An easy snowshoeing excursion in Fedare
An easy snowshoeing excursion in Fedare is an excellent choice for those looking to spend a couple of hours in the snow in a sun-kissed area. In winter, when the green meadows are blanketed in a pristine layer of snow, the breathtaking views of the area are truly captivating.
The itinerary I am about to describe can be extended in various ways, as the terrain allows wandering freely. However, it is advisable to avoid steeper slopes to prevent the risk of avalanches.
From Cortina d’Ampezzo, follow the S.S.48 to Pocol (6 km), then continue on the S.P. 638 towards Passo Giau. Cross the pass and descend for another 3 km until you reach the Fedare refuge (2,000 m), where you can park.
To start the easy snowshoe walk in Fedare, approach the departure point of the cable car connecting Fedare to Forcella Nuvolau (Averau refuge) and pass underneath its cables, taking a path almost always well-trodden towards the west. Indeed, some of the numerous hay barns dotting the slopes of Fedare are now converted into small private huts, frequented by owners who take care of “breaking trail” on festive days.
Continue on the flat path, ignoring the signs indicating trail 411 to the right leading to Castello di Andraz. Pass by a small church, and a little further on, keep to the left and ascend towards a small tabià. From here, the trail continues uphill towards the wide saddle that separates Fedare from the valley where Castello di Andraz is located.
Usually, the trail is already well-trodden, as the area is familiar to snowshoe enthusiasts. However, if you find yourself having to create the trail, there’s no need to worry, as the direction to follow is clear. As mentioned, aim for the pass between Monte Pore on the left and the slopes descending from Averau and Croda Negra. The name of the pass is Jof de Melei (2140 meters). The elevation gain from the Fedare refuge to the saddle is about 140 meters. Zigzagging up the slope, the effort will not be significant, even if you have to break the trail.
The effort will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Marmolada and Gran Vernel, Padon, Pordoi-Sella Group, Col di Lana, SettSass, Lagazuoi, and many other Dolomite peaks. Once you reach the ridge, you will need to turn sharply to the right (North) and ascend the broad crest, which gently leads to the summit. Only the last short section is a bit steep, but overall, you’ll be overcoming around forty meters of elevation.
We have now arrived near a small mountain hut, where the descent towards the Fedare refuge begins.
It’s worth noting that if this snowshoeing excursion in Fedare feels too short for you and you’re eager for a longer hike, you can continue ascending towards Mount Averau. However, exercise caution and be mindful not to approach the steep slopes that descend from the mountain. This area is quite hazardous, as evidenced by a tragic incident in 2015 when a young skier ventured off-piste and was tragically caught in an avalanche. Therefore, if you plan to climb up to the Averau refuge, perhaps to later descend using a cable car, you should aim for the valley station of the cable car connecting the ski slopes of Fedare to those of Col Gallina. From here, strictly staying on the designated trail or just slightly off it, you can ascend to the refuge while ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey.
But we continue as planned and begin our final descent. The path to follow is well marked, and even in the absence of a pre-existing trail, it’s not difficult to discern the route that leads us back to the Fedare refuge with our snowshoes. The trail winds along the edges of the slopes descending towards the valley floor. Here too, if desired, it’s possible to chart our course by descending a bit more to the left (North), rather than sticking strictly to the trail.
Once you reach the Fedare refuge, I highly recommend stopping to savor the dishes offered by Mrs. Anna. The dishes, reflecting the local tradition, are authentic, hearty, and delightful. The family-run management of the facility ensures a consistently warm atmosphere, attentive to the needs of the guests.
For those looking to spend a weekend in the snow, the refuge offers four rooms, complete with bathrooms and furnished in a cozy mountain style. From here, you can enjoy the sunset and marvel at the incredible high-altitude starry sky without any disruption from light pollution.