Stage of medium length and height difference, without real difficulties, almost completely on a good track.
Overlooking the Sorapiss group ( 3,205 m) and then the town of Cortina, we descend the beautiful Val Padeon, between the walls of Cristallo (3,221 m) and the long ridge of Pomagagnon.
In the descending stretch from the Forcella de Popena, some parts of the path have collapsed and you need to overcome them with caution.
In the first part of the descent from the Son Forca mountain lodge, once you have abandoned the carriage road, it is not easy to locate the track and it is good to keep an eye on the GPS.
We skirt the western side of Lake Misurina and when we reach the southern end, we take the path to climb (approximately 400 m height difference ) towards the Forcella de Popena. The first part is on a comfortable and wide path with a slight slope. The climb becomes more decisive (but always easy) and we reach the foot of the Pale di Misurina.
With a long across, overlooking the Cadini di Misurina, we arrive just below the pass and begin the descent (approximately 450 m drop ) towards the road to Passo Tre Croci. The slope is sometimes important and some landslides require caution. Back in the woods, at the foot of the Corno d'Angelo, we ford the stream and easily reach the road. We turn right and slowly climb up to the nearby Passo Tre Croci (1,805 m).
From the pass, we take the road and climb towards Son Forca mountain lodge (approx. 400 m height difference). After about a kilometer, we take the well-maintained path on the right side and we reach Passo Son Forcia. Here we find a memorable view of the Val Padeon, the Tofane, and the Braies Dolomites. From a nearby clearing, hidden by the mountain pines, we admire from above Cortina, the Beco di Mezzodì and the Cinque Torri.
With a last effort, we are at the Son Forca mountain lodge, the arrival point of several cable cars, where the most tired ones can break the stage. After lunch, we start the long descent along the Val Padeon. Except for the very first part (not clearly visible, but very intuitive), the layout is excellent and wide. We walk for a long time between the south-western walls of the Cristallo and the north-eastern ones of the Pomagagnon, alongside the Rio Bosco. Finally crossing the Pian de Col dei Stònbe, we pass the Rio Felizon and reach the Rifugio Albergo Ospitale.
Cadore corresponds geographically to the hydrographic basin of the upper Piave, from Carnia to Cortina D'Ampezzo. The Magnifica Comunità di Cadore boasts strong autonomy since the time of its alliance with the Serenissima (14th century).
An example of this is the persistent institution of the 16 Regole Cadorine (Cadorine rules) of the territorial communities, formed by local families. They are the juridical entity in charge of managing (through their own legal entities) the forest and farming resources of the valleys. They are considered inalienable, indivisible, and not affected by usucapion common good; at the same time, they contribute to the protection of the environment and cultural roots.
The history of nearby Cortina d' Ampezzo is closely connected to the development of mountain tourism.
Even though it has been a renowned tourist area since the 19th century, it is with the Winter Olympics of 1956 that it becomes the winter destination par excellence. It grew continuously until the 2000s. In the last twenty years, tourism and the population have undergone a considerable drop.
However, today a new phase seems to have started for the town, thanks to the controversial 2026 Olympics: for many, they represent yet another environmental mistreatment of the Monti Pallidi.
At the Gola del Fanes it is possible to admire the suggestive waterfall of Fanes di Sopra.
The Ponte Outo (high bridge) that crosses the gorge is the protagonist of a medieval legend: the Ampezzani didn't want to give the hand of the castellan's daughter of Botestagno to the knight Guglielmo Brack von Asch (nicknamed el Bracùn) of the Badia Valley. For this reason, they decided to destroy the bridge. In response, Guglielmo crossed the deep gorge (80 m high) with a giant leap taken by his steed.
The Pastin is a typical sausage from the Belluno Dolomites, a mix of minced beef and pork combined with wine, garlic, cinnamon, and cloves. The recipe of peasant origin, prepared during the cold days when pigs were slaughtered, varies from valley to valley.
You can eat it like a sausage, for example to season pasta, or cut in slices like a hamburger and cooked on the grill.
Rifugio Albergo Ospitale, in Val Felizòn. Tel. +39 0436 4585
Rifugio Ra Stua, in the Valon Scuro (about 6 kilometers from the Albergo Ospitale). Tel. +39 0436 5753
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, departing from the city of Belluno with a change in Calalzo.
Here is 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.