Cima di Busa Alta

Refavaie – Passo Sàdole – Rifugio Monte Cauriòl – Cima di Busa Alta – Forcella Coldosè


Location Lagorai
Features Lagorai, Val Sàdole, Coldosè, WWI remains
Track Conditions On marked paths
Vertigo Level 2/5
Terrain (Forest) 70%
Terrain (Grass) 15%
Terrain (Rock) 15%
Terrain (Urban) -
Length 24.5 km
Duration 9h
Elev Gain 2 450 m
Elev Loss 2 450 m
Max Elevation 2 513 m
Min Elevation 1 110 m
Car Park 46.216122, 11.623076



This challenging loop covers the central stretch of the Translagorai, a trekking route that crosses the entire porphyry chain of Lagorai, in an environment of natural beauty and historical charm.

The route starts from the hut of Rifugio Refavaie (1,110 m asl), in the Valley of Vanoi, located along the road, 5 km after the village of Caoria. The first section of the itinerary progressively climbs into the forest, towards the west, along the Signpost No. 320 (which starts about 200 m after the hut, after the first hairpin bend of the road to the hut of Malga Fossernica di Dentro), in the direction of Malga Laghetti. Throughout the ascent, the clearings present allow you to enjoy the first glimpses of the peak of Cima d’Asta and the gap of Passo Cinque Croci. Once by the hut of Malga Laghetti (1,582 m asl), the route continues on a stretch on a gravel road, then climbs again into the forest reaching the basin named Conca di Sàdole, located right under the gap of Passo Sàdole. After a last uphill stretch, you reach the wide gap of Passo Sàdole (2,066 m asl), located on the west side of the peak of Monte Cauriòl, known above all for the events related to the First World War, when it was conquered by the Italian Alpini in 1916.

From the crossroads of Passo Sàdole, the route continues following the one of Translagorai, on a downhill stretch along the Signpost No. 320 through the valley of Sàdole towards Rifugio Baita Monte Cauriòl / Agritur Malga Sàdole, leaving the peaks of Cauriòl and Cardinàl behind. During the descent, it is possible to observe the basin of Pian di Maserón, crossed by the military road of the Great War, called “Via Austriaca” (tr. Austrian route), which led directly to the top of Monte Cauriòl. After a series of hairpin bends, the Signpost No. 320 begins to follow the course of the stream called Rivo Sàdole, passing through the hut of Bàito del Marino and leading to the basin of Pian delle Maddalene, where the path widens, becoming a gravel road.

Right at Pian delle Maddalene, a small cross – Crós de la Cauriòta – recalls the dramatic story of Anastasia Sperandio, a young woman from Caoria who was stuck here due to a snowstorm and lost her life in the autumn of 1927.

From Pian delle Maddalene, the route descends until it reaches the two buildings of the Rifugio Baita Monte Cauriòl and the Agritur Malga Sàdole, a classic overnight stay of the Translagorai route, where it takes the Signpost No. 349 at the east of the pasture and starts climbing towards Forcella Coldosè / Cima Busa Alta. The path climbs into the forest until it reaches an altitude of approximately 1,890 meters, where it crosses a track that leads to the peak Cima Busa Alta.

At the crossroads, the proposed route, which would continue in its “base loop” to Forcella Coldosé, presents a strongly recommended detour to the peak of Cima di Busa Alta (by the way, Busa Alta Tedesca – tr. German – or Keiserspitze). The ascent to the top is very steep, covering 600 meters in altitude in just over 2 km, but both the sight offered by the Busa Alta peak (2,513 m asl) and the historical relevance of the place, showing Austro- Hungarians entrenchments and stairways in excellent condition, fully repay the effort needed. The ascent to the Busa Alta proceeds on the well-marked path, keeping to the right at the only crossroads which is halfway up – on the left you go up to Canzenàgol (2,457 m asl) – offering a long series of hairpin bends that wind through the basin of Conca della Busa Alta. The path becomes steeper, and with it also the signs of the Great War remains, between walls and artificial steps, with the positions of the third Feldjäger battalion of the Bosnians and the Austrian Landesschützen. The last stretch of the climb is extremely spectacular, with a real staircase leading to the summit, supported in the most inaccessible sections also by old iron ropes and artificial parapets between the trenches. The summit area, with the characteristic cross on the top, is full of trenches, caves and war relics, indelible signs of the Great War. As a note, it is perhaps appropriate to say that the Busa Alta is made up of two peaks (between which there is the “busa” – tr. depression -): the main one, “Busa Alta Tedesca” (tr. German Busa Alta) or Kaiserspitze ( 2,456 m asl), and the second one of the “Busa Alta Italiana” (tr. Italian Busa Alta), which were involved in the fights during the autumn of 1916.

