Monte Mulaz – Pale di San Martino
Mountain range: Pale di San Martino
Starting point: Passo Rolle
Total distance: 14.80km
Exposure: mainly west
How to arrive
Take the SS50 "del Rolle" to Passo Rolle whether coming from Val di Primiero or Val di Fiemme. Just before the pass (on the San Martino di Castrozza side) leave your vehicle in the car park at the "Castellazzo" ski lift station (carpet lift).
Passo Rolle ("Castellazzo" ski lift station - 1980m); Passo Costazza (2174m); Val Venegia (1930m); Passo Mulaz (2619m); Monte Mulaz (2906m) and back.
This is one the most classic and gratifying routes in the Pale di San Martino area; the setting is fantastic and exerts great charm. The itinerary starts off on gently sloping terrain, then runs over quite steep slopes that require excellent technical skills in forging ahead and changing direction. This is why this ski mountaineering route is suitable only for expert, experienced and fit ski mountaineers, also considering the considerable difference in altitude. The route should be undertaken only when the snow pack is in excellent condition and extremely stable, which is generally after February. Only the first part of the ascent from Passo Mulaz to the summit can be made on skis; the remaining part is covered on foot, sometimes with crampons attached to boots, to reach the evocative cross on the summit. This route is a great addition to anyone's curriculum.
From the car park take the road that leads up to Baita Segantini, which is well groomed, keeping to the left. This will take you to Passo Costazza (2174). After removing your skins, descend on the other side in north-eastwards direction, down into Val Venegia until you reach an altitude of about 1970m. When you start to approach the clearly visible slope that leads up to Passo Mulaz, maintain the same altitude. Enter the broad deep valley which leads up the lower slopes of the "Campanile" in Val Grande behind which you can see the looming, impressive north gully of Cima Bureloni.
Climb the slope making broad zigzags, keeping slightly to the right. The terrain gets steeper and steeper and changes in direction require attention and excellent technique. When you reach an area of level ground, cross over towards the left (north-east direction). A series of ramps, broken up by short stretches that are not so steep, take you to Passo Mulaz (2619m). From the pass proceed slightly towards the north and then turn left and climb north-westwards along the summit sides to the left of the ridge (facing the mountain). Depending on the conditions of the snow pack, you can decide whether to keep your skis on or take them off.
Circumvent the last rocky stretch (by crossing over towards the right), this will bring you, usually without skis on, to the bell on the summit of Monte Mulaz (2906m) - NB: the last stretch may require the use of crampons depending on whether or not there is hard snow or ice. Wonderful views over the peaks of the Pale di San Martino with the tall, slender north-west wall of Cima Bureloni towering above.
Return along the same route as the ascent. Choose the most suitable descent line according to snow conditions.
This route requires a careful assessment of the avalanche bulletin. The potentially dangerous stretch is the one from the steep gully, which rises from Val Venegia to Passo Mulaz. Evaluate this slope very carefully. A good tip would be to tackle the descent (south-west) in the sun so as to take advantage of the best time for the snow's surface (especially in spring).
Tabacco no. 022 - Pale di San Martino (1:25 000)
Facilities - Contacts
Baita Segantini (open all year) Tel: 0439.68251;
Rifugio Giuseppe Volpi al Mulaz Tel: 0437.592144; closed during winter (bivouac open all year - 12 berths)