A wild and fascinating itinerary, very long and demanding. This loop is suitable only for well-trained hikers with a “rock-hard” mental stamina. For this route, we strongly recommend to take with you at least three liters of water and an adequate caloric intake. During the first half of the hike, you will be ascending the rugged and wild north ridge of the massif of Cima d’Asta until reaching the summit from which, if you get there early enough to avoid the afternoon crowds, you can enjoy an unforgettable view. The route will then descend to the hut of Rifugio Brentari and to the lake of Cima d’Asta, a real cobalt blue jewel ideal for a well-deserved stop, for then continuing at high altitude to the gap Forcella del Passetto, for finally returning along the infinite Val Regana.
The route starts from the church called Chiesetta del Prónt (1,050 m asl), located 4 km from the village of Caoria, on the side of the road that leads to the hut of Rifugio Refavaie, 1 km before the hut. From the church, take the gravel road – Strada Forestale Prónt – towards Val Regana (Signpost No. 363) up to the crossroads at an altitude of 1,297 m, where you leave the gravel road and take the well-maintained military mule track of the Signpost No. 363. The mule track climbs with comfortable zigzags firstly through a beautiful forest of larch and blueberries, then through a steep slope of pine trees and in its very end on metamorphic rocks, immersed in a naturally intact and wild environment. The route follows this path for a long time with the support of some equipped parts, always remaining on the eastern side of the Cima d’Asta massif, until reaching the gap called Forcella del Col del Vènt (2,496 m asl). A little further on, from the crossroads of Lastè dei Fiori (2,637 m asl), turn right along a stretch of the Signpost No. 364, leaving it for facing the last spectacular white granite steps leading directly to the summit of Cima d’Asta, at an altitude of 2,847 m asl, after about 5h 30 from the start.
This path requires considerable physical effort. It may happen that the feeling of pleasure normally associated with the hiking experiences will leave you and the discomfort due to tiredness will prevail. Control this discomfort by slowing down the pace of motion, bringing your attention to the pleasure of the breath – voluntarily increasing its pace to recover the lack of oxygen – of the heartbeat and the blood flow. Look for an acceptable point of balance between pleasure and suffering, without ever being overwhelmed by any of them.
From the summit, you descend in a south-easterly direction along the same track until heading back to the Signpost No. 364 which, to the right (south), leads to the small saddle at an altitude of 2,680 m allowing you to cross the south-east ridge of Cima d’Asta and descend directly to the hut of Rifugio Brentari (2,473 m asl), after about 6h 30 from the start. A well-deserved break on the brilliant and silent shores of the lake of Cima d’Asta is highly recommended, in order to let you regenerate physically and mentally before tackling the long way back.
From Rifugio Brentari, continue for about half an hour in an almost flat stretch towards the mountain gap of Forcella del Passetto (2,495 m asl), along the Signpost No. 386, then descend along the Signpost No. 387 “Giuseppina Negrelli”. After a steep and demanding stretch (with a water spring) you reach the gap of Forcella di Val Regana (2,047 m asl), where you take the Signpost No. 338 which descends on a comfortable military mule track the very long and idyllic Val Regana. This last stretch will seem to never end: switch off your mind and let your thoughts go away, keep focus on your steps and let yourself be lulled by the sound of the cool waterfalls that you will skirt along the whole valley until you cross the gravel road once again and finally arrive at the Chiesetta del Prónt, which would appear almost like a mirage. At that point, after about 10-11h from the start, you will be exhausted, sure, but extremely satisfied.
- From the church called Chiesetta del Prónt (1,050 m asl), follow the Signpost No. 363 towards Col del Vento / Cima d’Asta, first on a gravel road, then on a mule track,
- From the gap of Forcella del Col del Vènt (2,496 m asl), continue until getting to the crossroads of Lastè dei Fiori (2,637 m asl), then turn right along the Signpost No. 364 and detour by ascending to the summit of Cima d’Asta,
- From the top of Cima d’Asta (2,847 m asl), head back to the crossroads with the Signpost No. 364, then follow it until reaching the hut of Rifugio Brentari,
- From Rifugio Brentari (2,473 m asl), follow the Signpost No. 386 towards the gap of Forcella del Passetto,
- From Forcella del Passetto (2.495 m asl), descend along the Signpost No. 387 “Giuseppina Negrelli” to the gap of Forcella di Val Regana,
- From Forcella di Val Regana (2,047 m asl), descend Val Regana along the Signpost No. 338 until heading back to the church of Prónt. ✓