From the start of the path for the summit of Busa Alta, the route resumes, always following that of the Translagorai, towards the gap of Forcella Coldosé, which can be reached after crossing the one of Forcella Canzenàgol (2,220 m asl) and some beautiful passages at high altitude near the Cadinón. From Forcella Coldosé (2,183 m asl), just before reaching the bivouac (Bivacco Forcella Coldosè), you can also enjoy a beautiful view of the lake named Lago delle Trute (tr. lake of the trouts). The very long return, which from the bivouac of Forcella Coldosé leads to Rifugio Refavaie, follows the Signpost No. 339 for about eight kilometers, initially on a path that later joins the gravel road (Strada Forestale Coldosé), passing by the hut of Malga Coldosé di Sotto, before the last downhill stretch leading directly to the location of Refavaie.




  • From the hut of Rifugio Refavaie (1,110 m asl), proceed along theSignpost No. 320, passing by the hut of Malga Laghetti (1,582 m asl) and the basin called Conca di Sàdole, until reaching the gap of Passo Sàdole,
  • From Passo Sàdole (2.066 m asl), descend along the Signpost No. 320 “Via Austriaca” (tr. Austrian route) towards Rifugio Baita Monte Cauriòl / Agritur Malga Sàdole, passing through the basin of Pian delle Maddalene,
  • From the hut of Rifugio Baita Monte Cauriòl (1,600 m asl), take the Signpost No. 349 in the pasture to the east and start climbing towards Forcella Coldosè / Cima Busa Alta,
  • [Detour] Climb to the peak of Cima Busa Alta / Keiserspitze (2,513 m asl),
  • Continue along the Signpost No. 349 towards Forcella Coldosè, passing by the mountain gap of Forcella Canzenàgol (2,220 m asl),
  • From the gap of Forcella Coldosè (2,183 m asl), descend along the Signpost No. 339, in the beginning on a path, then gravel road, until getting back to the location of Refavaie. ✓




  • For decades, the people living in the valley of Vanói (such as those living in Primiero) were forced out of necessity to leave their home, searching for work. These peripheral lands suffered, perhaps more than others, of mass emigration from the late 1800s, mainly to Latin America and the United States of America.
  • In the same period, and with the same motivations as their fellow villagers who were leaving for America, many went to the nearby Valley of Adige for seasonal work. Aldo Zorzi writes that, at the end of September – once the haymaking works were completed -, many young people, between 15 and 25 years old, used to go to the Adige Valley to harvest.
  • For the inhabitants of Caoria, reaching the Valley of Adige required walking through the mountain gap of Passo Sàdole in order to reach the village of Ziano, from where many young people from the Valley of Fiemme joined their journey in a tiring two-day itinerary.
  • The way of these seasonal workers to get back home in the Valley of Vanoi typically took place in late October / early November and, with the Winter season approaching, the path through Passo Sàdole could become rather risky.
  • On 12 November 1927, a young woman from Caoria, Anastasia Sperandio – aged 21 -, finished her seasonal work in the Valley of Adige. She was stopped overnight in Ziano by the Vanzetta’s family. On Sunday 13 November, despite the rain, Anastasia left Ziano heading towards Passo Sàdole, perhaps also because she had agreed with her brother Antonio to meet her. The fate, however, was against her, causing Anastasia to find a snowstorm at high altitude. The young woman died of frostbite at an altitude of 1800 meters and her body was found only a week later under 60 centimeters of snow.
  • In memory of the young Anastasia, a cross was placed at the Maseròi, at the bottom of the peak of Monte Cauriòl, adding one more cross to the thousands of crosses that the Great War left in these places, which still make us ponder over the suffering and fragility of the existence.




