Crossing the Dolomites

Tre Cime de Lavaredo - Le Mont Paterno - Via Ferrata Gianni Lipella - Brigata Tridentina - Via ferrata Oskar Schuster - Sentier Santner et tour de Vajolet – Chamonix

Famous in the whole world, the Dolomites massif, located in the extreme North-East of Italy, is a real jewel for UNESCO thanks to its special geological structure made of magnificent vertical walls, and to all the great ascents it offers. 

Although it reaches « only » 3343m (Marmolada peak), what we mainly keep in mind are the lush forests and those huge walls that erects in front of us, especially during sunset when they take an orange and purple tint. That specific rock called the Dolomite was named after the French geologist Deodat de Dolomieu, which was the first one to analyze the sedimentary rock, close to limestone, in 1782. 

During your trip, between trekking and climbing, you will face an unknown aspect of the 1st World War. Indeed, tunnels, roads carved into the rock, balcony-like paths and via ferratas represent the heritage of trails that Italian and Austrian soldiers had to cross. They were rehabilitated as recreational paths, suitable for mountain discovery. 

There is no need to walk very long or on difficult trails to discover the breath-taking views of the mountain landscapes. You will go through spectacular balconies and green valleys, crossing colossal mountain ranges, all equally marvelous.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Chamonix- Tre Cime de Lavaredo

    Chamonix- Tre Cime de Lavaredo Meeting point at 6 am in Chamonix with our guide for a transfer towards the mythical Dolomites massif. In the middle of the afternoon, we will park near the Auronzo refuge, at the bottom of the Tre Cime of Lavaredo. From there, we gently start walking to join the Locatelli refuge (2405m) through the Lavaredo pass. The path climbs gently and safely through a nice forest, and little by little gives us a first overview of what to expect the next few days. We arrive at the refuge and discover for the first time the interesting gastronomy that the Dolomites offers, with an Italian and Austrian influence mixed together, for a unique final result !

    Ascent: around 225m /Descent : around 50m/ Accomodation : Locatelli refuge 2405m

  • Day 2 The Mont Paterno

    The Mont Paterno From the Sasso di Sesto, we start trekking through the Innerklofer path, where history catches us up between galleries and stairs. When we get to the Mont Paterno (2744m), we will move East, and from cable to cable, turn to de-escalation and trekking on a rocky path, we will reach Forcella Pian di Cengia (2622m). A small and quick descent before joining the Lavaredo refuge in the mountain side. The view from there on the pointy peaks and rocky cliffs is jaw-dropping.
    A one-and-a-half-hour transfer will get us to tonight’s shelter: Dibona, nice stone house with red shutters and a yellow roof in a mountain pasture atmosphere, located at the bottom of Tofana de Rozes.

    Ascent: around 600 to 800m / Descent : around 600 to 800m / Accomodation : Dibona refuge 2083m

  • Day 3 Via Ferrata Gianni Lipella

    Via Ferrata Gianni Lipella We continue our route with an hour and a half trek this morning before entering the tunnels for around 20 min. The exit into the void is spectacular. From there, the via ferrata goes up and down to circumvent the mountain and ends up with the view of the Giussani refuge. A quick descent will get us back to the bus, and we will hop on for a transfer to Passo di Selle where we will spend the night.

    Ascent: around 700 to 1200m /Descent : around 700 to 1200m / Accomodation : Carlo Valentini refuge 2218m

  • Day 4 Brigata Tridentina

    Brigata Tridentina A few minutes drive will get us to the Passo Gardena at the entrance of the Brigata Tridentina via ferrata. The hike until the Masores plateau is aerial on that quite vertical wall. You will escalate the slope, climb up ladders and walk on rocky paths whilst admiring the magnificent view on the mountain range. Then, a nice trekking path leads us to the small shelter of Cavazza, under the Pisciadu peak. At last, the Val Status, also called 666 path, is the right way to get back to the bus. We will go back to Passo Sella to take the Forcella Sassolungo cable car, a few minutes and here we are, at a 2681-meter-high altitude. An easy descent in a closed valley surrounded by high walls and we will reach the small refuge of Vicenza, surrounded by mountains.

