This pleasant but rather long route will lead you to the top of Cima Bocche, starting from Val Travignolo. The itinerary is suitable to be covered both during the summer and during the winter with snowshoes or skis.
Cima Bocche, the highest peak among the mountain range which takes its name from it and is located north of the Lagorai range, is now the border between the Primiero and Fassa communities. Cima Bocche is also known for having been the scene of strong clashes between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops during the First World War.
The starting point of the trail is located a few hundred meters after passing the crossroads that from Paneveggio leads up towards Passo Valles. The itinerary begins by taking the gravel road called Val Minera, which starts from the parking lot and climbs steadily into the forest. After passing the various hairpin bends that allow you to quickly gain altitude, at about 1,850 m high, turn right and connect to the Signpost No. 623. Once you reach Signpost No. 623, at an altitude of about 1,920 meters, keep the eastern side and follow the ridge that climbs north, leaving the pastures of Malga Bocche on your left side.
The route starts climbing rapidly, reaching the wide dips of Agnelezza di Bocche, at the edge of which a military cemetery (Val Minera) stands, with its commemorative obelisk dated 1917.
From Agnelazza di Bocche, continue north-east towards the ridge of Cima Bocche, passing the crossroads that leads east towards Passo Juribrutto (2,381 m a.s.l.), called since the times of the Great War “Osservatorio” (tr. observatory). The slope climbs on open ground and always far from the steep ridge, along the most logical line of ascent that gradually leads up to the summit, following the Signpost No. 628 through an entrenched area. Along the passage that runs through the wide pastures, it is possible to see several remains of the Great War.
From the summit of Cima Bocche (2,745 m a.s.l.) the view is spectacular; you can admire, on the southern and western sides, the mountain ranges of Pale di San Martino, Lagorai, Latemar, Catinaccio, Sassolungo, Sella and the magnificent southern wall of the Marmolada. On the eastern side, you can easily spot Le Tofane, Antelao, Monte Pelmo and the north-west face of Monte Civetta.
The way back follows backwards the path of ascent.
- From the valley of Travignolo, take the gravel road called Val Minera towards Malga Bocche/Cima Bocche,
- Keep following the road, then leading along the Signpost No. 623 towards Cima Bocche, passing through the wide open area named as Agnelezza di Bocche,
- Once passing by the military cemetery of Val Minera (2,250 m a.s.l.), keep following the direction towards the summit of Cima Bocche (2,745 m a.s.l.), along the Signpost No. 628,
- The way back follows the same route. ✓
The Great War on Cima Bocche
- In 1915, when the Kingdom of Italy joined the conflict of the First World War, the very first Austro-Hungarian defence line was cutting the valley of Travignolo and then developing along the ridge of the summit of Cima Bocche.
- Due to its position and features, Cima Bocche was the cornerstone of the Austrian defense of the area. The verticality of the north face of the summit was making the passage practically impossible, while the opposite side that descends towards the Rolle and Valles passes is very gentle, and therefore potentially exposed to attacks by large infantry units.
- The first fights took place between July and August 1915, when the Italian troops of the Brigata Tevere attempted to conquer the summit by climbing the valley of the lakes of Lusia in order to take the Bocche mountain gap. Despite numerous gaps opened in the barbed wires by the action of a bomb and the initial signs of success, the offensive failed to conquer Cima Bocche.
- In 1916, after a particularly harsh and snowy winter that caused many casualties, also due to avalanches, the dispute over the control of Cima Bocche started over again. The fighting lasted all summer, with no particular breaking events, until the last action of November 3, 1916, when the Brigata Tevere, already burdened by thousands of losses, managed to conquer the strategic point known as the “Osservatorio” (at about 2,636 mt. high), losing it, however, after just five days of close clashes with the Austro-Hungarian infantry. After the failure of the latter offensive, the Italian troops withdrew along the initial defensive line, where they remained until mid November 1917, before retiring to the Piave river.
- Along the whole ridge of Cima Bocche and on the equipped path of the Gronton there are still numerous remains of WWI artifacts, silent witnesses of that time.
Striffler, R. (1994). Guerra di mine nelle Dolomiti. Lagazuoi, Castelletto 1915-1917. Casa Editrice Panorama.
Bettega, A. (2010). Grande Guerra in valle di Fiemme-Fassa e Biois. Edizioni Gino Rossato.
Von Lichem, A. (1993). La guerra in montagna 1915-1918: il Fronte Dolomitico. Bolzano, Italy: Athesia.