Trekking in the Dolomites

Alta Via 1 and Alta Via 2

By Gillian Price

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.

Seasons

Seasons

Mid-June to late September, when the majority of the refuges are open: the peak Italian holiday season is August, especially around 15th August
Centres

Centres

Main centres for the Dolomites include Cortina, Belluno, Selva di Cadore, Arabba, La Villa, Selva, Bressanone, Dobbiaco and Canazei
Difficulty

Difficulty

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

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
ISBN
9781852848200
Availability
Published
Published
11 Feb 2016
Reprinted
8 Jun 2017
Edition
Fourth
Pages
192
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
Weight
230g
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    Contents
    Introduction
    The Dolomites
    The Alta Via routes
    Plants and flowers
    Wildlife
    Getting there
    Local transport
    Information
    When to go
    Accommodation
    Food and drink
    What to take
    Maps
    Dos and don’ts
    Emergencies
    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

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    Aug 2018

    There's been an increase in cases of TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) across Europe, Italy included. Walkers should be aware that they may pick up ticks while walking through grass and woodland up to approx 1500 metres altitude. Not all ticks carry the disease but better safe than sorry. Simple precautions and plenty of useful information is available on the website: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/tick-borne-encephalitis. Vaccination is also an option.

    June 2018


    p25 Tourist Office Belluno www.adorable.belluno.it

    p48 3rd last line should read: Next point your boots S. Path n.7 branches R across the stream.

    p79 Rifugio Carestiato sleeps 57, open weekends late May then daily late June to late Sept. Credit cards accepted.

    p83 End page Note: many walkers have written to say they did not find these stretches exposed.

    p87 Rifugio Pian de Fontana – open early June to late Sept.

    p87 Stage 11 walking time should be 4hr 15min

    p89 Rifugio Bianchet - Dolomiti Bus timetable + tickets available

    p90 walking time to La Pissa should be 2hr

    p126 Walking time should be 5hr 35min

    p127 There have been route changes after Passo San Pellegrino so the description should now read:

    From the main road at Passo San Pellegrino (1919m) opposite the derelict refuge turn across the main car park following path n.658 signposted for Passo Valles. It strikes out SE across marshy terrain chopped up by hoofs of cows and horses belonging to the nearby farm. You quickly enter pretty wood with larch and juniper and a cascading stream is crossed. Passing under the Col Margherita cable-car the climb continues steadily SE. As a ski slope is reached, turn uphill for 200m and look for a small marked path L into the trees. Follow this, then at a track, continue steeply up on the left side of the piste. Bear L to another ski piste and descent slightly to a signpost which points the way through trees and boulders. This climbs pleasantly E then SE to
    1hr 10min - Forcella Cargol (2204m). You’re now on the edge of the Altipiano degli Zingari, a gently sloping upland scattered with boulders. The vast outlook takes in the Costabella group as well as the south wall of the Marmolada reflected in Lago di Cavia below. Follow cairns and red/white waymarks mostly SW meandering amidst flowers and rocky terrain to

    40min – Forcella di Pradazzo (2220m).

  • Reviews
    An interesting and informative guidebook which really brings the drama of the mountains to life.

    We walked this impressive route in 2006 and again in July 2018. Thank you for writing such an interesting and informative guide book which really brings the drama of the mountains to life.

    Ian, by email


    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!

    Helen, 2018


    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!

    Thanks again!

    Dan & Cheryl
    Seattle, WA


    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.

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Gillian Price

Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice and is exploring the mountains and flatter bits of Italy. Starting in the Italian Dolomites, Gillian has written outstanding Cicerone guides to walking all over Italy as well as Corsica and Corfu. An adamant promoter of public transport to minimise environmental impact, Gillian belongs to Mountain Wilderness and is an active member of the Venice branch of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.

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