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Hiking the Alta Via Route in the Dolomites

Augustina Lagos Marmol, Dolomite Mountains
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8 day
Augustina Lagos Marmol, Dolomite Mountains
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  • Alta Via II presents a more technical challenge but comes with an undeniably great reward. Remaining at higher elevations throughout (as high as 2,900m / 9,514′), you’ll be greeted with varied terrain, from the top of Piz Boé, across the Sella Massif, to the Valley of Shadows beneath the majestic Marmolada. Travel through Dolomite villages, via ferratas, sharp ridges, and steep slopes over 8 days and experience the unique Ladin culture and cuisine. 

    • Arrive in Alta Badia and check into your hotel. Corvara, situated in a wide basin-shaped valley at the foot of the Sassongher Massif, is one of several villages in Alta Badia, a sunny hollow on the south side of the Val Badia. In the afternoon, meet with your guide, who will provide a trip briefing, maps, and orientation, and answer any questions you have. Depending on when you arrive, you may have time to explore one of the six villages of Alta Badia. 

      Accommodation: Hotel in Alta Badia (D)

    • In the morning take a private transfer to Passo Gardena (2,120m / 6,955′), then hike up to the Passo Cir (2,470m / 8,100′) and follow a wider trail on leading to the Forcella Ciampai Pass (2,365m / 7,760′) and up to the Rifugio Puez (2,475m / 8,120’) where you can stop for lunch. A final three-hour hike downhill on an easy and panoramic trail brings you to the town of Colfosco and then onto Corvara (1,560m / 5,120′). 

      Hiking:15 km / 9,3 miles
      Elevation: 590 m / 1,935′ ascent, 1,150 m / 3,775′ descent
      Accommodation: Hotel in Alta Badia (B, D)

    • Today begins the first day of your hut-to-hut adventure. Hike the enormous fortress-shaped Sella Massif—the natural beauty of the surrounding Sella walls makes the views some of the most impressive in the entire region. Hike toward Cascate del Pisciadù (the Pisciadù Waterfalls). Continue hiking through Val di Mesdì, under the Dent de Mezdì (2,881m / 9,452′), through the Val di Bosli to a hut located on the northern terraces of the Sella Group (2,585m / 8,481′), boasting fantastic panoramic views of the Pisciadù Valley. There is also a small but fabulous turquoise alpine lake next to the rifugio—perfect for relaxing or exploring. 

      Hiking: 7 km / 4.3 miles
      Elevation: 1,155m / 3,789′ ascent, 127m / 417′ descent
      Accommodation: Mountain hut (B, D)

    • Start your day with a steep ascent through the Valun dl Pisciadú to the Plateau des Mesules. Climb up to the highly panoramic Antersass (2,900m / 9,514′). A gentle descent leads to another steep ascent across scree that brings you to the top of Piz Boé (3,152m / 10,341′), the highest peak of the Sella Massif. Enjoy lunch at Rifugio Capanna Fassa and admire incredible 360-degree views of the mountains. When you’re full and rested, descend to your hut for tonight (2,536m / 8,320′). Situated atop a natural rock balcony, the views you can enjoy from here are incomparable! 

      Hiking: 8 km / 5.5 miles
      Elevation: 650 m / 2,099′ ascent, 700 m / 2,296′ descent
      Accommodation: Mountain hut (B, D)

    • After a hearty alpine breakfast, hike under the majestic Sella Massif, and down to Passo Pordoi (2,239m / 7,345′). Continue onto the “Viel del Pan” (“Way of the Bread”) to Passo Fedaia. This footpath stretches right across the mountain and was once used by flour merchants who traded flour for handcrafted goods and other products. It is an easy path and one of the most spectacular footpaths in the Dolomites, offering incomparable views of the majestic Marmolada (3,343m / 10,964′). Often referred to as “Queen of the Dolomites,” Marmolada is the highest mountain in this range, and home to its largest glacier.

      Continue hiking to Fedaia Pass (2,057m / 6,749′), where you will spend the night. 

