Welcome to the second part of my comprehensive guide to Alta Via 2 where I cover:
- Summaries of Days 7 to 13 between Passo San Pellegrino and Feltre including GPS data on distance, elevation gain and the time it takes to complete each stage (not including the breaks)
- A list of all mountain huts along Alta Via 2 including contact details, information on showers and payment possibilities,
- My recommendation on which huts to pick if you would like to complete the trip in 11 days instead of 13,
- Possible late entry or early escape routes on Alta Via 2.
And as always lots and lots of photos!
Day 7: Passo San Pellegrino to Rifugio Volpi Al Mulaz
15.8 km / 9.8 miles
4h 30 min
1130 m / 3707 feet
520 m / 1706 feet
Rifugio Volpi Al Mulaz
PATH NUMBERS: 658, 751
The first half of day 7 will take you from Passo San Pellegrino to Passo Valles across ski pistes, sometimes hard to navigate across, due to lack of markings. I remember taking out my GPS a few times to double check if we were on the right path.
After hiking for around 1 hour to your left you will observe Lago di Cavia, a small high alpine lake, soon after you will reach Forcella di Pradazzo. A beautiful view of the Pale di San Martino range will stretch ahead of you.
From here it's a downhill hike on a wide track down to Passo Valles, where you should take a longer break and make use of the restaurant at rifugio Valles before the harder second half of the day.
The hike now continues across the road on path 751 all the way to rifugio Mulaz. Albeit difficult, with a few cable protected sections, this part of Alta Via 2, and the 3 subsequent days are the most spectacular, thanks to the ruggedness of the Pale di San Martino range that you will be crossing.
Rifugio Mulaz and its beautiful location near Cima del Focobon and Passo del Mulaz is one of my favourite huts in the Dolomites. We were lucky to be treated to flaming Creme Brules during our stay. It's not an everyday occurence to receive such fancy dessert at such high altitude!
Day 8: Rifugio Mulaz to Rifugio Rosetta
8.8 km / 5.5 miles
4 h 30
930 m / 3060 feet
918 m / 3010 feet
PATH NUMBER: 703
If you would like to speed up your AV2 traverse you can connect day 8 with day 9. However you have probably discovered by now that I am all about the extensions hence I've decided to break up the distance into 2 days to tackle a couple of additional routes starting near the two subsequent huts: rifugio Rosetta and rifugio Pradidali
Similarly to day 7, day 8 also involves some scrambling along cable protected sections and ladders, where once again the via ferrata gear, which you have hopefully packed on this trip, will come in handy.
The highlight of the day is crossing Passo delle Farangole. circa one hour into the day, but it's also the biggest challenge as it involves hiking and scrambling on loose scree.
After the descent from Passo delle Farangole, the next couple of hours are spent hiking mostly downhill to the bottom of the Comelle Valley (Val Delle Comelle) and Pian dei Cantoni.
Soon after you will start the uphill push to rifugio Rosetta and the landscape around you will go from lush green to lunar like plateau, upon which the hut was built.
Thanks to the easy access guaranteed by the two tiered gondola starting in San Martino di Castrozza, rifugio Rosetta is a busy one. However as soon as the gondola stops operating for the day and only the overnight guests remain in the hut, the area becomes really quiet.
Many personal photographs documenting the mountaineering accomplishments of the hut's owner adore the walls of the refuge. Notice the hiking shoe hanging outside, ensuring that the door to the hut stays closed at all times. The need is the mother of invention after all.
Extension: Monte Rosetta
A 40 minute uphill burst from the Rosetta hut will take you to the summit of Monte Rosetta. A great addition to the day which I recommend to do at sunset!
Not only you will most likely have the summit all to yourself, but you will also get uninterrupted view of some of the Dolomite's most famous peaks: Antelao, Civetta, Sorapiss, Cristallo and even Tre Cime! I highly recommend downloading the Peak Finder app and using it at the summit to be able to locate them all!
Day 9: Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali
6.5 km / 4 miles
217 m / 712 feet
362 m / 1188 feet
PATH NUMBERS: 702, 715
A very short day which could be considered as rest day on this long journey, or as another opportunity to tackle an awesome Alta Via 2 extension! As mentioned previously, If you don't plan on hiking the extensions, simply connect day 8 with 9.
Alta Via 2 from rifugio Rosetta now progresses southward on path no. 702 tantalisingly losing elevation via a series of switchbacks on the western slopes of Crodi di Roda. When the path forks, you’ll leave path 702 and retain your elevation on path 715.
Once you reach a very photogenic grassy plateau (pictured above) it means you’re very close to the cabled section of this hike. Though pretty straightforward it certainly requires more attention that a normal hiking path. If you’re surefooted and experienced on rocky terrain, putting on your via ferrata equipment isn’t necessary, but it can't hurt!
Eventually you’ll have worked your way up to Passo di Ball, the highest point between rifugio Rosetta and rifugio Pradidali. From here it’s a short 20 minute descent to the Pradidali hut on an easy trail.
