Here some good rules for hiking on Dolomites. Safely. Don’t you want to Turn Your Holiday into a Bad Experience, right?

Title too dramatic? Maybe … but not so much. Every year, especially in summer, the Alpine Rescue carries out numerous rescue operations for tourists and hikers in difficulty, some of which could have been avoided with some simple precautions. So read these good rules for hiking on Dolomites.

After all, we all want to go home happy and not find ourselves dealing with unpleasant situations, avoidable injuries and bringing back bad memories. Although now very popular with tourists and hikers of all kinds, the Dolomites remain a high mountain environment, where it is easy to encounter errors of assessment that can be dramatic or even fatal. Do not forget!

1. We must not overestimate our strength;

It is not just about physical forces. Maybe you are very trained, maybe you are used to going to the mountains, but remember that every place has its characteristics.
Consider altitude, altitude difference, technical difficulties of the hike you are about to do. Be well informed, using good guides (books) and good blogs (such mine, :-))). Don’t push yourself to the limit, you’re in places you don’t know and in another country. Plan an excursion in 70-80% of those who consider your limits, to have a margin in case you find out that it is more difficult than you thought.

2. You must never go away alone;

If you are part of a group, avoid making detours, shortcuts, unmarked routes that distance you from your group. Getting lost is easy and you could be forced to take long laps to get back on the right track or suddenly find yourself in front of overhangs, rock jumps, screeds or situations that are not nice to deal with, especially alone.

3. Be always with someone else;

Do not plan hikes in solitude. This is a rule that works everywhere, do it here too. It doesn’t matter that you have little time, that your friends are slow, that you absolutely want to publish the photo from the peak on Instagram. Going alone is never a good idea. You could stumble, fall, not be able to continue, not be able to communicate with your smartphone, not be able to establish your position, be in a bad storm and many other situations in which it is always better to be in 2, also to decide what to do together.

4. Don not underestimated your tiring out;

Do not underestimate the signals of your body of excessive fatigue, especially above 2,500-3,000 meters of altitude. If you feel sick you need to warn your companions and reach the nearest hut or call for help. If you come from the plains and have not had time to acclimatize to the altitude, you may feel dizzy. Even on a easy path, losing your balance and falling can lead to serious injuries. No path is too easy to avoid you from injures.

5. Find out where you are going and if paths are ok and huts are open;

Before leaving for a hike, make sure you find out if the paths are all viable (sometimes a landslide can block a path), if the huts are open, take the phone numbers of the huts and the number of the Alpine Rescue. You can get free information at the Alpine Guide offices in many Dolomite villages.

6. Forecast and communicate a return time to your friends;

If your friends or relatives do not come with you, inform them of the route you want to take, the hiking times, the stops you want to take and update them by telephone so often you can. This can be very useful if you need help and are unable to communicate. Your loved ones could say precisely where you were and speed up the rescue operations.

7. Use the appropriate equipment for the kind of hike you are going to do;

On this point a universe of possibilities opens up! I think many of you already know how to dress in the mountains, but always keep in mind the path you are about to take. Are your shoes suitable for a path in the woods or between rocks, but are they suitable for a gravel descent? or snow? If they are not, you could go home with a bad sprained ankle.
Does your hike include dangerous stretches or those with a metal rope? Bring a harness, safety is never too much, even if the difficult path can be short. Also think about the safety of those who come with you, not just yourself.

8. Watch the weather forecast;

Getting accurate weather forecasts before you go to hike is fundamental. This is valid all over the world, and Dolomites confirm it. A sudden cloudy and foggy weather can easily make you become disoriented, or a sudden rainy weather can heavily make your trail dangerous. This is why when you plan a hike on Dolomites you have to hold accurate weather forecasts. When I say “accurate” I mean a precise hourly forecasts. Take a look here for more infos on this point.

