Belvedere, right after La Mesola is the second highest mountain of the Padon Chain in the very north of the Marmolada Group in the Dolomites. It is located centrally on the main ridge, just to the west and above the Porta Vescovo Saddle, which itself can be reached by strnuous hike from Lago Fedaia or comfortably by cable-car from Arabba. It is the westernmost mountain, which is touched by Alta Via della Cresta, the hiking and scrambling trail which heads across all the summits of the western half of the main ridge.
Like its neighbours, Belvedere is made up from volcanic rock. Its black tuff core can be seen in its north face, a very brittle wall with many hoodoo-like towers. to the other three sides the mountain is covered in grass, thus giving an easy-to-reach impression. But don't be fooled. The two legs of Alta Via della Cresta which negotiate its east and west ridges are extremely steep. In particular the hike from Porta Vescovo along a deeply rutted track is far from easy.
Belvedere - as it name implies - is a wonderful lookout mountain. Like all its neighbours on the Padon Crest it offers great views towards the Sella and Marmolada Groups between which the crest is wedged. In particular the view towards Marmolada and its Sattellite Gran Vernel is among the best you can get in the area. The pair look like much higher and much more difficult mountains than they actually are.
Belvedere's location above Porta Vescovo where the extremely popular Bindelweg / Viel dal Pan connects to Alta Via della Cresta directly at the cable-car, nominally ensures crowds on its summit. However, during the two times I have been there (mid June / mid July) I only met one couple on the summit. Granted - in both occasions the cable-car was not running but there was much traffic on Bindelweg / Viel dal Pan. Obviously the very steep ascent scares off most of the hikers.
The Porta Vescovo Lift is operated in winter so that Belvedere might look like a good ski tour destination. However, all the mountains on the Padon Chain are avalanche prone so that you should consult the staff of the cable-car or its restaurant for conditions.
360 Summit Panorama
There are several possible trailheads for Bindelweg and Alta Via della Cresta.
- Passo Pordoi
Most hikers start from this pass which can be reached from Canazei or Arabba by SS48. A dirt road leads to the huts along the Padon Crest.
If you prefer to get to the trailhead by lift and cable-car you can start from Canazei, where a two stage lift takes you close to Passo Pordoi
- Porto Vescovo
Another cable-car starts at Arabba and takes you to the Porto Vescovo Saddle. Here both Bindelweg and Alta Via della Cresta have their eastern end.
- Lago Fedaia
Though located about 800m beneath the Padon Crest, Lago Fedaia is still a good starting point. There are two paths, one leading to Porto Vescovo, the other traversing up the Padon south slopes until it reaches Bindelwegbetween Belvedere and Le Forfes.
There's no red tape here. Be prepared to pay fees for parking lots, especially at Passo Pordoi. The lot there can also be overcrowded. On Bindelweg, take care of the avalanche devices. When fired, they create a thunder-like boom and long jets of flame issue from their mouths.
AccommodationVal di Fassa
Grödner Tal / Val Gardena
- St. Ulrich / Ortisei
- St. Christina / Santa Christina
- Wolkenstein / Selva di Val Gardena
Maps & Books
- Höhenwege in den Dolomiten
ISBN: 3 7654 3860 X
ISBN: 3 8705 1409 4
- Dolomiten 3
- Dolomiten 4
- Val di Fassa, Marmolada, Gruppo di Sella
Kompass Map WK 686
ISBN: 3 8549 1768 6
- Sellagruppe / Gruppo di Sella
Kompass Map WK 59
ISBN: 3 8549 1066 5
- Val Gardena & Alpe di Siusi
Tabacco Map 05