale can be gained from the full-size trees at the top of the gully. In the background, on the far side of an intervening valley, is Tofana de Rozes, another objective for later in the week.

Dramatic scenery on another beautiful day.

Just visible here is the zigzagging path which rises between Tofana de Rozes and Tofana de Pomedes, which I'll ascend later in the week

For today, we continue across this shattered limestone towards the next road pass

Inspecting the very friable sedimentary rock

After a narrow trod for the last couple of hours, it is something of a shock to emerge near the road and find this veritable highway continuing our route around the mountain.

It didn't last long, and we returned to a more typical trod. There are extensive distant views as well as the more immediate mountains.

That's the other side of Averau which we saw from the chair lift and start of the walk. We contour across the scree and descend to that track, and immediately regain height up to the col.

Passing under the chairlift on the southern side of the col. It's very teasing as the chairs go past, as we regain height slowly.

Making progress. You can see our path along the base of the cliffs and then down to the track.

Safely up to the col, and ahead on the right are the Cinque Tori again, and Tofana de Rozes - at 3225m with its head just in the clouds.

Shattered limestone pavement as we descend back to the chairlift.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Today we've travelled east from Cortina towards the top of the Paso Tre Croci, and are taking the chairlift part way up M. Cristallo

This chairlift takes us from 1698m to 2215m

A second lift continues to near the summit, but our way lies on foot, making a 500-metre descent to the car at the base of the chairlift.

The right-hand side of this range is where we were walking on our first walk, on Sunday.

After a little descent, the next section of the walk is level, through forest

The path we've been following was probably created during World War I; this hole was where soldiers lived

...and this flattened area probably the home for a gun

As we near the end of the level section, a look across Cortina. Towards the right can be seen the elongated Nuvolao which we made a circuit of yesterday, and to its right Averau which we saw from several angles.

A panoramic shot (click on photo for a larger picture) extends the view to include the Tofana massif

The way down was engineered but pretty steep and with potentially loose footing almost the whole way. It felt a lot steeper than it looks in this photo.

That section across the little cliff was unnerving as it was very narrow with the rock pushing one out.

Eventually the rock turned to grass but the steepness was hardly changed. The views remain a wonderful excuse to stop for a breather.

Past the steepest bit, and we're getting back into the forest.

An undulating forest walk, passing a farm, remained to take us back to the car.

Wednesday 6 July 2011: Circuit of Tofana de Rozes

On Wednesday, Dad decided to have a quieter day, so dropped me off at 1923m at the end of the tarmac road. My route today is a circuit of Tofana de Rozes, the mountain on the left of this picture.

The good quality gravel road seen in the previous picture took me to the rifugio at 2037m, to where quite a few people had driven. A rougher track continued to gain height from there, heading for wilder terrain. The route lies up there to the col at the top.

It doesn't look very inviting, but that gap is where I'm headed.

In fact, the going is very easy underfoot, being just about practicable in extremis for a 4x4 up to this point, and (cue photo) for a motorbike for some of the rest of the way.

A look back from that point shows the broad stony track that runs this far; on the right of the photo is our old friend Averau and to its left Nuvolao that we circuited on Monday.

Continuing upwards, showing the engineering that has gone into making this a relatively easy ascent.

As I near the top, there are several buildings, including the old Rifugio Cantore

There are also relics of World War I

At 2580m according to my map, and 2600m according to the sign on the building, this is the modern Rifugio Giussani.

Me at around 2590m, the highest I reached on this holiday.

Click on the panoramic shot for a larger picture. To the left is the Tofana de Rozes (3225m), and ahead, weaving among the shattered boulders is my route which lies down into the valley before regaining height onto the next col on the far side of Tofana de Rozes.

Looking through the window of a World War I hut

Tangled barbed wire has lain here for over 90 years

A look back at Tofana de Rozes as I gradually descend.

The route on this side is nothing like the constructed track on the south side, and although not difficult at first, becomes more demanding as the hanging valley I'm in steepens in opening out into the main valley.

More war works

Looking back up along my line of descent

The valley ahead. Eventually my way will lie to the left to the col still hidden from here.

More war remains, and the view into the valley is now becoming more open, with my route still around to the left.

The way starts to get more difficult with steep drops to the side under loose stones. Here there is a wire in the rock to hold on to, so this section was not difficult, but unfortunately there weren't many wires.

At last, on the valley route, though not yet clear of the difficulties.

Note the waterfall plunging down the cliff face. In places the path went behind a very diffuse waterfall

Making progress up towards the col, a look back along the Travenanzes valley

More war remains - they really are everywhere

At the col, with the height gain all done for the day, there are trenches cut out of the mountain. When I 'd previously thought of World War I trenches, I'd thought of mud in France and the Low Countries, but this is something rather different, 2330 metres up in the mountains.

Beginning the descent, ahead are the Cinque Tori, Nuvolao and Averau

A thin path traces its way on a short route down the hillside, but I chose to take the longer zigzagging track which was easy underfoot and allowed for a great pace in descent.

The track and this tunnel on it are useful relics of the war

The last section was through woodland, dodging Italian Army trucks on a track.

Thursday 7 July 2011: Dürrensee / Lago di Landro

On Thursday we spent the morning exploring the fort and open war remains at Sas de Stria, after which we drove north and east towards Austria. Once over a key road pass, despite being still in Italy all the signs were in German first and Italian second.

Our objective was a walk in the Drei Zinnen Natural Park around the lake known as Dürrensee in German or Lago di Landro in Italian

The lake is shallow and has a lovely colour to it

The narrow blue line on my map, which I'd assumed to be a stream turned out to be this broad river with no bridge, but fortunately also very little water in July.

Having walked the eastern half of the route on forest paths and tracks, the route back is along the line of the old railway, which makes for a very easy stroll (except where damaged by flood water), cycle ride, or in winter is said to be great for cross-country skiing.

At one point this group had moved their table into the middle of the railway line.

Friday 8 July 2011: Circuit of Averau

We spent the first part of the morning exploring the open-air museum of Cinque Tori, then stopped at the Rifugio Scoiattoli for refreshments before the main part of our walk.

We retraced old ground for a short way, making our way up to Rifugio Averau at 2413 metres, this section of the walk being somewhat plagued by the noise of the concrete mixer lorries and particularly the helicopter (lower right), all being involved in building or rebuilding a chairlift.

Rifugio Averau, and we are on new ground again, having ascended from the right to here on Monday.

Looking down into the valley with its impressive winding road

Our way lies around the side of Averau

We reach the col of Forc. Averau at 2435 metres, after which it's downhill to the car at 1889 metres.

In the col ahead is the fort we visited on Thursday morning, and the sharp peak of Sas de Stria we climbed part way up to explore the war remains.

The peak of Lagazuoi Pizo was prominent in views during our descent. This is the view from our lunch spot.

Back in the valley, we have a descending path through the forest and meadows, passing the Italian Army still on manoeuvres

Almost back at the car, and so completes our last walk.

Carry on to the next page for our explorations of the Alpine war remains.



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson