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Refuge Vandelli Traverse [Turquoise Lake]

Category: Route

Used in the following map:

Walks and Via Ferrata in the Dolomites

The first part of the n215 path starts at the Passo Tre Croci on the SS48, and was first established as a mule track in World War I. It passes a couple of overgrown forts, and then climbs up through woods and around the side of the mountain.

Cables have been set up where there is any exposure, but they are not really necessary. At one point there are a series of ladders to lift the path to a higher level. Most of the ladders in the Dolomites are pretty basic. Sometimes of metal, occasionally of wood. Often there are just stemples [rungs driven into a rock face]. These ladders are luxurious, with handrails and broad metal steps.

After about two hours you reach Refuge Vandelli where there is food, drink and accommodation.

The Lago di Sorapiss is just a few minutes further along from the Refuge. The turquoise colour of the water comes from suspended powdered debris from shrinking glaciers on the north wall of Punta Sorapiss.

The path may be continued on the other side of the lake. It rises steeply and with some exposed but protected stretches. There are herds of chamois in the trees above the lake. Otherwise, return to the Passo Tre Croci by the n215

Reference – Shorter Walks in the Dolomites by Gillian Price. Published by Cicerone in 2002. ISBN 1 85284 351 9.