Finally some days of good weather have arrived in the mountains and fortunately they coincide with the first week of holidays of this 2023.
Together with Giorgia we stop at the very comfortable and strategic hotel Dolomiti Des Alpes in Misurina. There is no hotel in a better position to enjoy any excursion in the splendid Eastern Dolomites.
Today's adventure, chosen to "leak off" since it is the first outing, has as its objective the Città di Carpi refuge and the unprecedented Malga Maraia.
We leave early in the morning, the air is crisp, in a few minutes we reach the Col de Varda car park on the shores of Lake Misurina. Here we choose to take the chairlift to save ourselves the 250/300m altitude difference on the way. The journey is comfortable and quite rapid, you immediately notice how steep and suitable Col de Varda is for ski slopes of varying difficulty in winter.
We soon reach the Col de Varda refuge where it is a must to stop for a few minutes to observe the panorama that ranges between the Cristallo group, the Cristallino di Misurina, Mount Piana and the majestic Rautkofel (Mount Rudo). From here, descend for a short steep section on the CAI 120a path, turning left (south) and thus we head towards the well-signposted Città di Carpi refuge.
You continue on a false level which tends to continue descending accompanied by the baranci which produce that warmth of the undergrowth with the balsamic aroma. The pines seem to support the mountains that we see in front of us, from the spiers of Marmarole to the amphitheater of Sorapiss. Leaning towards the west you can also distinguish the splendid Tofane and the peaks of Nuvolau and Averau.
We continue effortlessly up to the junction of the Bus de Pogofa where a still descending path invites us to Malga Maraia. We have never visited this Malga so we absolutely have to go and see it. We walk the CAI 120 stretch of path in the direction of the malga. Still on the wide and stony cart track, we enter the Misurina wood which refreshes us from this heat which already seems to be late summer.
In about an hour from the departure from the Col de Varda refuge we reach the final flat stretch that comes out of the wood and prepares us for the arrival at the malga. We begin to notice the fences around the area we are in, and a driveway with attached parking prepare us for arrival. And here it is, Malga Maraia, immersed in the sinuous greenery of the grassy coast of Maraia Bassa. The cows on the grassy slopes on the left ring their bells cheerfully, while on the right some very black horses are having breakfast in a sunny area. The malga is in the centre, splendid and recently renovated. A usual photo is a must also given the presence of these splendid animals that enrich the panorama of the Dolomites. Production of typical products and delicious dishes are the flagship of this malga, a perfect place even for the youngest hikers who certainly won't get bored here.
Cadini di Misurina
Misurina, Veneto, Italy
Rifugio Città di Carpi, Malga Maraia
We leave the malga and, along the same route as the outward journey, we climb the dirt road which takes us back without difficulty to the Bus de Pogofa. Now we take the path in a southeasterly direction towards today's final stage. We walk the path in and out of the woods, between windows overlooking the Dolomites and refreshing stretches among the larches. The route is a continuous ups and downs with the last more decisive piece on arrival at the Forcella Maraia. From here you have almost a 360 degree view of Sorapiss, Marmarole and the very close Croda di Cianpoduro up to the refuge behind you!
In about 3 hours from departure, we reach the Città di Carpi refuge! The refuge is a must for hikers who venture to Cadini di Misurina and, above all, for what they face on the Alta Via number 4. We refresh ourselves with a splendid barley soup and the legendary eggs, speck and potatoes that are inevitable in high-altitude refuges. Backpacks on our shoulders and we retrace our steps as the weather begins to become uncertain.
We retrace the same path as the outward journey, on the CAI 120 path, which at first cheers us up with a couple of descents and then reminds us that from the Bus di Pogofa to the junction of the Col de Varda refuge, the false level is uphill this time! We don't give up and even overcome the hot humid section of the barracks. At the crossroads with the Col de Varda refuge, we continue straight on the road which descends sharply and which from here on out will only give you a negative difference in height! We soon reach the parking lot of the Col de Varda chairlift.
A varied and not difficult excursion. Suitable for everyone, with particular attention to the little ones who will be able to play and enjoy animals and nature at the splendid Malga Maraia which was a wonderful surprise for us! The Città di Carpi refuge is the usual guarantee of a place for refreshment and relaxation!
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.