Forcelles Utia and Col Pradat

On the Alta Via di Colfosco between shelters and the legendary Sassongher


Gloomy day at the end of June. In the morning, the weather does not promise anything good, so we choose a short excursion, near San Cassiano.
I find out about the Alta via di Colfosco that leads from the Jimmy refuge to Col Pradat. Since we have already done the Jimmy refuge (click here for the adventure details), we decide to take the piece of Alta via that we are missing, that is to reach the Utia Forcelles refuge and Col Pradat.
So let's start right from Colfosco at the start of the Col Pradat cable car at an altitude of about 1700m. We fasten our boots and head north along the asphalted road towards the first objective: the Utia Edelweiss refuge. We are on CAI path number 4. Looking left there are green meadows with grazing cows, playful donkeys and horses free to run. On the right side the tree-lined Col Pradat which stands out imposingly up to 2000mt. Cows and calves accompany us with cowbells to an amphitheater-like opening where we can already see the Edelweiss refuge. The view becomes even more beautiful: we are faced with the imposing walls of the Puez-Odle between Sass Ciampac and the imperious Sassongher of which we imagine the summit since it is surrounded by white clouds.
We continue on the CAI 4 track which has now become stony but still beautiful wide. We reach a fork at an altitude of 1900 with the indication for the Forcelles refuge. So we take the CAI path number 8 towards the SW. The slope begins to be a little more pronounced but you can proceed comfortably without effort. The view of Colfosco and Corvara is magical surrounded by some mountain pine trees that form a natural setting for beautiful postcards. The path runs along flowering meadows with gentle slopes. It is no coincidence that in winter these green fields are a real easy and very wide ski slope. At an altitude of about 2000m, a panoramic window on the Sella group leaves us speechless. The clouds are clearing and the sun is slowly making its way. In short we reach the Utia Forcelles with a splendid terrace from which you can enjoy the coolness and a splendid view of the Sella group.



Date

24-06-2022

Distance

8.13 KM

Hike type

Hike

Ascent

516 mt

  • Mountain

    Sassongher

  • Address

    Colfosco, Trentino Alto Adige, Italy

  • Altitude

    2111.00 m

  • Refuges

    Utia Forcelles, Rifugio Col Pradat

  • Information

    Utia Forcelles Rifugio Col Pradat

One last effort to reach the highest point of the day: an altitude of 2111m in the saddle known as Forcelles. A bench welcomes us to enjoy the beauty of the mountain in total comfort. On our right the Sella, where we can see the Sassolungo in the direction of the Gardena Pass. In front of us the splendid valleys of Alta Badia with Corvara in the center. Finally, on our left the Sassongher Dolomites, now clear of clouds, up to the nearby Sass Ciampac. A marmot, on the slopes of Sass Ciampac, begins to whistle more and more insistently to cheer up our stop. We leave the saddle and, along the same ascent route, we head towards the crossroads of the morning. Once reached, we now follow the signs for Col Pradat and then the CAI path number 3.
Here we see the different paths that go up towards the Sassongher fork and consequently to the top, or to reach the Puez refuge after passing the Ciampei Somafurcia fork. We skirt the imposing walls of the Sassongher and looking at them make a certain impression. The path is always beautiful, wide and stony, bordered by very tall and luxuriant mountain pine shrubs. We reach the gentle hill from which we finally see the outline of the Col Pradat refuge. Here we make friends with a nice couple from Emilia-Romagna, Giampaolo and Barbara. We sit down with them for an excellent lunch inside the refuge. We share the excursions and experiences made in Alta Badia and in our beautiful Belluno Dolomites. Thanks to Barbara we learn about a super drink to be preferred to the usual tea to quench your thirst and recover in the mountains: an excellent hot apple juice!
We say goodbye to Giampaolo and Barbara and go down towards the parking towards Colfosco. To close the ring, we choose CAI path number 3 which starts right behind the Col Pradat refuge. In fact, it represents the ascent route of the cable car. The track is a typical relatively narrow path deep in the woods. Cool and beautifully steep in some places, it allows you to descend at speed. The sun came out with all its arrogance in the early afternoon and this route is a panacea for finding some refreshment. A couple of glimpses towards Colfosco offer beautiful views towards the Sella and the Pisciadù peak. In just under an hour we return to the parking lot and conclude the day's loop.
An adventure suitable for the whole family. The Alta via di Colfosco turned out to be a beautiful hike that allows you to have magical panoramas even on days that are not exactly perfect in terms of weather. The limited height difference allows you to do this itinerary even in half a day: highly recommended!




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Difficulty

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.