Italian Dolomites Hut-to-Hut Trek
Vacation Trip DATE: 09/02/2017 - 09/14/2017
Trip/Event Location: Boston, MA
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 12
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
The Alta Via 1 is a walking trail through the Italian Dolomites, for 75 miles from Dobbiaco in the North to Belluno in the South. The highest point reached by the standard route is 9,029ft and the...
I was checking on flights and I was looking for one where we would arrive in Venice in the morning so we would then be able to get a bus to bring us to Dobbiaco. I found a round trip flight on British Airways from Boston to Venice for $505 leaving at 7:20pm and arriving in Venice at 12:05pm. If you are leaving from another airport, you have to be sure you arrive at the Venice Marco Polo airport by noon. We’ll have to find a convenient location in the airport to meet you.
Ever wish you could travel somewhere that's so spectacular, so overwhelmingly gorgeous, that it makes all of life's worries seem small?
The Alta Via 1 [AV1] trek in the Italian Dolomites is that kind of place.
The past two weeks, a bunch of GOers spent their days trekking in the Dolomites followed by sightseeing in Venice including kayaking the Venice canals.
The Alta Via 1 is a walking trail through the Italian Dolomites, for 75 miles from Dobbiaco in the North to Belluno in the South. The highest point reached by the standard route is 9,029ft and the height gain on the route is around 21,833ft. It took us 8 days to complete the trek. Life on the AV1 quickly fell into a relaxing pattern. The huts were welcoming and the food excellent.
It's impossible to put into words just how breathtaking this beauty is...
So we'd like to do our best to show you. See our sample of our pictures below! We will have more pictures uploaded into our SmugMug Photo Gallery in the near future and will provide a link to it here and in an upcoming newsletter.
From soaring rock towers to grassy alpine meadows the Italian Dolomites offered us some of the most dramatic, exciting and challenging hiking areas in the Alps. Strikingly different from the French or Swiss Alps, the limestone Dolomites rise dramatically from narrow valleys to form impressive spires, canyons, sheer rock walls rising 3,000′ and huge limestone plateaus. Beginning in the Italian Sud Tirol, the hike brought us south along the high route, Alta Via 1, through the Pragser, Tofana, and Civetta mountain groups. The impressiveness of the scenery and the variety of terrain on this route is matched only by the warmth and hospitality offered by the mountain huts. The unusual contrasts in landscapes, changing colors and textures of the mountains and curious mix of Italian and Austrian influences meant fantastic hiking, stunning scenery and plenty of pasta.
We could hardly believe the breathtaking views that greeted us each morning.
We started out trekking with beautiful sunny days and cool mornings. We had to cut short the trek at the end due to inclement weather. Here is a summary of our itinerary with comments:
Arrive in Dobbiaco [Nice small village with great views for the overnight stay at the start; Peter found a great restaurant specializing in Austrian cuisine.]
Stage 1: Bus to Lago di Braies. Walk to Rifugio Sennes, (8 miles), 4,419 feet ascent [We added a breathtaking climb to snowy Croda del Broco at 9,219 feet; we could hardly eat all the food that was served at dinner in the Rifugio. The cooler temperatures resulted with the Dolomites dusted with snow!]
Stage 2: Walk to Garni Ai Pini Hotel in the village of San Cassiano, (11.4 miles), 1995 feet ascent [A laidback stroll along former military roads and across undulating stony pasture uplands, became, little by little, more enthralling as all manner of Dolomites are approached!]
Stage 3: Walk to Rifugio Lagazuoi with a stay in Hotel Ambra in the village of Cortina d’Ampezzo, (5miles), 3,366 feet ascent [We entered the dramatic and breathtaking Cortina Dolomites not that it’s been too bad thus far! A tiring climb concluded at the highest point on the AV1 Rifugio Lagazuoi with an elevation of 9,028 feet that has an unrivalled vantage point; lunch at the Rifugio was delicious and our descent down the semi-dark wartime rock tunnels with our headlamps was one of the highlights of our trek. It was fun exploring the village of Cortina d’Ampezzo.]
Stage 4: Walk to Rifugio Nuvolau, (8.7 miles), 2,952 feet ascent [We embarked on a memorable traverse below the awesome Tofana di Rozes, dropped to Cortina-Passo Falzerego and then climbed through forest to the fascinating, renowed Cinque Torri area, with a magnificent conclusion at lookout par excellence Rifugio Nuvolau. Viewing the sunrise with an undercast in the morning was one of the highlights of our trek!]
Stage 5: Walk to Rifugio Citta' di Fiume, (9.5 miles), 1,312 ascent [We started with a nerve wracking short via ferrata to get us over the rocky realms of the Nuvolau, crossed the road pass Passo Giau and then had a few moderate climbs that lead to a magnificent open pasture basin, once the hunting ground of Mesolithic men. Panoramas were non-stop as a brilliant line-up of Dolomites came into view!]
Stage 6: Walk to Rifugio Vazzoler, (11 miles), 2,460 feet ascent [A spectacular traverse gave us ample time to appreciate the Pelmo from close quarters with a straightforward way via a road pass for a stiff climb to a superbly run alpine hut, Rifugio Coldai where we had an excellent lunch. We then had an absolutely brilliant stage spent appreciating the phenomenal Civetta, one of the most impressive Dolomite formations!]
Stage 7: Walk to Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperet, (12.5 miles) [Due to pouring rain, we decided not to hike this stage and spent another night at Rifugio Vazzoler.]
Stage 8: Walk to La Stanga. Bus to Belluno, (11 miles) [We took the exit route to Listolade from Rifugio Vazzoler by following a jeep track and then a surfaced road. We then hopped on a bus to Belluno. We enjoyed the pleasant alpine village of Belluno and submitted our rifugi stamps collected en route at the Tourist Office to obtain our well-earned AV1 badge!]
Depart from Belluno to Venice. [Jon and I included some pictures of our Venice kayaking adventure exploring the canals of Venice.]
We had a brilliant time and we can’t thank enough the GOers spirit and adventure for making this a memorable trip!!! Thanks to: Rob, Jim, Peter, Richard and Bob.
We invite you to see the adventure we've had by viewing a sample of our pictures below. We will have more pictures uploaded into our SmugMug Photo Gallery in the near future and will provide a link to it here and in an upcoming newsletter.
~ Mike and Jon
There are 57 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)
What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- The undeniable spirit of adventure and generosity of our trip leaders made this journey more than memorable. Thank you gents for a great holiday – always a rewarding time when we hike together!! - Robert.L
- Wanderlust = a very strong impulse to travel/explore. This adventure made the grade thanks to the company & laughs! - JDNnh
- Thanks to Mike and Jon for organizing this trip of a lifetime. It was over much too quickly! - Richardg
Robert.L Sep 21, 2017 at 11:47 AM
Comment: The undeniable spirit of adventure and generosity of our trip leaders made this journey more than memorable. Thank you gents for a great holiday – always a rewarding time when we hike together!!
JDNnh Sep 19, 2017 at 5:36 PM
Comment: Wanderlust = a very strong impulse to travel/explore. This adventure made the grade thanks to the company & laughs!
Richardg Sep 18, 2017 at 9:28 PM
Comment: Thanks to Mike and Jon for organizing this trip of a lifetime. It was over much too quickly!