There’s strength in numbers, Carlo,
The Benini Trail, the Brenta Dolomites
“Towards the end of the Sixties my friend, Rodolfo Benini (who was an engineer) and I had the great idea of creating a link to the Bocca del Tuckett from the north side, through the shoulder of Cima Falkner. So, without ever climbing down, it would be possible to go from passo del Grostè to Rifugio XII Apostoli. We always used to go up to the Brenta mountains, even as kids. Those mountains were in our hearts. Moreover Benedetta, my wife, is the great-granddaughter of Nepomuceno Bolognini, the veteran of Garibaldi’s campaigns who, in 1872, founded SAT (the Trentino Alpine Club) and pioneered explorations in the Brenta Dolomites.
Rudy had inherited his father Alfredo’s construction firm, whose name he gave to the trail, and he was an aircraft pilot. We conducted the first investigations with an old Piper, flying over the area and studying where to put the path. We would leave at 6 in the morning, making the small 70 HP Volkswagen engine roar on the runway in Gardolo, which has now been eliminated. After passing the wall of the Paganella with a nose-up, we were in front of the grandiose view.
We discovered that the ledge on Cima Falkner was passable and that only some scaling would be necessary. The only difficulty we would have was in the stretch that descends from the wide ledge of Cima Sella to Bocca del Tuckett. My sons, as well as some mountain guides from Primiero and Don Martino Delugan, worked with Rudy. Some of them remained for weeks between Cima del Grostè and the Campanile di Vallesinella, bivouacking in a cave.
At first, we would launch the material from the Piper, but we soon realised that although it was not a problem for the metal stuff, nine times out of ten the sacks of cement would disintegrate on the rocks. We asked some friends and volunteers of the SAT sections of Mezzocorona, Mezzolombardo, Roverè della Luna, Vigo di Ton, Pressano and San Michele all’Adige to help us. Every one of them organised trips from Vallesinella, bringing what he could in a backpack.
Two seasons later, in 1972, we inaugurated the Benini trail, which was immediately transferred to SAT. This was a victory for us. The Bocchette trail extended across the entire Massiccio Centrale (Central Massif), but it was not only this. We had built it in a grassroots-, almost family-like way, with the collaboration of hundreds of people, who were united by the same passion and on their spontaneous initiative. Many small individual contributions, which when added up, had become a great force.”
Written by Alessandro Cristofoletti