This challenging itinerary is ideal for expert hikers looking for a full day experience, entirely immersed in the spectacular atmosphere offered by the peaks of the Pala Group. The route starts from the mid altitude of the high valley of Canali and passes through three main huts of the Pala Group, connecting together some of the main itineraries of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI).
The route starts from the location of Madonna della Neve / Ritonda, in the high valley of Canali. It is fairly easy to get to the starting location by own means, with the availability of a parking lot by the buildings of Cant del Gal / Ritonda, where the Pradidali stream – impetuously flowing in the Pradidali Valley – flows into the Canali stream.
The first part of the route climbs along the path of the Signpost No. 709 towards Rifugio Pradidali. After walking in the forest and reaching the crossroads in the location of Portèla / Pedemonte (1,640 m asl), the trail proceeds along keeping the Signpost No. 709 which faces a steep stretch on rocky terrain. Particularly touristic and always well signposted, this path leads directly to the hut of Rifugio Pradidali (2,278 m asl).
From Rifugio Pradidali, the route proceeds on the left, heading NW, along the Signpost No. 715 towards the gap called Passo di Ball (2,443 m asl), already visible from the hut. After crossing a large basin of Dolomite rock, in a few minutes you will reach Passo di Ball; from here, after a short equipped stretch that is neither particularly exposed nor demanding, the route proceeds downhill towards the Val di Ròda. Then, the Signpost No. 715 continues flat up until reaching the location of Còl de le Féde, where a crossroads with the Signpost No. 702 – coming from San Martino di Castrozza – stands. From the crossroads the trail takes to the right path (Signpost No. 702) towards Rifugio Rosetta. After a rather long stretch with numerous hairpin bends, you reach the gap named Passo Val di Ròda (2,572 m asl) and, right after, the nearby hut of Rifugio Rosetta (2,578 m asl).
From Rifugio Rosetta, the itinerary continues with various ups and downs along what is one of the most classic crossings of the Pala Group Plateau (from W to E). The trail heads towards the E, following the Signpost No. 707; after a couple of km you will find a crossroads; here you keep to the left, always following the marks of the Signpost No. 707 towards Passo Canali / Rifugio Treviso, while walking along the beautiful lunar landscape of Riviera di Manna, a source of inspiration for Dino Buzzati’s famous book “Desert of the Tartars”. The path is well signposted and offers a beautiful view over the glacier of Fradusta (on the right side); after the long crossing you reach the crossroads by the saddle of Forcella di Miél (2,528 m asl), which overlooks the Costón del Mièl, where the path of the Signpost No. 705 climbs up from Val d’Angheraz. From here, the route continues on the right (always following the Signpost No. 707) until it reaches the gap of Passo Canali (2,469 m asl), located on the head of the Canali Valley, from where the last (long) downhill stretch that descends on the left side of the valley begins. The descent leads to the hut of Rifugio Treviso (1,630 m asl), from where the trail continues heading towards the bottom of the valley, along an initial stretch on a path that joins a gravel road which becomes paved after a while, leading directly to the starting point.
- From the location of Sabbionade / Ritonda, climb along the path of the Signpost No. 709 towards Rifugio Pradidali, passing by the intersection in the location of Portèla / Pedemonte (1,640 m asl),
- From the hut of Rifugio Pradidali (2,278 m asl), proceed on the left, towards the NW, towards the gap of Passo di Ball, on the Signpost No. 715,
- From Passo di Ball (2,443 m asl), proceed following the Signpost No. 715 towards Val di Ròda until getting by Còl de le Féde, then follow the Signpost No. 702 towards Rifugio Rosetta,
- From the hut of Rifugio Rosetta (2,578 m asl), continue towards E, along the Signpost No. 707 towards Passo Canali / Rifugio Treviso, passing on the fork called Forcella di Miél (2,528 m asl) and the gap of Passo Canali (2,469 m asl),
- From the hut of Rifugio Treviso (1,630 m asl), descend towards the valley, arriving directly at the starting point. ✓
- 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.
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.
- 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.