Trekking in the Dolomites
Alta Via 1 and Alta Via 2
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Trekking guidebook for walking Alta Via routes 1 and 2 across the Italian Dolomites. The 120km AV1 is described over 11 day stages and is ideal for beginners to Alpine long-distance walking, whereas the AV2 covers 160km in 13 days and is more strenuous and technical. The more demanding AV3-6 routes are described in outline.
- Mid-June to late September, when the majority of the refuges are open: the peak Italian holiday season is August, especially around 15th August
- Main centres for the Dolomites include Cortina, Belluno, Selva di Cadore, Arabba, La Villa, Selva, Bressanone, Dobbiaco and Canazei
- These multi-day mountain traverses involve some scrambles and aided sections and exposure. Alta Via 1 has few exposed sections, however AV2 is considerably more challenging, and only suitable for experienced alpine trekkers with a good head for heights. AVs 3-6 are more challenging, with extended via ferrata sections and considerable exposure.
- Must See
- Spotting your first chamois, marmot or ibex the majestic Marmolada and Pelmo, the towering Civetta, and the Cinque Torre (now there are only four of them!) includes the little known (and little-walked) Alta Via 3, 4, 5 & 6
Northern Italy's famous Alta Via long-distance walking routes are spread across the Dolomites, running roughly north to south and reaching as far as the Austrian border. There are six of these routes, and they increase in difficulty: Alta Via 1 has few exposed sections and is suitable for novice alpine trekkers; AV2 is much more challenging, only suitable for experienced alpine trekkers with a good head for heights, while AVs 3-6 have extended via ferrata sections and considerable exposure.
Both AV 1 and 2 are described in detail in this guidebook, with the demanding AV3-6 routes described in outline. The 120km AV1 is described over 11 day stages; AV2 covers 160km in 13 days and is more strenuous and technical. Overnight stops are either at mountain huts or at guesthouses. The book is written by an expert in Italian trekking, with information on the fascinating wartime history of the region, plants and wildlife. With advice on practical considerations such as the best time to go, what to take and hut protocol, this guide offers trekkers all the information they need to enjoy the mountains to the full.
Now a World Heritage Site, the Italian Dolomites make a first-rate trekking destination. There is an excellent network of paths dotted with welcoming 'rifugi' (mountain huts) in stunning locations, and efficient public transport serving key trekking points.
The Alta Via routes
Plants and flowers
When to go
Food and drink
What to take
Dos and don’ts
Using this guidebook
Alta Via 1
Stage 1 Lago di Braies to Rifugio Biella
Stage 2 Rifugio Biella to Rifugio Fanes
Stage 3 Rifugio Fanes to Rifugio Lagazuoi
Stage 4 Rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Nuvolau
Stage 5 Rifugio Nuvolau to Rifugio Città di Fiume
Stage 6 Rifugio Città di Fiume to Rifugio Coldai
Stage 7 Rifugio Coldai to Rifugio Vazzoler
Stage 8 Rifugio Vazzoler to Rifugio Carestiato
Stage 9 Rifugio Carestiato to Rifugio Pramperet
Stage 10 Rifugio Pramperet to Rifugio Pian de Fontana
Stage 11 Rifugio Pian de Fontana to La Pissa bus stop
ALTA VIA 2
Stage 1 Bressanone to Rifugio Città di Bressanone
Stage 2 Rifugio Città di Bressanone to Rifugio Genova
Stage 3 Rifugio Genova to Rifugio Puez
Stage 4 Rifugio Puez to Rifugio Pisciadù
Stage 5 Rifugio Pisciadù to Rifugio Castiglioni
Stage 6 Rifugio Castiglioni to Passo San Pellegrino
Stage 7 Passo San Pellegrino to Rifugio Mulaz
Stage 8 Rifugio Mulaz to Rifugio Rosetta
Stage 9 Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Treviso
Stage 10 Rifugio Treviso to Passo Cereda
Stage 11 Passo Cereda to Rifugio Boz
Stage 12 Rifugio Boz to Rifugio Dal Piaz
Stage 13 Rifugio Dal Piaz to Croce d’Aune
ALTE VIE 3–6
Alta Via 3
Alta Via 4
Alta Via 5
Alta Via 6
Appendix A Glossary
Appendix B Route summary tables
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Dolomites Alta Via 1 Stage 6 Pelmo variant: the paths have been cleared and the Pelmo variant is thankfully feasible once again.
