Among the southern ascents on Cima Dodici, this is one of the longest ones. But due to ex military roads which cross the slopes of Cima Portule and the high plateau below Cima Dodici I can recommend it as one of the most interesting ones. The recommendation would of course be - do it as a bike & hike tour. With a mountain bike you can do one way some 14 kilometers, in the return you can use the same route or an even 7 kilometers longer southern variant. If you extend the hike up on Cima Dodici also with the visit of Monte Ortigara, you get a long one day tour where the sum of all altitude gains will approximate to as much as 1800 meters. The tour is very interesting also because of many remains from the World War I - so reserve quite some more time to explore them as well.
The tour by sections. Malga Larici di Sotto - Bocchetta Portule - Bivio Monumenti - pass 2055 m - Bivio Italia - crossroads 1900 m - Cima Dodici - bivouac Busa delle Dodese - Monte Ortigara - Bivio Italia - Malga di Galmarara - Bivio Monumenti - Bocchetta Portule - Malga Larici di Sotto.
Getting there. See the main page of Cima Dodici how to reach Malga Larici di Sotto. We can park (or even sleep in car or tent) above the meadow.
Start. Malga Larici di Sotto, 1625 m.
Highest point. Cima Dodici, 2336 m.
Total time (using mountain bikes): 10 h 30 min.
By bike: 34 km.
Hike: 4 h.
Difficulty of biking: In some places high, roads are rugged, decayed, steep in some places.
Difficulty of hiking: Easy - by the Swiss Hiking Scale it would be T2.
Best Season. Summer and autumn, approxiatelx from June till October. When days are becoming short, consider shortening also the tour.
Other interesting items. Remains of World War 1.
Shortened tour 1. The same as described, but we only ascend Cima Dodici and return to bikes. Then by the ascent road back. 6 h 30 min to 7 h.
Shortened tour 2. The same as described, we do the whole hiking round tour (also on M. Ortigara), but we bike back by the same road. Some 9 h.
Extention. If we have two cars, we can leave the second one in Asiago and return by the SE approach - via Campomulo and Gallio, more or less only riding down.
From the place where above Malga Larici di Sotto, 1625 m, the road is closed for public traffic, you continue by the road first towards the NE, then SE. The ex military road is very panoramic, but on some places stony, rugged and decayed. Beyond Val Renzola it descends on one place for some 30 meters, the last part to the picturesque Bocchetta Portule, 1937 m, is steep and very strenuous. 1 h 30 min.
Above Malga Larici
reaching Bocchetta Portule
Reaching Bocchetta Portule
On Bocchetta Portule
On Bocchetta Portule we visit military positions, then we descend further to the E. In the middle part the road is steep and rocky, ride slowly and carefully. In good 15 min you reach the crossroads - Bivio Monumenti, 1787 m. Visit the monuments and WW1 remains there.
Leaving Bocchetta Portule
From Bivio Monumenti we continue towards the N-NE. The road is nice and not too steep, above the first valley step you soon reach Campo Gallina, 1855 m. During WW1 there was a big centre there, with many barracks, hospital, movie hall, materials cable lifts, church and the obvious graveyard. Explore the monuments, then continue by many long, but still comfortable turns on the road over the next steep valley step.
Monument above Campo Gallina
Campo Gallina from above
Above Campo Gallina
You reach Campo Casara, another more flat part, then the road ascends again steeply towards the north, reaching a no name pass, 2055 m. From there you have a great view over the high plateau and on Cima Dodici above it. 1 h
On Campo Casara
On Pass 2055 m
From the pass 2055 m the road descends again in many turns down to another crossroads - Bivio Italia, 1987 m. Here from the south the road from Malga di Galmarara comes, and from the east the road from Piazza delle Saline. But we keep left, towards Cima Dodici, descend some 30 meters and bike 1 km more to a distinct right curve on the road, 1900 m. 30 min.
Biking down from Pass 2055 m
Cima Dodici from Bivio Italia
On some 1900 m towards the left a good marked path deters (inscription: Cima Dodici). It goes first quite flat towards the north, then it ascends over the plateau towards the NW, until reaching the branching below the summit rocks, on some 2180 m. Leave the path which goes towards the bivouac and Monte Ortigara on the right, and go by the path which goes up. Also this one soon turns right across the southern slopes of Cima Dodici, goes up in its eastern slope, where it turns steeply left up. Soon from the right the path from bivouac joins. In several short turns the steep path goes up to the very panoramic summit. 1 h 15 min.
From Cima Dodici towards the E
From Cima Dodici we descend by the east slope. The path goes first directly down, later it crosses the slopes towards the right in order not to lose all altitude. When reaching the high valley it starts crossing the plateau-like terrain towards the NE, until reaching bivouac Busa delle Dodese. 45 min.
Cima Dodici E slopes
At the bivouac
From the bivouac we continue in the eastern directin. The path first ascends more steeply towards the main ridge, then goes left across the slopes and finally over a nice, grassy saddle on the southern side. From there you could continue directly down (by a narrow, grassy valley, probably unmarked path), but our marked path soon starts crossing the southern slopes of the main ridge. We go mostly horizontally, all the way to the point, where the path hits the main ridge again. We find ourselves on the distinct notch between Monte Castelnovo and Cima del Pra. Great is the view down into the wild gorge, descending towards the NE. From the notch the path continues a bit more over the southern slopes of Monte Castelnovo, but then starts crossing the broad, barren plateau towards Monte Ortigara. Remains of WW1 are everywhere. The last ascent is flat and we reach the monument on 2106 m. 1 h.
Towards Monte Ortigara
From Monte Ortigara we start returning towards the SW - we pass the bell, then the marked path descends more and again crosses the big plateau. We pass the graveyard of Monte Campigoletti. From the lowest part the path turns right and does a big turn, gaining another 50 meters of elevation, then regaining the SW direction it turns again into a rugged mountain road. It passes the meadow of Cuvolin (water source there), continues to Busa del Cavallo and soon afterwards to the curve where bikes are awaiting us. 1 h.
The first 1 km of bike return goes up some 50 meters, until we reach again Bivio Italia. The shortest return would be by the arrival road, but we can explore some more places. So we descend from the saddle first towards the SE, on the next crossroads keep right and keep riding down towards the south. Even if the road is not very steep, it is still rugged on many places, so ride carefully. After Tre Fontane house the road does two big turns, losing a lot of altitude. Then we continue towards the S, after some more steep turns we are soon down on the important crossroads of Malga di Galmarara, 1611 m. 45 min.
On the big crossroads we choose the rightmost road, starting to ascend again above the huts of Malga. The road is again quite steep, we are already probably also quite tired. Gaining some 100 m of altitude the road reaches Busa del Molton (pasture, hut) and continues ascending towards the SW, around the ridge of Monte Zovielo. We reach the highest point on good 1820 m, where the road in the NW direction turns down. Unfortunately with a few steep turns we again lose almost 100 m, then only the road descends nicely. One more flat up, flat down and tle last flat up to Bivio Monumenti, 1787 m. 1 h 30 min.
From Bivio Monumenti we have to Bocchetta Portule 250 m of a quite steep road. 45 min.
From Bocchetta Portule to Malga Larici the road goes almost entirely down, there's only one ascent of 30 m in the middle. 45 min.