Plattkofel (otherwise known as Sasplat or Sassopiatto) is the last mountain I was really, really hoping we could climb. However, when we awoke on our final walking day, we could see there was new snow and ice on Plattkofel’s peak. It was also pretty misty. I was still keen, but my husband Marc is more sensible. He said it’d be daft to attempt such a high, steep peak in the mist, especially as it was icy. He put his foot down, saying I am not allowed to be dangerous on our honeymoon.
So, we made a new plan to walk the whole way around Plattkofel instead. This route adapted one of the walks sent to us from Inn Travel. They had sent a decent map, so we easily made our own long route from that. We did a little cheat by taking a ropeway from Saltria up to the edge of Plattkofel.
This was followed with a quick, steep hike up to Zallinger hutte. The best part of this walk was we got to see loads of cute marmots! Can you see this dude’s cute little face as he hides under a rock? They are so fluffy and sweet
Once we had made it to the first hut, we could follow a slowly ascending path around the mountain. I was a little sad to go past the turning for climbing Plattkofel. But as we went past it started to snow, and then it started to hail, so we were pretty sure we had made the right choice!
Further around the mountain was another hut, Utia de Sas Plat. This hut did not seem to be open, but we did get to see a helicopter on its way to visit it!!
At first the path was just a little slippy, then it became very muddy. This made the walk a little tricky as we needed to slide along the edge of a pretty steep drop! It was all worth it for the gorgeous misty views, but we both ended up with mucky trousers and legs. There were far more people as we got to this side of the mountain. There are several mountain huts as well as rope ways down to the surrounding valleys. We stopped at Rifugio Salei at Passo Sella for a snack and hot chocolate.
Plattkofel belongs to the circular Saslonch / Langkofel / Sassolungo Group of mountains, so once we had hiked around this far, we were closer to the Langkofel side of the mountain. Once there must have been a massive rock slide here, as there were so many huge boulders to climb over or walk around. We found a sign calling this a Città dei Sassi” (City of Stones.) It looks amazing!
Once we made it through the city of stones, we could see the vertical cliffs of Langkofel (Plattkofel is now on the opposite side, so you can’t see it from here.) You’d need quite a lot of equipment and experience to even consider climbing this cliff face!!
You get to walk the whole way along this edge of the mountain, over to the mountain hut, Rifugio Comici, where there are rope-ways off in other directions. There were plenty of pretty views from here, but I have a feeling it would be even more impressive on a sunny day! We took the path down from Rifugio Comici, curling around Langkofel to head to the Alpe de Suisi side of the mountain again. On the way, we found a really tall waterfall.
Once we’d gone beyond the waterfall. we could see the scenery we already knew. We were (sort of) on the home stretch.
However, although this side of the mountain did not have the sprinkling of snow, it did have several mini snow drifts for us to clamber along. These were all compacted ice, so it is tricky to balance.
It is quite hard to describe this section of our walk! We peered up through the mist at the many spiky peaks above us. Then down below us stretched bright green pastures of the Alpe de Suisi. Our pathway was between these two worlds. We had steep drops in one direction and amazing views in the other…it is not a safe combination!! I spent most of my time looking up at the peaks and not enough time watching my step.
For the next section, we wound our way back towards Plattkofel and the start of our walk. We zig-zagged down the side of the mountain so finished back in gorgeous, bright green fields on a beautiful sunny day. It is really strange how we had wandered through snow, rain, mist and a little hail, only to finish in the sunshine!!
We were a little worried that we would miss the last ropeway lift back to our hotel, so we really rushed this last section. It could have been a pleasant gentle walk, if we hadn’t rushed so much! Anyway, this was our final view of Plattkofel from this side. It looks menacing (although beautiful) to me!!
We did have to run over a couple of the fields. But we just made it back in time to catch a lift down the mountain. By now the snow had melted from the side of Plattkofel. After all the different weather conditions around the mountain, we still think we made the right decision to go around, rather than up!
I didn’t take so many photos of flowers on this walk (mostly because they were covered in snow!!) but here are a couple of pictures from the fields on our way back.
So, that is the final day of our amazing walking holiday in the Italian Dolomites. After this we took a train to Hamburg as I was keen to see more mountains from the train. Then we had to head home back to reality.