The Catinaccio Group, an extraordinary wonder of the Alpine landscape, is well-known for the stunning hues of its towers and walls at sunset. It’s one of the most picturesque mountain ranges in the Dolomites. Its name is derived from the main peak, which the locals in the Fassa Valley call ‘Ciadinac’. Originally, the group was named ‘Vael,’ which in Ladin means a groove or deep furrow. From there, some now-famous names like Vaiolet (Vaiolet Towers), Vaiolon, and Roda di Vael emerged. Over time, the entire group has retained the name Catinaccio (or Rosengarten in German). We ventured to explore one of the most iconic places in the Trentino Dolomites: join us in admiring Lake Antermoia!
Lake Antermoia, a pearl in the heart of the Catinaccio.
There are several hiking routes to reach Lake Antermoia. Let’s choose the Val Duron, which, starting from Campitello di Fassa, gently winds its way between the Catinaccio and Sassolungo mountains. The main access to Val Duron begins at Campitello di Fassa, where, on foot, you can reach Rifugio Micheluzzi (1860 meters above sea level) in about an hour and a half, following a gravel road. Alternatively, to save time and elevation gain, you can park along the Streda del Salin, a preferred access point to Val Duron, where a taxi service is available for €10 per trip (tickets can be purchased on board). From Rifugio Micheluzzi, continue along Val Duron until you see signs for Rifugio Antermoia on your left. The ascent begins here, passing through the Ciaregole Pass and Dona Pass, until you reach Rifugio Antermoia and Lake Antermoia. The total elevation gain is approximately 700 meters, and the hike can be completed in about two and a half hours.
A piece of sky among the mountains
After the strenuous ascent, upon reaching the refuge, savoring a delicious alpine dish becomes a delightful pleasure, but the lake is not yet in sight, and the anticipation grows. It’s just a few minutes away, but it hides like a pearl, to be discovered gradually. Every step brings us closer, and finally, there it is, in its turquoise color, a piece of sky fallen among the Dolomites, simply unique. The glacial lake, located at an altitude of 2,495 meters in a severe environment surrounded by white rocks and scree, takes on an emerald hue that, alongside the deep blue of the sky, creates a wonderful contrast. Fortune also grants us moments of respite from the mountain breeze, and, as if by magic, the lake becomes a mirror in which the mountain peaks can admire themselves in their purest splendor. Often, the noise of social media and TV series propels wonderful places to media success, which then the masses of tourism irreversibly corrupt. Lake Antermoia, perhaps due to the long approach, still offers genuine emotions of unexpected discovery. turquoise sky fallen among the Dolomites…
Alpine trail to Cima Antermoia
along the valley that opens behind Lake Antermoia, in the direction of the homonymous pass, you can reach the starting point of the via ferrata leading to Cima Antermoia. Before embarking on this mountaineering route, we recommend delving deeper into it through the most detailed technical reports. Via ferrata equipment is essential (helmet, harness, and ferrata gloves), in addition to good physical preparation. The estimated time to reach the summit is around an hour and a half, but the mountaineering difficulty should not be underestimated in the slightest. Once at the summit, the 360-degree panorama that unfolds is breathtaking. The ridge doesn’t offer much maneuvering space; however, with a bit of care, turning around allows you to take in views of the Catinaccio, Latemar, Sassolungo, Sassopiatto, all the way to the marvelous ridge of the queen of the Dolomites, the Marmolada. From the summit, descending on another via ferrata leads you to Rifugio Passo Principe.
Why do Dolimites have this name?
The splendid Dolomites, also known by the nickname “Pale Mountains” due to the milky gray color of their rocks, have their origins in the mists of time. The time machine takes us back more than 250 million years ago. This part of Trentino was an immense tropical lagoon. Dinosaurs roamed freely on long stretches of sand, leaving prehistoric footprints. In some fortunate cases, these footprints have even been preserved to this day. Near Rovereto, in southern Trentino, it is still possible to admire them at the geological site of Lavini di Marco.
In some areas, tropical seas and beautiful lagoons were interrupted by splendid atolls with coral formations so reminiscent of the present-day Caribbean. These rocky formations, pushed upward by the collision of tectonic plates, emerged from the abyss and are none other than the present magnificent Dolomites. They owe their name to the French naturalist Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801), who was the first to study the particular type of rock they are composed of; their characteristic iridescent color is due to their chemical structure. They are, in fact, a conglomerate of calcium and magnesium carbonate with a high ability to reflect colors, capable of producing wonderful light reflections during unforgettable dawns and dusks.
how to get there and important information:
Parking: at Streda del Salin in Campitello di Fassa (check on maps). Trail signs: Trails E532, E578, E580 (E577 variant towards Val di Dona). Estimated duration: approximately 5 hours (round trip).
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