from Passo Tre Croci
Superb hike into the heart of a charming Dolomite group, in the area of Cortina d'Ampezzo. You reach the Rifugio Vandelli, and going a little further, the scenic Lake Sorapiss, renowned for its particular color.
The route requires adequate training, and a good hiking experience, because of some sections equipped with cable, although the technical difficulty is modest.
You can find a parking area at Passo Tre Croci.
From Passo Tre Croci (1791m), you follow the trail no 213. Ascending through the Tardeiba, the surrounding environment gradually changes: from the humid underwood we step on rocky moors.
After about half an hour walking, we turn to trail no 216 which, in something more than 1 kilometer, crawls up to the forcella Marcoira (2307m), though a ripid scree, initially wide and progressively more narrow.
It's the most difficult part of the excursion, since there are no structures (iron cable, wooden handrails...). The pendence of the scree and the constitution of the ground require mindfulness and prudence, yet remain perfectly doable.
We descend into the Ciadìn del Loudo. Here our attention goes to the slippery ground, as mentioned above.
Once we crossed it, the path leads us to the ridge of the Ciadin, which outflanks its side through a iron-wired trail, which prevents the route from becoming too difficult and risky.
In this part of the excursion, it's possible to admire the beauty of the Dolomites from a rare and precious standpoint.
The steep trail descends, as the flora changes and the temperature raises. From pine-bushes, we arrive to what's a real woodland.
In front of us, the west side of the Col del Fuoco and, proceeding, finally the Rifugio Vandelli and the magic Sorapiss Lake come to view.
After about 3 hours from departure we arrive to the Rifugio Vandelli (1928m), which is only open during summer time.
Nevertheless, for the most stubborn ones there is a bivouac to right beside it, which is always open (9 beds). After a lunch break, we return towards the Passo Tre Croci through the trail no 215.
Despite its occasional exposure, the difference in level is ridicolously low, espescially if compared to the alternative, the trail no 217, which descends towards Valbona.
The excursion ends after 6 hours walking, letting you enjoy breathtaking views and challenging (yet relatively safe) passages.
■ mn, 2014-10-26