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Dolomite Hiking in San Martino di Castrozza

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Passo Rolle is a high mountain pass in Trentino which joins the Fiemme and Primiero valleys, and the communities of Predazzo, San Martino di Castrozza, and Fiera di Primiero. The highest mountains in this area belong to the Pala Group of mountains in San Martino di Castrozza, which are Vezzana (3,192m) and Cimon della Pala (3,184m). This region contains endless trails for hiking, climbing/via ferrata, and biking in the summer to 60km of ski runs and 30km Nordic skiing trails in the winter. From half day treks to weekend-long getaways, Passo Rolle offers spectacular environments and world class outdoor activities together with downtime fun including traditional cuisine to spa centers offering local and regional beauty products derived from curative plants.

Over a weekend, I did two hiking trips in Passo Rolle: one of which was for half a day to summit Cima Cavallazza and the other was for the entire day to summit Cima Mulaz. Both hikes were spectacular although each were quite different. Cavallazza was easier with wonderful views along the way. This trek was more about the journey than the destination although the summit was beautiful in it’s own right. Mulaz was a difficult, physically and mentally challenging climb up immensely vertical stony paths, surrounded by the most beautiful blue-grey mountains.

Beginning in the parking lot of Passo Rolle across the road from Hotel Venezia (1,984m) on Strada Statale 50 (SS50), follow the CAI, red and white train markers, towards Cavallazza. The trail is well marked with a few crossroad signs. Along the route, ski lifts dot the land and panoramic views of lush green vegetation contrasts with the bluebird sky. At the summit, a cross wrapped in barbed wire is stuck into a pile of stones. Although the cima is a bit shocking and out of the ordinary, the spectacular scenery which completely circumscribe the peak is well worth the climb. From the summit of Cavallazza (2,324m), carefully descend along a steep path consisting of very loose rock which leads to the small lakes of Colbricon (1,922 m). Continuing past the Colbricon Rifugio, paths through small shrubberies and alpine trees surround the lakes and proceeding on this path finally ends back in the parking lot. Cavallazza offers alpine trekking in lush green territories making the hike a very enjoyable journey.

Distance: ~7 km in total

Walking time: ~4 hours

Altitude difference: ~450 m

Altitude level: between 1,873m and 2,324m

Difficulty level: Easy-Medium

Cima Mulaz Hike

Beginning in the parking lot of Segantini chair lift before arriving at Passo Rolle (1,980m) coming from San Martino di Castrozza, continue hiking along this road passing Baita Rifugio. Proceed along the road (closed with a barrier) which descends about 250m in hairpin bends along the valley to a height of about 2,010m. It is here, among huge rocks laying on the right of the path and a small stream snaking in front, the trail 710 begins, continuing through gravel paths to finally twist it’s way up the side of Mulaz mountain. After roughly 3km of extreme vertical hiking among very little vegetation, even under a sunny sky, the atmosphere is grey. Grey rocks and grey mountains seem to overwhelm the land as the climb proceeds and exhaustion becomes overpowering. However, Passo del Mulaz (2,619m) is eventually reached which either continues down to Rifugio Mulaz (2,571m) or up another 300m to Cima Mulaz (2,906m). After conquering the cima, pure pleasure and satisfaction spreads over the body as the views are taken in and tired muscles rest. Descend down to the valley on the same route as the ascent and take a short dip in the cold river below to refresh the legs and cool down the body. Finally, proceeding along, end in the parking lot of the starting point and go grab a well-earned ice-cold beer!

Distance: ~15 km in total

Walking time: ~8 hours

Altitude difference: ~1,370m

Altitude level: between 1,930m and 2,850m

Difficulty level: Difficult

2017-11-03T14:16:18+00:00