Dolomites and Julian Alps

Discussion in 'Places & Planning' started by Daymoth, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Daymoth

    Daymoth Backpacker

    Since its dark and cold and wet here in the UK im going to start thinking about summer and mountains.

    I want to plan a 17 day trip to the Dolomites and Julian Alps.

    This is my first draft outline:
    1 day travel to the Dolomites
    1 day via ferrata course to get the basics
    8 day section of the AV2
    1 day travel to the Julian Alps
    5 days hiking in the Julian Alps
    1 day travel back.

    I would rather carry the tent in the Dolomites for flexibilty and freedom.I read conflicting info though. Can you camp next to the refuges?

    Those who did the AV2, what is your recomended 7-8 stage section? What was the most scenic part and the least scenic? If we camp we will need to resuply, is this logistically easy?

    For those who have been the julian alps, any recomended hikes?
  2. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    Not been to the Julian Alps yet but I hiked most of the AV2 a few years ago - southbound from Bressanone and crossed Pale di San Martino but not the final few sections to the southern terminus. The section crossing Puez - Odle and the Sella towers is amazing (5 days never dropped below 2200m). Didn't enjoy the sad ski industy wastelands around passo Pellegrino but Pale di San Martino was great hiking again. Route is generally very easy to find (nothing like some Pyrenees routes) even in low visibility (ignore the books on this subject if you hike in Scotland or Pyrenees). A lot less people than I expected in August until you get close to a cable car station - then its Cambridge on a Sunday at 3000m (peace and solitute return at 5pm...). Luckily not too many of those about.
    Normally there are no bivouac areas at Italian mountain huts and very few people carry tents - possibly because there's such a good network of shelters in the Dolomites. Lots of contradictory info about bivouac rules in Italy and generally discouraged on the grounds "that tents disturb wild life". As a rule of thump, if you are high up and sensible a small tent won't be an issue, lower down, ask the farmer or the "malga" (high summer pasture) who will be welcoming if they see a hiker-hiker. Always say what your doing (name your route and say where you starting from and go to) and people will be helpful. Also look out for unstaffed huts on the map (rifugio = staffed, bivacco = unstaffed shelter in Italy) as a spot to pitch.
    PM me if you have specific route questions (or alternatives) - I've hiked a fair bit in the Dolomites since my childhood (got family there).
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    Daymoth likes this.
  3. Daymoth

    Daymoth Backpacker

    Thanks Tom!

    That is really useful. The huts do seem tempting, maybe we stay a couple of nights and the rest we pitch near bivaqs.

    Do you recomend the cicerone guide for planing?

    Is the ski wasteland that you mention the superski resort? Maybe we drop that section if we can and spend the time having a hot meal instead. Or find a more scenic anvalternative.

    Is there any particular hike (not nececeraly on the AV2) that you think is (even more) special and that you recomend?
  4. Gneiss Boots

    Gneiss Boots Trekker

    Been to Slovenia a couple of times and I have done various hikes about Lake Bled. 100s of options and a good hut network. Is that where you are considering?
    Daymoth and edh like this.
  5. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    :rolleyes:....hmmm, I am off there this summer; any good?
  6. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    any good hotels? :angelic:
    gixer, WilliamC and edh like this.
  7. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    sadly no Paradores in Italy or Solvenia...:rolleyeses:
  8. Daymoth

    Daymoth Backpacker

    Yes!! :)

    Didnt know about the huts. Thankyou.
    To be fair I still havent looked a lot into the Slovenia part. Do you recomend any book or website in particular?
  9. Gneiss Boots

    Gneiss Boots Trekker

    The Cicerone guide was good. Plenty of day hikes and more info about multi day options and through hikes. I have the 2007 edition from my 1st trip there and notice that the latest edition is significantly updated with fairly large changes so this is a case of worth paying more for later version if looking at cheaper ones. Plenty of maps at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 at Stanfords. 1: 50 were good enough as it is blazed trails and signs. They do have hut info on maps too.
  10. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    The AV2 Ciccerone guide by Gillian Price is ok mostly. Waterpoints only occasionally get a mention and she seems to have a thing about route sections with steel cables (usually extra safe since they are on solid rock and secured) but doesn't mention tricky scree slopes (my nemesis). And she is way over the top overcautious about low visibility. There are a fair number of high alpine sections not suitable for the inexperienced but navigation is not an issue. In confusing terrain it can get a bit like the GR20 in Corsica - flashes every 5 yards...

    As to alternatives, you could hike the AV from Bressanone (take the cable car there - the trail runs just below the cables and worth - luckily some locals warned me) and then follow the AV2 all the way across the Sella. You can resupply in Canazai and then follow the trails through the Sossolungo - Sassopiatto (Plattkofel + Langkofel) towers towards Rifugio Alpe di Tires (great hut). From there, turn south again for a spectacular trail through the Rosegarden/Rosengarten/Catinaccio. First across Pas de Molignon, then a steep descent and an equally stiff climp to passo Principe (there's a small wooden refugio there build into the cliff face like pueblo). From passo Principe there's via ferrata to the summit of Antermoia (3002m) if you have time and the kit. From passo Principe ypu have two options -a route right below the iconic Vajolet towers (and refugio by the same name) and the across the Santner pass down the western flank. This is a via ferrata traverse - not at all difficult - but quite a popular route and a via ferrata kit might be useful to carry. The alternative stays on the eastern flank has no via ferrata and is longer. Either way, you can head down towards Bolzano (bus routes) or into Val di Fassa (with the option of catching buses to Passo Rolle for Pale di San Martino (which is a spectacular 2 to 3 day hike too).

    Maps - best maps for the area are Tobacco (cheap and available at every news agent in the area - but quite overpriced at Stamfords). Tobacco also has app and sell digital map tiles were you only buy what you need. I combine a 50.000 overview with digital 25.000.

    20150809_075803 (Custom).jpg

    THe first "big" pass southbound - lowest point on the rock ridge and with a section of "flowing" scree...

    20150809_143252s (Custom).jpg

    A first view of the Sella towers with Piz Boe (3162m) at the very top (easy ascent - beer waiting at the top...)

    20150820_110634 (Custom).jpg

    And the Rosegarden - the little horizontal plateau left below the main tower is the Santner pass. The route down is visible as a line.
    Daymoth likes this.
  11. Daymoth

    Daymoth Backpacker

    OMG those pictures.

    Thank you so much for all that info! I will get a map and the guide and look at your suggestion.

    Also fuck flowing scree.
    tom likes this.

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