9. Take a map of the path you are going and always have it at hand;

We have beautiful apps and wonderful smartwatches with GPS. But nothing will substitute a paper map. Why? First of all because of a digital instrument can have any problem that makes it does not work perfectly (low battery, bug, system down, inaccurate GPS, and similar). And then, if you fully use a map, you will get lots of useful information about the territory you are going through. Which? Take a look here for more infos on this point

dolomites-map
dolomites-map

10. Don’t pick flowers and mushrooms if you can’t collect them.

When I was a child on many paths there was a sign that says something like: “Those who love mountains leave their flowers”. Some flowers here are very rare, like the famous Edelweiss. Leave them there. Take pictures of them and then leave them there. The same is for mushrooms, the collection of which is strictly regulated. If you are passionate about mushrooms, buy a collection permit at the municipalities where you are staying, they will tell you how far the collection is legal.

Well, now you know enough to leave safely and maybe you learnt some new good rules for hiking on Dolomites. But one principle is worth more than any other: prudence and don’t do anything stupid!

And do not forget to let me know what do you think about this post!

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Are you leaving for Dolomites and want to travel with your tent? Your dream is to sleep under the starry sky or do you love the idea of ​​a low-cost travel? Beware, it’s not so simple. Italy is well known for having one of the most complicated bureaucracies in the Western World, and camping rules are not so clear. So it is much better to ask before leaving, so as not to incur in sanctions. Below I give you some indications.

First of all, there is no one law in Italy that regulates overnight stay in the tent throughout the whole National territory. As in many other cases, the Regions or Parks issue different laws depending on the area. For this reason, you may find different laws depending on the area you are visiting.

Let’s start by distinguishing two important things: the campsite and the night bivouac.

For Italian law, it is defined as camping to stay in a tent site for at least 48 hours. This is generally prohibited in all areas not specifically dedicated to camping (camping, caravan parking areas, and similar). In this case, if you settle down for more than 48 hours in the same place you are definitely be punishable by law. For a closer look at the rules in the various Italian regions, take a look here (in Italian).
In any case, in the 2 Regions that particularly concern to us (Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige), camping is strictly forbidden outside the areas specifically dedicated to.
It is different for the night-time bivouac.

For night-time bivouac is meant to spend the night outdoors from evening to morning, which can be done in the mountains either by necessity (f.e. impossibility to reach a hut, bad weather, physical difficulties), and by choice (and it is the case that we are seeing).

We have already seen in another post that in the Dolomites, in addition to huts, there are free and unattended bivouacs, in which you can stay overnight in case of need or even during an excursion.

But what if I would sleep in my tent? Can I do it?
Here we go into a not very clear regulation. In general, the night-time camp for necessity or emergency is always allowed, but of course in case of control of the Forestry Guards you should explain why, if you did not think about sleeping outdoors, you had a tent with you. And if we check the website of the Parco delle Dolomiti Bellunesi we see that the ban applies only to camping. However, I wrote to the Park and the answer was that both the campsite and the night bivouac are always forbidden.
During my excursions it happened to me to find hikers with tents.

My personal impression is that Regions and Parks try to limit the number of overnight stays in the tent, and this is understandable, considering the protection of the environment, security reasons (not each hikers is well prepared to sleep in the Dolomite enviroment!) and all the unforeseen events that can happen during the night on the mountains.

It is not possible for the Forestry Guards to sanction each hiker or hinder those who want to move to the mountains by going to the tent, however they try not to publicize this possibility. In any case, the best choice is to ask the Tourist Office or the Alpine Guides Office closer to the Dolomite town you are, and of course to get all informations about the areas where you are going.

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Today I want to introduce you 3 beautiful hiking rings of the Dolomites, in 3 different scenarios, all very fascinating and that will leave you more than satisfied.

None of these 3 hiking rings has special hiking difficulties, I certainly recommend it to those who have already hiking experience, otherwise they can be tackled by the less experienced thanks to the support of a Alpine Guide, which remains the safest of the solutions.

They are all very very classic hikes … I do not know your capability and your knowledge of dolomitic enviroment, so let you decide whether to make the hikes in 2 days or more. We say that for a trained hiker 2 day is enough, but since everyone has his way of walking, his time and his desires, you may of course decide to spend more days.

