The route from Baita del Rotodendro across the Laghi d'Olbe to Monte Lastroni is the easier of the two routes which run to Monte Lastroni. It climbs the dark valley of Rio della Miniera on a narrow trail before joining a dirt road which connects the Sappada ski lifts with the lakes. From the lakes it follows old WW I support trails, which often head out onto the western part of Cresta Righile. Mainly, though, the ascent traail remains on the southern side of the crest.
In its upper section this route is a sort of historical museum trail. In all possible and impossible locations the soldiers set up positions, sometimes precariously perched on the brittle towers of the ridge. There are several places where caves have been dug through the ridge, offering window views through the north face. In several places the hike gets a bit exposed, especially close to the summit. However, it never poses serious problems.
The hike starts at Baita del Rotodendro in Val di Sesis. A narrow mountain road leads into the valley from Cimasappada. Please follow the instructions on the main page for getting to Cimasappada.
- Start altitude: 1400m
- Summit altitude: 2449m
- Prevailing exposure: South
- Type: Hike
- Protection: none
A bit to the south of Baita del Rotodendro there is a big parking space to the right side of the route from Cimasappada to Rifugio Sorgente del Piave. From the parking lot follow the road to the Baita, where you need to head down and cross the Piave River (signs to Laghi d'Olbe). Right after the little bridge, which crosses the young river don't follow the Senntiero Naturalistico Piave but rather turn left, heading up through Val della Miniera.
The trail is steep and overgrown, following the south slopes of Monte Lastroni. There is not much to see for quite a while. Sometimes the trees open up enough to let you see Monte Chiadin on the far side of Val di Sesis, sometimes Monte delle Caverne can be seen across Val della Miniera and sometimes the south face of Monte Lastroni appears to drop on you. However, the whole ascent through the valley is devoid of any real excitement until you top out on the karst like plateau, which leads to the lakes.
Here, in a few hundred metres the plateau is traversed to reach a dirt road which comes up from the south. Signs tell you that the Sappada ski lifts are at the southern end of this road, while Laghi d'Olbe are at the north-western end. The road winds across the plateau, steadily gaining in elevation. Casera d'Olbe with its large stable yard is passed to the right as the road turns westward. Soon the biggest of the three lakes is reached with a small chapel to its south and a number of benches along its shore.
From the lake two trails lead onwards. The left hand one leads directly to Passo del Mulo, the best access point for the Cresta Righile WW I trails. The right hand one traverses the south slopes of the crest, quickly gaining elevation and heading straight towards Monte Lastroni at the end of the crest. As the trail passes a summit it reaches the crest, where several WW I positions can be visited. In the south slopes of of the mountain a tunnel has been cut to reach through the mountain and to serve the lookout position on the other side. Farther onwards similar positions pop up again and again.
The trail retreats from the crest and rons through the south slopes before reaching the next col. Again there are good views into the north face of the crest, which is extremely brittle and seems to crumble beneath your views. Now the final ascent to Monte Lastroni starts. Two switchbacks take you through its south face and towards the highest of the WW I positions right beneath the summit.
A narrow and steep gully has to be traversed (breathtaking view towards the main ridge) and a few steep steps take you to the wide summit of Monte Lastroni.