Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 1
Dolomites high Route: Alta Via 2
Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2
Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2
Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2
Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2

Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2


Trip Overview

This stunning hike takes in the highlights of the Alta Via 2, big sister of the Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites. Our itinerary links the very best sections of this challenging route to make it accessible to seasoned walkers. We trek through one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world: A UNESCO World Heritage Site with spectacular rock formations and geology.

Highlights

  • Stunning mountain scenery in a World Heritage Site
  • Challenging hiking on great trails in the Dolomites
  • High mountain rifugios in truly amazing locations
  • A unique culture mixing Austrian and Italian traditions
  • Services of a professional International Mountain Leader

The exceptional geological beauty of the Dolomites is world famous, along with its Austrian-Italian distinctiveness. The area is known as the Sud Tirol in German, and as the Alto Adige in Italian, and presents an eclectic fusion of Austrian and Italian tradition, cuisine and folklore. 

Try Via Ferrata?

A via ferrata, which in Italian means the 'iron way', is a mountain route with fixed ‘protection’ such as metal ladders, handles and chain that you remain attached to using a climbing harness. This allows access to isolated trail systems, rocky cliff lines and summits normally reserved for climbers. The technique was initially developed by soldiers in the First World War, but has become an established, safe and popular sport. If you would like to try this activity before or after your trip then please ask us for more details. NB: Please note, we only use qualified IFMGA Guides for this activity and it is in addition to the proposed itinerary.


Would highly recommend this trip if you are looking for that next challenge, great walking routes each day with some stunning views across the Dolomites. Lindsay was superb and made sure that we all stayed safe in the challenging weather conditions. Another very memorable week in the Dolomites with Tracks and Trails.

Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • This evening you will meet your guide in Brixen, in Italy, which is also known as Bressanone, in Italian. The Sud Tirol is predominantly German speaking, with Italian the second language. If arriving by bus/train check both names, Brixen and Bressanone. Brixen is easily accessible by train and bus from Munich, Verona or Innsbruck airport. It’s a beautiful city, and well worth arriving early to allow time to explore the cobbled streets. 

  • Our walking trip on the stunning Alta Via 2 begins with a bus ride to San Andreas above Brixen and then we take a cable car ride up to the high pastures of Valcroce. It is wonderful to start a hike high-up, but we are about to get even higher as we head for coffee and cake at the Rifugio Plose, the official AV2 starting point. Leaving the Rifugio we remain mostly in open mountainside with views to the Austrian Tyrol, and to the south-east the dramatic rock spires of the Puez-Odle ridge line. Lunch is usually in the lovely private Schätzerhütte. Today is a reasonably gentle introduction to the beauty of the Dolomites, with our high point at 2357m (7730ft) when we cross our first high pass at Forcella di Putia. We will spend the night at the Rifugio Genova: a lively and popular hut with good facilities, including showers. As with many of the refuges on this trip it will have a German and Italian name, it can get rather confusing, but all adds to the feeling we are somewhere 'different'.

    Ascent: 1024m (3358ft) Descent: 747m (2450ft) Distance 20km (12.4 miles) Duration: 6h00-7h00 

  • A short walk takes us back up to the Passo Poma through the wild flower meadows. Then it’s a rising traverse across steep, stony hillsides on a balcony path, which rewards with a view of the impressive rock towers and snow streaked screes of Punte del Puez. We then head for the conspicuous notch on the skyline, the Forcella della Roa at 2617m (8585ft)), from where we tackle rocky ridge terrain before dropping into the valley above our destination. The isolated Rifugio Puez situated at an altitude of 2475m (8118ft) is right in the heart of the extraordinary Puez group of mountains, a vast limestone wilderness. It is a clean and efficient rifugio with delicious apple strudel. The evening views down the stunning gorge to the valley below are well worth the effort of getting here. We love it!

    Ascent: 600m (1968ft) Descent: 800m (2624ft) Distance: 10km (6.3 miles) Duration: 05h30 

  • We head into the wild rocky Puez range this morning, sometimes described as a ‘desolate and primitive landscape’ with fossil remains visible in the rock pavements. Our path takes us over the Forcella di Ciampac at 2366m (7760ft), and then climbs gently south-west over a vast stony plateau down to the vivid green waters of the Lago di Crespeina. At Passo Crespeina at 2528m (8291ft) the 'Sella' massif dominates with its high buttresses and snowfields. We eventually pass below the Pizzes da Cir cliffs and down to the fabulous restaurant known as 'Jimmy's' for lunch (the food is too good to pass!) It's then down to the famous Passo Gardena with its stunning mountain road with its many tight bends, used in many a 'road movie'. From here we climb into the wild Sella mountains: a stunning landscape of rocky spires, vertical cliffs and gorges. We have a climb of over two hours to our overnight at the Rifugio Pisciadu. Our hike ends with a rocky scramble, aided by a solid cable and spikes. There is some exposure on this final climb, but it should not be any problem for those used to the high mountains.