Dolomites Alta Via 1 Stage 6 Pelmo variant, Pelmo: Torrential rain has caused scree flows which have submerged paths on the eastern flanks of the Pelmo. The path between Forcella Val d'Arcia and Rifugio Venezia is temporarily closed.
pp 25 + 92 the phone number for the Belluno Tourist Office is now 334 2813222
p46 Rifugio Biella no longer belongs to CAI. Email email@example.com - phone the hut to confirm booking.
June 2016p33 Tabacco maps can now be purchased through the Tabacco website and a handy App for digital maps downloaded from www.tabaccomapp.it .p87 Rifugio Pian de Fontana tel 0437 1956135 or 335 6096819. Changed web site www.piandefontana.it
As this book was being printed, the phone number of Rifugio Genova changed to 0472 670072, mobile 347 266 7694.
p. 25 last line: Webite for Vittorio Veneto should be http://turismo.provincia.treviso.it
p. 26 the website www.dolomiti-altevie.it listed under Further Alta Via information is no longer available
p. 76 The telephone number for Capanna Trieste is tel 320 1166323. The website www.rifugiocapannatrieste.com is no longer available
p. 91 The website for Rifugio 7° Alpini should be www.rifugiosettimoalpini.com
p. 104 The telephone number for Rifugio Genova is 0472 670072 or mobile 347 2667694
p. 110 The telephone number for Rifugio Malga Brogles change tel to 0471 655642 or mobile 338 4600101
p. 116 The Rifugio Boè replace is an SAT hut, not CAI as stated
p. 117 Variant via Piz Boè: Capanna Fassa, no shower, sleeps 10
p. 123 2nd last line: Text should read “The dramatic S wall of the Marmolada...” not “The dramatic N wall ...”
p. 153 line 3: Albergo Boz is now Casa Boz tel 333 6336648 www.casaboz.it next to 4 Valli restaurant.
p. 155 The email for Rifugio Boz is firstname.lastname@example.org
p. 183 para 4: remove Hotel Erto info, add www.albergodiffusovalcellinavalvajont.it
p. 184 The website for Rifugio Semenza is www.rifugiosemenza.it
May 2017, 2017 reprint
P48: The final paragraph should read: Next point your boots S. Path n.7 branches R across the stream. It climbs the R side of the valley with its immense erosive spills colonised by dwarf mountain pine.
P61: The variant to Passo Giau appears in the box on p62 and will take 1h 30 minutes.
P63: The end of the final paragraph should read: ...cable. Watch your step as the path continues in steep descent on loose stones. It drops to a path junction where you go R on n.443. This is where the variant from Rifugio Cinque Torri joins up for the final saunter down to join the bikers at ....
Gillian Price is a true gem amongst guide book writers!
We were on our first real hiking holiday and used Gillian Price's Dolomites guides. We'd selected walks based on her descriptions, which were so inspiring it was difficult to choose! Instead, we selected by a process of elimination, based on difficulty and length, rather than attractiveness. Most guide books are a rather dreary recipe of start here, turn left at creek, go up hill 200m, walk along spine. Gillian Price completely understands that the best walks are a story with a rhythm and narrative: a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end, and her writing reflects this. She conveys the mood and tone of a walk, not just its facts. As a plant enthusiast, I appreciated her highlighting special vegetation or flowering alpines. Two years later, we returned to the Dolomites and did multi-day treks there, and her descriptions were once again a true reflection of every one of them. Gillian Price is a true gem amongst guide book writers!
Your wonderful guides have been a pleasure to read, and have been particularly helpful, thank you!
Dear Ms Price,
For the last 20 years, my wife and I have relied heavily on Cicerone guidebooks. Your wonderful guides for Amalfi, Dolomites, and Gran Paradiso have been a pleasure to read, and have been particularly helpful, thank you!
Dan & Cheryl
Packed with useful tips and beautiful colour photographs
I have no issue in recommending the fantastic Trekking series from Cicerone. If you are into hiking and experiencing the ‘great outdoors’, then you can place your trust in the hands of this first-class publisher. It uses the services of only the most skilled and informative writers, all of whom can boast about more knowledge of the various treks and routes and how to break them down into manageable sections than any other specialists. There is a satisfying hands on approach taken by Cicerone that provides it with a defined market advantage. The latest guides deal with the spectacular Dolomites mountain region of northern Italy and are packed with useful tips, beautiful colour photographs and the customary recommendations for short to medium hikes, all of which can be combined for the more adventurous travellers.
Gillian Price was born in England but has lived in Venice for many years. Gillian has steadily explored the mountain ranges of Italy, and Corsica, and brought them to life for visitors in a series of outstanding guides for Cicerone. She is an active member of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) and Mountain Wilderness.View Articles and Books by Gillian Price
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