The itinerary is challenging both in terms of mileage and elevation gain. It can be completed either in one or two days, depending on your training level. Being experienced is recommended.
The course develops along the Southern area of Pale di San Martino, including two Dolomite’s summits – Cima Cimerlo (2,505m a.s.l.) and Cima Stanga (2,250m a.s.l.) – , passing by two refuges – Rifugio Velo della Madonna and Rifugio Pradidali – and including three Via Ferrata – Dino Buzzati, Velo and Nico Gusella -.
Cimerlo Peak offers an amazing view of Primiero Valley, whereas the highest point of the hike is at the top of Forcella Stephen (2,705m a.s.l.) between Cima di Roda and Cima di Ball , without doubt the most scenic point of the whole itinerary. For those who are splitting the route in two days , from Forcella Stephen it is possible to reach Roda Peak (Cima di Roda) in a 15-minute easy walk to appreciate the amazing view from the top. As previously mentioned, this is a challenging itinerary that offers a complete set of terrains, allowing to experience a high mountain atmosphere in a moderately safe environment.
- From Fosne follow the Signpost No. 747 until Rifugio Velo della Madonna,
- From Rifugio Velo della Madonna follow the signpost No.739 and then the Signpost No.714 to reach the mountain gap called Forcella Stephen,
- Finished the Ferrata Nico Gusella follow for Rifugio Pradidali,
- From Rifugio Pradidali follow the Signpost No.709 until Portèla and then turn left and follow the Signpost No. 719 leading back to the starting point, by the pasture of the Fosne. ✓
RIFUGIO VELO DELLA MADONNA
- The Rifugio Velo della Madonna (also known as Rifugio del Velo) was inaugurated in September 1980. Standing closed and right at the bottom of Cima della Madonna (2,752 m a.s.l.), the hut is located at a crossroads, from where numerous Dolomites climbing route start, including the Spigolo del Velo and the Vie Normali, as well as several paths and Via Ferrata.
- The classic route of Spigolo del Velo gave the name to the hut.
- The famous Spigolo del Velo climbing route (known also by its German name “die Schleierkante“), is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Eastern Alps. The route was opened on 19 July 1920 by the Austrian mountaineers Gunther Langes and Erwin Merlet, while the first winter ascent was completed on 21 January 1953 by the two climbers from Primiero Lero Gadenz and Giacomo “Meto” Scalet.
- Giacomo “Meto” Scalet, alpinist, Aquila (tr. eagle) of San Martino, Italian champion and Olympic athlete in cross-country skiing in 1936, holds the record of number of ascents on the Spigolo del Velo: 87 officially recorded, 100 according to him.
- Il nome del rifugio deriva verosimilmente da “prati gialli”, dovuto alla ricca fioritura del papavero alpino a valle, che colorava i ghiaioni della Val Pradidali di giallo.
- Il Rifugio Pradidali è uno storico rifugio Dolomitico costruito nel 1896 dal DÖAV di Dresda. E’ base di partenza di un gran numero di bellissime ascensioni su roccia di ogni tipo e difficoltà, tra le quali ricordiamo le celebre Fessura Buhl-Erwing, frequentata da alpinisti di ogni parte del mondo, senza dimenticare molte altre ascensioni di stampo classico dalle firme prestigiose di Langes, Detassis, Castiglioni, Wiessner, Solleder, fino alle grandi vie contemporanee del freeclimber più famoso, Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla (detto “il mago”), che qui stabilì il suo campo base nei primi anni della sua brillante carriera alpinistica.