    Ascent: 862m (2827ft) Descent 765m (2509ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 5h00-6h00

  • This is a spectacular day as we head around Lago di Pisciadu. Rugged mountainside trails wind over rock and scree, with cables assisting the first rocky, but easy section. A steeper climb follows up to the Altopiano del Meisules: a barren lunar landscape rich in ammonite fossils. Our next goal is to cross the l’Antersass before a descent over rough, stony ground guided by cairns and poles until we arrive at the Rifugio Boe where we can enjoy an Italian coffee! We continue across the rocky mountainside before a gentle climb to the conspicuous Rifugio Maria. There is sometimes a pig wandering around the Rifugio! Yes, a pig! We then take the cable car to Passo Pordoi which allows more time for a leisurely lunch and saves our knees on what can be a punishing descent. Passo Pordoi has bars, restaurants and various other facilities if you wish to pick up any snacks etc. We wont be resting here too long, because we are about to enter the Marmolada group and the volcanic Padon chain. Leaving the Passo we take the celebrated 'Viel dal Pan', this footpath was once used by flour merchants from the Belluno area as a route to the valley. Flour, an essential ingredient, represented an excellent bargaining product and was bartered in the Ladin valleys for handcrafted goods, as well as for other products. We contour grassy hillsides below volcanic formations akin to Easter Island statues, to reach the stunningly situated Rifugio Viel dal Pan where we will spend the night enjoying views of the Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites at 3334m (10,965ft).

    Ascent: 1108m (3634ft) Descent: 1298m (4257ft) Distance: 13km (8 miles) Duration: 7h00

  • After seeing the stunning sunrise over the Marmolada, we head down to the lovely Lago di Fedaia for a quick coffee stop. The mighty Marmolada, a landmark of the Dolomites, is a major presence during today’s trek. Steep, 1000m (3280ft) cliffs along the 5km (3 miles) of its south face are capped by the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps. The Marmolada summit was first attempted in 1830 by Italian climbers, with the first ascent to Punta Penia, the highest point, in 1864 by Austrian, Paul Grohmann with Italian guides. During spring of 1916, and again in summer 1917 the Marmolada witnessed fierce hand-to-hand fighting between Austrian and Italian troops. To escape enemy fire, the Austrians excavated a complex of galleries some 12km (7.5 miles) in total within the glacier itself, dubbed the ‘City of Ice’. This is our longest day in terms of distance and by the time we climb our final pass at Forca Rossa at 2490m (8167ft) we are already anticipating our lovely hotel at the pass.

    Ascent: 1200m (3936ft) Descent: 1760m (5772ft) Distance 32km (20 miles) Duration: 10h00

  • We set of this morning up the mountain as we being our hike to the Passo di Valles which is at 2031m (6661ft) and the Rifugio Passa Valles, a privately run refuge where no doubt a morning coffee will be required. Our first pass will be the Forcella Venegia at 2217m (7271ft), with views to the red-sandstone striated cliffs of Cima Caladora. We follow the panoramic crest with an impressive line up ahead of Monte Mulaz, Cima di Val Grande, and the majestic Cimon della Pala at 3038m (9964ft). The Cimon is known as the Matterhorn of the Dolomites! We then cross the north-east slopes of Monte Mulaz to the small Passo dei Fochette di Focobon amid stunning rock spires and breathtaking scenery. Our final section before the rifugio involves a straightforward scramble with cables up rock ledges and slabs, but with no major difficulties. We spend the night at the stunningly located Rifugio Mulaz, named after the Venetian entrepreneur who launched the city’s mainland industrial development in the 1920’s. The sunsets from the terrace can be truly stunning, framing the peaks and spires of the Dolomites.

    Ascent: 1176m (3857ft) Descent: 548m (1797ft) Distance: 11km (6.8 miles) Duration: 7h00 

  • We leave the Rifugio Mulaz to climb steeply over the nearby pass named after the rifugio. This is a wild barren landscape, and a lovely start to our final day of hiking. Once over the pass we return to a greener landscape as we traverse down the mountain side, making our way to the Castellaz: a spectacular rocky plateau. We aim to complete the loop up to the summit cross of Cristo Pensante and enjoy our final views of the Dolomites before heading down to our pick-up point near Passo Rolle, at the Rifugio Capanna Cervino. The rifugio is a great place to enjoy a coffee and cake to celebrate our journey. Here we meet our taxi transfer back to your hotel in Brixen. The drive will be approximately 2h00 back to our hotel. This allows easy return travel from Brixen/Bressanone to your airport on your departure day.

