Alta Via 1 Dolomites

Alta Via 1 Dolomites

Location: Italy

12 days on a long-distance trip Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites

Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites is our second trek on which we went with three children, this time wild with a tent, securing accommodation for 5 travelers is practically impossible on this world-famous route. The more weight on the back is compensated by the relative freedom of planning overnight stays and an even greater experience of the trip. Camping in most places in the Dolomites is not allowed, it is tolerated, but only on the condition that you follow certain rules, which we mention below the article, which I recommend you read.

Two years ago we went on our first trek to Slovenia. The youngest, Terezka, was 6 years old at the time, so we chose a fairly easy route with sleeping in the cottages. We managed about 45 kilometers in 3 days, it was amazing, but the Alta Via is significantly more challenging.

We were going to make use of all the experience gained from the previous journey, the planning was down to the smallest detail, we knew where we would camp, where to refill our water and how much food to take. We planned the trip for 12 days with a small portion of kilometers for each day, however the altitude meters look significantly easier on paper.

In the Dolomites, the basic equation applies, the number of height meters down is equal to the number of height meters up, in short what you climb you have to descend and vice versa.

1 day - Lago di Braies

Our trip started at the end of June 2022, we are standing on the shore of Lago di Braies, the most visited place in the Dolomites, not a single person anywhere, it is a unique moment, to enjoy the most beautiful lake without tourists, but there is one small catch, a storm has been raging above us for two hours.

We are standing relatively dry under the overhang of the roof of the local church. We imagined the beginning of our magnificent adventure a little differently, and we still have no idea what awaits us.

Unfortunately, the storm stayed over the lake for about an hour longer. We set off relatively late with dad, mom, Terezka 8 years old, Hanička 10 years old and Kuba 12 years old. We have less than 3 hours at the cottage and less than 2 hours at the pre-selected sleeping area.

We don't rush anywhere and enjoy the views of the lake on the way, we kind of forgot that the signs in the mountains are for super athletes. As we reach the traverse secured by a steel cable, it starts to get dark. At that point we know we'll be walking part of the way in the dark, which is starting to get a little stressful.

Darkness overtakes us, fortunately prepared, we take out our headlamps and continue chasing the cone of light. Fortunately, I have studied the route in detail, the rock with the stretched steel rope does not surprise us, we simply climb over this section.

As we approach tonight's lodging, a helicopter appears above us, perhaps they are not looking for us, we quickly turn off our headlamps and wait for it to fly over. It's probably stupid, but it just occurred to us, what if he was trying to save us, how many fools climb in the mountains after dark.

We reach the place of tonight's overnight stay, several travelers had the same idea. From that time on, we became a relatively well-known Czech family, traveling with three children in the dark in the mountains. When I think back on it, it's really weird. We are looking for a plot of land and pitching a tent. We are quite tired, so the stargazing is put off.

2. day - Ucia de Gran Fanes

We get up quite early in the morning, our roommates are still sleeping, we will get to know each other later. A quick breakfast and we set off for the first stamp at Rifugio Biella. Did I mention that stamps are a great motivator for our kids? If you manage to collect enough, you'll get a badge at the info center at the end of the journey, and who wouldn't want one?

It's almost always uphill to the hut, but after a steep climb we get an incredible view of the hut with an impressive mountain backdrop in the background. Before we go for the first stamp, we give the German tourist first aid in the form of a wide band-aid for blisters, even if the shoes are not the right size

The first stamp in the notebook is born, we continue through the beautiful countryside to the Sennes Hütte. We assure the children that the biggest climb is behind us. At the cottage we meet a large number of cyclists, i.e. electric cyclists, it spoils the experience of the place we are currently in a bit. Refreshments are postponed, the next stop will be Pederu with a famous restaurant.

Unfortunately, the journey to Pederu is not so fun, it is the most boring part, especially the last descent to the hut is on a dusty road with lots of cyclists, we expected a slightly different atmosphere here.

When we arrive at Pederu's hut, we discover that what we laboriously descended on the opposite hill, we laboriously ascend again. For the first time, Hanička suggests ending the trip and returning to the car by bus.

After a hearty and, above all, great lunch, we manage to convince Hanička to continue our adventure, she finally agrees and we can set off for the endless hill, if only we knew that we would experience countless such hills.

