Text: Andreas Staab and Peter Welk Photos: Peter Welk
Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen), Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy
The Three Peaks area (3 Zinnen in German) near Sexten in the German-speaking part of the Italian Alps is an iconic landscape which forms the scenic backdrop to many a Hollywood movies (Sly Stallone was ‘just hanging out’ in 1993 action classic Cliffhanger); so much so that UNESCO awarded it World Heritage status. From wherever you look at the pointy, battlement-like mountain tops the views are simply stupendous.
We have highlighted two day walks which will bring you closer to the rather factually named Cima Grande (Grosse Zinne: 2,999m), Cima Ovest (Westliche Zinne: (2,973m) and Cima Piccola (Kleine Zinne: 2,857). Time keeping is a tricky task here. Whenever we hike in this region, we always seem to pause for numerous photo stops. This is the Alps at their finest. Some say, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Hike 1: Circumnavigation of the Three Peaks
Time: 5 hours
This is a low-elevation and well maintained hike, which even the lesser-trained amongst you should be able to master. Your starting point is the beautiful Misurina Lake, just northeast of the famous ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. At the north end of the lake turn right to the Rifugio Auronzo; a toll road that takes you right to the hut’s parking lot. Follow the trail to the Lavaredo Rifugio and then the Lavaredo fork (Paternsattel), which allows you to round the cliff walls. Make sure to hike the extra hour to the Rifugio Locatelli (Dreizinnenhütte). The views from there are breath-taking.
Hike 2. Val Fiscalina (Fischleintal) to Rifugio Locatelli (Dreizinnenhütte) and back
Time: 9 hours
For some, this is the hike that offers the best views of the Three Peaks. You have to make your way to Sesto/Sexten on the north side of the massif. Follow the Via Val Fiscalina (Fischleintalstrasse) until the end of the road, where you will enter a (free) car park. And then it’s all the way up to the Rifugio Locatelli along path #103, although you can always rest your weary bones at two further huts along the way: the Rifugio Zsigmondy-Comici (Zsigmondyhütte), as well as the Rifugio Pian di Cengia (Büllelejochhütte).