The Rocchetta

A walk in a wild and solitary environment, the ascent to the Rocchetta

The ascent to the Rocchetta di Prendera, not far from the crowded paths leading to Malga Federa and the Croda da Lago refuge, represents an enticing opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

The Rocchette are the four peaks clearly visible to the east of Becco di Mezzodì. The closest to Becco di Mezzodì is Rocchetta di Prendera (2496 m), followed in order by Rocchetta di Ruòibes (2458 m), Rocchetta di Sorarù (2440 m), and finally Rocchetta di Campolongo (2370 m).

These four peaks slope down on the north side with long ridges or break into scree-filled terraces. They can be climbed without difficulty by following faint trail markings.

Conversely, on the south side, the Rocchette feature a steep rocky walls where a few climbing routes have been established, but they are seldom repeated.

The Rocchette form a rocky ridge extending from Becco di Mezzodì to Beccolungo, marking the boundary between Cortina and San Vito di Cadore. This area is more popular among ski mountaineers in winter than hikers in summer. The ascent takes place in a wild and solitary environment, providing a magnificent view, especially of the majestic Pelmo towering in front.

Today, I want to describe the ascent to the Rocchetta di Prendera, the highest peak, although the others are also of interest.

Quick tips

How long does the hike last?

The ascent to the Rocchetta di Prendera, starting from Malga Fedèra, takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes of walking. The descent takes approximately one hour.


What elevation gain must be overcome, and how long is the route?

The total elevation gain on the ascent, starting from Malga Fedèra, is about 750 m / 246 feet.
The length from Malga Fedèra to the summit of the Rocchetta di Prendera is approximately 7 km 7 / 4,35 miles.
The descent does not follow the same path as the ascent: the elevation drop is about 680 m / 2230 feet, and the length is around 4.5 km / 2,8 miles.


Is it difficult to climb the Rocchetta di Prendera?

It’s not extremely difficult, but it’s still a hike suited for people who are used to moving confidently in the mountains. Once you leave the marked trail, you need to keep an eye out for the path to follow, as the cairns (small piles of stones) are few, and the trail on the ground may be intermittent.
In case of poor visibility, everything becomes more complicated, and it’s preferable to turn back.
Avoid ascending in uncertain weather conditions, as thunderstorms can be particularly violent in the Croda da Lago area.

Faticando sul sentiero Bonacossa

Access and Starting Point

First, it’s worth mentioning that the ascent to the Rocchetta di Prendera is possible from both the south and north sides. I will describe the hike to the Rocchetta di Prendera from the north side, starting from Malga Fedèra.

However, if you plan to ascend from the south side, you should drive to the large parking area located between Passo Staulanza and Selva di Cadore, at an altitude of 1663 m. The ascent from this side mainly follows marked and well-trodden trails (part of the Alta Via No. 1, which leads from Rifugio Città di Fiume to Rifugio Croda da Lago).

Malga Fedèra

As previously mentioned, our starting point for this excursion is Malga Fedèra. The road leading to the malga is only open to traffic during certain periods of the year. Usually, it’s closed from the last Saturday of July until the first Sunday of September. During this period, shuttle services are available (subject to a fee). From the autumn reopening, the road remains accessible until weather conditions permit.

Of course, you can also reach the malga on foot, but this significantly extends our hike’s duration. In this case, I recommend setting aside a day for the beautiful hike that takes you to the malga through the Gores de Fedèra.


From Malga Fedèra, we begin our ascent along the dirt road and reach Rifugio Croda da Lago, located on the shores of Lake Fedèra, or Lago da Lago, in less than half an hour. Just a few meters before the rifugio, we take the trail number 457 on the left, crossing a meadow in a southward direction until we reach a small hut that is easily visible from a distance.

Beyond the trail, less frequented, it descends into the dense forest and, with a brief ascent, leads us to Forcella Son Fòrcia at 2069 meters. Now begins the most adventurous part of our ascent to the Rocchetta di Prendera.

We must abandon the trail and climb steeply up the slope behind the signposts, heading towards the thicket. If you keep a keen eye out, you will soon find a faint trail, sporadic but reassuring nonetheless.


This is the least obvious section of the route, but once the Rocchette come into view, everything becomes clearer. Now, all you have to do is follow the trail’s traces and aim for the Rocchetta di Prendera. Along the way, you’ll find some cairns. Even though the destination is now clearly visible, I suggest keeping an eye on the trail to avoid walking on terrain that, though not difficult, can be rather uncomfortable.

Ascending the Rocchetta di Prendera

Indeed, once you emerge from the grassy terrain, you need to ascend the scree, slightly veering to the right (west), without being deceived by an apparent more direct route that is, however, cumbersome and less enjoyable. The summit is now close: a gentle climb, leaving behind the solitary silhouette of Becco di Mezzodì, brings us easily to the summit of the Rocchetta di Prendera. A small summit cross marks the top of the mountain.

Despite not boasting great height, this summit offers a splendid panorama of the surrounding mountains.

Primarily, Monte Pelmo, but there are many other majestic Dolomite peaks. The view spans from Tofane to Sorapìs, Antelao, Civetta, and Croda da Lago. Below lies Cortina and the magnificent Ampezzo Valley.

After a well-deserved break, the descent awaits us, which will not entirely follow the ascent route.

Walking on the Rocchetta

Descent from the Rocchetta

We retrace our steps only as far as Forcella Son Fòrcia. From the col, instead of taking trail number 457, we descend decidedly across the meadow and into the forest in a northward direction. Here too, you won’t lack signs of passage. The descent proves rather comfortable and quick, definitely preferable to the ascent route. Before reaching Malga Fedèra, you’ll come across the beautiful Casòn de Col Jarinéi, where the shepherd finds lodging during the summer months.

Now we are truly close to the end of our lovely hike to the Rocchetta di Prendera. Shortly, we will reach Malga Federa, where I recommend stopping to savor the delicious local dishes or typical desserts of the area.

Casòn de Col Jarinéi
Casòn de Col Jarinéi

Useful links:
Malga Fedèra
Rifugio Croda da Lago
Shuttle Services

Enrico Maioni Mountain Guide Dolomiti

Enrico Maioni

Certified Mountain Guide, with a wide know-how of the Dolomiti.
I was born in the heart of the Dolomites, where I live and work to this day.
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