Although we knew how many meters of altitude awaited us every day, we kind of forgot about the weight of our backpacks and since we were dragging a five-kilo tent, it was necessary to distribute things to a greater extent among the children, and that was the biggest problem, they really weren't prepared for this, in addition it was quite hot. The great effort was made a little easier by the beautiful landscape around Peder, this part is nicknamed the Italian Yosemite.

The hill is behind us, now it's just a short walk to the cottage, where we set up a tent, reassure the children, but it was still an hour and a half.

At the cottage with the crazy name Ücia Pices Fanes, we meet a Czech couple who also decided to camp at the cottage. We asked the caretaker of the cottage for the possibility of camping, fortunately she agrees and casually adds that she has free beds in the shared bedroom, the children's smile lights up on their faces, the question of if they want to sleep in the cottage or in a tent is useless at that moment, plus there is the possibility of a shower and this is again enthusiastically welcomed by dad and mom, the children are not so enthusiastic.

For 30 euros per person we will stay in a dormitory, which is a cheaper shared room for more overnight guests, surprisingly we sleep here alone today, there will really be no snoring tourists. This time we are enjoying ourselves, sitting on the terrace, mum and dad are enjoying a well-deserved Weissbier (wheat beer) and the children exceptionally are enjoying Coke and Fanta.

3. day - Lech de Lagazió

In the morning there is a great mood, we are rested and ready for the journey. So far, it seems that we are still complaining and not experiencing the expected joy of wandering, but this is simply due to inexperience and unrealistic expectations, a heavy backpack can do its job with the psyche.

The third day became an unforgettable experience for us. We are leaving a little later, today we plan to sleep by the lake Lech de Lagazió. After a few meters we enter a fairy tale, we have never seen such a picturesque landscape in our life, this is exactly why we are here.

If there is a new life after death, I want to be a cow in this place in the new life. And it was the cow that was the first obstacle of the day, as it got in the way, it was necessary to deal with this situation and who else should take on this task than our children. While the eldest Kuba rationally retreated from the large animal and took a detour up the slope, the little girls cautiously approached the cow, eye contact was made, and the cow decided to retreat gracefully to the side of the road.

We couldn't resist and sat on the terrace of the first cottage on the way, a small snack in a fairy-tale landscape with the observation of marmots. Our next steps are towards Lake Lé Vért and why not have a picnic in a beautiful place? Pea soup is not a gourmet experience, but what can we do, we don't have time to feast in a restaurant these days.

The first climb of the day, we are racing up the hill with a group of Koreans with small backpacks and umbrellas against the sun, a bit of a different kind of hiking. Together with the Koreans, we come to the Lech de Limo lake, I call it full service, the rest of the Korean expedition is enjoying a picnic with the staff at the lake, it's a bit comical, we better continue on. The journey continues through a fairytale landscape, today we are really enjoying it.

The last snack and refill of water at the Ucia de Gran Fanes hut, and it is here that we meet two girls from Ostrava with even bigger backpacks, who will occasionally keep us company while climbing the pass. The children enjoy meeting the Donkeys, but time is pressing us inexorably, we have to go, the journey is still long.

Time is pressing and although we don't want to leave, we have to go. We replenish water, it is the last resource for a long time. We continue through an idyllic valley, the destination of today's ascent slowly appears in the distance, which awaits us at the end of the day. We come to the sign indicating the start of the climb to the Forcella di Lago pass, we need to replenish our energy before the climb, so we sit down on a bench and prepare for 370 meters of altitude over 2.5 kilometers.

To our surprise, it looks like only us and the girls from Ostrava will go up, the other travelers continue straight to the parking lot, probably nobody wants to go up the hill. The girls from Ostrava don't stay long and start ahead of us.

Time flies and we also have to go up the hill, we put on our heavy backpacks additionally burdened with a larger supply of water. Since we have trekking poles, we are doing quite well, there is something to look at. Halfway up the hill we stop at a beautiful viewpoint, where other pilgrims catch up with us.

The second half is significantly more demanding, we overtake the girls from Ostrava, who struggle a bit without poles. Finally we are in the pass of Forcella di Lago, there is a beautiful feeling of relief, but until we find out what kind of path awaits us down the pass to the lake, it looks really scary.

The Czech couple sets off with fears of relegation, as do the girls from Ostrava, who don't stay here long. Of course, we enjoy ourselves and take another snack break. Here we go, the initial fears are quickly gone, we descend very carefully, but the journey is safe and in an amazing atmosphere.

