Pala Ronda Trails
Trentino Acta Adige, Italy
Start: San Martino
End: San Martino
Distance: 5 miles (8 km) “soft” trek / 8 miles (12.8 km) “hard” trek
Time: 4 days (soft) / 5days(hard)
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Surface: Bare Rock, Gravel Trails
The Dolomites are universally acknowledged as one of the finest walking regions in the world, and the paths that crisscross them are as numerous as the strands in a spider’s web. The Pala Group, in eastern Trentino, is characterized by three distinct geographical units – the northern section with more than 6,670 acres (2,700 ha) of protected spruce and fir woodlands, the western section, which is part of the 43-mile-long (69 km) Lagorai Range, and the southern section, which contains the Pale di San Martino, the peaks that provide the views and the thrills you will encounter on the Pala Ronda trek.
There are two options you can take: the “soft” trek or the “hard” trek, both of which start in the town of San Martino. The soft trek involves either a three or four-hour hike, depending upon which path you take, and a 3,280-foot (1,000-m) ascent to Rosetta hut on the eastern edge of the Pala plateau at a height of 8,467 feet (2,581 m). If you have any energy left after that rather torturous start, you can walk an extra twenty minutes to the peak of Cima Rosetta at 8,999 feet (2,743 m). The next day is exhilarating as you walk to the Fradusta Glacier, more of a glacier remnant really, and its tiny lake. You are now in the heart of the Pale di San Martino mountain group. After an overnight stay in the Pradidali hut, you traverse the Pradidali Valley to your final accommodation at Treviso hut before crossing the Canali Pass and onto the plateau itself and a three-hour return to Rosetta hut. The “hard” option takes you right across the Pala Group and involves climbing and using pegs and wooden crossbars (stemples). You have been warned.