    Ascent: around 500 to 600m / Descent : around 1000 to 1200m / Accomodation : Vicenza shelter 2256m

  • Day 5 Oskar Schuster via ferrata

    Oskar Schuster via ferrata We continue exploring the Sasso massif by climbing, through the Oskar Schuster via ferrata, the 2958-meter high Sassopiatto. Certainly, one of the most beautiful days of this trip, discovering varied landscapes, sometimes mineral and vertiginous, sometimes delicate and green. It starts by an easy walk, then the walls erect, and we will need balance to get to the peak ridge before the summit: the view of the surrounding area from there is breathtaking. The descent goes through screes at first and joins a grass path until the Carlo Valentini refuge where we will spend the night. A magnificent day that makes us feel small, very small…

    Ascent: around 800 to 900m / Descent : around 7000 to 800m / Accomodation : Carlo Valentini refuge 2218m

  • Day 6 Santner path and Vajolet tour

    Santner path and Vajolet tour An hour transfer by bus takes us to the Catinaccio refuge, where we start trekking (not much via ferrata today with only a few cables). The exit in Passo Santner offers a fantastic view on the Vajolet towers, highlight of the day. We spend our last night in the Stella Alpina refuge (1972m), enjoying the food and each other’s company.

    Ascent: around 1100m / Descent : 1100m / Accomodation : Stella Alpina refuge 1972m

  • Day 7 Going back to Chamonix

    Going back to Chamonix Sadly, our fabulous week comes to an end. We leave early to go back to Chamonix by bus.

ITINERARY CHANGE

Regarding operational requirements,  weather and participants conditions, your high-altitude mountain guide has the right to modify the itinerary in order to ensure your and the group’s safety. For security reasons, and to garantee a level corresponding to the one announced, the supervision and organisation boards have the right to interrupt your participation to the activity if your technical level or physical fitness don’t match the level expected. There is no way the interruption will lead to a refund or payment of compensation.

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

1195 €

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

A deposit of 30% of the trip price will be necessary for the subscription, it must be paid at least 30 days before departure.

  • Technical organisation of the trip
  • Half board accommodation in refuges
  • Lunch picnics
  • Cable cars needed for the good process of the trip
  • Stagexpe bus during the time of your travel
  • High-altitude mountain guide supervision
  • Equipment needed for safety
  • Rented material : helmet, harness, via ferrata rope, absorber

Not included

  • Individual provisions: cereal, chocolate bars, dry fruits,…
  • Drinks (water, tea, coffee, beer, coke) in the shelters, and personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Application fees (18€ per person)
  • Everything which is not included in the « included » item

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions

Subscription


Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon.

Invoice procedure


Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy


If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s price
  • Less than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the date of the cancellation or contract change, the following fees will be added to the charges above :
  • Airline fixed costs : plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plane changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs : you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees : Insurance fees will not be refunded if you subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmation

If you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Altaï Alpes and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt.

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Altaï Alpes has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, any fee that might arise from this change shall be paid by the customer. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer


In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.

Insurance

We recommend you to get personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Altaï Alpes. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, policy name, policy number, phone number) and bring this information with you on your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

Your trip will be supervised by a high-altitude mountain guide that will bring you the information needed to progress in via ferrata.

Food

Lunchs and diners :

  • Lunch picnics are made of mixed salads, fresh meat, cheese and fruits. They are made by the accompanist at night for the day after : don’t worry if he is leaving you for one or two hours during the evening, he is certainly making you great food for tomorrow..
  • At night, diners are taken in the different accommodations
  • Please take provisions according to your own tastes before leaving : cereal, chocolate bars, dry fruits... And feel free to bring some specialties from your regions for aperitifs.

Drinks :

Drinks are not included in the trip's price : please take some money (Swiss francs and Euros) for coffees, fruit juices, beers, cokes during breaks.. Most of the time, refuges don’t have any card machines !