For the first time, an absolutely famous view of the lake, where we will sleep today, appears. At the same time, from here we can see the way to the Lagazuoi hut, which awaits us the next day, from here it looks like a comfortable place, but in the mountains everything is different.

We go down to the lake where we meet our fellow travelers and to our surprise they lead us to a beautiful place to sleep. It's amazing how everyone here helps and supports each other.

To our surprise, the water in the lake is quite warm, we jump into the clear water without thinking, it is the most beautiful swimming in my life, the surrounding rocks are reflected on the surface of the water and small fish sometimes bite me, but luckily they are not piranhas, but fish without teeth, so it's very pleasant.

We cook food, again soup with bread, but somehow everything tastes better in the mountains. The children are constantly going for bread, today they have an incredible appetite, but as we later found out, the children were feeding the bread to the little fish. Although our supplies got very thin, the theater was worth it.

As soon as they threw a piece of bread into the water, an incredible fight broke out for every bite, now they were behaving like piranhas.

After sunset, we set up the tent and watched the surrounding mountains, when suddenly a person appears moving in the pass, when he is almost down, another person appears. The person comes to us quite exhausted, she is a woman and of course again from the Czech Republic.

Please don't you have any water", he asks us with a desperate look in his eyes. Here it is clear what the preparations are for, luckily we have some extra water. After a while, another person comes, he is a friend of the woman without water. He is completely exhausted and the only thing he gets out is the word water. What would they do if we didn't have extra water? We have a filter for all cases.

4. day - Passo Falzarego

There was a small storm at night, luckily the children slept through it all. We get up a little later in the morning, everyone is already on their way, and as it turns out later, they did well. We start up an endless hill 550 meters high through the arid landscape, it gives us a lot of work, mainly because the sun is beating down on us with all its vigor, why didn't we get up earlier?

We reach the Lagazuoi hut, there are lot of people, it is a very visited place, with remnants from the 1st world war, the landscape is really impressive, especially the view of Tofana.

We will have lunch at the hut, unfortunately we are deprived of the supposedly breathtaking views, which were hindered by a totally cloudy sky, the storm came at a crazy pace, we barely had time to hide in the hut.

We go to hide in the cottage and order a hearty lunch. We are watching the weather forecast and it doesn't look too good even with regard to the next trip.

The decision is made to interrupt the journey at Passo Falzarego, but it is first necessary to descend along the adventure route through the tunnels dug here during the First World War. It is an alternative route and one of the greatest experiences of the entire journey.

The storm is over, but another one is coming, we move quickly to enter the tunnels. It's a little more mentally demanding in the wet, I yell at the kids to hold on to the rope. It looks a bit like the famous Lord of the Rings series here.

There isn't much time to observe nature, it's impressive here, but the storm is approaching, we'll find out when we enter the tunnels, when the first lightning strikes us, although it may seem far away, but it seems to strike right next to us, a crazy bang is heard, we quickly disappear in the tunnel, so this was really scary.

We all thoroughly enjoy the journey through the tunnel, the path is secured by a steel cable, there is a little water flowing and sometimes it is slippery. For children, it is an unforgettable adventure, an hour in the tunnel, where there is also a museum that shows how soldiers lived here during the 1st World War.

After a long time, we come out into the daylight and watch a breathtaking natural theater, the main role is played by the surrounding scenery and the receding fog that formed here after a storm.

We continue with a breathtaking traverse under a monstrous wall, the path is partially secured with a steel cable. The sidewalk is wide enough, yet I keep admonishing the children to stay close to the wall. The last key section awaits us before we enter the next tunnel for a short time.

From a distance, it looks like a difficult journey, I prefer to take our youngest child through this section, but in reality it was nothing terrible and it was possible to cross it safely with a little caution.

In Passo Falzarego we are still thinking about what to do next, the bus is supposed to arrive in 2 hours according to the timetable. The weather doesn't look very good, but we play a bit with the idea of continuing our journey. Coincidence decides, a bus arrives at the bus stop and to our surprise goes to Cortina, we quickly decide to retreat and get on the bus.

1. day a year later Passo Falzarego

A year later, at the end of June, we return to Passo Falzarego, where we interrupted our journey last year. We set out on the journey a little more experienced, with better fitness , but mainly with lighter backpacks. We bought an ultra-light tent, changed our food and significantly reduced our clothes. We have 8 days of pilgrimage from Passo Falzarego to La Pisa, from where we will take a bus back to Cortina.

