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Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

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Toronto, Canada
posts: 535
reviews: 54
Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

Hi, I'm planning a 3 week hiking trip to the Alps, and I'm debating whether I should take 4-5 days out of our time in Switzerland to explore the Dolomites. My worry is that I'll leave the Alps and say "it's nice but the alps were more spectacular".

Is there an area of the Dolomites that is generally considered the best, most spectaular, most beautiful, etc? The Chamonix/Mont Blanc or Bernese Oberland of the Dolomites?

Can you list 1, 2 or 3 of your favorite "must do" hikes or via ferrata routes?

And finally, is the last half of September generally a good time to visit? When does it typically start snowing?

Thanks!

9 replies to this topic
San Lorenzo di...
posts: 166
1. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

Hi Ironman, have you checke the UNESCO website for the reasons that the Dolomites were pronounced natural world heritage site? One of the reasons was due to their outstanding beauty. So: no worries that you might come to the Dolomites in vain. They are not as high as the Alps in Swizzerland, yes, but they are simply great and spectacular like hardly any region in the world. Just take a look at some pictures in the internet, then you'll see.

"Best hikes", "best ferratas", "must does", well, all these expressions implicate crowds, never forget that. Great hikes are to Lago di Sorapis, Lago di Praies and beyond, Fanes, Senes, Val Travenances (somtimes impassable do to the river that at times crosses the entire vally making is unpassable) etc. Great ferrateas you'll find on the Tofana di Mezzo, Tofana di Rozes, via ferrata Tomaselli, and many others.

But in general you'll find, that the entire Dolomites are stunning, regardles of where you visit. Never fear that you miss something, if your holiday commences with that fear you ought to reconsider you stand. You can buy best cars, but never best sceneries, best moiuntains, etc.

When did you intend to come? We still have heaps of snow after a record winter with tons of snow. So the snow will be a nuisance until well into July I guess. Last year was similar, this year it'll be probably worse, so far, we haven't even had any good rain that contributes enormously to the melting of the snow. Sometimes in May I'll publish a report of the conditions, keep checking.

See you in the Dolomites, you won't regret this. But be careful: the Dolomites are addictive.

Gerd

Hudson Valley
posts: 1,195
reviews: 1
2. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

>> When did you intend to come? We still have heaps of snow after a record winter with tons of snow. So the snow will be a nuisance until well into July I guess. Last year was similar, this year it'll be probably worse, so far, we haven't even had any good rain that contributes enormously to the melting of the snow. Sometimes in May I'll publish a report of the conditions, keep checking.

Wow, again this year?! I thought it was bad last year. lol.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 535
reviews: 54
3. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

Well after looking into it some more we're definitely going to try to make time for a side trip to the Dolomites. My only concern now is the timing of it all, if we came it would have to be between Sept 16-20, is that too late? I read that a lot of the Rifugios close in September. Also, how does the Brenta group compare to Cortina area? I keep reading about the Via delle Bochette Centrale and Alte via ferrata? Thanks!

San Lorenzo di...
posts: 166
4. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

@Pudgy

Hi Pudgy, long time no hear :-) Record winter is what we had this year, last year we had a late heavy snowfall (up to 1m around mid May, as far as I remember). This year we had at places up to 6m of snow (=snow that's measured as soon as it falls. It then "sits" and gets compressed since the snow-crystals break. The snow cover was then around 2-3m in the Dolomites, a lot more than we had last year).

@ironman

September 16-20 is excelent. Some huts may have closed then, so you'll have toi do some research if you intend to stay in huts, otherwise it's a wonderfull time since the air is a lot drier already compared to August, so the views into the distance will be great. and the probabillity for a thunderstorm will be less. And: the crowds will have left by then. So all up it's a good choice of time.

Another tip for via ferratas: consider the Civetta.

Brenta/Cortina: sorry, I really don't know the Brenta. But I'm confident the Dolomites there are as spectacular as in other areas. I Guess some areas are only more popular than others since they are closer to more well known places such as Cortina or so. There probalby is really no other reason to this. Consider the Pala, most wonderfull too, I'd say.

Gerd

Richmond, Virginia
posts: 2
5. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

Gerd

your comments are very helpful. we will be visiting Dolomites for first time last week in May. will we be able to use any cable cars/ski lifts and will there be so much snow that we cannot hike? thank you

San Lorenzo di...
posts: 166
6. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

Hi hatteras,

on

altabadia.org/en/…lifts_alta_badia

you get an english version of cable cars in Val Badia. You can download others on

valgardena.it/fileadmin/…Lifts_Summer2013.pdf

and

valgardena.it/fileadmin/template/files/pdf/L…

As you can see, there aren't toom many open at that time.

Hope I could help.

Gerd

Richmond, Virginia
posts: 2
7. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

very helpful! thank you very much as this has helped our planning for the short time we will have in the Cortina area

Toronto, Canada
posts: 535
reviews: 54
8. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

So we've decided to spend two days in the Brenta to do the Bocchette Centrale/Alta via ferrata's. Then we will head to Cortina, on the way we will stop in Ortisei to do a short hike from the top of the Seceda cablecar to Col Raiser. Then we have 3 days in Cortina.. it seems the tour of Tre Cime is very highly recommended, and we could also do the via ferrata to monte paterno at the same time. I've also seen photos of the Strada Degli Alpini via ferrata that look very cool so that could be another day.

Are all of these good choices? What should we do on our final day? A hike from Rifugio Lagazuoi?

Hudson Valley
posts: 1,195
reviews: 1
9. Re: Dolomites hiking/via ferrata questions?

Tre Cime and Lagazuoi are two of my favorite spots. My husband did the via ferrata on Mt. Paterno and said it was great (pics are here: http://www.pbase.com/pudgy_groundhog/dolomites1).

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