Sun and not even a cloud in the sky, perfect weather for a special day in the mountains with Giorgia.
Given the amount of snow still present at low altitudes, we organize ourselves for an excursion starting from Passo Staulanza: start for a myriad of trails! In fact, we are not the only ones making this argument. Passing through the Val Zoldana we begin to see a considerable number of cars that ring together with us towards the pass. Accomplices various narrowings caused by recent landslides, the car snake that advances becomes more and more compact and tries to disperse at the height of Palafavera, Passo Staulanza and the subsequent bends without success. Like ants they manage to colonize every hole also available on the roadside. The only solution is the Palafavera car park given the size available and here, fortunately, we are able to fit the car into a tiny living space ...
Originally the destination of our planned excursion was Casera Fontanafredda departing from Staulanza. Now we start from Palafavera and it does not seem, map in hand, that there are paths that allow us to easily reach our goal.
Let's go on an adventure! We choose the path that runs along the cross-country ski slopes, leaving the Palafavera refuge behind us and we take the path towards the north-west.
We then leave the Zoldo and enter the Val Posedera. We flank the Ru Canedo which creates spectacular canyons with snow, water and ice. The outline is given by an airy forest of fir trees. Snow still reigns supreme, white is the dominant color, only the jackets and suits of cross-country skiers and other hikers like us interrupt the infinite whiteness. A few hundred meters from the start we notice a sign: "Malga Vescovà, go straight - please do not walk on the track". Obviously we observe the invitation not to hinder the cross-country specialists without invading their track, but the message that enlightens us is the indication of the hut!
The Vescovà dairy, in fact, is in the same direction as the Fontanafredda hut and, consequently, our original itinerary can still be done! Reassured by the news, even if we do not have a match in the Tobacco map, we continue our adventure confidently.
Val di Zoldo, Veneto, Italy
Rifugio Palafavera, malga Vescovà, malga Fontanafredda
The route is always very wide and there are several short climbs that allow you to gain altitude without difficulty. On the left, the view is characterized by the forest shaped by the snow that gives a fairytale touch. On the right the view is wide-ranging from Mount Crot up to his majesty Mount Pelmo! At every step the “Caregon of the Eternal Father” gives us a different facet, a set of typical pink shades that are always evolving that change the point of view. The splash of snow that resists on the overhanging slopes colors the vertical walls with sinuous gentle brushstrokes. The compact snow dunes hide the streams that usually line this path. A sharp curve to the left after the first 3 km of the path gives us a spectacular opening onto a plateau where you can see the Vescovà hut not far away. Here we join the CAI path 568 and in a few minutes we reach the dairy. The snow still surprises us: the hut and its small buildings are covered by at least 2 meters of snow. You can see the ends of the entrance doors and the roofs are dominated by heavy and thick coulters. There is so much snow that I can easily access the roof of what looks like a stable in front of the hut. Other children play by reaching the second floor of the dairy thanks to frozen snow ladders.
From here you can see the Fontanafredda hut on the other side of the clearing and placed a few tens of meters higher than our current position. A short restorative break and we resume the journey trying to reach the dairy from the CAI path 561. Unfortunately the path is not very beaten and, not having snowshoes with us, we risk doing double the effort sinking at every step. So we decide to go back along path 568, lengthening the itinerary a little. We descend into a small depression crossing a stream comfortably on the expanse of snow. The bridge that is normally used remains at our side covered with a very high block of snow. We rejoin the detour with a sign indicating "Fertazza", follow the trail that remains CAI 568 and, after a few meters in altitude, we arrive at the coveted Fontanafredda hut (or casera Fontanafreda).
The hut is truly impressive and clearly indicates that we have returned to the Cadore area: in fact, in large letters, you can read “Selva di Cadore” on the facade. From here it overlooks the plateau and the underlying Vescovà hut. Mount Civetta stands out in front of us. Continuing along the path you could reach the Fertazza and then the Belvedere overlooking Alleghe. We, on the other hand, enjoy a well earned lunch!
We absorb the warm rays of the sun that reflect on the frozen snow and go back along the path of the first leg. The sun begins to set and the shadow is more present on the way, instantly compacting the floury track melted in the sun. Crampons are mandatory and we are very diligently making use of them. We overcome the small depression, we resume the deviation for the path that leads to Palafavera. In this last stretch, thanks to the sun that has now greeted the Val Posedera, the wind becomes pungent and it is better to have a steady pace to stay warm.
Back to the parking lot the sun, kissing the Pelmo, is about to disappear behind the summit of Civetta giving us a magazine shot!
A splendid excursion, sometimes fairytale, with a magnificent setting given by the abundant snow . An itinerary suitable for everyone that will satisfy every type of adventurer!
Tourist - Itinerary on narrow streets, mule tracks or wide paths. The routes are generally not long, do not present any orientation problems and do not require specific training if not the typical one of the walk.