Lago Rotondo and Lago Alto
Val di Rabbi

Elevation amsl: 2574
Location: Rabbi
Catchment basin: Noce, Rabbies stream, Valorz stream
Mountain chain: Ortles
Climbing time: 4.30 hours to Passo Valletta, 7.30 to the town of Ortisé
Difficulty: EE – Excursion for experts
Elevation gain: 1449 m (up to Passo Valletta)
SAT trail n°: CAI-SAT trail marker n. 121 – 121A
Shelters: Bivacco Malga di Soprasasso (bivouac) – Malga Bronzolo (mountain dairy)


Lago Rotondo and Lago Alto

This itinerary starts from the town of San Bernardo in Val di Rabbi and after having passed this town, take the road that from the area called Pralongo, on the orographic right side of the valley, leads to the cascate (waterfall) of Valorz.  After passing over a small bridge on the Rabbies stream, leave your car in the designated parking area located at an elevation of 1245 m. From here, take the number 121 trail that will take you east into a sparse larch forest alongside the Rio Valorz (small stream); after passing a small wooden mountain shelter, climb up along the main waterfall on the orographic left side of the valley. You will first pass over rocky cliffs and immediately after through a short tunnel that has been excavated through the rock, therefore climbing up the narrow and steep slope through the larch forest at the foot of Mount Polinar, where you will reach and pass the ruins of the Malga Casera (mountain dairy) at 1958 m. Continue onwards until you reach several rocky cliffs that were created by a glacier and then onto the beautiful Soprasasso Lake, located at 2179 m., known for its elongated shape. Walk along the northwest side of the lake where the tributary of the lake is located and climb up through a small valley. Pass the valley and go west, going directly towards the top of the Valorz valley. Follow the trail markers and cairns (manmade piles of stones) along the trail as you go over grassy crags and rocky hills. You will then reach a natural amphitheatre where the  largest lake of this valley (a surface of 86.000 sqm) is located, Lake Rotondo at 2423 m. Pass this lake by climbing upwards to the right through scattered boulders and pastures until you are near the smallest lake, but by no means less beautiful, Lake Quarto at 2496 m. Once you reach the lake, descend down continuing west, in order to pass the rocky face that vertically drops down near the emissary that descends from Lake Alto. Several steep turns through a friable passageway will take you to the highest lake in the Valorz valley. (4.20 hours) Continue along the orographic left side of the lake and in approx. 20 minutes you will reach the Valletta pass at 2694 m. from where you can enjoy an amazing view. Just underneath, towards the east, you can admire all of the lakes and towards the west you will see the Presanella mountain range and the entire upper part of Val di Sole. (4.40 hours)
Return by following the same itinerary: 3.30 hours.

An alternative return route: from the mountain pass, several steep turns will take you down through a grassy passageway and after having passed an area with scattered boulders, ignore the directions for malga del Monte Alta e Bassa(mountain dairies) and continue along the 121A trail marker on the right, in a western direction, until you cross through the wide open pastures above the Bronzolo mountain dairy. Once you reach the vegetation zone above the mountain pasture, descend through the sparse larch forest amongst the lovely pasture. (1.00 hour) From the mountain dairy located at 2084 m., follow the directions and continue along the forestry road, that after several turns, will take you past the stream that comes from Lake Ortisè and after having reached the Stabli mountain pasture (1814 m.), recently reestablished, an unpaved road will easily take you to the fields above the characteristic town of Ortisè. (3.00 hours)

Photos and itinerary descriptions: Tiziano Mochen

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