Malga Canali – Rifugio Treviso – Vani Alti – Bivacco Reali – Ferrata Fiamme Gialle
The spectacular trail of Vani Alti falls among those itineraries that were opened between the 1920s and 1930s, thanks to the intuition and creativity of the president of the CAI of Treviso Giulio “el dotór” (tr. the doctor) Vianello, a lover of the hut of Rifugio Treviso “Canali”, which was re-opened in 1924 right after the Great War.
Traditionally and differently to the trail here described, this loop is proposed in an anticlockwise direction, in order to be able to face the Ferrata Fiamme Gialle while ascending. However, the stretch of Vani Alti is a climb which, from the hiking point of view, is to be considered technical and exposed (if you have a rope and you don’t feel safe, there are some rings and nails you can use to protect yourself). For this reason, we propose to face that stretch uphill, thus recommending the counterclockwise direction for the loop.
This hike develops in one of the least known parts of the Pala Group, on the mountain subgroup of Croda Granda, placed north-east from the hut of Rifugio Treviso. Given the position of the Vani Alti, the view of the Pala Group and all the surrounding groups widely compensates for the technical effort that this relatively short trek requires.
The route starts by the hut of Malga Canali (1,300 m asl), proceeding on the most classic access road to Rifugio Treviso, along the comfortable Signpost No. 707; being initially a gravel road and then approach a last uphill stretch on a path in the forest, before reaching the hut. From the hut of Rifugio Treviso “Canali” (1,630 m asl), the itinerary keeps following the Signpost No. 707 towards the gap of Passo Canali for about one more kilometer, up to a crossroads (barely visible) where a track with the signs “Vani Alti” starts.
The initial part of the track, which faces a steep climb on gravel, is relatively simple, although it is advisable to pay attention to the slippery surface. The track leads directly to the bottom of the mountain wall, where an easy climb begins, lasting for about half an hour along what was an old Via Ferrata, subsequently removed because it was considered too dangerous (probably not so much for the difficulty, but it is a fact that often the presence of an equipped path encourages non-expert hikers to go for it). Throughout the ascent, the bolts of the old Via Ferrata are present on the wall and can be used by hikers for finding additional safety.
After the ascent, it is recommended to take a break to enjoy the breathtaking view with the peaks of Cima Sant’Anna (2,374 m asl), Croda Granda (2,839 m asl) and Sass d’Ortiga (2,391 m asl). From the small plateau, the path continues on the eastern side of the peaks of Cime Vani Alti (2,633 m asl) and, after having climbed over a small gap, is descends towards the bivouac of Bivacco Renato Reali, located in a remote corner of the Pale di San Martino, above the gap of Forcella del Marmor.
From the bivouac (2,595 m asl), in order to head back to Malga Canali, you have to descend through the Ferrata Fiamme Gialle – one of the most beautiful Via Ferrata of the Pala Group -, not particularly difficult but rather vertical. At the end of the Via Ferrata, it will be enough to descend along the track on gravel that leads back to the Signpost No. 707, and then resume the descent towards Rifugio Treviso, along the path already followed in the initial part of the itinerary.
Overall, this route is not particularly popular, and is recommended only and exclusively for experienced hikers having all the necessary equipment.
- From the hut of Malga Canali (1,300 m asl), follow the Signpost No. 707 towards Rifugio Treviso,
- From the hut of Rifugio Treviso (1,630 m asl), continue along the path of the Signpost No. 707 towards Passo Canali,
- After about 1 km from Rifugio Treviso, take the track on your right, heading east, towards Vani Alti,
- Continue while paying attention to the red signs that indicate the path on the mountain wall,
- From the small plateau of Vani Alti, head north towards Bivacco Reali,
- From the bivouac named Bivacco Reali (2,595 m asl), take the path towards Ferrata Fiamme Gialle / Rifugio Treviso, descending along the Via Ferrata,
- Return to Malga Canali, passing by the hut of Rifugio Treviso. ✓
- From Bivacco Reali it is possible to go on the top of Croda Grande (2,489m a.s.l.). It is strongly suggested and it takes a little bit more than 1h back and forth, on a rather easy path.
- Located on the eastern side of the Val Canali, in a picturesque landscape of large larches and firs, Rifugio Treviso (originally Canalihütte or Rifugio Canali) was inaugurated on the 26th of August, 1897. The inauguration ceremony was organized by the section of the DOe- AV of Dresden, which had chosen to build the alpine hut where it stands nowadays.
- The inauguration of the Refuge, in 1897, with the iconic first ascent by A.G.S. Raynor and J.S. Phillimore of the climbing track called Torre Dresda (tr. Dresden Tower) on the peak of Pala della Madonna, marked the beginning of mass mountaineering tourism in Val Canali. The valley’s peaks were explored by climbers such as Oscar Schuster and the Meurer family, Beatrice Tomasson, the Phillimore-Raynor couple, Fabbro, Della Fior and Bussi.
- At the end of the Great War, following the Treaty of Saint-Germain, the Canalihütte was entrusted to the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) of Treviso, which in 1924 reopened the hut with its current name. With the ownership of the CAI of Treviso, and especially with its president Giulio Vianello, must be traced not only to the renewal of the refuge, but also to its further enhancement for mountaineering purposes, thanks also to the opening of a brilliant network of new tracks – among which the beautiful Vani Alti and Sédole stand out -, between the 1920s and 1930s. Even today, the path named “del dotór” (tr. of the doctor) recalls the figure of Giulio Vianello, as he was a medical doctor.