Extension: Via Ferrata Porton And Sentiero Nico Gusela
This excellent 3-4 hour Alta Via 2 extension starts and ends at rifugio Pradidali and takes you in a circle connecting two via ferratas: Porton and Sentiero Nico Gusela. The total distance and elevation gain of the loop is 10 km (6.2 mi) and 674 meters (2200 feet).
Because of the initial approach on a loose scree slope on path no. 739A leaving from rifugio Pradidali, it's safer to do the loop clockwise.
The highlight of this route is the summit of Cima di Val Roda with extensive views of the Pale di San Martino group and down into Val Cismon.
Day 10: Rifugio Pradidali to Rifugio Treviso
12.5 km / 7.8 miles
650 m / 2132 feet
1250 m / 4100 feet
PATH NUMBERS: 709, 711, 711A
After leaving Rifugio Pradidali, the trail immediately ascends northward into the heart of the Pale di San Martino group on path 709.
Although an easier alternative is possible, through Val Pradidali, the true route of Alta Via 2 now gains 400m of elevation up to Passo delle Lede on path 711.
There are several sections of cables up to the pass which are much more complicated than the protected sections earlier on in the day and although they might slow you down, should pose no real difficulty. At a decent pace it’s just over an hour to the pass.
After the pass, you’ll now lose a knee-busting, quad-trembling 1300m of elevation down the steep slopes of Vallon delle Lede.
The scenic Bivacco C. Minazio marks the half way point of the descent and is a great place for a sandwich break or to hide for a bit from the sun. The route then relentlessly carries on downhill on path 711A until you reach the banks of the river Canali.
The sight, sound and smell of the river are very refreshing after the lengthy descent battle. After crossing the river the path quickly begins to switchback the last 25 minutes up to Rifugio Treviso.
Day 11: Rifugio Treviso to Rifugio Passo Cereda
790 m / 2592 feet
1050 m / 3445 feet
Rifugio Passo Cereda
PATH NUMBER: 718
Much like the previous day the route starts due south from the refuge, this time on path 718 through a scenic sparse forest for around 45 minutes before a left turn quickly turns the trail into a series of switchbacks in an exposed wide gully.
Thankfully it’s west facing so you won’t be blasted by the morning sun on your ascent. After around 2 hours you’ll reach the highest point of the day, Forcella d’Oltro at almost 2100m and circa 500m higher than Rifugio Treviso.
From here it’s a short steep downhill before the path heads south southwestward undulating over a mixture of grassy and rocky terrain amongst spectacular rocky outcrops.
After roughly maintaining your elevation for around an hour, the route then begins to switchback downhill and you’ll enter the tree line.
This part of the route is tough due to the amount of deadfall that has occured in recent years. Route finding is at times very difficult and sometimes stressful but always achievable.
Remember heading downhill, on a path or not, will eventually bring you out onto a private road where a right turn will take you down to Passo Cereda and the refuge of the same name.
Day 12: Rifugio Passo Cereda to Rifugio Boz
1300 m / 4265 feet
980 m / 3215 feet
PATH NUMBER: 801
After crossing the Pale di San Martino Range, the end of the Alta Via 2 journey is now in sight! If you made it this far you can make it till the end!
Today you will enter the rugged Dolomiti Bellunesi Park and come face to face with the Cimónega group. Path wise there is only one number left to remember - 801. This is the path you will now follow until the finish line at Passo Croce D'Aune.
The most challenging part of today's hike will be the ascent to Forcella Comedon, which according to the guidebook I followed, should only be embarked upon during good weather as heavy rain could cause landslides. Around 3/4 of the way up there is a great rocky outcrop with a jaw dropping vista of the Sarzana valley (photo above).
After reaching the Comedon saddle a sharp drop takes you into Val Canzoi, home to the high alpine Bivouac - Feltre Bodo and a great place for a stop and rest.
You will then circle around the south eastern flanks of Sass de Mur and head towards Passo de Mura, from where you will get the first glimpse of Rifugio Boz.
Even though it was the start of August, the busiest time of the year in the Dolomites, rifugio Boz was really quiet and we were one of a very few overnight guests. That meant no snorers in our room and a very good rest before our last day of Alta Via 2!
Day 13: Rifugio Boz to Croce D'Aune
24 km / 15 miles
940 m / 3084 feet
1700 m / 5577 feet
Passo Croce D'Aune
PATH NUMBERS: 801
After hiking for almost 6 weeks straight including the last two weeks on Alta Via 2 I finally made it to my last day only to run out of luck with weather. An hour and a half into the hike after leaving rifugio Boz, we were engulfed in clouds and soon after a storm and pouring rain.
I guess it had to happen eventually and I shouldn't really complain, I had a pretty amazing weather streak after all, but deep down I wish I didn't miss out on the views.
Today's stretch takes you first up to Passo di Finestra, reached ca. 40 minutes after leaving the hut, then follows precarious ledges, steep zig zag paths and boulder fields under Monte Zoccare Alto and along the Sasso di Scarnia ridgeline. Alta Via 2 remains relentless until the very last day!
Those are the toughest sections of today's stage, and a few cable aided passages are coming your way, where it might be a good idea to gear up.
