If you are an experienced hiker looking for a short but intense itinerary to do in half a day, featuring technical sections on little-known trails and passing by the wonderland offered by the so-called “buse” (tr. gullies) of the mountain range of Vette Feltrine, this route could probably fascinate you. The loop itinerary stretches for just over 10 km and passes through some of the most enchanting and lonely places in the Dolomite chain of the Vette Feltrine, between the provinces of Trento and Belluno.
The trail starts from the location of Valpiana di Sotto (1,128 m asl). From the parking lot of the hut of Casina Forestale di Valpiana, the itinerary begins by walking slightly downhill along the wide track of the Signpost No. 733 (signpost of the thematic trail “Abeti Giganti”), which continues shortly after on the “Vederne” gravel road, heading O in towards Alpe Vederna. Once reached the crossroads of four gravel roads, the route leaves the Signpost No. 733 to ascend, left toward SEE, along the gravel road leading to the hut of Malga Val Stúa di Sopra (aka Malga Costón). After a first uphill stretch leading to the valley called Boàl dei Canalini, you reach the wide pasture, in the middle of which stands the hut of Malga Val Stúa di Sopra (1,412 m asl), where the panorama opens wide to the overhanging mountain range of Vette Feltrine. From the pasture, looking towards SSE, it is possible to visualize the line of the entire ascent, which runs along the crest of the wooded ridge that descends from the lowest gap visible in front of you.
Once the hut is left behind, the itinerary keeps the direction of the access road to it and crosses the pasture on an initially wide and visible track that points to the crest of the hill named Col del Linzolétto. The track plunges into the woods along the ridge and gradually becomes less visible, though it remains evident; in this section it is important to keep yourself close to the ridge of Col del Linzolétto (to the E of the gully of Val de Stùa). A rather steep uphill section leads to the Col del Linzolétto (the summit book is hanging on a tree); from here, the trail continues along the ridge, moving away from it only at a couple of stretches: the first on the right side, towards O (a bit more technical) and the second on the left side, towards E.
Right above 1,500 meters in altitude, the trail (also marked by a few cairns and sporadic red markers) leaves the ridge to head SO up the grassy slopes where the first Dolomite rock formations begin to emerge, in the direction of the rocky gully of the head of Val de Stúa. After crossing a fascinating passage inside a natural tunnel (stól), the trail continues for a few dozen meters slightly downhill until it reaches the base of the rocky gully of the upper Val de Stúa, where the most technical section of the itinerary begins.
The ascent of the rock formation, on beautiful non-friable rock, is not challenging, but special care should be taken because of its exposure. A few hundred meters of ascent lead to the grassy basin of the Busa dell’Orso, where the trail (become almost not visible at the rocky section) resumes, crosses the junction to the right with the small path of “Circhi delle Vette” and leads to the wide gap located between the summits of Cima Dodici (to the W) and Col di Luna shoulder (to the E).
From the gap, the sight changes completely and opens wide to the S towards the environment of rare beauty and unique flora of the “buse” of the Vette Feltrine (or “Circhi delle Vette”): very wide natural depressions shaped in the Ice Age and later by snow and karst phenomena. From the gap, located at the head of Busa delle Vette, the itinerary continues by descending along the track until it crosses the main path of “Alta Via delle Dolomiti No. 2” (Signpost No. 801 – AV2), which you take to the left (NE direction) towards Rifugio Boz / Passo Finestra. Once crossed the gap of Passo Pietena (2.111 m slm) – between the municipalities of Sovramonte and Feltre -, you continue on the path that maintains the contour and runs along the head of the spectacular Busa di Pietena, beyond which it is possible to glimpse, toward the S, the summit of Monte San Mauro. In a little less than a kilometer you then arrive, just below Forcella Valón (2,060 m asl), at the crossroads with the path of the Signpost No. 735, which you take towards Malga Valpiana / Piani di Val de Ròda / Rifugio Fonteghi, beginning the descent on the sparsely frequented path of Forcella Valón (Signpost No. 735), featuring stretches with friable rock. The downhill section turns entirely towards the nearby Noana Valley, Primiero Valley and the peaks of the Pala Group, offering really interesting views.
After a last stretch of tight hairpin bends in the forest, having finished the descent of Forcella Valón, the route reaches the location of Piani Val de Ròda (1,380 m asl), where it continues slightly downhill on the gravel road. To return back to the starting point, it is possible either to continue on the forest road or, shortening the route by about ten minutes, to take (at the first hairpin bend, to the left towards the SO) an old path in the woods that cuts across the northern slopes of Monte Agheré on a slight descent, arriving directly at the start, by the hut called Casina Forestale di Valpiana.
- From the parking lot of the hut of Casina Forestale di Valpiana (location of Valpiana di Sotto – 1,128 m asl), follow the Signpost No. 733 to the junction of four roads,
- From the junction, climb along the access road to the hut of Malga Val Stúa di Sopra,
- From the hut (1,412 m asl), keep the direction of the access road and follow the trail along the ridge of Col del Linzolétto until you reach the saddle between the summits of Cima Dodici and Col di Luna,
- From the saddle, follow the main Signpost No. 801 “Alta Via delle Dolomiti No. 2” towards Rifugio Boz / Passo Finestra to the junction with the Signpost No. 735 (by Forcella Valón),
- From Forcella Valón (2,060 m asl), descend following the trail of the Signpost No. 735 heading down towards Malga Valpiana / Piani di Val de Ròda / Rifugio Fonteghi, pass the location of Piani Val de Ròda (1,380 m asl) and follow the gravel road until you get back to the starting point, at Casina Forestale di Valpiana. ✓