Storm damage in the Dolomites
2 minute read
Gillian Price warns of disruption to walking in the Dolomites due to storm damage. If you are walking in the area and encounter any problems please let us know so we can keep other walkers informed.
Six months ago, in October 2018, the Italian Dolomites were hit by a devastating hurricane - Tempesta Vaia. Winds up to 200km/hr caused widespread damage to villages, houses and roads, and there were several deaths. Millions and millions of trees were toppled. Forestry workers and sawmills are struggling to deal with the massive amount of timber that needs removing and storing.
Naturally, hundreds of kilometres of paths in the Dolomites have been affected by landslides, rockfalls and fallen trees. Despite the snowy winter season plenty has already been done to improve the situation - the authorities as well as volunteers have been hard at work clearing timber, rerouting, and affixing new signs where possible. (Though priority has obviously been given to essential services for villages). The Italian Alpine Club, CAI, as well as SAT, the Trento branch, are involved.
Things are definitely looking up - and even Rifugio Venezia on the Pelmo will hopefully open for the summer season despite having had its roof torn off, the top floor with beds and mattresses ruined by rain and snow, and its jeep access track blocked by rockfalls and landslips. Another refuge with supply problems is Rifugio Pordenone in the Dolomiti Friulane. Thankfully the building was not damaged but its access road all but washed away. But they plan on 'business as usual' this year too.
The following web site lists all the paths by number in the Belluno province (central-southern Dolomites) with notes about what's open and possible problems. It's updated regularly. 'Non percorribile' means 'not walkable' ie closed.
As regards the Trentino area (south-western Dolomites), see this web site: https://sentieri.sat.tn.it/. Moreover as of May 20 an app will be downloadable from www.visittrentino.info with up-to-date path info for the Trentino.
Visitors to the Dolomites in summer 2019 need to be aware of possible problems regarding paths. The best advice is to check locally with Tourist Offices and refuges, be versatile and don't take any risks.
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