This stage was documented thanks to the contribution of Gabriele Buzzatti.
A stage of good length and with an important difference in height, that should not be underestimated. The stage takes us first in front of the Sella group, then to the foot of Sassongher (2,665 m), and finally to Piz Puez (2,913 m).
We are definitely entering a new region: Trentino Alto Adige.
Although without difficulty, the climb to the Rifugio Kostner is very long: it is good to start early in the morning, without haste. In the last section, a small part is equipped with a cable for simple precautions.
In the stretch in the woods preceding the arrival in Colfosco, the landslide path needs a little caution.
Water points are absent from Colfosco to Rifugio Puez.
We leave the center of Arabba and we take the road gradually starting the long climb towards Rifugio Kostner (approx 900 m height difference). At Rifugio Plan Boè, a plateau allows us to catch our breath until we reach Plan Boè and its artificial lake. Then we take the path towards the rocky towers of the Bec de Roces. Arriving at the shoulder that dominates them from above, we can continue and see them closely. Retracing our steps, we continue to climb on a good path, reversing the direction, slowly entering the Sella group. After the last stretch (as a precaution, some parts are equipped) we are in the amphitheater of Sas dles Nu and Sas dles Diesc, which houses Rifugio Franz Kostner .
We begin a comfortable descent on a nice path (approximately 900 m drop). There are many tourists that arrived by cableway. After passing Utia Lago Boè (near a small lake), we continue along the ski slopes to Crep de Munt, from where we take the path on the left side, that goes into the woods (with some ups and downs) until it enters a road. We take it to the left and shortly after a last stretch of path, we reach Colfosco.
After the village, the last climb of the day awaits us (approx. 650 m drop). We go up the asphalted road until the gondola lift to Col Pradat, then we pass on a large carriage road. Shortly after we start walking on a path that climbs decisively but steadily with hairpin bends - the Sassongher (2,665 m) rises majestically to our right. Once past the large glacial basin of Lech de Ciampei, we keep on the western side of the valley and attack the last part.
From Forcella de Ciampei (2,366 m) we follow the path of Alta Via 2, taking the path on the right side. The landscape opens up to the beautiful Langental valley (it looks like Yosemite Park!) and with a panoramic flat stretch, we reach the Puez mountain hut (2,475 m).
The woods in the Puez-Odle Natural Park are mainly made up of larch and stone pines. The stone pine is a shrub originally from Siberia. During the glaciation period, it “migrated” to settle also in the Dolomites. Its long journey took place thanks to the hazelnut magpie which, greedy for the big seed, spread it in the Italian mountains.
For those who still have the energy for it, from Plan Boè there is the possibility to continue towards Bec de Roces, the spectacular mountain chimneys below the east face of the Sella. The path passes there at its feet and is very suggestive with the Marmolada, the Pelmo, and the Civetta in the background.
For those who not only feel like continuing but also have technical control (the last part of the track is very steep and has slightly exposed passages), the ascent to Piz Puez (2,913 m) from the Puez mountain hut is highly recommended. It takes an hour, with the sunset lights: the show is guaranteed, with a 360 ° panorama extending from the Odle to the entire Sella group.
The Spätzle is a classic South Tyrolean dish spread throughout the German-speaking area of the Alps. They are small dumplings made with flour, water, and egg and can be found in different forms. They are often used alongside juicier meat dishes, but in Italy, it is very common to find them served like pasta. The spinach spätzle served with butter and speck or with gorgonzola are delicious.
Sauerkraut, crauc in Ladin, is a typical dish of Trentino and Central European cuisine (despite the fact that they arrived in Europe with the Mongolian migrations, in the early Middle Ages).
They are made by marinating cabbage in salt.
The sour taste of sauerkraut makes them perfect to accompany fatty meats.
Rifugio Puez, at the eastern end of the Langental valley. Tel. +39 0471 795365
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, from the city of Belluno.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.