I forgot how beautiful it is here, the first steps to the lake are euphoric, the first stop is right at the lake, where we had a really kitschy view of the water surface of Lago Limedes and the mountains in the background.

The next steps are still uphill, but no one is complaining, there is something to look at. I'm surprised by the small number of tourists, where everyone went, there was no movement in the parking lot, probably most of them took the cable car to Lagazuoi.

The first snow is enthusiastically used by children for skiing, as little is needed to be happy. We keep climbing up to the Averau saddle and enjoying it again, the views are unbelievable. Since we are hungry, we step up the amazing traverse under the wall towards the Averau hut, where the kitchen is supposedly famous, so why not give it a try.

There is mass tourism at the cottage, you can't really talk about peace in the mountains here. We sit down at the table and finally order a late lunch, actually it's more like dinner. Anyway, the food is great, I don't know if it's because of the breathtaking views from the restaurant, or if we're just hungry, but we enjoy every bite.

After the meal, we move a little further and think about going to the Novolau lookout hut, but we don't really want to anymore, and besides, the views are around every corner. Suddenly, a crowd of people heading towards the Cinque Torri rush past us, kind of like when people leave a metro station, we take another break. Looking at the watch, everything is clear, the crowd is running to the last cable car, suddenly we are almost alone here and the atmosphere of the place takes on a new dimension.

We come down to the Cinque Torri and we have a wonderful view. The massif of five towers is not particularly high, but its special shape and the surrounding landscape create an impression of exceptionality, it is no wonder that it is again one of the most visited places and, most importantly, a cable car leads here.

We slowly look around where we will camp today, we want a beautiful place with a view of the Cinqu Torri and not be in sight, a difficult task. To find a place, we choose a nearby restaurant with a perfect view and order drinks, including a large mug of Weissbier (for mom and dad). In the distance we can see a beautiful patch of land, although it is a bit in the eye, but it will not be a problem in the evening. Before we finish our dream plot is occupied, I don't even know how they managed it, but before we finished, there was a tent.

We'll find something later, but first we'll follow the WW1 tracks at the Cinque Torri, definitely worth a visit, but mass tourism during the day. We're looking for a possible spot for tonight on the map, it's an even nicer place and besides, you can't see us.

My first night under a tarp why didn't I test it at home. I build the tarp on four poles, I don't worry too much about tensioning it, that's enough. While the family is already lying in the tent, I wait for the first stars, but I fall asleep before they appear. Fortunately, I misplaced the tarp and the excess moisture pressed the tarp against my face. A smaller shower made for an earlier wake up, at least I can look at the stars. In the dark, the tarp is rather difficult to repair, in a hurry I manage to pierce the tarp with a stick. It's not exactly a great first night, on the other hand I have a lot to write about.

2. day - Lago di Baste

In the morning we admire the illuminated Cinque Torri and Tofana di Rozes in the background, quickly pack up and disappear, of course leaving the place in its original state. At the beginning, we are faced with a serious descent on a seemingly scary path, but in the end it is a comfortable and safe path. Then it's mostly uphill to Passo Giau.

At the cottage, we spread out on the grass and enjoy the sun. The children got hungry again, unfortunately only toast is served at the cottage and the service is a bit unpleasant. Since the road leads here it is very busy, it is time to go out into nature.

As soon as we lose sight and hearing of Passo Giau, we suddenly find ourselves in a completely different world without people and the noise of cars. The section is once again famous, although we have a hill in the scorching sun, but during the entire climb we have behind us an incredible scenery with Cingue Torri, Lagazui and Tofana.

We have no idea what awaits us at the top of the hill, the view is indescribable. I literally open my mouth to look at the small lake Lago di Baste with the monstrous Monte Pelmo in the background, this is one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites.

We are planning to sleep by the lake, we have found a nice spot, there will be dinner. According to the map, there should be a well halfway up the odd hill leading directly from the lake, which in retrospect is pretty silly. Of course, there was no well, 20 minutes of climbing completely unnecessary. Fortunately, there is a spring coming out of the lake, of course we filter the water for drinking. The sun is slowly setting and we realize that we probably won't sleep here, swarms of mosquitoes are driving us away, so we have no choice but to find another patch nearby.