      Hiking: 16,1 km / 10.0 miles
      Elevation: 440 m / 1,450’ ascent, 920 m / 3,050’’ descent
      Accommodation: Mountain hut (B, D)

    • In the morning, you’ll be transferred to Malga Ciapela and hike west along the river Torrente Pettorina. The trail climbs steadily through thick forest to reach pasture clearings. After you pass the farm Malga Ciapela Agriturismo, the uphill section takes you to Malga Ombreta (1,904m / 6,246′). This farm marks the entrance to Valle Ombreta, the “Valley of Shadow,” named for its position in the shadows of Marmolada to the north. At the end of the valley you will reach Rifugio Onorio Falier (2,074m / 6,804′), right under the imposing south walls of the Marmolada. Hike up to Passo de Ombreta (2,702m / 8,864′), and then descend to your rifugio for tonight. 

      Hiking: 10.4 km / 6.5 miles
      Elevation: 1,300 m / 4,2650′ ascent, 700 m / 2,300′ descent
      Accommodation: Mountain hut (B, D)

    • From your rifugio, the path soon leads over a steep rocky area and then reaches a large crater, the Val de le Cirele, continuing to the Pas de le Cirele (2,683m / 8,802′). From here, descend numerous hairpin turns to the dramatic Valle di Tasca. This has to be the best scree slope in the Dolomites, with stones just the right size to make it an effortless and extremely enjoyable descent! Reach the green oasis of Fuciade (1,982m / 6,502′) and have a private transfer to your hotel. 

      Your luggage will be waiting for you at the hotel.

      Hiking: 10.4 km / 6.5 miles
      Elevation: 1,300 m / 4,2650′ ascent, 700 m / 2,300′ descent
      Accommodation: Hotel in Moena (B, D)

    • After a relaxing last breakfast, prepare for departure as you reminisce about your last five days spent hiking through one of the most special places in the world and meeting incredible people!

      • Trip briefing
      • Logistics and map of the area
      • 2 nights in a 3-star hotel in Alta Badia
      • 1 night in a 3-star hotel in Moena
      • 4-5 nights in mountain huts (shared dormitories)
      • All breakfasts & dinners
      • Local English speaking UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide (guided trips)
      • Duffel bag transfer on day 5 – please bring your own duffel bag.
      • Luggage transfer from first to last hotel
      • Local tourist tax
      • Italian VAT tax

      Airport transfers available on request
      Luggage transfers available on request

    • What you get on this Alta Via hiking adventure:

      • Local English-speaking hiking guide
      • 7 to 8 days of hiking, depending on your chosen itinerary
      • Accommodation in hotels and mountain huts with shared dormitories 
      • All breakfasts and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
      • Group shuttle from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Cortina d’Ampezzo and back
      • Transfers in the area as indicated in the itinerary
      • Local tourist tax
      • Italian VAT tax
      • A €15 donation to Wow Nature’s reforestation projects makes your trip carbon-neutral
      • All logistics and map of the area

      What’s not included:

      • Lunches, personal drinks, coffee and snacks
      • Luggage transfers (not included in the open group trips) — clients must hike with a pack weighing roughly 15lbs. The huts have all the food and bedding (some huts may not have sleeping sheets/sleeping bag liner so it’s best to bring this)
      • Everything not indicated in the itinerary
      • Any additional expenses
      • Travel insurance
      • Guide gratuities — optional
    • The Alta Via I hiking adventure can be completed by any normal fit hiker with previous experience with multi-day hikes, who are prepared to walk for between 4 and 8 hours per day. The most important thing to take into account is the significant number of days that you will spend trekking. It will greatly help your enjoyment of the trek to arrive fit at the start, used to walks of similar distance and height gain to those that you are about to face.  There are no via ferrata sections on this tour.

      The Alta Via II hiking tour is only advisable for experienced trekkers with surefootedness, experience in the mountains, and a head for heights. It is undeniably more strenuous than the Alta Via I, remaining at higher elevations throughout (as high as 2,900m / 9,514′), and with great reward. The Alta Via II includes sharp ridges and steep slopes, which require some previous experience in the mountains.

