Today we have a huge breakfast at Rifugio Faloria. After that we start walking to Rifugio Vandella. On our map that one looks really nice. Next to the Rifugio Vandella is the Lago di Sorapiss. On the trail to the lake there are not many people. Today is very special - for the first time we see edelweiss! It is a very rare and beautiful flower ๐Ÿ™‚ We take a lot of photos, one definitely has to go on our living room wall at home ๐Ÿ˜›

About 10 minutes before arriving at the lake, there are suddenly hundreds of people ๐Ÿ˜ฎ This seems to be a favourite place to go for a day hike for Italian people. The lake is really beautiful, especially its colour. Unfortunately we cannot really enjoy it because of the many people. So we take some photos and take a quiet trail back down to the main road. From there we take a bus back to the next town.

A good alternative to crowded Cortina d'Ampezzo is a night in the Rifugio Faloria.

After a rainy day we start this hike in the afternoon in Cortina. The trail is partly very steep and slippery. After about three hours we arrive at Rifugio Falloria. Just before the rifugio is an old stone house. This is were the movie Cliffhanger was filmed! There are many signs pointing to this house, you cannot miss it ๐Ÿ˜›

In Rifugio Falloria we have a nice double room. Everything in the room is made out of wood - which leads to strange noises by timber worms in the night ๐Ÿ˜ฎ It is quite strange to be the only guests here tonight. But for dinner we have a first class seat right in front of the window looking down to Cortina and the Tofana! The view is just perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

This hike goes from Fanes and via a via ferrata over the Furcia Rossa to Rifugio Giussani. It is definitely one of the best hikes we have done so far!

Fanes is just beautiful. We pass the great Fanes alp and from there go in the direction of the via ferrata Furcia Rossa. On the whole way up to the Furcia Rossa we are completely alone. The view around, especially to the Tofana, is just amazing!

Before we reach the first ladders of the via ferrata we walk along a very exposed band (no rope). The via ferrata is difficulty C and no problem even with the heavy backpacks. On top of the Furcia Rossa there is a nice bench where we sit for a long time and enjoy the view. Going down more ladders is easy, but then an exhausting trail leads to the Monte Castello and Bivacco della Pace. The Bivacco della Pace is looking really nice inside and it is well equipped. From here most people go back down to the Fanes alp which is only 1.5 hours away. But we continue a bit up before going down on very steep gravel (this is a variant of the Via della Pace, but the descent is very difficult!) to the valley of Travenanze. This valley is really beautiful! Luckily there is a river going through the valley where we refill our water bottles. From here it is still a long way up to Rifugio Giussani.

We cross the river and are now on the other side of the valley. There is another via ferrata called Scala del Menighel. But when we see what it looks like we decide to take the longer way around it. I think this one is not so good when you have a heavy backpack, because you might easily lose balance. On the further trail we pass a huge waterfall! And there is a rainbow in it - so pretty! ๐Ÿ™‚ Then it is a long way up - but finally we reach Rifugio Guissani. The rifugio is one of the best we ever stayed and during a fantastic dinner we have a good view to the Tofana di Rozzes. This was one of the best hikes ever - but it was also a very long day, in total it took us almost 12 hours and about 2000m going up.

After four years we are finally back in the Dolomites! The crossing of this mountain range from Abtei to Cortina has been on our wish list for a long time. We take the bus to Abtei and from there walk up to the Rifugio La Crusc. The rifugio is directly below the Heiligkreuzkofel and the view around is amazing! We can see Marmolada, Piz Boe, Geisslerspitzen and a lot more of the beautiful Dolomites!

After breakfast the next morning we walk along the wall of the Heiligkreuzkofel thinking about Reinhold Messner climbing up this wall on one of the most difficult climbs during his time! After about 2 hours we are on top of the massive where it is very spacious. There we continue to the top of the Heiligkreuzkofel, then further on via a short via ferrata to the top of the Zehnerspitze. The view is amazing! We take a long break and then go on to Fanes. Fanes is a very beautiful place. There are many Italian tourists, but we are lucky and find a sleeping place at a cosy alp ๐Ÿ™‚

For the next two days we planned to cycle up to Monte Altissimo, sleep in the Rifugio there and cycle down the next morning. From Torbole we cycled up a paved road that begins at the Panorama parking place above the city. This road leads in many turns up to another parking space at 1500m. Even if this is a paved road almost no cars drive on this road. At about 1000m there is fresh water where you can refill the bottle. At 1500m the paved road ends and a gravel road begins for the next 300m. In the end you follow the hiking path 601 from where we had to carry the bike up to the top of Monte Altissimo. The view from top is really great. The Rifugio Altissimo is at 2060m, so you can look down 2000m and see the lake! When the weather is good you can also see the mountains from Brenta and Adamello. Because of the view it is really worth going up there. Half pension at the Rifugio is 39 Euro per person. The pasta in the evening was really good. Unfortunately the water pipe was broken when we arrived and there was no water to wash ourselves or flush the toilet. Anyway, mountain huts are always good for suprises ๐Ÿ˜› So we shared the room with three Italian boys and after breakfast the next morning we biked back down again. First 200m we had to carry the bike down. But according to the Internet there are some good mountainbikers who can bike this down! I will definitely never do this. Shortly after arriving in Torbole it started to rain and we took the next bus and train back home.

GPS track is available here