Sciliar/Schlern – Catinaccio/Rosengarten, Latemar

This system covers 9,302 hectares, shared between the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano/Bozen. The Sciliar/Schlern massif is between the Val d’Isarco/Eisacktal, Alpe di Siusi/Seiseralm and Val Gardena/Grödental. It is a compact massif of Dolomite rock and, depending on the perspective, it can resemble a giant monolith with a flat top, from which Punta Santner/Santner Spitze (2,413m) and Punta Euringer/Euringer Gipfel project, or a rocky island with an immense escarpment merging with the pasturelands below, just as in ancient times the atoll would melt into the bottom of the sea. Mount Catinaccio/Rosengarten, between the Passo di Costalunga/Karerpass, Alpe di Tires/Tierseralpl and the Fassa valley is a rugged, craggy crest with a number of peaks reaching an altitude of 3,000 meters: Catinaccio d’Antermoia (3,002m), Catinaccio/Rosengarten (2,981m), Cima Scalieret (2,887m), Torri del Vajolet/Vajolettürme (2,813m) and Roda di Vael/Rotwand (2,806m). From the 19th century, the geology of Catinaccio/Rosengarten has been regarded as one of prime importance for the study of the Dolomite stratigraphy of the Triassic period, since its readily accessible outcrops clearly show the relationship between carbonaceous sedimentation and volcanic activity. The Latemar chain is further South between the Fiemme and Fassa valleys in Trentino and Val d’Ega/Eggental in Alto Adige/Südtirol. This fossil atoll features a large number of peaks: Croda di Lausa (2,876m), Campanili del Latemar/Latermartüme (2,842 m), Schenon (2,791m), Cima Val Bona (2,822 m), Molignon (2,820m) and Corno d’Ega/Eggentaler Horn (2,799m). The scenic northern edge of the massif features the limpid waters of Lake Carezza/Karersee reflecting the peaks of Campanili del Latemar/Latemartürme.

Protecting the environment

As a response to the need to safeguard an area that was beginning to be over-exploited by the tourist industry, putting the landscape and environment in general at risk, the protected area Parco Naturale Sciliar – Catinaccio/Naturpark Schlern – Rosengarten was set up in 1974, the first of these kinds of parks that was set up in the Province of Bolzano/Bozen. The protected area covers a total surface of over 7,000 hectares. Home to human habitation ever since ancient times, today the landscape varies from rocky crags and screes to woodlands of conifers and rolling pasturelands dotted with rustic dairies and charming little lakes. The indigenous floral treasures include the bellflower campanula morettiana and physoplexis comosa, the tufted horned rampion. The park is teeming with wildlife, home to roe deer, chamois, Alpine chough, golden eagles, black grouse and capercaillie. Finally there are the rocks, yet another of the park’s priceless legacies, telling a story dating back millions of years. (www.provincia.bz.it).

For more information, visit www.dolomitiunesco.info

The Alpe di Tires – Tierser Alpl Refuge lies in the saddle of the same name, beneath the spires of Cime Principe and Denti di Terrarossa and at the meeting point of the routes from Sciliar to Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto and from Alpe di Siusi to Catinaccio. Built between 1957 and 1963 by Franz Aichner, the refuge is the starting point for the Maximilian and Laurenzi via ferrata, opened up by Aichner himself.

The Antermoia Refuge is located in the Catinaccio Group, a dozen or so meters from the shores of Lake Antermoia. Lying in a rocky hollow which divides the Antermoia – Molignon subgroups from the Larsec subgroup, the refuge affords a splendid view over the Marmolada to the South and the great faces of the Catinaccio d’Antermoia to the North-West. 

The Bergamo – Grasleiten Refuge lies on a grassy plain in the Vallone del Principe between the peaks of the same name and Cima Valbona, in the Sciliar Natural Park. The refuge, built in 1887 by the DÖAV of Leipzig, is an excellent starting point for excursions, climbs and via ferrata.

The Bolzano at Monte Pez – Schlern Refuge stands in the meadows and fields of Sciliar which reach as far as the walls and towers of Latemar, Catinaccio, Sassopiatto, Sassolungo, Puez and Odle, while at their foot stands Alpe di Siusi. Built in 1885, the refuge has a 360° view over the Tires Valley, the Adige Valley, Catinaccio and Sassolungo.

The Molignon – Mahlknecht Refuge, in the heart of the Alpe di Siusi, appeared on the list of Alpine refuges at the beginning of the 20th century with its German name. In 1965 it was purchased by Oswald Aichner who had the whole house demolished in 1984 and rebuilt with the layout we see today. As well as being a popular destination, the refuge is an ideal starting point for excursions on foot or by mountain bike in the summer and for sledging and ski touring in the winter.

The Passo Principe – Grasleitenpass Refuge, which has recently been renovated, is located at the head of the Vajolet Valley, perched on the Vajolet pass and sitting between the west face of Catinaccio di Antermoia, where the via ferrata snakes up to the summit, and the east wall of Cima Valbona. All routes between the Sciliar plateau and the refuges in the southern part of Catinaccio go past the refuge.

Note: the Passo Santner Refuge is currently closed.
The Passo Santner – Santnerpass Refuge stands in a truly panoramic position: close to the west face of Catinaccio and the south side of Croda di Laurino, opposite the Vajolet Towers.

The Paul Preuss Refuge, built by the Alpine guide Tita Piaz and dedicated to the famous 1900s climber, lies in a very scenic location, surrounded by the highest peaks in the group: Cima Wilma and Catinaccio to the West, the Vajolet Towers to the North-West, Catinaccio d'Antermoia to the North and Cima da le Pope to the East. Easy to reach, the refuge is very popular on numerous excursions and is the starting point for several climbing routes.

The Re Alberto I – Gartl Refuge is located in the heart of Catinaccio, on the border with the Fassa Valley but still in South Tyrol, in a hollow surrounded by huge bastions of Dolomite mountains like Croda di Re Laurino, the north face of Catinaccio and the famous Vajolet Towers. The refuge was first built in 1929 when the famous climber Tita Piaz decided to purchase and renovate the temporary accommodation that stood there on the slopes of the Towers.

The Roda di Vael – Rotwand Refuge lies at the foot of the Roda di Vael peak on the Sella del Ciampaz, above the Pra Martin Valley. The refuge is a base both for walkers on the numerous excursions in the Vaiolon Pass and anyone who prefers the superb Roda di Vael or Masarè ferrata or one of the many climbing routes.

The Sciliar – Schlernbödele Refuge was built by the AVS of Bolzano in 1969 and then rebuilt in 1984 after being destroyed by a snowslide. Lying at the foot of Sciliar, the refuge is a classic starting point when climbing Santner and Burgstallwand or for numerous excursions.

The Torre di Pisa Refuge, the only refuge in the Latemar Group, sits on the top of Cima Cavignon, in a sunny panoramic location. The refuge takes its name from a nearby oblique rocky spire about twenty meters high which looks like the famous monument in Tuscany.

The Vajolet Refuge dates back to the end of the nineteenth century and is located in the Catinaccio Group, beneath the Vajolet Towers and above Porte Neigre.  It is a popular destination because it is easy to reach and is an excellent base for climbing, rock climbing and excursions.