This trail is a super classic one that starts from the most accessible mountain hut of the Pala Group (Pale di San Martino), in the heart of the high altitude plateau, drawing an interesting loop passing by the hut of Rifugio Pradidali.
The route starts from the hut of Rifugio Rosetta “Giovanni Pedrotti” (2,578 m asl), which can be reached from the village of San Martino di Castrozza either on foot – with an ascent of a couple of hours – or by cable car.
From Rifugio Rosetta, located in the westernmost corner of the vast plateau of Pale di San Martino, the route begins towards the east, right in the direction where the plateau lays, along the Signpost No. 707 / 709 towards Fradusta / Passo Pradidali. At the first crossroads, the trail keeps to the right, towards the southeast, following the Signpost No. 709 which leads to the mountain gap of Passo Pradidali Basso. This first section develops in the middle of the high altitude plateau, featuring continuous ups and downs while constantly surrounded by an amazing view of the peaks of Vezzana, Cimon della Pala, Bureloni, Focobòn and, more generically, on the whole northernmost sub-range of Pale di San Martino.
From the gap of Passo Pradidali Basso (2,658 m asl), the itinerary continues, always keeping to the right, towards the south, approaching the descent towards Rifugio Pradidali (Signpost No. 709), descending into the valley of Pradidali, in a first steep section which then widens in a spectacular landscape with the summits of Pala di San Martino and Immink to the west and the imposing one of Canali to the southeast. After passing by the lake of Pradidali (2,241 m asl), a small seasonal lake – of great beauty especially during the thaw period – located in a glacial exhalation basin in the highest part of Val Pradidali, the Signpost No. 709 leads directly to the hut of Rifugio Pradidali (2,278 m asl) which, located half a way to the finish, is an excellent point for a break.
From Rifugio Pradidali, you then proceed uphill along the path of the Signpost No. 715 towards the gap of Passo di Ball, in a stretch at the bottom of a large basin located at the foot of the great and imposing peak named Campanile di Pradidali (2,744 m asl).
Once crossed the cap of Passo di Ball (2,443 m, John Ball), from where it is also possible to have a wide sight over the peaks of Val di Ròda, Pradidali and, further away, Rosetta, the hike proceeds keeping the Singpost No. 715, descending on a fairly slippery ground, often covered with snow, along the side of the upper valley called Val di Ròda, opposite to that of the upper valley of Pradidali. Keeping the orographic right of Val di Ròda, the path proceeds in the direction of the place called Còl de le Féde on what is perhaps the most technical section of the itinerary, along a ledge where there are also fixed ropes to support the hikers. Bypassing the spur of the vertical of peak of Cima Immink and once past the top of the next gully, you reach a location called Còl de le Féde (2,278 m asl), a gravelly shelf below the impressive wall of the summit of Pala di San Martino; from here, the trails approaches its last section by proceeding along the Singpost No. 702, which climbs up the Val di Ròda until reaching the hut of Rifugio Rosetta, just a few hundred meters after crossing the gap of Passo Val di Ròda (2,567 m asl).
- From the hut of Rifugio Rosetta (2,578 m asl), follow the Signpost No. 707 / 709 towards Fradusta / Passo Pradidali, keeping the Signpost No. 709 towards Passo Pradidali Basso,
- From the gap of Passo Pradidali Basso (2,658 m asl), descend the valley of Pradidali along the Signpost No. 709 until reaching Rifugio Pradidali, passing by the lake of Pradidali (2,241 m asl),
- From the hut of Rifugio Pradidali (2,278 m asl), proceed uphill along the Signpost No. 715 towards Passo di Ball,
- From the gap of Passo di Ball (2,443 m), keep following the Singpost No. 715 and continue on the aided section until getting to the crossroads by Còl de le Féde,
- From the location of Còl de le Féde (2,278 m asl), ascend along the Signpost No. 702 until reaching Rifugio Rosetta. ✓
RIFUGIO PEDROTTI ALLA ROSETTA
- Located on the plateau of the Pala Group (Pale di San Martino), at 2,358 meters of altitude, the hut of Rifugio Giovanni Pedrotti alla Rosetta, also called Rifugio Pedrotti or Rifugio Rosetta, was built in 1889, based on a design by the engineer Annibale. The hut is one of the oldest Rifugio owned by SAT (club of alpinists from the area of Trento).
- As early as 1896, given the growing interest around the Dolomites of the Pala Group, the hut was enlarged. Together with the expansion project, the SAT also decided to build a second building, used as a hotel, at the gap of Passo della Rosetta, overlooking the basin where the village of San Martino di Castrozza stands. However, the initiative was trashed away due to the outbreak of the First World War.
- After the Great War, which left only a few walls standing, Rifugio Rosetta was restored and subsequently enlarged in 1931. The Second World War, however, reserved a similar fate to the hut, which was set on fire by the Nazis.
- With the construction, in 1957, of the cable car that leads from Colverde to a few hundred meters from the hut, Rifugio Rosetta opened finally up to mass tourism of the Dolomites.
- The name of the Rifugio probably comes from “prati gialli” (tr. yellow meadows), due to the rich bloom of the alpine poppy growing downstream, which uses to color in yellow the screes of Val Pradidali.
- Rifugio Pradidali is a historic Dolomite’s Rifugio, built in 1896 by the DÖAV of Dresden. The hut is the starting point for several beautiful rock climbs of all kinds and difficulties, including the famous Buhl-Erwing Crack, frequented by mountaineers from all over the world, and other classic rock climbs named after the well-known alpinists Langes, Detassis, Castiglioni, Wiessner, Solleder, up to the great and world wide famous free-climber Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla (a.k.a. “il mago“, the magician). In the early days of his brilliant climbing career, Manolo established his base camp right at the hut.