Medium length stage, without particular differences in height. Smooth and pleasant, in the presence of the Monte Cevedale (3,769 m) and the Forni Glacier.
We see for the first time the impressive bulk of the Gran Zebrù (3,857 m), one of the most coveted peaks in the Alps.
The section from Rifugio Stella Alpina to Santa Caterina di Valfurva is a variation of the Sentiero Italia (that continues towards the Rifugio Pizzini), chosen due to the impracticability of Passo Zebrù.
About 1 km before Rifugio Stella Alpina there is a short cross path that is exposed and poorly maintained: be careful.
MTB: follow the 525 to go down to Rifugio Stella Alpina (without keeping on the 525.1).
Water points are absent from Rifugio Berni to Rifugio Stella Alpina.
Skirting the road, we proceed on the path to the nearby Rifugio Berni, from where we leave the road. We head to the right to cross the Gavia stream and skirt it northwards. After a flat stretch, we climb slightly to the eastern side of the valley, through a long and panoramic cross path.
Upon reaching Dosso di Tresero, we continue eastwards, keeping our eyes wide open: it is a popular area for eagles. Just before crossing the narrow Val Cerena, walking halfway up, we face a short, narrow, and exposed part, the only complicated part of the stage. Soon we are at Rifugio Stella Alpina, ideal for a little break.
On a path suitable for cars, we ascend (about 300 m height difference) towards Pradaccio di Sopra. After the short but intense climb, we walk along the long and sunny cross path, between beautiful flowery meadows: excellent views of the great Forni Glacier and the surrounding peaks (Cevedale, Palon de La Mare, Vioz, San Matteo ...).
Finally, from Malga Ables, we take the comfortable carriage road that descends easily to Santa Caterina di Valfurva, dominated by Pizzo Tresero (3,594 m) - named this way for the three zeros that seem to be drawn on the snowfields of the western wall.
Santa Caterina is a well-known tourist resort that has given birth to numerous sportsmen, including Olympic champion Deborah Compagnoni and the mountaineer Marco Confortola, who climbed Dhaulagiri in 2017, his tenth eight thousand.
The Santa Caterina lifts have hosted many competitions of the ski world cup
Descending from Passo Gavia it is possible to admire the Forni Glacier, the largest Italian glacier of Hymalaian type. Since the end of the 19th-century, this glacier has been monitored by volunteers of the Italian Glaciological Committee.
At Rifugio Stella Alpina the shepherd's coffee is a must. An original recipe of Andrea, who works at the mountain lodge and created it by experimenting with some old bottles of alcohol. Simply delicious.
Rifugio Stella Alpina, in Valle dei Forni. Tel. +39 0342 925272
Casa Benedicta, in Santa Caterina di Valfurva. Tel. +39 366 473 0648
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point NOT reachable by public transport, only with tourist buses from July to August with departure from Ponte di Legno.
The nearest location reachable by bus is Pezzo, starting from the town of Edolo with a change at Ponte di Legno.
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.