Cober srl

Winter hike to Monte Pana

Cober srl

  • Height difference: 200 metres uphill and downhill
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Walking time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: beginner
  • Crew Members: Alberto & Valentina – Focus On Trips
  • Recommended poles: PowPow


The end of the winter season does not always coincide with the dates artificially fixed by our calendar. The freedoms that nature can take, and at the same time grant, are potentially unpredictable.

Thus, in this early spring, we retrace another itinerary that takes us into the heart of a snowy landscape at the foot of the majestic Sassolungo, in the Dolomites of Val Gardena, in South Tyrol.

And it is here that an excursion, which at first glance might seem to be just a simple hike, will turn out to be a taste of natural freedom. We walk close to those walls so looming above us, and at the same time revealing a boundless breadth, in the clear Dolomite rock clad in white.

We are in Val Gardena, on the side of the northern face of the Sassolungo, above the village of Santa Cristina. The group towering above us is the Dolomites of Sassolungo and Sassopiatto, where Monte Pana is a plateau between 1,600 and 1,800 metres above sea level, at the foot of the Dolomite rock.

Monte Pana can first be reached via a narrow road that climbs from Santa Cristina in Val Gardena, at the end of which a series of paths branch off into the forest surrounding the starting point of the ski slopes.

We thus follow one of these directions, which take us along a comfortable forest road that proceeds into the heart of the forest. From the first turns of the path, the Sassolungo ridge begins to peek out from the glimpses created in the forest. Its northern face appears as a rocky arch characterised by several turrets. A ridge that naturally slopes westwards into its adjoining ramparts, which soon open up to our view.

The snow on the path is compact and groomed, although there are a few detours into fresh snow tracks. PowPow poles accompany us on the winter terrain, without making us lose our balance in the icier sections, with their long grip allowing different grips, and at the same time with the support of the winter basket, that does not make them sink into the snow.

We continue to follow the path, which proceeds with a clear direction, and when we emerge from the thicker forest, the Sassolungo ridge extends to include the peak of Sassopiatto in the panorama, so called because of its flat profile on the western side, which on this side is more angular. Our steps move without a premeditated destination, but to get just close enough to these rocky visions unfolding before us.

If we then turn towards the way back, behind us the view extends to embrace the peaks of the nearby Odle and Puez Dolomite groups. A snowy landscape suspended in time, in a view that nature still grants us.