Trekking the Dolomites, Alta Via 1 July 2 - 8, 2020

Elisabeth Moceri made it back to her secondary residence, France! She and Kathy took advantage of the opportunity to hike the Alta Via 1, in the Dolomites.


Mo Moceri

Slovenia, March 2020
Livigno, April 2019
Norway, April 2018
Silvretta ski, April 2017
Mont Thabor ski tour, March 2017
Gran Paradiso ski, April 2016
Alps climbing, June 2015
Vanoise Haute Route, March 2015
Val Maira, February 2014
Albula skiing, March 2013
Queyras, February 2011
Summer Haute Route, July 2010
Alps climbing, July 2009
Dolomite skiing, March 2009
Ortler skiing, April 2008
Stubai skiing, March 2008
Alps climbing, August 2007
Silvretta skiing, March 2007
Alps climbing, July 2005
Ötztal skiing, April 2005
Ortler skiing, April 2004
Mount Kenya, September 2002
Berner skiing, May 2002
Cho Oyu Expedition, October 2001



Return to all recent trips


Bad weather and a wish to not repeat terrain we'd already travelled (on skis, in 2009), we began our trek about halfway through the classic itinerary, at the Passo Giau. A crisp and sunny morning, forecast to become quite wet later in the day.


At Focella di Giau.


The promised change in the weather did in fact eventually arrive.


Time to skedaddle!


The next day was a long one, with many twists, turns and crossroads. Thank goodness for good maps, a guidebook, and GPS in a pinch!


Passing by the idyllic Lago Coldai, just below the pass of the same name.


The trail drops to circumnavigate the imposing massif of the Civetta.


Ambience Eigerwand! An intimidating wall, and a humbling memorial to a local lad who lived and died in the mountains.


Things get a bit gentler and more pastoral as we leave the Civetta behind us. A perfect picnic spot, we are by now too eager to see the end of the trail, to stop and smell the flowers.


The mists roll in as evening approaches, making the rock formations and cliffs look even more mysterious and forbidding.


At last our resting place appears, the friendly Rifugio Vazzoler.


A bit of whimsy here.


Social distancing at the hut.


The next morning, the clouds have lifted and we can see the unbelievable setting we find ourselves in.


Orchids host some kind of encounter...


Further along, dewdrops presist long into the morning on Alpine Virgin's Bower in the cool shadows of the mountain.


Every day on this trip was so long and passed through so many different kinds of environments, that they all seemed like several days in one. On this day we started out in cool shady woods, passed over frozen avalanche debris where we had to hack out steps with a sharp rock, then over steep rocky cols and ridges, and back down into lush woods and hot sunshine. This little shrine with its quirky modern offerings, lay just below our high point at the Forcella del Camp.


Descending the other side, we pass below the Ferrata Constantini, looking very long, difficult, and hot! Luckily our way is not so strenuous, but we still have several kilometers to go before we reach...


The lovely and welcoming Rifugio San Sebastiano at Passo Duran. A good meal, a hot shower, a comfy bed.


The next day, another scorcher as we pass over dry alluvial moonscapes...


But once again, a dramatic change of landscape as we pass by the abandoned barracks at the Forcella del Moschesin.


It's not too much further to the Rifugio Sommariva / Pramparet. A cozy shelter in what turned out to be a quite violent evening rainstorm.



Our next-to-last day dawns clear, cool and beautiful with a slight breeze, perfect for the challenging walk ahead, up over the very steep flanks of the Cime de Zita. Starting out, we soon leave the hut far below.


Our first pass, the Portela del Piazedel, is our gateway into this wild and lonely plateau landscape of limestone, wildflowers, and a few snowfields remaining from the winter (more sharp rock step chopping! What fun!)


Things get fun and steep as we cross the steep ridge, startling chamois in the next valley, who go barrelling down over steep bluffs and out of sight.


King of the Alps!


Very near our high point now. It will be all downhill from here (well, almost).


Down into the deserted, wild and beautiful Van de Zita de Fora.


The limestone is softened by a lush green skin of plant life here.


Almost a little too lush in here! Better not to stray off the path here as giant dock and adenostyle hide leg-breaking potholes in the limestone bedrock!



More loveliness everywhere we step.


Almost down to our hut, our last of the trip.


The Rifugio Pian di Fontana, in its gorgeous setting.


The view from our dormitory, a snugly renovated shepherd's hut. By the way there was a modern day shepherd here too, with his dog, sharing meals with the hutkeepers.


Empties loaded up and ready to be shipped down to the valley.


The charms of the hut life.


Our last morning. We drop into beech forest, descending steeply, and climbing back up again just as steeply.


Another brief, and final, climb into the alpine zone before we leave the mountains for good.


Fire lilies looking exotic among the more subtle mountain flowers...


Including this one the most subtle of all, and elusive too. But we finally spotted a few among the steep rocky walls overhanging our trail.


Back into the woods for the final descent to town.


A last stop for refreshement midway.


Cool springs beckon as the heat cranks up!


And it's good-bye, for now, to the heights. A walk in wild beauty that really refreshed after the long Covid 19 stagnation. Thank you Mo for the suggestion!


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