This is a fascinating and at the same time demanding hike, ideal for those who like mountaineering on extremely unpopular and technical paths – with the only exception being the section of the itinerary along the Alta Via delle Dolomiti No. 2 -. The route shapes a loop around the Dolomite mountain group of Cimónega, between the provinces of Trento (Trentino Alto Adige Südtirol) and Belluno (Veneto), offering a variant which leads directly to the top of the iconic summit of Piz de Sagrón (2,486 m asl). Given the technical stretches present along the route, it is recommended to carry this hike in late summer or early autumn.
The route starts from the bridge over the Noàna stream, located right after the cottage named Baita Cogolate, in the wild valley called Val Giasinòzza. The first section of the route, which leads to the mountain gap of Forcella Cimónega, follows an old track, not very visible but quite “logical” in its lines, which from the bridge enters the forest and climbs up the northern part of the gully of Val Cimónega, leading directly to the gap, in a first section immersed in the forest, a second that alternates a dense vegetation of pines with gullies and a last stretch that goes up the highest part of Val Cimónega, never exposed nor dangerous, where there are some climbing sections of first-grade.
Once arrived at Forcella Cimónega (2,145 m asl), where the sight opens to the east on the side belonging to the Province of Belluno, featuring the peak of Col del Mul, the plateau of Pian del Re and the valley of Canzói, to the south on Sass de Mura and its flat wall called Parete Piatta and to the north on the Monte Pizzoc (Piz de Mèz), Sasso Largo and Piz di Sagrón, the route continues along an almost invisible track which, remaining on the contour line, heading east and leading directly to the hut of Bivacco Feltre. The track crosses the gap separating the southern slope of Monte Pizzoc and Col del Mul, where a small grassy oasis opens up overlooking the basin where Bivacco Feltre is located. The landscape offered by the basin, which alternates small depressions with crystal clear water springs and meadows rich in edelweiss, will persist along the entire stretch of the route that goes from Forcella Cimónega to the gap of Passo del Comedón.
Shortly before reaching Bivacco Feltre, the loop offers an interesting and highly recommended variant that leads to the top of Piz de Sagrón along the so-called Via Normale. The “Via Normale del Piz di Sagrón” is not particularly demanding, but it requires some mountaineering experience even if it does not normally require the use of ropes; after having climbed the basin of Pian della Regina, the Via Normale climbs the southern slope of Sasso Largo, along a path that brings you to the ridge that leads directly to the summit of Piz di Sagrón. The most technical and demanding stretch of the Via Normale begins precisely in correspondence with the crack that separates the peak of Sasso Largo from the one of Piz di Sagrón, with some exposed passages requiring a first and second degree level of climbing. The 360-degree view from the top of Piz di Sagrón (2,478 m asl) widely repays the effort needed to complete this variant of about 1h 30.
Just before arriving at Bivacco Feltre (300 meters from the bivouac), it is possible to fill the water bottles at a spring in a small depression, located downstream of the path. From Bivacco Feltre e Walter Bodo (1,930 m asl), the hike proceeds following the Signpost No. 801 (Alta Via delle Dolomiti No. 2) towards Passo del Comedón / Passo Cereda. A hard uphill stretch on a scree leads to the gap of Passo del Comedón (2,067 m asl), considered by many to be the most technically demanding pass of the Alta Via delle Dolomiti No. 2 (marked as AV2). Once over the pass, a long descent along the slopes begins in the direction of the Valley of Mis, where there are some equipped sections close to the imposing eastern walls of Sasso delle Undici.
After a little less than 3 km of descent, once reached a crossroads (at about 1,550 meters of altitude), the route starts to climb again in the forest towards the gap of Forcella del Piz. After a few hundred meters from the crossroads, the landslide gully of the Forcella del Piz opens up. The ascent along the gully, not exposed and technically similar to the initial ascent to Forcella Cimónega, must be approached with caution because at times it is very unstable, following the cairns placed on the top of imposing boulders.
From Forcella del Piz (1,954 m asl), separating the peaks of Piz del Palughét (2,159 m asl) and Piz di Sagrón – and from which the Val Giasinòzza begins -, the route continues downhill losing just over a hundred meters of altitude, along a track close to the walls of Piz del Palughét; then it resumes climbing for the last stretch of this tiring itinerary that leads directly to the gap of Passo del Palughét.
From Passo del Palughét (1,910 m asl), the return follows the Signpost No. 727 “Nico Scalet” towards Baita Cogolate: after a flat stretch close to the mount of Cima Palughét, the path descends into the forest of Val Giasinòzza, leading directly to the starting point of the itinerary.
- From the bridge over the Noàna stream, right after the cottage of Baita Cogolate, in Val Giasinòzza, follow the track that climbs eastwards the gully of Val Cimónega towards the gap of Forcella Cimónega,
- From Forcella Cimónega (2,145 m asl), follow the track that descends, keeping the contour, in a northwest direction towards the hut of Bivacco Feltre,
- [VARIANT] Ascend along the “Via Normale” to the summit of Piz di Sagrón (2,478 m asl),
- From Bivacco Feltre (1,930 m asl), follow the Signpost No. 801 towards Passo del Comedón / Passo Cereda,
- From Passo del Comedón (2,067 m asl), descend along the Signpost No. 801 for about 3 km, until reaching a crossroads,
- At the crossroads, stay high and follow the track along the gully to the gap of Forcella del Piz,
- From Forcella del Piz (1,954 m asl), descend and then go up again, following the track, towards the gap of Passo del Palughét,
- From Passo del Palughét (1,910 m asl), descend along the Signpost No. 727 “Nico Scalet” towards Baita Cogolate / Rifugio Caltena. ✓