We want to take a shortcut and connect to the main road Alta Via, which is 100 meters away, but the shortcut was not a very good idea, we are in the mountains after all. It takes us a while to find the way, and then we realize that there is a beautiful path right from the lake, which later connects to the main route, and also leads through an archaeological site where the skeleton of a prehistoric man was found. We finally find a flat spot, and a view of Monte Pelmo and Civetta. We can't see the stars again because we're still falling asleep in the dark.

3. day - Camp Palafavera

The morning is sunny again, today is the day when we finally take a shower after a long time, we arrive at the camp in the evening. Parents traveling with children often mention the word discomfort in their articles. If I understood it correctly, the absence of a shower and sleeping in a tent is considered discomfort for children. I don't recall our kids complaining about the lack of a shower, nor do they share our enthusiasm for running water at camp today. The only discomfort for our children is the lack of signal and especially wifi. In conclusion, I would say that it is a discomfort mainly for us.

Around lunchtime we arrive at the Citta di Fiume hut. After a hearty lunch we set off in the direction of the Palafavera campsite, again this is an alternative route, the official one continues to Passo Staulanza.

To the campsite, the route leads under the imposing Monte Pelmo mountain, later it descends steeply to the campsite, finally a shower. Camp Palafavera is mainly intended for caravans, there are only a few places for tents.

4. day  - Pian della Lóra

We wake up to a beautiful sunny morning, today we have a journey to Lago di Coldai, which is located high in the mountains at an altitude of 2143 meters above sea level. We buy a few supplies at a small shop and move across the road where the long climb up the dirt road to Casera Pioda begins, where we rejoin the official route.

It is quite busy at the crossroads, tourists who have taken the cable car from the other side are going on a day trip to the lake. We have 370 vertical meters in a short section, the path looks a bit scary from the bottom, but it's completely safe again. During the ascent we are accompanied by views of Monte Pelmo, the town of Pecol and the Palafavera campsite.

Finally we are at the Coldai hut, we have a proper lunch for the effort. I definitely recommend the restaurant, the food was great. Kuba complains of a headache and general fatigue, and it's not altitude sickness, we really aren't that high. We are deciding what to do next, it doesn't look very good, we are trying paralen. In the end we decide to go on, if it doesn't get better we will descend and end the trek.

From the hut, we climb to the top of the hill, where we get a wonderful view of Lake Coldai. We take a longer break at the lake, there are again little fish that can go crazy if you throw them a piece of bread. This time we protect our supplies from children, as they would be able to throw all our pastries at them. Kuba suddenly felt better and we were able to continue our journey.

We go around the lake then slightly uphill. At the top, another extraordinary place awaits us, a path leading under the kilometer-long north face of Civetta, which inspires enormous respect. The road is rocky, but we really enjoy it, we rank this section among the best on the entire route.

For the first time, he regrets that I have not booked accommodation, the night spent at the Tissi hut must be unforgettable, how I would like to enjoy the evening and morning views of the north face of Civetta from the terrace of the hut, which is a stone's throw away.

The road still follows the Civetta massif, the views are impressive, especially the view of Lake Alleghe and the surrounding hills, a place ripe for a picnic. We only have a small snack and continue to the place of our overnight stay, which is a beautiful meadow with a stream on the Pian de Lóan plain. The place is beautiful, but it's a freezing basin, it's really cold here. In the morning we wait for the first rays of the sun, which would finally warm us, but in vain, the sun will not shine here for a long time.

6. day - Cassera Vechia del Camp

We leave for the Vazzoler hut, which is located in a beautiful place surrounded by the pointed peaks of the Dolomites. We are here too early, lunch is out of the question, however we can't resist the dessert, coffee and hot chocolate and it was definitely worth it, the second best cheesecake in my life (the best is of course from my wife).

We are enjoying ourselves, but if we had known what awaited us... I personally consider this section to be the most demanding, especially psychologically. We descend from the cottage along a wide dirt road.

At the signpost, we enter the forest and start to climb, the trees are getting smaller and we can see beautiful mountains again. We reach a plentiful spring, where we pump water and cool off a little. It is quite warm, the journey is quite difficult, we have to overcome 500 meters in height.

The path leads through a gravel field, at the end of the climb comes the key section, a narrow traverse under a wall with a steep drop on the other side. It looked downright scary from a distance, it was the most mentally demanding part of the whole trip.