Accommodation

Rooms and bathrooms are shared. Don’t forget to bring your sleeping bag (blankets are provided) and ear plugs. Slippers are available at the entrance of the refuges.

Transportation

You will have to carry your belongings in a 40L backpack. Be careful not to overwheight your bag! 
We will be walking the majority of our trip, but also climbing on stiff rocks. 

Budget & exchange

Italy is in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!).
ATMs are available in most of the towns you will cross during your stay, but there are no guarantees that your credit card will actually work in Italy. Also, refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

  • Technical equipment is provided : special via ferrata ropes, helmet and harness
  • Sleepers will be available in the refuges

Material

Technical equipment


  • Great trekking shoes
  • Harness and helmet + via ferrata material (if you have your own equipment, please inform us during the subscription)
  • A pair of  telescopic poles
  • A sleeping bag (blankets are provided in refuges)
  • Small toilet bag
  • Solar cream (face and lips)
  • Headlamp with replacement battery and bubbles
  • 1.5 litter flask or Camel-back
  • Clasp knife
  • Toilet paper and lighter
  • Two or three plastic bags (100L) to protect your backpack and your belongings if it starts raining
  • 1 flask or thermos 

Personal equipment


  • Bonnet
  • Hat (or cap)/ scarf
  • Sunglasses (index 4 category)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of polar or warm wool gloves for cold and cables + 1 pair of under-gloves
  • Breathable technic underclothing
  • Polar coat
  • 1 windproof and waterproof Goretex-type coat
  • 1 pair of confortable trekking pants
  • 2 pair of socks (one thin, one thick) 

Luggage

All of your belongings must fit in a 40 to 50L bag. Be careful not to carry too much or unnecessary items. If you want to fully enjoy your trip, your bag musn't weigh more than 12KG.

Medicine

Your accompanist will be carrying a first-aid kit during your trip. However, we advise participants to bring their own medicine : aspirin, intestinal antiseptic, small scissors, solar cream (face and lips).. And don’t forget your feet : bandage, Compeed (for blisters)..

NB : There is no  « common » medicine in the first aid kit. Everyone must bring its own treatment if necessary.

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit in Italy : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit Italy.
  • Over 90 days visit in Italy : non-EU citizens must have a visa to visit Italy over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/

Identity card

For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to Italy. 

Mandatory vaccines

No required vaccination. 

Health information & recommendations

It is important to consult your doctor for medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements.
Please keep in mind that we are often in remote areas, away from medical facilities. Please carefully read the brochure and itinerary when selecting your trip, to make sure our style of travel suits you. 

Please note you will travel to high altitude. Most people can travel to 2 500m with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts differently to altitude and altitude sickness can occur.
For details on how to best prepare your trip please consult your physician.

Weather

The Alpine Chain, which stretches from west to east separating Italy from central Europe, has a mountain climate, cold and snowy in winter and mild in summer, when thunderstorms frequently break out.

Electricity

Electricity in Italy conforms to the European standard of 220V to 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz.
Wall outlets typically accommodate plugs with two or three round pins (the latter grounded, the former not).

Local time

Italy is in the Central European Time Zone (CET). Central European Standard Time is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of Italy by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Sandra Carrier

My local agent
Sandra Carrier

  • Technical advisor
  • Mountain and ski touring lover. She will advise you on Mont Blanc tours, trekking, hiking and multi-activities.
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Region
Italy
Activity
Hiking Summer Trekking
Duration
7 days
Code
RDOL-LIB
Price
From €1,195
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • Bus transfer from Chamonix
  • Magnificent and unique landscapes
  • Technical material rental

Required level

Accessible for walkers who are used to trekking on all kind of terrain. The hike is reserved for people who are not afraid of heights. During the trekking, your harness and via ferrata equipment will reassure you. It is not high-altitude mountain, you will never be on glacier so no need for crampons and ice axes.

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