Everyone should have received their boarding cards and up to date itinerary by now. If you look at it you will see that there are a few changes to last year`s one e.g. now on day one the walk is to Lago Nambino rather than to Lago Malghette. Also on day three we head for the large valley of Val Genova to the west rather than to Val Gelada to the east. Not sure about what`s happening on last two days - looks like we wont be going to Lago Ritorto.
Geography of the Dolomites
The Dolomites are just “down the road” from where we were last year. Cross the Brenner Pass, one of the most important passes in the Alps, and you go from the north Tirol and its Germanic culture to the south Tirol and its Italian culture. When a nationalist movement began in Italy in the mid 19th century to win independence from the Hapsburg Empire and once and for all stop interference and invasion by the French, south Tirol was very much to the forefront. It took most of the 19th century for the various city states of the Italian peninsula to be united into the new nation state of Italy. And it wasn`t til after the First World War that south Tirol was given to Italy. It is here that we find the Dolomites (Dolomiti in Italian).
The Alps are Europe`s greatest mountains, occupying significant chunks of France, Switzerland, Austria, northern Slovenia and northern Italy. The word “dolomite” originates from the name of the French mineralogist Dolomeiu who discovered this type of limestone which is made up mainly of calcium magnesium carbonate.
|Pietra Grande - limestone feature near Madonna|
There are many individual ranges within the Dolomites. Madonna di Campiglio where we will be staying is situated in the south west. The village lies at the northern end of the 20 kilometre long Val Rendena which is drained by the river Sarca.
The Dolomites were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2009 because of their outstanding natural beauty. Like all limestones dolomites evolved as organic sedimentary rock layers on the bed of shallow tropical seas. Then in the last 50 million years or so the great Alpine orogenesis caused these ancient sedimentary layers to form huge fold mountains.
|Passo Del Grosté|
|Wild Flowers near Pietra Grande|
Madonna di Campiglio
Madonna di Campiglio is a small village with a population of about 1000 within the commune (administrative unit) of Pinzolo. It lies at about 1520 metres above sea level and is situated in Val Rendena in Trentino-Adige.
|Madonna di Campiglio|
Malgas and Rifugios
Originally a malga was an alpine building used in the high meadows in summer to house the shepherds.
The Dolomeet Card is the services card of Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo and Val Rendena and allows you to use the chair lifts and gondolas in the area for free.
|5 Laghi Gondola Station|
A Via Ferrata is a protected walkway on very steep rock and cliff faces. It is essentially a steel cable running along the route periodically fixed to the rock.
|Via Ferrata - cables and ladders|
Topflight has arranged for five guided walks (Wednesday will be a rest day). They will probably be quite similar to the ones followed last year in the area. These are:
1. Lago Nambino – This walk is located just a few kilometres west of Madonna. It is one of the famous Cinque Laghi.
2. Giro delle Casacate – East of Madonna, follow the path from the village to the Valesinella waterfalls, Valesinella hut, Orso path back to village. 5 hours graded easy to moderate, with about 300 metres of ascent and descent.
|Stoppani Hut on Passo Del Grosté|
3. Val Genova – Head south west to a lower elevation but to a seriously impressive valley with many waterfalls such as Nardis.
|Limestone Towers near Rifugio Brentei|
4.Giro dei Rifugi Tuckett – This walk is located to the south east. Take the Groste cablecar - graded moderate to difficult with 700 metres of ascent and 800 metres of descent.
5.Giro dei Refugi Brentei – Again located to the south east.
We will be accompanied by two guides each day and the group may be divided to allow for an easier option if some members are suffering! The walks` program is flexible and may be changed because of weather. A via ferrata walk can be arranged on arrival. This will incur an extra cost and club members/participants should make themselves aware of the added risks involved and will have to arrange their own insurance specific to this activity.
|Map of Madonna di Campiglio Walks|
It is up to us all individually to check out and arrange our travel and health insurance policies. We should all bring our European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with us as this covers treatment in all public hospitals. Most policies do not cover mountain rescue should that be required. The British Mountaineering Council`s Trek policy does - at over 40 euro for the week.
Our Travel Arrangements
We leave Dublin Airport (Terminal 1) on Saturday June 24th at 18.00 p.m. on Ryanair Flight FR4844 and arrive in Bergamo Airport at 21.30 p.m. Hand luggage allowance is 10 kg and check in luggage allowance is 20 kg. We will be transferred by coach from Bergamo to Madonna di Campiglio, the trip taking about 2.5 hours.
Weather will obviously dictate what we wear but we need to be ready for all eventualities from shorts and sun cream to raingear and woolly hat. Probably advisable to bring walking boots and trekkers!
To find out more information on the area we visit click on this link www.campigliodolomiti.it/lang/EN/pagine/dettaglio/map_of_hikes,123/hiking_and_paths,596.html
Also this link
To find out more about our hotel click on
Walk Changes due to weather etc.
Date Grade Mt Range Meeting Pt Leader
Sat June 24th - club trip to Dolomites
Sat July 22nd A Trip to Lugnaquilla in Wicklow. More anon.