A dolomitic environment amidst rocks and scree at high altitudes that are not easily accessible, towards a summit cross of almost 3,000 metres. A path that can push you to the point of testing yourself, on tracks that can be both treacherous and rewarding. With those emotions that, in the mountains, only certain moments of amazement mixed with awe can convey.
The start is set at first light in the morning, to have the most beautiful and intense moments of the day. The legs begin to warm up, in the hours when the temperatures are still struggling to shake off the night chill. The sun has already risen, but has not yet crossed the summits to pour all its warmth onto the trails.
Initially, we follow a comfortable dirt road to the green Fuciade basin.
Even at this point, the enchanting basin never ceases to amaze us, with its green plain and its many small huts, among which is the Fuciade lodge (1,982 metres). All this is surrounded by a splendid rocky amphitheatre, formed by the dolomite walls of the offshoots of the Marmolada group.
The route quickly leaves the green meadows to plunge into a sharp ascent that leads us to the foot of the Palon de Jigole and Torre Enrica, towering above us. We now find ourselves in another small basin of the Val Tascia, where the green mixes this time with the dominant light grey of rocks and stones that now await us.
A steep ascent leads us into the heart of a rugged dolomite scree. The path is narrow, it takes sharp zig-zag turns, but above all it is characterised by a constant, treacherous surface covered with gravel and scree, which always makes every step challenging. With our feet constantly searching for firm ground, our trekking poles provide us secure spots with a firm grip on the ground.
The hike becomes treacherous and with a considerable gradient, before the final tear that leads to Passo delle Cirelle, at an altitude of 2,682 metres. The panorama that opens up after crossing the pass has an almost lunar appearance, with hollows, dunes and expanses of gravel and rocks, overlooked by imposing Dolomite peaks, including the Sasso Vernale and, above all, the south face of the Marmolada at the bottom in front of us.
A strong historical component characterises this area, marked by the remains that the Great War left on these peaks, with the war front acting as a watershed going up and down the summits that surround us, now so peaceful and silent.
From Passo delle Cirelle begins what is the most exciting and challenging stretch of the entire hike, with various climbs and descents on a terrain that is always treacherous, but in an incredible rocky setting. We proceed as far as Passo Ombrettola (2,855 m), immersed in what might seem like the dunes of a rocky desert.
The summit of Cima Ombrettola, at 2,931 m., is then easily reached from the pass of the same name, with a clear track moving above the summit, from which the rocky walls plunge headlong and vertiginously into Val d’Ombreta.
The small summit cross is surrounded by the walls of the nearby Sasso di Valfredda and Sasso Vernale, the Cima Uomo towering above the Passo delle Cirelle, the distant Pelmo, Antelao, Sassolungo and Catinaccio, but with the view always captured by the foreground wall of the Marmolada.
Silence surround us, only a few chamois wander around the pass below. We thus remain alone and surrounded by the desert of rocks and gravel, with the emotion of sitting close to the summit in a moment of full contemplation, in the peace that these summits still hold for us.