2022 is coming to an end, the abundant snow that fell in the first days of December still gives a thin candid mantle attacked by temperatures that are rising above average again. Today, together with Giorgia, we have chosen an unusual adventure, away from the frenzy of the ski season. We have not focused on remote places, but right in the heart of the winter nightlife: Cortina d'Ampezzo!
We pass the center of Cortina and head towards Fiames. Before reaching the stadium, we turn onto the Ra Sia bridge to reach the Camping Olympia car park. The day is crisp, but still not too cold. We get ready with the boots, put the crampons in the backpack and head west on the old cart track which is now identified by the CAI 409 path. We immediately notice that the snow is pretty cold, almost frozen, and there isn't a suitable layer for the use of snowshoes.
We enter the forest of whitewashed fir and larch trees, a relaxing silence welcomes us. The only sound is the song of some shy birds on the tips of the trees that surround us. The climb is gentle, a restorative walk that allows us to breathe clean air deeply. We soon reach an opening towards the town of Cortina and enjoy a splendid view in the direction of Faloria and the Sorapiss group. We continue until we reach an altitude of 1445 meters (Paruèto) where we take the detour to the left in a southerly direction. A few hundred meters separate us from the paved road which allows us to reach this place in complete tranquillity.
We reach the asphalt made very slippery by a thin layer of ice. We are careful where we put our feet to avoid a tumble. We advance until we reach a track in the snow that leads to a row of larches.
We proceed in the wood until we reach today's coveted destination: Lake Ghedina! In less than an hour from departure, you arrive at this splendid lake with a sinuous shape all surrounded by trees to shield it in a beautiful postcard. Leaning towards the center stands a small restaurant which, thanks to a glazed terrace, allows you to enjoy the magnificent panorama comfortably seated and savoring delicious dishes.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Veneto, Italy
Ristorante Saliola al lago Ghedina
Relaxation is total, the view of this lake offers a disarming serenity. Normally it is possible to go all the way around the lake, but unfortunately today a bridge damaged by snow does not allow it. Reaching the southern shore it is possible to have a panorama of the lake with the restaurant and, behind it, the chain of Crepe de Cianderòu. The beauty of this lake has been praised since the early twentieth century. In the "Guide to the Ampezzo Valley and its surroundings", in the edition released in Vienna in 1905, one can read: Lake Ghedina, rich in excellent trout, lies northwest of Cortina, at the foot of the gigantic Tofane and del Cianderòu, in a very pleasant basin surrounded by larch and fir trees. [...] Here you can spend a few hours in pleasant amusement, finding something to refresh yourself in a small inn located near the shore, and then rocking yourself limply in the waters of the lake on a light boat.
Today it is not even possible to attempt a boat ride: the lake is completely frozen! The clear slab that covers it gives the entire room a dazzling light thanks to the shy reflected sun. As also recommended by the 1905 guide, we enjoy a few moments of relaxation in the restaurant on the shore, the "Saliola al lago Ghedina", enjoying the succulent dishes.
The sun greets the lake from the early afternoon and hides behind the Tofane on the western side. We pick up our backpacks and head towards the descent route to make a loop. You can choose different routes for the return. We intend to try the fastest route in the woods with the combination of paths 410, in the very first stretch, 416 and 417. We walk along the side of the road, on compact snow, the stretch of CAI 410 but, having arrived at the entrance to 416 , we notice that there is too much snow. We don't have snowshoes and it would be useless to sink into the snow and tire ourselves unnecessarily. We therefore choose to continue on the paved road and consequently in the CAI 410 track. We are careful because in some places the asphalt has points with a light layer of ice.
We go down and the road becomes gradually cleaner. At an altitude of 1400 meters we reach a small hut from which you can see a splendid panoramic view of Cortina, the Faloria up to the Becco di Mezzodì. Flanking the hut on our right, we continue along a timid path that enters the woods and forces us to wear crampons. Here there are short stretches of ice alternating with fallen foliage that does not allow you to see any ice underneath. We soon arrive at the town of Cadin at an altitude of 1320 meters with splendid and characteristic wooden huts. The view of Cortina from here is magical!
We head north on the paved road and soon cross the CAI 417 path with a majestic view of Punta Fiames, Pomagagnon and Cristallo. A comfortable walk on the snow, reassured by the imposing mountains in front of us, allows us to enter the woods again. We pass a small stream, we proceed in the decisive descent starting to glimpse the Boite. From this moment on, we continually skirt it observing the splendid bends, swellings and waterfalls that this beautiful stream creates. Finally, we flank a characteristic sloping cliff on the path that becomes thinner and we can look down on the crystal clear waters of the vigorous Boite.
We then arrive in Fiames, the sun has almost set and we glimpse the Pomagagnon among the fronds, golden by the warm light that forms a magnificent enrosadira. We thus return to the Olympia camping car park, closing the loop.
A splendid excursion, simple, suitable for everyone. Young and old can have fun immersed in silent nature just a few steps away from the pearl of the Dolomites. A magical place, which offers emotions without the arrogant frenzy of the ski slopes.
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.