You can also ask me more details directly if you want.

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HIKE 1 – SEXTENER DOLOMITEN GROUP – LARGE RING OF “TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO”

SEXTENER DOLOMITEN from Auronzo hut to Zsigmondy Comici hut. A ring from the Three Peaks of Lavaredo to the heart of Sextener Dolomites.

view of the Sextener Dolomites from Tre Cime
view of the Sextener Dolomites from Tre Cime

The Three Peaks of Lavaredo (Tre Cime/Drei Zinnen) are the classic image of all postcards in the Dolomites. And it’s easy to understand why. Three rocky giants that touch the 3,000 meters with extraordinary overhanging walls.

This excursion starts from the Auronzo hut (mt 2.320) to which you will arrive by car on the paved road (tickets 25.00 EUR for cars, 18.00 EUR for motorbikes) from Lake Misurina. You can avoid toll payment by leaving your car before the toll booth (1,880 m), which is about 3km away from Lake Misurina, and walking to the path to the Auronzo hut. In this case add 1.5 to 2 hours of walking. For more details on this first part of the hike see here

From the Rifugio Auronzo an easy and flat track takes you shortly to the Rifugio Lavaredo, and from here to the Forcella Lavaredo (2,445 mt). Here the panorama on the Tre Cime is spectacular. From Forcella Lavaredo you can see the Rifugio Locatelli (mt 2,405), the next step of the tour, which is reachable in about 1 hour from the Forcella, without any particular ascent unless the last 15 minutes. From Rifugio Locatelli follow the indications for Rifugio Pian di Cengia (mt 2,528), that you will see after passing the Forcella Pian di Cengia, which requires some effort in the ascent. The small and lonely Rif. Pian of Cengia welcomes us and opens the way to the Zsigmondy-Comic Hut (mt 2,224), the final destination of the first part of the hike.

Open and beautiful views on the Sextener Dolomiten peaks, especially Monte Paterno and the Croda dei Toni, accompany us along the way.

RETURN

The return can be done the same way but surely it is worth closing the excursion with a ring returning to the Tre Cime through the path that leads between the Rif. Comici and Rif. Pian di Cengia, and passing through the beautiful lakes of Cengia and the lakes of Lavaredo. Then close the hike returning to Rif. Lavaredo and the Tre Cime from the south side.

WHERE TO STAY

in each hut it is possible to book a bed during the whole Summer, with a little advance. I recommend the Comici Hut for amplitude, service and location.

DAYS

2 or 3 days according to your abilities and desires. Want to know more about travel times, altitudes or other details? Write to me!

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If you are a passionate hiker, you surely heard to speak about Dolomites before. This fantastic mountain group grew up from the bottom of the sea million years ago. With the particular rocky colours and fascinating shapes Dolomites are a sort of paradise for every hiker, trekker and climber since the XIX century.dolomites-area

Dolomites are located in the North East of Italy, in the Eastern side of the Alps. The main part of them are included into Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige regions, not so far from the important International Airport of Venice, or from the smaller but well-served airport of Treviso.

There are fundamentally 2 main ways to go into the heart of Dolomites Region: one from the Brenner Highway that connect Verona with Innsbruck and Munich, or from Venice (Highway A27) that connect this beautiful city with the town of Belluno, the real gateway to the mountains of this area.

The distances are not so heavy. From Venice Airport “Marco Polo” to Cortina d’Ampezzo (the “Queen of Dolomites” and one of the must-to-see of the area) is only 150 km by car (2 hrs on a easy road). From Treviso Airport is about the same.

This road, called “Alemagna”, drive you in the eastern side of Dolomites, full of beauty. Is the kingdom of some famous peak, such as Tofane group, Tre Cime di Lavaredo (German “Drei Zinnen”), Dolomiti di Sesto (German “Sextener Dolomites”) with their beautiful Natural Parks.

On the other side, with a little longer trip (180-200 km by car) from Verona Airport you will easily reach 2 of the most beautiful dolomitic valley: the Ladins valleys Val di Fassa and Val Gardena.

Where do you think to go?

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