Map: Tabacco n. 022 Pale di S. Martino – trail CAI n°710A
Trail type: loop
Lenght: about 12 Km
Elevation: starting point 1778 m, highest point 2170 m
Duration: 4 h 45′
Long loop in Val Venegia (Venegia Valley), with a gradual elevation gain in a stunning scenery. Route: Pian dei Casoni – Malga Venegia – Malga Venegiota – Baita Segantini – Refuge Capanna Cervino – Malga Juribello – Pian dei Casoni.
To get to the start, take the SS50 road from Predazzo towards P.sso Rolle. Short after the Paneveggio Natural Park visitor centre, go left following the sign for P.sso Vallès to the parking at Pian dei Casoni. 1) Pian dei Casoni – Malga Venegia We walk through the wood along the creek. Just before Malga Venegia the path opens up disclosing a gorgeous view on the Pale di San Martino, which will be in front of us for the first half of the hike. The agritourism is open and there is a fountain outside.
2) Malga Venegia – Malga Venegiota We keep straight on the road to Malga Venegiota, another agritourism, closed at this time of the year.
3) Malga Venegiota – Baita Segantini A little after Malga Venegiota, there’s a much wider opening and we go through a broad valley with breathtaking scenery. The last part before the refuge is a long switchback. It’s time to put our snowshoes on. The snow is thick but the road has been flattened by a snow groomer and then the snow got harder during the night. So, there’s probably no real need for them: however, the snowshoes enable us to shorten the way a little by taking shortcuts. Then, having finally reached the top, we can refuel on a hot soup and a selection of cold cuts and cheese at the refuge Baita Segantini.
4) Baita Segantini – Capanna Cervino – Malga Juribello Having left the refuge with its frozen pond, we go on to refuge Capanna Cervino, walk through the ski piste and continue down. At the bottom of the slope we turn right, keeping right of the chairlift downhill station. On the last slant before Malga Juribello the snow is solid and a bit slippery, so we decide to have a try at our new anti-slip shoe covers, or strap-on hiking spikes (the ones with studs, and the ones that look like small crampons), which actually prove quite useful. The farm is closed, so we stop there for a break and have a snack out of our backpacks.
5) Malga Juribello – Pian dei Casoni From here, we go slightly the wrong way and find ourselves on a narrow crest from where we have to walk down on a steep slope full of roots in the thick of the trees, in order to reconnect to the trail. When we do, trouble is not over: we have to zigzag carefully along a frozen stream. Finally, we get to the parking.
The second half of the walk, from Baita Segantini on, was a bit challenging and it was at times hard not to lose the path because of the snow. To those who want to do this during the winter and are not experienced hikers, I’d suggest going back from Baita Segantini the same way, and maybe stop in Malga Venegia on the way back to have a hot chocolate in front of the stove, as we did on our recce the day before.