Once you reach the path under Monte Ramezza the route easies and for the next couple of hours follows a grassy crest, green slopes and high alpine pastures. Two more passes are coming your way: Passo Pietana and Passo delle Vette Grandi.
As we were nearing Passo delle Vette the signs became unclear, then we spotted an old farm a couple of hundred meters down from the path, which in heavy rain we mistook for the hut. Rifugio Dal Piaz only comes in view after you cross Passo delle Vette! Don't make the same mistake as we did.
Rifugio Dal Piaz is the last refuge along Alta Via 2 and only 1,5 hour of downhill hike away from Passo Croce D'Aune. Longing for a proper bed, shower and a meal that didn't consist of pasta or polenta we decided to push on, after drying off a bit in the refuge and getting some lunch.
Lucky for us the skies cleared, the sun came up and suddenly it became very warm.
From rifugio Dal Piaz the last 90 minutes follows an old military road all the way to Passo Croce D'Aune. From here you can catch the local bus to Feltre, where you can celebrate the completion of Alta Via 2!
A list of all mountain huts along Alta Via 2
If you are planning to hike Alta Via 2 this list of all mountain huts along the route will come in really handy.
If this will be your first time staying in an Italian rifugio make sure to check out my other article about everything you need to know before staying in a mountain hut in the Dolomites. It includes information about alpine club memberships, how to make reservations, the meaning of 'half-board' and much more.
Whilst my article describes the route hiked over 13 days including a few extensions, the list underneath will show you which huts to stay at if you would like to speed things up and complete the whole traverse over 11 days. The huts you should stay at are in green rows.
|Mountain hut||E-mail/reservation page||Distance from the last hut||Phone Number||CAI/SAT Member||Showers||
|Rifugio Citta di Bressanonnefirstname.lastname@example.org||5 km/3.1 mi||
+39 0472 521 222
|Rifugio Genovaemail@example.com||16.4 km/10.2 mi||+39 347 266 7694||Yes||Yes||No|
|Rifugio Puezfirstname.lastname@example.org||12.7 km/7.9 mi||+39 0474 646 427||Yes||No|
14.8 km/9.2 mi
+39 0471 836 292
5.2 km/3.2 mi
|+39 0471 847 303||Yes||No|
|Rifugio Castiglioniemail@example.com||17.3 km/10.75 mi||+39 0462 601 117||No||Yes|
|Passo San Pellegrino||Hotel Costabella||24.5 km/15.2 mi||+39 0462 573 326||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rifugio Mulazfirstname.lastname@example.org||15.8 km/9.8 mi||+39 047 599 420||Yes||Yes|
8.8 km/5.5 mi
|+39 0439 68 308||Yes||Yes|
|Rifugio Pradidaliemail@example.com||6.5 km/4 mi||+39 0439 64 180||Yes|
|Rifugio Trevisofirstname.lastname@example.org||12.5 km/7.8 mi||+39 0439 62 311||Yes||No|
|Rifugio Passo Ceredaemail@example.com||11.5 km/7.2 mi||+39 0439 65 118 or 030||Yes|
|Rifugio Bozfirstname.lastname@example.org||17.5 km/10.9 mi||+39 0439 64 448||Yes|
|Rifugio Dal Piazemail@example.com||17.5 km/10.9 mi||+ 39 329 364 74 28||Yes|
|The end: Passo Croce D'Aune||6.5 km/4 mi|
Possible Late Entry Or Early Escape Routes On Alta Via 2
Similarly to Alta Via 1, there are plenty of possibilities to hike only a part of Alta Via 2. You can either enter the route later or exit earlier at any of these locations. Please note that this isn't an exhausted list, but for the purpose of this blog I decided to only include a few most convenient options. I have also included links to accommodation choices in each town.
Day 6: Passo Fedaia - Similarly to the previous day you can catch a local bus to Canazei or Campitello di Fassa.
Day 6 (afternoon) or day 7 (morning): Passo San Pellegrino - Since this is a really long stage you may want to consider staying overnight at a hotel on Passo San Pellegrino before catching a bus to San Martino di Castrozza, Agordino or Predazzo the next morning.
Day 7: Passo Rolle - Upon reaching Passo Valles instead of continuing to rifugio Mulaz you can veer off path 751 onto 749 and hike through the spectacular Val Venegia, pass Baita.G.Segantini to Passo Rolle. From here catch a local bus to San Martino di Castrozza.
Day 8: San Martino Di Castrozza - Once you reach rifugio Rosetta on day 8 take the gondola down to San Martino di Castrozza.
Day 10: Fiera Di Primero - instead of hiking through Passo delle Lede, when leaving rifugio Pradidali take path no 709 all the way down to Val Canali. Local bus to Fiera di Primiero leaves from La Ritonda refuge.
Day 11: Passo Cereda - Catch a bus to Fiera di Primiero. The town has frequent buses to Feltre, where you can travel onwards by train to any city or airport in Italy.
Do you plan on hiking Alta Via 2 and have questions regarding the route? Post your questions in the comments below! I have walked it myself and am happy to share my experience and help you out with planning! The only thing I ask of you is that you read the guide in full first!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.