Most people who visit Cortina d’Ampezzo usually do so for a few days, maybe just for a relaxing weekend immersed in the pristine Dolomitian nature. If you only have a few days at your disposition, it is essential to choose which your itineraries through the Cortina mountain tops will be, since there is a wide variety of options to choose from.
For this reason, today we wish to share with you 2 classical Cortina d’Ampezzo summer excursions: Nuvolau – Cinque Torri and the Sass De Stria on the Falzarego Passage. We wish you a thrilling trekking experience.
Nuvolau – Cinque Torri
DEPARTURE – ARRIVAL: Col Gallina Refuge – Bai De Dònes Refuge
TIME: 5 hours
TYPE: half ring
DROP / HEIGHT DIFFERENCE:+ 520 m – 675 m
CAI PATHS: 419 – 439 – 425
This itinerary should be easily achievable within 5 hours. From the Col Gallina Refuge (2054 m) on the Dolomites S.R. 48, southbound, take the CAI path n. 419, passing next to the Limides Lake and eventually reaching the Averau mountain pass.
At that point you will cross the southern slope of Mount Averau, on top of which was positioned a World War I Italian observation point; you will then pass through the Nuvolau mountain pass, climb up the northern crest of the Nuvolau refuge, which is the pride and joy of the CAI Cortina section: It is a true “Eagle’s nest” on the mountain top, built in 1883. It has a very significant value in the Dolomite trekking history, being the first and oldest Dolomitian Refuge.
The view you will enjoy from the mountain top is spectacular: you will be able to observe the Cortina basin and all the peaks beyond 3000 metres, from the San Martino blades, to the Breonian Apls, all the way to the Alti Tauri national park with the Groslockner (3797). Furtheron you will start descending through the Squirrel Refuge (Scoiattoli) skirting through the Cinque Torri (Five Towers) northern ridge, where you can visit the stations and trenches of the italian second line during WWI as well as observe the remains of the Trephor tower, fallen in 2004 due to the “overturning” phenomenon.
At this point you will continue descending through a stretch of road and then on the Bain de Dònes Lake path, reaching the Cinque Torri chair lift departure station, final destination of the the excursion.
Sass de Stria
DEPARTURE – ARRIVAL: Passo Falzarego
TIME: 4 hours
DROP / HEIGHT DIFFERENCE:+ 370 m – 740 m
PATHS: not numbered.
Are 5 hours of excursion too many? Well, then we propose a shorter trekking path of 4 hours, although containing a short geared-up tract: you will enjoy this option better if you prefer a somewhat more relaxed Cortina vacation, without giving up a little adventure. It is not a CAI-indicated path, but it still always remains a Cortina excursion classic.
The Sass de Stria (height 2477 m) is erected on the Falzarego path, in front of the Tofana di Rozes and the al Lagazuoi. Departing from the Falzarego path, you will start heading toearfs the Valparola path, encountering the track on the left side of the state highway, where it is more than likely yo see numerous rock climbers training. The ascent to its peak’s cross is a brief but interesting walk, which retraces War trenches and paths.
This mountain was at the centre of harsh battles druning World War I: after the Tre Sassi (Three Rock) Fort (where the War Museum is situated) was heavily attacked by the italian artillery and had to be evacuated, the Sass de Stria became the new Austrian fortification with the scope of defending the Badia and the Pusteria valleys against italian attacks coming from the Falzarego Path. The italian army instead, was situated in the Lagazuol peaks’ trenches.
It is possible to park just a walk away from the Valparola Refuge and take a path which ascends, with a medium slope, towards the mountain top. Initially the path (indicated for its short route with numbers 18 to 23) runs on grass and rocks and does not present any major difficulty. After a couple of tens of minutes you will get to the geared-up tract, which consists of a series of stairs and steel cables which will help you go through the remaining war trenches. The path is not hard at all and with a little bit of attention it is never dangerous. Here you will fing interesting Austrian first line trenches and tunnels.
Once arrived at the cross, it is possivle to admire a beautiful spectacle which goes from the Averau to the Nuvolau, to the Lagazuoi, to the Badia valley, the Col di Lana-monte Sief, the Cinque Torri, al the way to the Pelmo and the Civetta. The return will be undertaken through the same path taken to get there.