Set off for a spectacular journey across the Italian Dolomites, the magnificent range with Marmolada as its highest mountain, at an altitude of 10,964 feet. Explore historic remnants of World War I and marvel at Serrai di Sottoguda, a scenic canyon created by glacier erosion. For dazzling vistas, summit the highest point of the Sella massif, Piz Boe, with moon-like landscape. Visit the imposing Franzei waterfall and see the Madonna dei Serrai statue hidden in a natural grotto. Wrap up long days with traditional cuisine in charming mountain huts. This one special 2019 departure will be led by legendary MT Sobek guide Sergio Fitch-Watkins.
Hike over 8 miles of the spectacular Alpe di Siusi, the largest high-altitude alpine plateau in Europe
Sleep 5 nights tucked away in mountain rifugios - comfortable inns accessible only by foot, and set in a beautiful landscape shared only with the moon and stars
Summit Piz Boe at 10,341', the Sella group's highest mountain offering majestic panoramas
Land at Venice airport and enjoy a private group transfer to the valley of Val Gardena/Gröden (located 5,000' above sea level), known for excellent rock climbing, traditional woodcarving, and a native language called Ladin. Meet your MT Sobek guide at the hotel for a short trip briefing and enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Today take in Alpe di Siusi, the largest high-altitude alpine plateau in Europe, offering front-row seats facing the Dolomites. From Compatsch, travel southwest for the first part of the hike, crossing forests and lush meadows surrounded by magnificent mountains and massifs. Hike to Rifugio Alpe di Tires (8,005'), a perfect place for lunch, at the foot of the Denti di Terrarossa peaks. Then continue on a ridge walk on mostly level ground, with great views over Alpe di Siusi/Seiseralm on your left and Val Di Fassa/Val Duron on your right.
Today take a fantastic hike across the Catinaccio massif, one of the most recognized landmarks of the Dolomites. Along the way, follow ridge paths, ascend on switchbacks dropping into a desolate stone desert valley, hike past glittering lakes and alpine huts, cross mountain passes, flank slopes, and take in panoramic vistas of the Torri del Vajolet and the eastern wall of the Catinaccio - the heart of a renowned alpine climbing area. Descend to Vigo Di Fassa by cable car, and transfer to Passo San Pellegrino.
From the rifugio, walk on green pastures and through woods heading west. The path soon leads over a steep rocky area, probably the best scree in the Dolomites. Several hairpin turns lead to a large crater, the Val de le Cirele, continuing to the Pas de le Cirele (2,683m/8,802'), between the Cima dell' Uomo group and Punta Zigole. Begin your descent into the lush green Val de le Cirele valley and reach your rifugio for the night. Note that duffel bag transfer is not included today.
From your rifugio, follow a trail along Alta Via 2 that zigzags its way up a scree section, then turn towards Passo Ombretta, the highest point of today's hike with 8,862'. Begin your descent to Rifugio O. Falier, reach the hamlet of Malga Ciapela and walk downhill to the majestic Serrai di Sottoguda canyon, created by the erosion of the glaciers. Take in the Franzei waterfall as well as the little church of Sant'Antonio and the statue of the Madonna dei Serrai, set in a natural grotto. Reach the charming town of Sottoguda and check into your hotel.
Transfer to Lake Fedaia, a man-made lake at the foot of the Marmolada glacier (10,965'). From here, follow a long traverse with some steep ascents to reach an altitude of around 7,874 feet, leading you to the Pordoi Pass (7,346'). As you hike, marvel at the incomparable views of the Marmolada massif and its glacier. Once you reach Pordoi, choose between two options, both around 7.5 miles: hike to Rifugio Kostner via the WWI Memorial or take the cable car up to Sass Pordoi and hike at the top of the Sella massif.
After breakfast, hike downhill to Passo Campolongo and begin an uphill hike towards Rifugio Incisa. Following the well-marked trails to Pralongia, walk through flower-filled meadows dotted with peacefully grazing cows. Reach Rifugio Pralongia (6,920'), a great spot for lunch. After lunch, descend to San Cassiano on easy jeep tracks or hike the easy path to Piz Sorega and descend by gondola.
After breakfast, transfer to Capanna Alpina (5,663'), a restaurant built on the edge of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Reserve, a spectacular area comprising approximately 62,000 acres and strewn with old log-built farmsteads. From here, begin your hike with a steep ascent of one hour, and arrive at Col de Locia (6,788'), a fairytale valley surrounded by mighty mountains. Hike up to Lavarella peak (10,023'), the second highest mountain in the Dolomites group. Descend on the same route and reach your rifugio home for tonight.
Leave the rifugio this morning to hike south on gentle curves out of a steep valley (or on steeper shortcuts) to Passo di Limo (7,126'). Past an old military building and wooden cross, hike down to Malga Fanes Grande (6,903'), a cheery converted farm offering light meals. From here, start descending towards the town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, passing forests of spruce and Arolla pines and the white rock folds and waves of Monte Vallon Bianco. Check into your hotel in town and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
After breakfast, transfer to Rifugio Auronzo and start the loop hike around the soaring Tre Cime di Lavaredo, a Dolomites landmark known for its three unique jagged peaks. On the hike, see the shapes mutate from sharp points to soft corners, and find reminders of WWI, including tunnels, bunkers, and barracks. In the afternoon, take a transfer back to the hotel to relax or wander around town before the farewell dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, take a private group transfer to the Venice airport.
MT Sobek has been crafting classic adventures in the Dolomites for decades, giving us the know-how to create epic new hiking trips.
We are only offering one special departure of this hardcore hike, which will be led by MT Sobek guiding legend Sergio Fitch-Watkins.
This journey includes the highest and most famous peaks of the Dolomites and perfectly blends days on the trail with rewarding evenings.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Strenuous hikes through majestic mountains and valleys and taking in WWI heritage, alpine huts, and mountain towns.
Charming 3- and 4-star hotels in quaint alpine towns and basic lodging in scenic rifugio mountain huts.
The Dolomites are a mountain climate. It can be very hot at lower elevations, but can also be freezing above 7,000'.
We highly recommend that you bring hiking poles on this trip, due to steap, rocky, and shifting terrain.
No. The best part of staying in the mountain rifugios is getting away from it all, in the peace and seclusion of the mountains, with no media interruptions.
It depends on your service provider. Cell phone service is usually not available on Days 4 and 8.
No. Most of the bathrooms at the rifugios are shared bathrooms.
This trip moves from point-to-point each day, and there will not be vehicle support on most days. Skipping hikes will not always be possible, accept in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation.
Yes, we will have a limited number of both private single and private double/twin rooms.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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