  • In 1916, With the the war lasting longer than expected and the Strafexpedition offensive concentrated mainly on the Asiago plateau, the border between the armies of the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire crossed the mountain range of the so-called “Alps of Fassa ”, formed, among others, by the ridge drawn by the peaks of Cauriòl, Gardinàl (later renamed Cardinàl) and Kaiserspitze (later renamed Busa Alta), as well as the ones of Cavallazza and Colbricón.
  • For what the Italian army hoped could be a breaking attack at the peaks of Cauriòl, Gardinal and Kaiserspitze, together with that on Cima Cece, the Feltre battalion of the seventh regiment of Alpini was deployed. Given the lack of ammunition, in the initial plans, the Feltre Battalion should have waited until the Nucleo Generale Ferrari and the thirteenth of Bersaglieri had managed to break the Austro-Hungarian lines on Colbricón and Cavallazza.
  • After the Italians managed to conquer the top of Colbricón, with the new Austro-Hungarian line set back on the Piccolo Colbricón, the advance towards the summit of Cauriòl began on the night of 25 August 1916 with a double attack: the Alpini of Feltre from the south west and the Monterosa battalion from the south east. With the initial support of the artillery from Cima Paradisi and the final support of the 65 mm light cannons, at the dawn of August 27 the summit was conquered by the Alpini, forcing the imperial troops to withdraw towards Passo di Sàdole. During the fight, the second lieutenant Attilio Cartèri of the 65 company of the battalion of Feltre died, hit by a bullet to the head, to whom the shoulder south west of the peak of Cauriòl is dedicated.
  • Few hours after the fall of Cauriòl, the Austro-Hungarian counterattack began, which saw the survivors of the Alpini of Feltre and Monterosa fighting in complete isolation from the Italian second lines for four days, while waiting for the Alpini of Val Brenta reinforcements. In those days of intense fighting, the Austrian cannons of the Lagorai and the howitzers of the Val di Fiemme incessantly bombed the Cauriòl, providing support for the advance of the blue uniforms of the Kaiserjäger, pulled back by the Alpini in the small piece of land that separates the Piccolo Cauriòl from the Cauriòl. To support the Kaiserjägers, a Bosnian battalion was sent, tragically remembered for the tragic episode of the “friendly fire”: while the battalion was advancing towards the peak of Cauriòl along the valley of Sàdole, two shots of the 305 mm howitzer from Ziano di Fiemme hit its ranks. The episode was called “a massacre”, and made the command of Bolzano desist from a further attack on the summit.
  • With the fall of Cauriòl, the Austrians strengthened their positions on the Gardinal and Kaiserspitze, aware of the fact that, without them, the taking of Cauriòl would not have a real strategic value.
  • On September 14, 1916 the battalions of Monterosa, Feltre and Brenta resumed the attack on the Gardinal, whose twin peak fell on September 23, 1916. The actual summit remained in custody at the third Kaiserschützen regiment of Innichen. In the operation on the inhospitable ridge of the mountain, the price in terms of human lives, both Italian and Austrian, was disproportionate, with hundreds of victims per side.
  • As evidence of the cruelty of the clashes, Ubaldo Baldinotti tells us in his diaries how, after leaving from the village of Mezzano for the night assault on the Gardinal, his battalion was hit, close to the summit, by machine gun bursts and a series of large stones, which caused the death of numerous Alpini, forcing their withdrawal.
  • For the assault that could have changed the tide of the war on the front of eastern Lagorai at the Kaiserspitze, the Monterosa, completely decimated, was integrated by the Battalions Monte Matajiur and Monte Arvenis. The assault on the Kaiserspitze began on October 2, 1916. After three days, “altitude 2,456” (Busa Alta “Taliana”) was taken by the Italians. The resistance of the soldiers of the empire was extreme and, after countless attacks repelled at “altitude 2,512”, the Kaiserspitze remained in Austrian hands until the end of the conflict.
  • There are about 800 soldiers – never entirely transferred to monumental shrines built during the fascist era -, both Italian and Austrian, lying in the cemetery of Caoria, in silent memory of the tough struggle to maintain position on these rugged peaks of the Lagorai. Many of them, escaped from the tragedy of the war, fell victim to disease or avalanches in the terrible winter of 1916-1917. The last fallen, an unknown Italian soldier, was found on the Cauriòl slopes, finding eternal peace on the pastures of the Valley of Vanoi only in 1929.