    Ascent: 400m (1312ft) Descent: 851m (2791ft) Distance: 8km (5 miles) Duration: 5h00  

  • Today is your departure day from Brixen/Bressanone.

We always aim to complete the proposed itinerary, however it may be necessary for our guides to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

On this trip accommodation will be in a twin room in a hotel in Brixen/Bressanone. You will also have a twin room in the hotel at Passo San Pellegrino. The Dolomite Rifugios are definitely a 'cut above' normal mountain huts, and offer very comfortable accommodation. As stated in What's included, early booking means we can try to obtain dormitories for our group's sole use. We also try and secure small dorms or bedrooms to keep friends and couples together, but this is not guaranteed. If you are prepared to hike the Alta Via 2 then we assume you are of an adventurous nature and used to sharing 'space' in high mountain rifugios when necessary. It can be a great way to make new friends!

Single rooms may be available in Brixen/Bressanone and at Passo San Pellegrino for a supplementary fee. These are normally limited in number and require early booking. Please contact us for details.

Hotel Krone, Brixen/Bressanone

Hotel

The Hotel Krone in Brixen/Bressanone is in a great location for our base in this lovely city. It is right in the centre of the old town with its cobbled streets, yet only a 10 minute walk to the bus station. The hotel provides high quality Tyrolean accommodation and facilities. The hotel also has a great restaurant serving tasty local dishes made from local products. 

 

Patrizio is very welcoming, and is a great source of local information. There is a lovely terrace where you can enjoy an evening drink. There is also a roof-top spa for easing any aching muscles when we return from our epic journey on the Alta Via 2. 

Rifugio Genova

Refuge

The rifugio sits at the junction of several trails in the Dolomites, including the major European path from Munich to Venice. It has a comfortable restaurant serving traditional meals with great views down to the valley. The rifugio which is also know as the Schlüterhütte was built in 1898.

 

The rifugio has accommodation mostly in dormitories. There are showers and toilets on each floor.

Rifugio Puez

Refuge

For over 70 years the Costa family has welcomed climbers, hikers, families and groups to their Rifugio in the heart of the Puez-Odle Nature Park. There is a dining room with bar, a sunny terrace to enjoy the panoramic views and delicious food. Dormitories are the norm here, but sometimes there are bedrooms free. Showers are available.

Rifugio Pisciadu

Refuge

The Rifugio Pisciadu is in a spectacular location high in the mountains with rock faces towering above. The rifugio, to give it its full title, is actually the Rifugio Franco Cavazza al Pisciadù! The club is owned by the Alpine Club of Bologna. It has simple accommodation in dormitories, a cosy bar and restaurant serving with traditional Ladin cuisine. There are showers available.

Rifugio Viel dal Pan

Refuge

The Rifugio Viel dal Pan takes its name from the 'Viel dal Pan' Route used buy the flour merchants, and literally means the 'bread way'. The Rifugio is perched high above the valley with a spectacular view of the Marmalade, the highest summit in the Dolomites.  The dorms are furnished in Tyrolean style, with double, triple and four-person bedrooms available. There are also showers. 

Hotel Costabella, Passo San Pellegrino

Hotel

The Hotel Costabella has been operating since 1945 and is currently run by Patrizio Prandi, a descendant of the hotel’s original owner, Patrizio Deville. Our hotel provides a bit of true comfort after our nights in the high mountain rifugios. The food is excellent, and there is a lovely spa area to enjoy. Accommodation tonight will be twin bedrooms. A single room may be possible on request, but will incur a supplementary fee. 

The name Costabella is a tribute to the legendary Costabella peak, which towers behind the hotel and provides spectacular panoramas, particularly in the winter season. 

Rifugio Mulaz

Refuge

This is a stunning location to spend the night and the sunsets can be outstanding! The rifugio lies on the Dolomite limestone rocks at 2571m (8432ft), the rifugio offers a warm welcome and cosy accommodation. It is a traditional alpine hut, with a stove in the dining area to keep us warm. There is a terrace on which to enjoy an evening drink. 


  • The Italian Dolomites are easily reached from European and Worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. If choosing to travel by air, the closest airports are Munich in Germany, Innsbruck in Austria or Verona and Venice in Italy. Upon arrival we then suggest taking the bus or train to reach Brixen/Bressanone.

