Marmolada, the highest massif in the Dolomites, UNESCO World Natural Heritage since 2009, is one of the most charming places of the Alps, and during Summer, it becomes an excursionists’ paradise.
THE SACRED HISTORICAL AREA
Together with the museum Marmolada Grande Guerra 3000 m, the sacred historical area of Punta Serauta tells the story of the men and heroes who, in their obedience, made history with their suffering and with their lives. From June to September, when the snow has melted away, it is possible to visit the Italian fortress of Punta Serauta, which includes command posts, observation posts, positions, shelters, barracks, trenches and walkways built by the Italian soldiers from the 51st and 52nd Infantry Regiment Alps Brigade, units of the 206th Company of the Alpini Battalion Val Cordevole, and the 18th Bersaglieri Battalion of the 9th Corps of the 4th Army.
After reaching the intermediate cable car station of Serauta, visitors can walk down to Forcella Serauta below, where there is an explanatory panel with a map of the route that proceeds along a narrow path on the southeast side of Punta Serauta. The path is well marked and signposted and has metal cables in the narrowest and most exposed sections. From the walkways, the cave of the command post, the observation post, the infirmary and the cableway station are visible. A visit to the sacred historical area of Punta Serauta takes approximately two hours. Access is free of charge and the route is not particularly difficult, although it is all on rocky trails and in some places rather exposed and equipped with steel cables. To reach the ridge and the last cave, use of a harness, rope and carabiners is recommended.
This is a very difficult itinerary which arrives at Punta Serauta for a visit to the Italian Fortified position known as Fortilizio Italiano, crossing the Marmolada glacier. Setting off from Rifugio Fedaia, located east of Lake Fedaia, just a few kilometres from Malga Ciapela, it’s a 50 m walk down along the right side of the ski slope, looking out for a nondescript sign indicating a path among the bushes under the rocks (a faded arrow on the rocks signals the start).
In a short time, this path leads to the attach point for the cable way? (via ferrata?), which is signalled with a large F on the rock. The first part is very easy, since for the most part the rock wall is not too steep. In the second part, the climb inclines upward along a rocky, gravelly slab with less exposure. There are steeper pitches along the way, and others where it is easier to climb without hands. The last part of the via ferrata, along the western face of the crest, is definitely the most difficult, with ups and downs. The rock here is grainy and much more exposed, and in some parts, it’s right out there on the ridge. As you arrive at Punta Serauta, you will have the possibility to go back to the valley using Marmolada #MoveToTheTop cable car (pay attention: the last trip downhill is at 4 pm!).
RIFUGIO O. FALIER (Val Ombretta)
This evocative and panoramic itinerary takes about 4 hours and crosses the Val Ombretta, one of the most beautiful valleys around the Marmolada, with fantastic views of the South-western wall of the Queen of the Dolomites. The starting point to set out for the Rifugio Falier (2080 m) is Malga Ciapela, where you can leave the car and start walking towards the magnificent Valle Ombretta.
At first the trail seems rather steep but soon it becomes flatter and smoother. You come to a crossroads which goes to Val di Franzedaz on the left; continue to the right and it’s a short hike to the start of the Val Ombretta. Here the mule trail ends and you continue along a well-travelled path that passes near the barns and buildings of the mountain farm Malga Ombretta (1904 m), then rises slightly to level out for a 40 minute walk to Rifugio Onorio Falier. Near the lodge you can see some remnants of infirmaries and tunnels dating back to the Great War, when the fortress was requisitioned by the Italian army for their heroic military operations on the Marmolada.
MALGA CIAPELA – SOTTOGUDA
Easy walk for the whole family, starting by the station of Marmolada #MoveToTheTop cable car in Malga Ciapela, ideal for completing in the best way possible your day on the Marmolada, after having visited the Museum of the Great War in Serauta station, and the panoramic terrace of Punta Rocca.
The itinerary will take 1 hour to be completed, and it will drive you through the breath-taking Serrai di Sottoguda, a natural canyon, 2,5 km long, which develops through steep rock walls, 400 m high, and beautiful waterfalls, which can be seen all along the Pettorina creek. During your walk, you will discover the small church of Saint Anthony, and the cave of the Holy Mary, arriving at the end of the gorge in the beautiful village of Sottoguda. The small main square, surrounded by old rural haylofts, will welcome you nearby the old church of Saints Roch, Sebastian, and Fabian.