The Dolomites are magical. There are so many hiking trails and via ferratas that it is so hard to decide where to go. On this day, the choice fell on a mountain that also offers a lot of history. The stories about the Dolomites war attracted me magically. What was going on during the war in the Dolomites, today that’s simply unimaginable. To get to the bottom of the story, we went to “Falzarego pass.” Here was the front line between Italians and Austrians.
Arriving by car at the mountain station, you will find lots of parking spaces. There are different ways to get to the Lagazuoi summit. The most difficult way is through the mountain galleries, over via ferratas and a suspension bridge. The more pleasant way leads up along the ski slope. This way is easy. The most comfortable to get up, is of course the cable car. Although I had written in the last post that I do not like to go on mountains on which a cable car runs, but sometimes you have no chance to avoid it. 😊
Since the cable car was not an option for us, we took our hiking boots and equipment an started the tour towards the Lagazuoi. We chose the option of ascending over the “Austrian Mountain Troop Path” and descending through the galleries. At the beginning, the Road No. 402 is quite wide. After a few minutes there is a sign with the inscription: “Austrian Mountain Troop Path”. This shows you the way towards the north-west.
We were there in mid-September and it had snowed the day before. But that did not lower our motivation. After a short time, we arrived at the first trenches, followed by remnants of the trench warfare. The panorama almost distracted us from the historical billboards, which are placed at many points. The way was sometimes difficult to find through the snow, that should be easy if there is none.
After we had left the trenches behind us, we went further upwards over serpentines. At the end of this part, the first little challenge was waiting: a gutter, secured with braces and wooden beams. Usually no problem, with snow on it, it was a bit slippery.
Afterwards we stood in front of a section secured with ropes. It is quite possible to pass here unsecured, but for the untrained I would recommend using the climbing harness. At the end of this secured part, we came to one of the highlights of the tour. The suspension bridge over a ravine. On the other side of the bridge is a tunnel entrance.
Here we got the first impression of what it looked like in the tunnels. After we used another exit, we climbed a short distance and followed the path further. Again, we saw fortifications.
From there, you will find partially secured parts while you are getting further up. The ascend was was varied and interesting. When we got up, we had a fabulous view. On the right side there is the summit cross. Great chance for taking phots. Afterwards we warmed ourselves up in the mountain hut and enjoyed the panorama of the mountains.
Freshly strengthened, we went now towards the cable car station. Behind the building there is a kind of archway with the inscription: 10 minutes to the gallery. Over a rocky descent, which is very well secured, we went to the underlying path. The path led us through next fortifications over a ridge, to the entrance of the studs.
The ridge is not long, secured, but you should be free of dizziness.
Now we pulled up helmets and headlights and we went into the tunnel system. This part of the descend is not to be underestimated. It goes down hundreds of steps, with further passages that always branch off again. Descending in absolute darkness, you think of every cone of light, which shines through the openings, it would show the exit. This section, with the MG positions and chambers, was an awesome experience.
When we reached the exit after a feeling of eternity in the dark, we went down a little path. It passes a small waterfall, through another small tunnel, towards the valley. The rest of the descent we quietly drift down from the slope. Once again arrived at the parking, we still enjoyed a little the view of the Lagazuoi and tracked the route we had gone.
If you go this way, you can get a good look on what circumstances were fought here and what was going on in- and outside of the mountain. With the cable car you will not be able to get all these impressions. You get a great, almost history-free panorama for your money. I recommend this tour to everyone. In my opinion it is a perfect mixture of mountain tour, history and panorama.