This itinerary on Pale di San Martino is a very demanding loop, both in terms of mileage and elevation gain.
Distance 15.4 km
The hike develops along the southernmost part of the Pale di San Martino group, includes 2 Dolomite peaks – Cima Cimerlo (2,505m a.s.l.) and Cima Stanga (2,250m a.s.l.) – it touches two refuges – Rifugio Velo and Rifugio Pradidali – and includes three via ferratas (protected climbing routes) – Dino Buzzati, Velo, and Nico Gusella. Cimerlo peak offers a splendid view over the entire Primiero Valley, so once you finish via ferrata Dino Buzzati, we recommend not immediately descending toward Stanga but instead following the cairns south, which will take you to the top in 5 minutes along the ridge. The highest point of the itinerary is instead Forcella Stephen (2,705m a.s.l.) between Cima di Roda and Cima di Ball, without a doubt the most scenic point of the entire hike. For those who decide to divide the tour in two days, from Forcella Stephen (forcella is a type of mountain pass) you can reach Cima di Roda in about fifteen minutes – the additional effort will be rewarded with a splendid 360-degree view over Pale di San Martino. As previously mentioned, this is a challenging itinerary that will offer you a complete variety of terrain, allowing you to experience a high mountain atmosphere in a moderately safe environment.
If you do not think you have the adequate physical preparation, we recommend dividing the loop into two parts and staying one night at the Rifugio Velo della Madonna.
The environment is mainly mountainous, so we recommend all the equipment necessary to be able to face three via ferratas. The risk of fall is not high, but in some places it can certainly be dangerous.
Fosna (1,334 m)
From Prati Fosne follow the signs for path No. 747 up to Rifugio Velo della Madonna. From Rifugio Velo della Madonna take path No. 739 and then path No. 714 to reach Forcella Stephen. Once via ferrata Nico Gusella ends, follow the signs for Rifugio Pradidali. From Rifugio Pradidali continue on path No. 709, which goes down to Portela, and from there turn left on path No. 719, which leads to Fosne.