Late November, snow only appears above 2000 metres. We await it anxiously, abundant in the Dolomite valleys, but thanks to this delay we can reach today's peak in complete safety and tranquility: Mount Crot.
Accompanying me on today's adventure are Alessandro and Enrico, colleagues also at work. A team building in the open air!
We reach the Zoldo by car, up to its northernmost tip, the Staulanza Pass, the border with the opposite Cadore, leading towards Cortina d'Ampezzo. The car park at the pass is deserted, we are the first car parked. The roadside shelter is closed at this time. The morning seems to have a bad welcome in store for us: sleet and overcast skies herald a gray day. We don't let ourselves be discouraged, we get ready and with our backpacks on our shoulders we take the track that goes up to the left of the refuge, a CAI path which however does not have a number.
The path proceeds with a very gentle slope, we don't struggle, we proceed through an airy bush towards the West. Some windows overlooking the Zoldo area allow us to enjoy the view towards the peaks of Tamer and San Sebastiano up to the majestic Civetta. A series of close hairpin bends allow us to gain a hundred meters of altitude difference. Thus we move in a northerly direction. The vegetation becomes sparser, the dry grass of late autumn contrasts with the first white patches of snow. Thus we reach the Forcella de i Agusièi in front of the hill of the same name. In front of us is the road that leads to the next Pécol pass and the Fertazza refuge, with the famous Belvedere. The track is completely covered by a blanket of snow and the only footprints we see are of hares that have hopped along the path.
Our goal instead awaits us 30 minutes away from here. To reach it we must take the path that goes up towards the North-East to the right of the fork. Here the climb becomes more decisive, but for a maximum of a hundred meters. As soon as it starts to seem challenging, the path clears and it is possible to catch your breath.
We skirt the rock face of the Crot mountain block. This mountain is made up of the highest peak at an altitude of 2169 metres, today's objective, and a southern summit 2158 meters high. The path returns to a slight slope, we are heading east. The rocky crag on our right makes the path in the shade and the temperature is really cool in this stretch. Ice stalactites hang from some cavernous openings in the rock and the trail begins to be composed only of snow and, in some places, even ice. For this stretch, I recommend bringing crampons with you in the autumn season to avoid unpleasant surprises. In fact, to our left the Crot coast drops significantly towards the valley floor, leaving very few holds in the event of an accidental slip.
We arrive at a snowy saddle where the sun finally peeps out, warming us with good warmth. The tongue of snow effectively divides the summit and pre-summit of Crot, acting as a natural backdrop to the first statuesque beauty that stands out before us: Pelmo, imperious in all its beauty. So close that it feels like you can touch it. The sky, initially grey, begins to take on a bright blue. Some superficial clouds surround the overhanging walls of the "caregon of the eternal father".
A quick refreshment in front of this beauty and we set off again in a northerly direction towards the last 80 meters of difference in altitude that separate us from the summit. The path, after passing a small clearing of mountain pines, turns into a short rocky and landslide stretch, however well placed, where easy holds allow progression in speed and safety. Thus we arrive at a new plateau dotted with baranci, the still green branches open and... here we are at the top of Mount Crot!
Passo Staulanza, Veneto, Italy
The summit cross stands out on the western edge of the clearing, in front of it the Val Fiorentina in all its splendor. Selva di Cadore in the background dominated by the Sella and the summit of Piz Boè. On the left, the Queen of the Dolomites, the Marmolada, makes room showing Punta Rocca and Punta Penìa. Continuing south we find the Civetta, now with a puff that makes it look like a chimney. Val di Zoldo and Pelmo again in a breath-taking postcard. King Antelao appears in the background, accompanied by the Sorapiss group and the peak that bears the same name. The Becco di Mezzodì, Cima Ambrizzola, Lastoi di Formin which seems like a ramp towards the sky, up to Cernera and back to Val Fiorentina.
A crazy, breathtaking, incredible panorama on a very easy to reach peak located right in the center of this unparalleled beauty!
A break is a must to enjoy all these beauties. Seeing the clouds racing to cover and discover the surrounding peaks and always offering different views to immortalize in a photograph. The sky has now become blue, clear, with only a few clouds here and there to create visual depth.
The summit book with attached pen is also present on the shaft of the summit cross. A thought and a simple sentence seals our adventure.
We retrace our steps, retracing the same route we went back. There are no difficulties. The only point of attention in this season is at the rocky ridge, always in the shade, where there is a veil of ice on the track.
The sun begins to burn when we arrive at the Forcella de i Agusièi. A quick descent through the grassy scrub takes you back to the Staulanza pass and the morning car park.
Thus ends the team building adventure at Monte Crot. An experience for all types of hikers in the spring and summer seasons. In autumn, and especially in winter, you have to pay attention to the weather conditions and possible ice in some sections. The ease of the route and the panoramic beauty it offers allows Mount Crot to be among the first peaks that can be undertaken even by the little ones. The ascent takes a maximum of 2 hours. The same goes for the descent if you want to enjoy the wonders of every glimpse present.
A few steps from Val di Zoldo and Selva di Cadore it can be organized as a morning excursion and then head off to taste the delicacies of the numerous nearby typical restaurants.
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.