From Innsbruck to Brixen and through the Dolomites to San Martino di Castrozza
Stage 15 - Malga Ciapela to Rifugio Miralago
|Medium difficulty 5 hour stage, mostly because parts are poorly marked (map, compass, and altimeter highly recommended).|
|Leaving on the dirt road in front of the Hotel
Tyrolia, we passed a camping area and follwed signs pointing towards 'Franzedas'
The trail is not well marked, at junctions we stayed to the left to avoid
ending up on the trail to the Ombretta mountain and Refugio Falier.
Emerging at Franzedas, a tiny hamlet of 3 or so farm buildings on our right, we crossed a meadow and realized that we needed to be much further over to the right.
|We could see the trail snaking its way up to the Forca Rossa (red pass) in the distance and our map indicated we should be on a 'cart path', not a tiny trail in a meadow. With help of our compass, we turned right through the field and continued through underbrush until we reached the cart path. Turning left towards the red mountain, we reassuringly came upon a sign pointing to Col Becher on the left and Forca Rossa to the right.|
| As we climbed toward the pass,
once again the fog moved in and the top became completely shrouded in the
clouds. A nice bench lend itself to a (short because of the cold wind) lunch
break. If it had been clear, we would have had grand views of the valley
Over the top and taking the left trail at the next junction, following the now blue and white markings, we slowly made our way through the fog.
|By way of a horse pasture and along the side of the mountain, we followed the blue and white markings and actually found a broken sign labeled 'Fuciade' in the grass. A right turn and steep downhill later, we could see the hut with is umbrellas below. Rifugio Fuchiade is tiny and popular, reservations required. We continued on, taking trail # 607, a right turn at the next junction, to Rifugio Miralago. We arrived minutes before the rain, were welcomed by friendly staff, led to a beautiful room with a balcony, and later treated to a fantastic dinner!|