On the other hand, I wouldn't say it's dangerous, the path is wide enough and it doesn't slide too much on the gravel, but it would probably be a lot more difficult without poles. It is also necessary to realize that we are here with children and the point of view of the parents is a little different, and in addition, I am a bit of a hysterical father.

After overcoming the traverse, there is still a short secured section, just hold on to the steel rope and it's over. We come to the Vechia del Camp bivouac, which I was really looking forward to, it is a freely available hut for about 10 pilgrims, which will provide you with a luxurious refuge by current standards.

The only drawback was the strong stench from the smoke, it might have stuck with us, which is the problem, but why not make a fire in the fireplace when it's quite cold here. Even the cracked walls of the chimney were not alarming enough for our action, so I made a fire in the fireplace. All of a sudden we found ourselves in a totally smoky cabin, we quickly opened all the windows, the smoke was pouring out, maybe someone wouldn't call the fire department, I still don't know how they would get here.

The result is even more stench and significantly more cold, everything will not go well. There is a stream near the cottage, luckily there is no shortage of water. We are trying to ask for a cottage for the last day of Pian de Fontaine, but unfortunately, as we suspected, it is full, luckily there is a beautiful chalet a short distance behind the cottage. We're going to bed, maybe we'll fall asleep in that stench.

6. day - Malga Mochesin

In the morning, we think about what to do next, it looks like rain and according to the guide, the most difficult section, the so-called knife-edge ridge, or a narrow ridge that must be overcome, awaits us. We leave the decision to the children, for now the path is clear, we set off to the Carestiato hut and then descend to Passo Duran.

We have giant toasts at the hut and the final decision is made, we go on and if the weather worsens, we descend at the Pramperet hut. We have to walk a bit on the asphalt, a viper gets in our way, the children wait for the animal to crawl away to safety. We can go on, the weather is really starting to deteriorate and it's just a matter of when the rain will start.

The path is more or less the same, we traverse along a gravel road, but the views are beautiful. In the afternoon we arrive at the destination of our trip to Malga Moschesin. Two friends are there, one is from Switzerland and the other is from Holland. Fortunately, they decide to build a tent, we occupy the first smaller shepherd's hut, which is a bit cozier, but don't expect anything extra, the clay floor, stone walls and a roof over your head should be enough. There is a spring of water at the shepherd's hut, there is no need to filter it.

For us, thanks to the atmosphere of the place, it was the most beautiful sleep on the trek. In the evening, also arrived Mike from Colorado, I think his name was Mike, I can't remember, but he made himself comfortable in the upper lodge and was the last pilgrim to arrive. We sat for a while, discussed the prospects for the next day with the others and went to bed, the morning wiser in the evening.

7. day - Pian de Fontana

Unfortunately, it didn't look very good in the morning, it's drizzling a bit and it's foggy, conditions that aren't exactly ideal for the hardest part of the journey, at least according to the guide. On the other hand, nature has prepared an incredible spectacle for us.

Everyone is still asleep, we set off alone to the ruins of the Forte di Moschesin. There are two routes to choose from the fortress, we choose the unofficial one, which should be 10 minutes shorter and also looks nicer. So we turn right after the fortress in the direction of Pramperet.

This section became unforgettable for us, we witnessed an absolutely incredible natural theater. The wind began to blow and the fog began to move, the mountains that had not been seen before began to be revealed and covered again and so on and on.

After half an hour we reach the Pramperet hut, it starts to rain. We meet other compatriots at the cottage and compare the data of our radars. Since the compatriots of the Alta Via go in the opposite direction from south to north, we find out the difficulty of the next journey. They may disagree a bit, but it looks like that shouldn't be a problem. For some, it's fine, someone climbs on all fours on the ridge, but it doesn't slide, and that's important information for us.

We have tea at the hut and rather ask the hut owner how he sees the journey to Fontana, he looks at our children and recommends the descent. However, when he discovers that the children are putting stamps in their journals, he understands that we are going the Alta Via route, changes his mind and approves of our trip. In addition, we receive information that places have become available at the Pian de Fontana cottage, it has been decided, we are moving on.

We are checking the current state of the weather, it looks like a 2 hour window of better weather (it shouldn't rain that much). You need to speed up and reach the key location as soon as possible. We take the backpack of the youngest member of the team, Terezka, and set off at a fast pace.

We dive into more and more fog, it starts to rain slightly in the higher parts, we take our raincoats, but after 10 minutes we take them off again, it's not raining anymore and we feel like we're in a hot tub in our raincoat. We check the radar and it looks like we will avoid any more rain, we can finally slow down and enjoy the ride.