      Keep in mind that you’ll be carrying a backpack, probably around 15 lbs. You will have to pack your own clothing, toiletries, and other personal items. No need to worry about cooked food and bedding—the huts (except a linen or sleeping bag liner which is recommended).

    • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Backpack with a load-bearing waist harness (30-50L bag)
      • Smaller duffel-bag
      • Waterproof backpack cover
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Trekking poles — optional
      • Light pillow case and silk or nylon sheets*
      • Small towel for the shower
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Head torch (for visits to the Lagazuoi area)
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      *Sleeping sheets are often provided by the huts, but it’s always best to bring your own just in case. 

      Your guides will provide via ferrata equipment, including a helmet, harness, and lanyard with a shock absorber.

      Here’s a list of clothes you need to bring:

      The summer months have warm temperatures and plenty of sun. While temperatures may reach 25°C (80°F) on the valley floors during the day, evenings can be as cool as 10°C (50°F). As you gain elevation, it will get colder. For every 1,000m you climb, the temperature will drop for 6.5°C (3.6°F for every 1,000 feet). What may be a 27°C (80°F) day in Alta Badia could be 15°C (60°F) on one of the summits during the day, and 0°C (30s°F) in the evening. 

      • Long hiking pants
      • Thermal layers (long-sleeved top and long pants for the cold nights)
      • Light shorts for warmer days or for lounging in the rifugio
      • Lightweight down jacket
      • Lightweight Gore-Tex, or equivalent, rain/wind parka and pant
      • Lightweight T-shirts
      • Lightweight hiking socks, liner socks, and athletic socks
      • Sleepwear
      • Baseball cap or sun hat with wide brim
      • 3/4-finger leather glove for dexterity for via ferratas
      • Sturdy hiking boots, and make sure they’re broken in before your trip
      • Hiking boot or shoe that accepts crampons for AVII trips
      • Lightweight shoes, slippers or flip flops (hiking boots are not allowed in most rifugios)

      Synthetic fabrics are the most effective barrier against the cold. They provide the best insulation, they are light in weight, wick away perspiration, and dry quickly if wet.

    • During your Alta Via adventure, you will stay in a combination of hotels and mountain huts.

      The huts in the Dolomites are of a higher standard than most mountain huts, so if you are used to Alpine refuges you will be pleasantly surprised. You will mainly stay in the most comfortable specifically selected huts on the route.  

      If you wish to stay in single rooms with private/shared bathrooms, you will need to pay an additional single room charge. If you happen to be booking the trip alone and no other participants are willing to share a double or twin room, you will be required to pay the single room charge.

    • Huts available en route serve delicious hearty meals at reasonable prices.

      A vegetarian option is always available but options for Celiacs and vegans are very limited. We suggest that you carry your own snacks and supplements, and let us know if you have any particular requests or allergies. 

    • Group sizes:

      • The tours listed above are not private. All pricing is per person.
      • The standard group size on these Dolomites hiking tours is 5-6 guests and 1 guide, and the maximum group size is 10. Solo traveler are welcome!
      • It takes a minimum of 4-6 participants for the tour to be arranged.
      • Private room supplement in mountain huts can be booked based on availability

      If you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

      Age requirements:

      • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

      If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • To get to the Dolomites, most people fly into Venice International Airport Marco Polo (VCE). Another options include Klagenfurt (2.5 hours), Trieste (2.5 hours), Verona (3 hours), and Innsbruck (3 hours) and a small regional Bolzano Airport in the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy.

      If you’re flying into Venice Marco Polo Airport, a group shuttle from there to Cortina d’Ampezzo is included in the price of the tour (and back as well). The group shuttle departs at 2 pm on arrival day and at 9 am on departure day.

      Venice is 2.5 hours away from Corvara and 2 hours from Cortina d’Ampezzo. Bolzano is about an hour away from Corvara and 2 hours from Cortina d’Ampezzo.

      You can rent a car or take a shuttle service from both airports. Private transfer by the guides is available on request.

    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Dolomites, Italy, please refer to the Italian Ministry of Health website.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

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