Holimites’ travel diary on the Dolomites Alta Via 1

Lake Braies

Hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts have recently returned to the Dolomites. Those that were hiking with Holimites found that they were able to enjoy the nature and trails of the Alta Via 1 almost entirely by themselves.

Our Dolomites Alta Via 1

For Holimites, the summer season is on! Some days ago, our first guided tour of the summer 2020 started. Guide and guests are excited and super happy to go back in the beloved mountains. The best way to truly enjoy the beauty of nature is to do a hiking tour from hut to hut.
Of course, due to the Coronavirus restrictions (COVID-19), this year our groups are smaller than in the previous years… but this doesn’t stop us!

Our group on the Dolomites Alta Via 1

July 10th, 08.00 am – 1st stage

The Holimites van takes us to the famous and often photographed Lake Braies, trailhead of the Dolomites Alta Via #1. It’s a sunny morning and we can’t wait to start our adventure. After the ritual photos, we start to hike uphill towards Forcella Sora Forno. And here we are, on the Sennes plateau! In the distance, some chamois are playing hide-and-seek, while the cows graze peacefully in the alpine meadows.

July 11th – 2nd stage

After a quiet night in the hut, we wake up in the morning and alas! … it’s raining! This, of course, doesn’t get in our way. Today’s stage is not too challenging, and we reached the Fanes Natural Park for lunch. The marmots welcomed us in their “parliament”. The Fanes kingdom is known because of it’s legends and myths: https://www.holimites.com/en/discover-the-dolomites/history-and-culture-005

July 12 – 3rd stage

The third stage leads us across the Fanes alp, where we can admire the particular formations and structures of the rock. For safety reasons, the path to Forcella del Lago was closed around 2 weeks ago. Therefore the Alta Via 1 slightly detours. The advantage? We pass by Rifugio Scotoni, known for it’s delicious cuisine. We stop here for lunch. In the afternoon, we hike up to Lagazuoi (2.835 m). Before going to bed we experience an amazing sunset. An explosion of colors and emotions. The combination between the soft and warm tones of a sunset and the enormous Dolomites peaks offer a magic atmosphere. The mountains are on fire. We call this phenomenon enrosadira, which happens when the Dolomite peaks take on a reddish color, which gradually turns to purple, especially at dawn and dusk. Wikipedia.

July 13 – 4th stage

We can feel the frizzy air, this morning the sun is struggling to come out, but in the end it wins the duel against the clouds. We leave Lagazuoi behind us and hike between forts and trenches to the 5 Torri area. These areas are remnants of the First World War. We are right on the frontline, which was the border between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We stop for a moment … the ruins and testimonies that we see around us, make us reflect and try to imagine the incredibly cruel moments that the soldiers must have spent in the cold winters of the war years.

July 14 – 5th stage

Today’s stage is quite challenging, but no problem! Indeed, the longer the path, the more things to discover through the Dolomites! From Rifugio Averau we ascend to Passo Giau. Hiking at the foot of the vertical walls of “Lastoi di Formin” and “Becco di Mezzodì, we reach Passo Staulanza, surrounded by the Monte Pelmo on one side, and by the Monte Civetta on the other side. In other words, we are surrounded by the huge Dolomite peaks. At the hut, the deserved reward: we could enjoy the small wellness area with saunas, kneipp and relax area. Now we are regenerated and ready for the last 4 stages of our trekking tour.

Coldai Lake

July 15 – 6th stage

From Passo Staulanza we hike uphill to the charming Coldai Lake, where we refresh our tired feet in the clear water of the glacial lake (2.172 m). We continue towards Col Rean and reach the hut. Oh, who’s waiting here for us? The shepherd with his herd of over 1000 sheep. Each year he hikes hundreds of miles across the pasture around Cadore. The shepherd told us: “It’s a hard work, but the passion and love for the animals makes it easier”.

Sheep at the pasture

July 16 – 7th stage

The view that we have this morning is breathtaking. The impressive wall of Monte Civetta seems to touch the sky, while on the other side, the 1.300 m vertical cliff face down to the Alleghe Lake. We cross the Zoldo Dolomiti, and reach Passo Duran, at the bottom of the Moiazza massif.

July 17 – 8th stage

We continue our way southwards and we realize that the landscape becomes more wild and savage. Our hearts fill with joy when we see the variety of flowers on the trail – a special gift from nature! We reach Pian de Fontana, a rustic and cozy hut. The luxury of simplicity is what we feel in this welcoming place.

July 18 – 9th stage

Last stage of our Alta Via 1 of the Dolomites: 1.640 m elevation loss. We start early in the morning, in order to avoid the warmest hours of the day.
Tired, but satisfied we arrive at La Pissa. In a little canyon we have some time to cool down before the Holimites van picks us up and takes us back to Alta Badia.

Hiker on the Dolomites Alta Via 1

Well, what should we say… another fantastic trekking week in our beautiful Dolomites comes to an end. A hut-to-hut tour means not just hiking in the mountains, but also allows you to experience nature, meet other cultures and make new friends. Nature gives you the possibility to come down, relax and take a break from everyday life 😊 It’s a re-birth for body and soul. As Nietzsche said:

“We like to be out in nature so much because it has no opinion about us.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Despite the restrictions caused by the CoronaVirus, we now have the certainty that we can continue with the work we love. This makes us very happy and proud as we have never stopped and always believed in what we do 💙

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