A key ridge section and silhouette of a figure can be seen in the distance, perhaps our new American friend, but it's far away and in the fog. The climb to the ridge begins, but we are no longer alone, a German couple and a pair of older ladies from Australia are making their way to the top, and it is these ladies who mention that they have already met us at the Cinque Torri. They originally went in a group of 7, but in Passo Duran the five of them decided to end the trek due to bad weather, and those are our free places on Pian de Fontane.

The ridge does not look threatening, we continue without any fear and before we know it, we are standing on the top. We check the map to see if it really was the dreaded section. According to the guide, there should be one of the most beautiful views in the Dolomites from here, it's foggy, we can't really see much.

We are in a place made for a perfect picnic, it is cold and really windy here, the picnic will probably be at the cottage. Nevertheless, we have a quick snack, the other pilgrims are gone, it wasn't such a quick snack, we are alone here and it's a strange feeling.

We continue alone and enjoy the surrounding landscape, the wind stops blowing and the climate is immediately more pleasant. The landscape is getting greener and greener, we feel like we're in paradise here, rhododendrons are blooming everywhere and the grass is deep green here, it is fabolous.

Now we have a crazy descent of over 700 meters in height, sometimes secured by a steel rope. The impressive landscape offers a fresh spectacle, we just don't see the promised ibex and chamois, no wonder, our children are a little louder and perfectly scare everything within earshot.

We literally hang out and enjoy the atmosphere of a deserted place. A hut can be seen in the distance, but we still have a fairly long descent ahead of us. The Belluno Dolomites are an amazing culmination of the entire trek and we still have no idea what awaits us on the last day.

We arrive at the cottage around three o'clock, dinner is still a long way off, so why not have a delicious coffee and dessert. Pian de Fontana is in a wonderful place, we sit, eat and enjoy. Before dinner, we decide to take a shower, but we didn't realize that if there is no sun, there is no hot water. Experiential showering turns into quick cleansing.

We will enjoy coffee and dessert on the terrace while waiting for dinner. Today we don't have to build a tent, we enjoy the comfort. Finally it's dinner time, we choose from four starters and 4 main courses. Who could have guessed that an appetizer is a giant portion, after which there is no free place for a second course. I don't know if Italians have better digestion, but it is almost impossible to eat both courses, and we still have dessert waiting for us, which we save for breakfast.

Today we will sleep on a normal bed, albeit in a shared bedroom with a lot of smelly feet, but relatively comfortable. We get assigned beds, the cottage manager reserves a section for our family, we go to bed.

8. day - the last way to La Pissa

In the morning the sky is as if it has been swept away, a beautiful last day awaits us, but according to the map it is also quite hectic. The bus leaves for us at one o'clock, but the time shows us a 5-hour walk. Unfortunately, we don't enjoy breakfast very much, we have to eat something quickly and we're leaving.

At the beginning, we have a climb of less than 300 meters, which I almost ran up. From here it's only downhill, a crazy descent of 1,450 meters awaits us. The road is quite an adrenaline rush (view of the hysterical father of the children), we descend along a narrow path on a grassy slope with a giant drop.

However, it's probably the most spectacular part of the whole trip, if I was alone I'll enjoy it to the fullest, but seeing the giant drop makes me a little nervous. The children are certainly not afraid, the hysterical father is probably a bit embarrassing in their eyes.

We arrive at the Bianchet hut, where our roommate from Casera del Mochesin greets us. We exchange a few words and finally learn that we only have an hour's walk ahead of us and it's only 10 o'clock. There is probably a mistake somewhere on the maps. We grab some refreshments and head out on the rest of our grand adventure.

The last part is a dirt road with a nice view of a strange mountain. On the way, I have mixed feelings, on the one hand, it is euphoria from the completed journey, but on the other hand, I am sad that it is already the end of an impressive journey.

In Belluno, we go to pick up a badge for successfully completing the journey. On the way back we go for an excellent pizza, we don't rush anywhere and this turns out to be a small mistake when the local railway employee informs us that all the connections to Cortina have just missed us, but he adds with a smile that the next connections will leave in 3 hours. We arrive in Cortina in the evening and successfully end our unforgettable adventure.

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Užitečné odkazy


Bus Toblach - Lago di Braies

The way Alta Via 1


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