    From Innsbruck airport use the airport free shuttle bus from the airport to Innsbruck central railway station: it takes 15 mins and leaves every 10 minutes. Then take the train to Brixen/Bressanone, taking about 1h35. The train from Innsbruck departs hourly, in the direction of Brennero/Brenner: change here for a train in the direction of Merano.

    The best website for train/bus links across the Sud Tirol/Dolomites region is the SudTirol Mobil website. Searching: Innsbruck, Hauptbahnhof to Bressanone, Stazione. It also provides 'Google' maps of the exact station location.

    From Munich airport to Brixen/Bressanone there is the Alto Adige Dolomites Airport Shuttle. This is run by Sudtirol Bus. The bus picks up at Terminals 1 and 2 at Munich Airport, but also at Innsbruck Airport.

    Other bus options are Deutsche Bahn and OEBB. You can try both Munich Airport to/from Bressanone and Munich Hauptbahnhof to/from Bressanone. Using Hauptbahnhof often results in a far cheaper price and it is easy to connect to/from the train at Munich Ost. Buy a ticket from/to the airport at a machine - line 1 or 8, and remember to stamp the ticket before getting on the train.

    Trenitalia - it is also worth checking the Italian train network for Brixen/Bressanone to Innsbruck (or vice versa) and then the cost of Innsbruck to/from Munich Flughafen or Munich Hauptbahnhof on Deutsche Bahn & OEBB.

    You can also take the train from the UK all the way to Brixen/Bressanone, you can check times here this website is also helpful for finding other train times from Munich airport (3h20), Verona (2h15) or Venice (3h50).

    A useful link which gives other options, such as the buses from Verona or Venice is Rome2Rio which gives a map and overall picture taking 3h30-5h50 respectively. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. For further details, please ensure you have carefully read the Insurance section of our website.

  • Summer mountain weather can vary considerably. It is generally good in the Alps with lovely days, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

  • A via ferret, which in Italian means the 'iron way', is a mountain route with fixed ‘protection’ such as metal ladders, handles and chain that you remain attached to using a climbing harness. This allows access to isolated trail systems, rocky cliff lines and summits normally reserved for skilled rock climbers. The technique was initially developed by soldiers in the First World War, but has now become an established, safe and popular sport. If you would like to try this activity before or after your trip then please ask us for more details.

    Please note, we only use qualified IFMGA Guides for this activity and it is in addition to the proposed itinerary.

    A via ferrata, which in Italian means the 'iron way', is a mountain route with fixed ‘protection’ such as metal ladders, handles and chain that you remain attached to using a climbing harness. This allows access to isolated trail systems, rocky cliff lines and summits normally reserved for climbers. The technique was initially developed by soldiers in the First World War, but has become an established, safe and popular sport. If you would like to try this activity before or after your trip then please ask us for more details. NB: Please note, we only use qualified IFMGA Guides for this activity and it is in addition to the proposed itinerary.

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. You can read our full policy here.

  • Due to the specialised nature of our trips, we work with a select number of partners to help ensure your trip reaches its minimum group size to be guaranteed to run. The companies we work with reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sat 13 Jul - Sun 21 Jul
Code: AVH1 19
Price: £1495 Book
Sat 20 Jul - Sun 28 Jul
Code: AVH2 19
Price: £1495 Book
Sat 31 Aug - Sun 08 Sep
Code: AVH3 19
Price: £1495 Book
Sat 07 Sep - Sun 15 Sep
Code: AVH4 19
Price: £1495 Book
Sat 14 Sep - Sun 22 Sep
Code: AVH5 19
Price: £1495 Book

What's Included

  • Half board accommodation; breakfast, and dinner. Three nights in hotels in Brixen/Bressanone and at Passo San Pellegrino in twin rooms. Five nights in rifugios in either bedrooms or small dormitories. Where possible we secure bedrooms, or we book dormitories for our group’s private use. None of this is guaranteed, and relies on early booking
  • Services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Transfer at the end of the trip back to your hotel in Brixen/Bressanone
  • Bus and chairlift to reach San Andreas and Valcroce
  • Cable car down to Passo Crespeina
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Lunches
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Transfers on your arrival or departure day

Would highly recommend this trip if you are looking for that next challenge, great walking routes each day with some stunning views across the Dolomites. Lindsay was superb and made sure that we all stayed safe in the challenging weather conditions. Another very memorable week in the Dolomites with Tracks and Trails.

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Grade: Challenging

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At a Glance

From Price £1495
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 9 Days
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 2932m (9616ft)
Countries Visited Italy
Meet In Brixen/Bressanone, Italy
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