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Rifugio Tips?

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So I am doing a thing I have never done before - clomping around the Dolomites in August. I and hubby are leaving in a few days. I was wondering if any CHs had experience with Rifugios (hostel/ mountain lodges) throughout the Dolomites. From what I understand, food is quite expensive as many of the rifugios are remote. We have made a few reservations at some. But there are so MANY that we are wondering if we will miss out on anything.

Anyone have any tips, advice, information? I'm super-excited as I need the break. I am a NYC high school teacher and I usually spend my days teaching 170 students a day.. I am so looking forward to spending some days climbing around unknown territories.

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  1. Where in The Dolomites are you going? I know a lot about the area (and refugios) from the Val Badia east to Cortina?

    3 Replies
    1. re: allende

      We are actually still hammering it out (although we'll be there next week!) This Friday and Saturday will find us in Bolzano and then we are heading up to a nearby rifugio. Should we go to Cortina? There's so many rifugios and they really vary on price. I picked up a great little book on day trips throughout the Dolomites with 24 walking tours.

      1. re: nicholel

        Bolzano is in the "German" part on the Alto Adige. I've been there a number of times but not to hike. Not my cup of tea.
        Take a look at the Val Badia and east toward (not in) Cortina, say Fannes, Falzarego and the Cinque Torri, Averau area. Great hiking, totally Italian and great refugi.
        Your understanding of "food is quite expensive" is incorrect. Most refugi are inexpensive or moderately so with regard to food. Accomodations can be minimally expensive or more so depending on the luxury of the refugio. In general, it is not much of a problem in terms of cost of rooms.
        Go to Google and put in Dolomites Val Badia Refugio or Dolomites Cinque Torri Refugio and you'll get some good sites to give you an idea of what is there.

        1. re: allende

          I have traveled extensively thru Bavaria, Austria,.Switzerland, and Italy hiking in the mountains, but that was 15 years ago, but I think that what I remember might be helpful. (1)Make sure you have hiking insurance because they charge is they have to rescue you and it can be very expensive to be evacuated,esp if they need to use a helicopter,(2)carry a thin sleep sheet-a item that looks like a liner for a sleeping bag-because if all the private rooms in the refuge are rented, then they may put you in a mass sleeping room and give you a pillow and a blanked (3)it used to be and still may be that by law on the menu in each refuge, there was an item that was of a certain number of calories and at a very low price-called bergsteigeressen as I remember. Carry rain gear, extra food and clothing, and always sign out and in as you move from one refuge to another because if a snow or rain storm comes up, they count to make sure every one has arrived. One thing to look for is the trenches,barb wires, and pill boxes left over from the !st World War.

    2. I'm actually Nichole's husband. We're staying at the Rif. Bolzano in Apli di Suisi, and at Rif. Malga Brogles, near Selva Gardena. For our final night in the region we haven't settled on a place to stay -- we want to be in or near Cortina, so we can catch the train there the next day for Venice (the second leg of our trip).

      1 Reply
      1. re: nicholel

        Don't know the refugi, but both Alpe di Suisi and Gardena are great places. For your last night do Cinque Torri or Averau if you want a refugio or, of course, Cortina if you want a hotel. Don't think there is a train from Cortina to Venice, but I could be wrong.
        Re Piero above. Disregard all except rain gear and a liner. Definitely, where you are going, there is no need to bring any extra food. Refugi are all around and are all open. Have fun hiking. If you want to see WW1, go above Falzarego to Lagazuoi