July 7, 2015
See the previous post for information on Ortisei as a home base for day hikes in the region.
Woke to low clouds hanging over some of the peaks with diminished visibility of distant peaks. Under these conditions we changed our original plan to climb to Piz Boè, the highest point in the Sella Group with fabulous panoramas, to a through hike that also starts from Pordoi Pass and continues across the Sella Group to Gardena Pass. For both hikes you can take the gondola up about 700 meters to Sass Pordoi. Otherwise it’s a steep climb up.
Once at Sass Pordoi, at the top of the gondola,
it’s fairly easy hiking with some up and down across a desolate landscape of bare limestone on trails 638 and 627 to Rifugio Boè, then continuing on trails 647, 649 and 666 to Rifugio Cavazza al Pisciadù, and finally trail 666 continues all the way to Pass Gardena.
The first week in July there was still some snow on the trail. Lingering snow and the loose rubble on the trail make hiking poles a big advantage.
A long steep descent starts about midway past Rifugio Boè where there is a short cable section down a steep gully but nothing too difficult.
At Rifugio C. al Pisciadù we enjoyed a pleasant lunch with views overlooking a small lake and panoramas overlooking a valley in the opposite direction.
Past the rifugio it’s a steep descent aided by a system of cables down to Gardena Pass. This is a long cable section and if you are not used to cables this is probably not the place to learn. However, if you have some experience with them this section is really not that difficult.
The descent past the cables continues to be quite steep on slippery gravel, but majestic views open up and are brilliantly lit by the afternoon sun.
At Gardena Pass there is bus service back to most towns in the area.