Lago delle Salare

Elevation amsl: 2003
Location: Malé

Catchment basin: Noce – Rio Val Sorda (stream)
Mountain chain: The Brenta Group
Hiking time: 9 hours
Difficulty: EE – Excursion for experts
Elevation gain: 1556 m
SAT trail N°: CAI-SAT n. 374 trail marker up to Peller mountain hut, CAI SAT n. 336 trail marker up to Passo della Forcola, n. 306 to Malga Clesera (mountain hut) and therefore n. 308 in the last section.
Mountain huts: Rifugio Peller (mountain hut), Rifugio Mezzol (this mountain hut is only a bivouac shelter)


(a 2-day itinerary is recommended)

From the Baita Regazzini parking area, located just above the sports center in Malé, follow the CAI-SAT n. 374 trail through a dense fir and larch forest until you reach a forestry road, that in a short time, will take you to rio San Biagio (brook); pass this brook and start to climb up the steep, rocky mule track. Just passed the small votive chapel, take the mule track to the right (not as steep as the previous track) that crosses the forestry road several times. Near a widening in the trail, where the road is supported by a rock cliff, turn to the right towards "Val del Mezol", crossing through the steep mountainside on a flat trail. The trail in the wood, that mainly has spruce firs and silver firs, will now take you up a rather steep slope and then once again onto a flat section. Therefore, go along the hillside cutting through the steep, rocky mountainside and pass several spectacular, open sections where you can see several lovely examples of dry set masonry, in addition to the fencing that indicated the edge of the old mule track. A wooden footbridge allows you to cross the turbulent stream, therefore reaching the valley floor, where a small bridge will take you to the other side. Here, the mule track becomes wider and takes you to another fork in the road that connects to the forestry road, that you follow to the right, which will take you to a wide, grassy clearing where the bivacco Mezòl (bivouac) is located. (1485 m. 2.00 hours).

From the Mezòl bivouac, the forestry road goes upwards to the left and, near the first turn, take the trail to the left that connects to another cart road. Follow the cart road for a short distance up to the wide stretch, until you reach another fork in the trail that connects to the trail that goes upwards into the dense wood of fir trees. Follow the CAI-SAT n. 374 trail that  takes you through a wood of alders until you reach several wide, grassy clearings, near which you will find several stakes in the ground that will lead you across a pasture and all the way to the rifugio Peller (mountain hut) (2022 m.; 3.30 hours).

This last section is characterized by the presence of a small but gracious lake, of karst origin, which reaches its maximum splendor between the end of spring and the beginning of summer. The largest basin is the Dorigat (or Durigal) that is surrounded by splendid blossoming gentians and globe-flowers.
It is recommended that you stay at the Peller mountain hut if you are planning a 2-day itinerary.
From the Peller mountain hut, by following the directions of the CAI n. 337 trail marker, you will take the path to the east that passes next to a weather station and then goes up the grassy slopes of Mount Peller. This steep trail will quickly allow you to gain elevation along a zigzag path. You will be able to overcome the most difficult section due to the help of several artificial steps and fixed cables. A metal ladder will allow you to pass the narrow passageway through broken rocks and debris and therefore climb across the rocky ridge, equipped with a fixed cable, which will lead you to the lovely meadowy clearings on the mountain top. (2320 m.; 4.30 hours). The peak stands out against the mountain meadows that at the beginning of summer are covered with spectacular blossoms. From here you have a vast and amazing view: to the east you can admire Val di Non and the Eastern Dolomites, from the Schlern mountain to the Pale di San Martino (mountain range), from the north to the west you can see the glaciers and the Ortles-Cevedale peaks, and just underneath you, to the northwest, the entire Val di Sole all the way to Passo Tonale.
Even if the descent from the peak is on an easy trail, remember to always be careful as you descend: in fact, the trail that goes west through the steep pastures of the mountainside, takes you to a small rocky passageway (saddle) located between Mount Peller and Pellerot. Once you reach the small saddle, go down towards the Malga Tassulla (mountain dairy) that you will reach in a short time. From the mountain pasture, follow the CAI-SAT n. 336 trail that takes you on a semi-flat route to the west until you reach the splendid Pian della Nana (plain), amongst blossoming alpine flora. This magnificent natural amphitheatre that culminates in the Sasso Rosso Peak (2654 m) has been known since ancient times for the flora that can be found in this area. There are also numerous burrows in this area dug by cheerful Alpine marmots that will begin to whistle as soon as they hear that you are arriving. A slight slope will then take you north to Passo della Forcola (2104 m).

From the passageway, descend down the opposite mountainside (CAI-SAT trail marker n. 308) staying on the western slopes of Mount Pellerot. This necessary deviation will take you to the left and towards the striking Lago delle Salare (lake). During the last several years, the width and depth of this lake has greatly depended upon the amount of winter snowfall and spring rainfall. Once you return onto the trail, continue to descend down on a slight slope through enchanting grassy clearings characterized by the presence of several old larch tree stumps. Leave behind the fork in the road with the n.335 trail that goes to Passo di Nana and continue through the sparse wood of larch trees until you reach the Malga Clesera (mountain dairy) (1889 m. 6.00 hours). From here, you will be able to see the trail that goes down to the pasture just underneath (CAI-SAT n. 308 trail marker) which then connects to a wide forestry road, that after numerous turns, takes you into the fir wood and then to Prà della Selva (pasture). Near an old cableway, begin to descend north through the wood which will become increasingly denser. The pathway will become steeper and narrower and after 6 turns it will connect to the forestry road from which you will once again connect to the CAI-SAT n. 308 trail marker. Follow the directions that will allow you to shorten the route and in a short time you will return to the starting point (9.00 hours).
Photos and itinerary descriptions: Tiziano Mochen

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