From our flat in Ortisei you can see the gondola that carries people like us to the next level, the Alpe di Siusi. Even with guidebooks and hiking maps, it’s hard to believe what’s up there.
Val Gardena is a long narrow valley with the valley sides rising nearly vertically on both sides. Ortisei is one of many small towns in the valley. You can see a few of the rock faces of the Dolomites beyond the valley walls. When you ride the gondola up the south side, you discover a whole nother valley, replete with roads, huts, hotels, buses, cows, and lots of huts. There are a few huts for hikers, but most are or skiers.
Interestingly the area maps one picks up everywhere are oriented in concert with the valley, where most of the hotels are on the south-facing, north side. Thus the maps have south at the top.
We hiked for about five hours. We reached the “town” of Compatsch took anoher lift, and navigated the Bullaccia Puflatsch trail, elevation 2174 meters. Ortisei is at 1236 meters. I just figured this out by looking at the trail map – I did not realize the difference was so dramatic.
From way up there you can see that there are a lot more Dolomite formations than are evident from Val Gardena. You can also see snow-capped alps in the distance. You van also see foul weather returning, which should accompany us on our journey to venice tomorrow.
Here especially for my golf buddies, is something else one might see in Compatsch,