Creta di Mimoias, the mountain of the good giant. A fairy tale place, where you wouldn’t be much surprised if you met a troll, a nymph or a faun.
It is situated between two wonderful and unspoiled valleys ( Val Frison and Val Pesarina ), just in front of two very impressive dolomitic walls ( Terza Grande and Cresta di Enghe ) and is composed by at least 10 summits. The main summit is the Cima Est ( 2288 m, cross ) but he highest summit is the less easily reachable Cima di Mezzo ( 2320 m ). This is an isolated mountain that has a very interesting and appealing shape: on the north side there are terrifying vertical walls that fall down for several hundred meters ( where in the last years some good climbing routes have been opened by local climbers ), while on the south side there are wonderful steep grassy slopes and deep ravines. On this grassy slopes in early summer you can enjoy the flowering of almost any kind of colorful alpine flowers. In particular the flowering of the dwarf rhododendrons is absolutely amazing.
If you look at Creta di Mimoias from Val Pesarina you would never think that this is a dolomitic mountain, composed mainly by dolomitic limestones of the Ladinic period of the Triassic age ( Dolomia dello Sciliar and Calcare della Marmolada ), on a base of marl and sandstone.
The view from the summits of Creta di Mimoias is really exceptional, you have great dolomitic walls in front of you and all around beautiful mountains and valleys. For a better view towards the Dolomiti it can be interesting to climb also the Cima Nord-Est ( 2301 m ).
The legend of the giant Mima
A long time ago, when the first men went to live in the wild Val Pesarina, somebody found out that there were human traces, traps, cut trees, in the area around one of the mountains of the valley. They decided to follow this traces on the mountain and once reached a big cave, all of a sudden a giant with a long beard who wore a fur came out just before them! They all run away completely terrified, and since that day they lived in fear, worried of what the strange creature could have done to them. But this was a good giant, who had no intention to harm anyone.
During a devastating flood in the valley he decided to help that people, building a dam of trees for them, and they realized that the giant was good and that there was nothing to fear from him. They tried to speak to him but he spoke a strange language that they didn’t know. One of the men of the village, that probably had lived in Greece, said that in his land there was also a giant called Mima, so they decided to name him Mima, and the mountain were he’d live Mimoias ( “like a giant” ).
The years went by, the giant continued to live in the cave, but he would often help the people of the valley with his great strength and they were happy to give him food. But there was something that would make the giant sad: He’d have liked to have a son, but he knew he was the only giant of that land, and that was impossible to find a wife. The people of the village really want to help Mima so they asked to an old woman, who lived with an orphan baby girl, if she could have gone to live with the giant in the cave, and she accepted. He was very happy!
He worked very hard to transform his cave in a beautiful house, with the most beautiful garden of the valley. The baby girl was named Mimoias, just like the mountain. They lived happily like a real family for many years, until Mimoias became a nice young woman and felt that was the time for her to find an husband.
So one day a boy from a village nearby went to the giant to ask the hand of Mimoias and He, with the sadness in the heart, accepted. He really thought that he would have lost his girl forever. But Mimoias really loved the giant, just like a real father, and assured him that after the wedding she would have come back to live on the mountain.
He was so excited that started immediately to work hard to build the house for the young couple. He built a new mountain near his, and on the top of it the beautiful house. When Mimoias came back went up to the mountain with all the people of the village that wanted to celebrate the newlyweds. The first man who reached the notch on the top of the valley stopped in awe and shouted to the others: “Là vardè!!”( Look There!! ).
So there are actually two mountains called Mimoias, and the notch since then is known as “Forcella Lavardèt”.
You can approach Creta di Mimoias from Val Frison ( path 314 to Passo di Mimoias ), Forcella Lavardet ( cart track to Casera Mimoias ) and Val Pesarina ( path 201/202 to Casera Mimoias from Pian di Casa ).
From the Brennero motorway exit Bressanone/Brixen and then S.Candido- Passo di Monte Croce Comelico- S.Stefano di Cadore-Campolongo-Val Frison-Forcella Lavardet
From the Udine-Tarvisio motorway exit Carnia and then Tolmezzo-Villa Santina-Val Pesarina-Forcella Lavardet-Val Frison
From Venezia to Belluno-Pieve di cadore-Lozzo di Cadore-Sella Ciampigotto-Forcella Lavardet-Val Frison
Or Sella Ciampigotto-Val Pesarina
There are several routes for the summits of this mountain, but none of them is often climbed.
Normal route: Beautiful normal route in a wonderful wild environment, marked with red dots and not difficult until the east summit ( short passage around the first degree ), and to the north-east summit ( one exposed passage, also around the first degree ). The climb of the highest summit requires alpinistic experience( two sections of the II degree ).
From South: From Forcella Lavardet follow the cart-track to Casera Mimoias for 1 km or so and then turn left to the Casera Lavardet. An old trail, not marked, goes up straight towards the notch between Cima di Mezzo and Cima Nord-Est. Very steep path on grassy slopes, not much advisable, one passage of the I degree.
There’s also the possibility to reach Forcella Paradara and then the normal route leaving the trail and going up towards NE trough grassy slopes.
From North: From Passo di Mimoias – easy climbing route, not very interesting – 300 m – difficulty around the II/III degree.
Cima Ovest: From the big grassy slope of the normal route you have to traverse towards west until you reach a small notch on the left of the summit. Then you have just to cross the crest on the right. Difficulty around I degree. Less interesting then the other summits, but maybe there’s a better view to the Dolomiti.
In the last years some routes on the north walls have been opened for sport climbing.
Via Centrale - 6c+
Via “Affinità e Divergenze” - 7 a+
Via “La formica Donatella” - 7a+
Via “Pisolo e Mammolo” – 7 b+
The four main summits
Red TapeNo Limitations
When to climbThe best seasons are summer and autumn ( July to November ). The mountain is also climbed sometimes in winter or in early spring by ski-alpinists, though the ascent can be really very hard if the snow is too soft ( the descent should be very fun instead ).
All the routes for this mountain can be climbed easily in one day, so it’s not necessary to spend the night in the area.
If you want to climb other summits of the Southern Carnic Alps, like Monte Brentoni or Terza Grande you can find lodging in Val Pesarina and of course in the nearby touristic town of Sappada.
The nearest mountain hut is the Rifugio de Gasperi ( Clap group, 1 hour from Casera Mimoias )
Maps and BooksTabacco 1:25000
01 S.Stefano – Sappada – Forni Avoltri
Alpi Carniche vol II – A.De Rovere – M. Di Gallo
Alpi Carniche – E.Castiglioni – CAI/TCI
Guida escursionistica alle Alpi Carniche – Rino Gabersick – Liberodiscrivere Editore
Sappada – Dai Sentieri alle Vette – G.Borella – Editrice Co.El.
Alpi Carniche – Catena carnica principale e Dolomiti Pesarine – Ettore Tomasi – Comunità montana della carnia
Sappada – Vie normali e classiche – P.Salvini-G.Pille