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THE DOLOMITES
A SHORT HISTORY
Exploration of the Brenta Group began in 1864, when the British mountaineer John Ball succeeded in climbing the Bocca di Brenta. This was followed by the expedition of the Trentino climber Giuseppe Loss, who reached the highest peak, the Cima Tosa, while in 1872 Tuckett climbed the Cima Brenta. Today the Brenta area offers an infinite variety of walks, hikes, climbing routes or simple outings to suit every level of ability and stamina, with plenty of welcoming mountain refuges and cosy log cabins.logomonti


WHERE


The Brenta Dolomite Group extends for some 40 km in the western part of Trentino. Cima Tosa is the highest peak at 3173 metres. Numerous valleys lead into the area with countless side valleys, many of which are still wild and pristine: Valesinella, Val Meledrio, Val Agola, Val Manèz, Val delle Seghe, Val del Vento, Val di Tovel, Val di Genova, just to name a few.
The principle rock forms typical of the Group are ledge shaped and campanile shaped. In combination with the rock stratification, these features cause them to continuously change colour depending on the time of day, creating a unique backdrop to the scenery.
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HIKES AND WALKS
The well prepared pathways in this area are kept in good repair and are especially worthy of mention. They wind across the mountainsides at high altitude where the panorama is superb, connecting the northern with the southern parts of the Group.
Even beginners can take part in unforgettable mountaineering tours among contrasting environments and with unexpected changes in the breath-taking scenery, though it is essential to be accompanied by experienced Alpine guides with safety ropes. dolomitiThe well maintained paths connect the various mountain refuges and enable everybody to plan a day’s outing to suit his or her mountaineering skills and stamina.
One of the main routes into the Brenta Group approaching from the south-west is the Val Ambiez, a deep cut into the mountain created by a stream. At first sight it appears narrow and enclosed by vertical rock faces, though at the other end of the ravine an extensive landscape of Alpine pastures unexpectedly opens up, centred around the Malga Prato, reaching up to the Cacciatore refuge at 1821 metres, from where hikers can feast their eyes on the breath-taking and grandiose panorama of the Brenta Dolomites.
Continuing along the high valley route you eventually reach the Agostini refuge at 2410 metres altitude, the starting point for some of the most magnificent hikes and climbs in the Brenta Group: the Cima Tosa, Cima Prato Fiorito, Cima d’Ambiez, the refuges Tosa and Pedrotti along the well maintained Brentari pathway, or the XII Apostoli refuge along the Castilglioni route with fixed ropes, and the refuge Brentei via the Bocca d’Ambiez and Vedretta dei Camosci.
The mouth of the valley is at San Lorenzo in Banale, in the locality of Baesa. During the summer, from July to September an all-terrain vehicle service is available as far as the Cacciatore refuge, organised by the Adamello-Brenta park administration. Weekly hikes with Alpine guides can also be arranged.
stambeccoAnother access route to the south is the Val Algone, though it is initially rather rough and strenuous but eventually leads through pine and beech woods, later opening up to Alpine pastures surrounded by thick woodland and studded with typical high mountain farmsteads, behind which rise the imposing Brenta peaks. A forestry track leads through the valley, which can be used by private vehicles for the first eight kilometres as far as the Brenta refuge. After a total of 15 kilometres it leads to the Molvina farmstead at 1800 metres.
With regard to nature the Val d’Algone is rich in arboreal, shrub and herbaceous species spread among the various phyto-climatic zones; fauna is varied and thrives in these vast unspoilt spaces. Close to the Ghedina refuge there are ruins of an old 18th century glass works, an interesting example of industrial archaeology.
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