Cober srl

Winter hike in Gardeccia

Cober srl

  • Height difference: 370 metres uphill and downhill
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Walking time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: beginner
  • Crew Members: Alberto & Valentina – Focus On Trips
  • Recommended poles: PowPow


A winter hike in one of the most iconic groups of the Dolomites, leading us into the heart of an immense basin made of rock and snow. We thus enter a mountain group located on the western edge of the Dolomite region, towering above various valleys that lead the view all the way to Bolzano.

The Catinaccio in fact straddles the Val d’Ega in South Tyrol, and the Val di Fassa in Trentino, and its name derives from the Ladin word ‘ciadinàc‘, which indicates a mountain basin. On this winter excursion, we head right into the heart of the Gardeccia basin, the gateway to the Dolomite rock of Catinaccio.

We start walking from the car park at Muncion, a small hamlet above Pera di Fassa in the Fassa Valley. The easy path winds its way along a wide forest road through the forest, from which the view extends as far as the first nearest walls of the Catinaccio peaks.

The view is enraptured above all by the Larsec crags, a group of jagged turrets standing out on the eastern edge of the group, among lesser-known peaks than the main peaks of the Catinaccio.

Our route continues slightly uphill, until we face a few hairpin bends that make us gain altitude. From here on, the basin surrounded by the walls of the Catinaccio begins to open up in front of us. Behind us in the distance appears the Marmolada, with the profile of its iconic and highest Penia Peak. The white of the snow certainly characterises this winter landscape, although some glimpses of decidedly spring-like terrain are already beginning to make their way through the vegetation, due to a sudden rise in recent temperatures.

The path is mainly characterised by wide tracks on beaten snow, but also crosses several icy stretches, where PowPow poles provide us with the necessary support, being characterised by a long foam knob that allows different grips according to need, making it particularly suitable for hinking in winter.

After a subsequent uphill stretch, we reach the Gardeccia basin, located at 1,948 m, where we can stop for a break at the homonymous Gardeccia lodge, or at the nearby Stella Alpina Spitz Piaz lodge, located a little further on (both are open in winter).

The sky is so blue above us, clear of clouds and full of serenity. A white amphitheatre now appears before us, with the snow-covered northern and eastern slopes of the Catinaccio peaks. The Coronelle Peak towering above the Coronelle pass, the Cigolade above the Zigolade pass, all the way down to the Pale Rabbiose ridge. But the centre of the scene is undoubtedly occupied by Catinaccio Peak, which gives its name to the group, with a glimpse of the nearby Torri del Vajolet, separated by a narrow rocky gorge.

A sandwich as a packed lunch allows us to enjoy the pale winter sun outdoors, which on this day manages to warm us up pleasantly, with the temperature rising considerably towards lunchtime. A moment of contemplation brings us back up, the basin in which we find ourselves is thus embraced by the walls that surround it. In fact, from the Stella Alpina lodge we can also admire the white expanse that stretches upwards towards the basin of the Vajolet refuge and further up to the Passo Principe lodge.

We thus remain in the heart of the Catinaccio, with the view sweeping across the surrounding rock, in its enchanted and silent winter version.