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Geological itineraries in Alta Badia

Explore the geology and geomorphology of the Dolomites area

puez

The Alta Badia Tourist Board, in partnership with the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, has identified 3 particularly interesting geological itineraries in Alta Badia.

Itinerary: Gardena Pass- Crespeina plateau - Colfosco

Itinerary: Gardena Pass- Crespeina plateau - Colfosco

puez-alta-badia

This approximately 7 km long itinerary, is located in the south west sector of the Puez-Odle Natural Park and is not of particular difficulty for hikers.

From the six villages in Alta Badia we reach the Gardena pass (2134 m) by bus. On trail n. 2, which runs northwestward through alpine meadows, we walk to the Jimmy refuge. The refuge can also be reached with the cable car Plans – Frara starting in Colfosco. From the Jimmy refuge we continue on path n. 2 up to the Cier notch (2464 m) and to the Crespëina pass (2531 m). Now the trail continues gently up and down to the Ciampëi notch (2359 m) and to the Puez hut (2481 m). The return follows path n. 2 again, down to the Ciampëi notch and from here we take trail n. 4 through the Edelweiss valley to Colfosco (1624 m).

From a geological viewpoint, this itinerary crosses the Ladinian-Carnian terrigenous formations of La Valle and San Cassiano, which are mostly made up of sandstones, marls and clays, and the Carnian-Norian dolomite formations of Cassian and Main Dolomite. The latter are bounded by thin layers of Raibl Formation, which is made up of marly limestones and clay which are characteristically reddish in colour. From a geomorphological standpoint, typical landforms linked to both the LGM glacial modelling and the periglacial action of frost and snow, can be observed. The path winds along ancient moraines, cutting across glacial cirques, protalus ramparts, rock falls and talus fans, flanking several small lakes as well. Moreover, from some panoramic points, you can admire the surrounding Dolomite peaks, in particular the Sella and Puez-Odle groups, with their typical, unusual profiles resulting from selective erosive action on various rock types.

Itinerary: Corvara – Vallon – Corvara

Itinerary: Corvara – Vallon – Corvara

sella-dolomites-alta-badia

This approximately 4 km long itinerary climbs about 350 metres. It is not a particularly difficult walk but a good level of fitness is required.

The itinerary starts from Corvara where we reach the Piz Boè Alpine Lounge – walking uphill along the Boè ski slope or with the Boè gondola. From the Piz Boè Alpine Lounge we walk uphill, following first the ski slope and then the path n. 638 to the refuge F. Kostner at Vallon (2550 m). From the refuge F. Kostner we descend along path n. 637 towards Passo Campolongo to turn left just above the refuge Bec de Roces. Following the easy path we get back to the Piz Boe Alpine Lounge.

From a geomorphological standpoint, this footpath winds across the eastern sector of the Sella mountains, whose geomorphological features are strictly linked to the geological characteristics of the area which has been affected by various tectonic displacements. In addition, the area has been modelled over time by glaciers, atmospheric agents and gravity. Among the most frequent elements of this landscape are talus cones and talus fans generated by intense frost shattering on the steep dolomite faces. Other characteristic landforms of this itinerary are the traces of erosion and moraine accumulation deposits left by glaciers during the maximum extent of the last glaciation and a series of more or less evident surface karst formations. Furthermore, from some panoramic points you can observe the spectacular morphological features of other Dolomite mountains.

Start: mountain station Boè gondola
Duration: 2:30 h
Lenght: 5 km
Highest point: 2550 m
Height difference: 415 m
Difficulty: easy

Itinerary: La Villa - Gardenacia plateau - Juel valley - La Villa

Itinerary: La Villa - Gardenacia plateau - Juel valley - La Villa

santa-croce-pütia-gardenaccia

The itinerary is some 8 kms long and involves a climb of about 900 m. It is located in the eastern sector of the Puez-Odle Natural Park and is not a difficult walk although a good level of fitness is preferable.

From a geological viewpoint, the itinerary mainly runs across the Carnian and Norian Dolomite formations (Cassian and Main Dolomite) which are separated by the thin Raibl Formation, made up of typically reddish marly limestones and clays. In addition, throughout the itinerary you can admire the youngest rocks of the Dolomite region. These are the famous “Rosso Ammonitico” rocks very common in the districts of Verona and Vicenza but very rare in this area, and the “Marne del Puez” rocks, that are soft, weathered, grey-greenish Cretaceous rocks deposited 120-130 million years ago in a deep-sea environment. From a geomorphological standpoint, the itinerary goes across the eastern sector of the Gardenaccia Group, whose configuration is strictly linked to the geological and structural features of the area, characterised by several tectonic discontinuities. Through time, these have been alternately subjected to the modelling actions of glaciers, weathering and gravity. Among the most frequent elements of this alpine landscape are talus fans and debris cones, which are the result of intense frost shattering processes on the steep dolomite cliffs. Other landforms characterising this itinerary are the traces of moraine erosion and accumulation left by glaciers during the maximum extension of the last glaciation and a series of more or less evident epigeal karst formations. Furthermore, you can see the spectacular morphological features of other Dolomite mountains from some panoramic points.