A second home in the majestic silence of the high mountains
5 treks to the most remote mountain huts and a night in the mountains
For mountaineers and trekking enthusiasts, a mountain hut or “rifugio” is like a lighthouse for a sailor. A place to drop anchor and find comfort, a home away from home. Granted, it may not offer the services of a 5-star hotel but that’s simply because the silence and the majesty of a sunset in the high mountains are inestimable.
You will be welcomed with a simple yet wholesome meal (don’t forget that getting provisions up here isn’t a simple task) and the wooden table is shared with other high-mountain travellers, complete with backpacks and tales of mountaineering feats. You sleep in a shared dormitory, on a bunk bed, which together recall the pleasure of simplicity. The prudent tanned faces of the managers, their precious advice and their reminders that all lights must be switched off after sunset (electricity is a valuable commodity up here!), make you feel that you’re in safe hands, the strong resourceful hands of those that know and keep watch over the highlands of Trentino.
The trails that lead to these high mountain huts are all generally challenging, but with a bit of training and preparation you’ll be able to enjoy the gratifying experience of reaching a mountain hut after a long day of trekking. Here are our suggestions for this summer, from the Dolomites to the Lagorai group.
Rifugio Cima d'Asta
Off the beaten mountain trail, the Rifugio Cima d'Asta mountain hut is located just below the peak it is named after. The trail that takes you there requires, above all, patience and preparation. You leave from the Malga Sorgazza farmstead, 1,100 metres below, and follow the trail, at times along steep stretches. The effort will be repaid in full by the vision of the sky reflected in the crystalline waters of the lake not far from your destination.
Rifugio XII Apostoli
To get up here a little prayer might help: maybe that’s why the rocky path that leads up to this mountain hut has been dubbed the “scala santa” (holy stairway)! This route, equipped with steel cables along certain stretches, is definitely something to be conquered. This feeling of conquest grows as you climb, as does the beauty of the surrounding panorama.
The king of mountain huts, rising above all others in the eastern Alps, at an elevation of over 3,500 metres. To get here you need to take the EE trail, along with a fair dose of tenacity and patience, and cover the height gain of 1,200 metres that separates the cableway station of Doss dei Grembi from the iconographic and unique architecture of the mountain hut itself, purposely designed to resist extreme weather conditions.
No matter what trail you choose to reach this mountain hut, you will find yourself in the heart of the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group. The trails are all relatively long but not too difficult. We recommend you reach the hut from the Valle del Vajolet or by crossing the Larsec highlands, in this way you will arrive from above and be able to feast your eyes on the heart-shaped lake nestled in its rocky basin.
Rifugio Torre di Pisa
This mountain hut is the only one in the Latemar dolomitic group, surrounded by numerous peaks such as the “Torre di Pisa” (Tower of Pisa) from which it takes its name. A number of cableways, both from the Valle di Fiemme and Obereggen, make the approach easier, but we suggest you try to be honest with yourself and earn a tasty meal by taking off on foot from Pampeago.
How far is the Moon? Well, about 1,300 metres above San Martino di Catrozza! To reach the highlands of the Pale di San Martino Dolomites you can always use the cableways, but if you want to conquer this lunar landscape and deserve a comforting stop at the rifugio Rosetta mountain hut, you should go on foot. First you skirt the meadows at lower altitudes then make your way up along a rocky trail, equipped with ropes and parapets.