Albert Camus said: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Autumn is undoubtedly the ideal season for writers, for it is an invitation to cuddle up in the warmth, surrounded by books and lost in one’s own imagination.
But autumn is also perfect for hiking, at least in my opinion. The suffocating heat of summer is gone, but days are still warm enough not to require much clothing. Not to mention the magnificent light that filters through the branches after midday and descends like white smoke to purify negative thoughts and realign us with the world. True, there is a risk of rain, but the landscape, if possible, is even more mesmerizing with fog.
What you will read in this post:
A very Instagrammable place
Legends narrate that in Friuli Venezia Giulia, every time someone pronounces the word “autumn” a photo of the Fusine Lakes appears on Instagram. Understandably, the lakes are one of those places that one can never get tired of and each shot manages to capture a different angle or a peculiar light. However, if you love strolling in tranquility, Fusine is certainly not the right place (even if, in one of the next articles I will reveal a trick that … you can thank me later).
Where to look then, for that lonely melancholy that suits autumn spirits like me?
For those who want to climb
Prepare the sandwiches, I will take you to… Val Saisera.
Val Saisera is as popular as Fusine among Instagrammers looking for the perfect #autumnvibe, BUT the valley floor is for the lazy. If you trek to Rifugio Pellarini you will find a magnificent path and fewer influencers. The difference in height is more than 600 meters and it takes away any desire to immortalize every leaf, in fact, for the photos in this article I had to draw on all three of my trips to the refuge.
The trail to Rifugio Pellarini
Rifugio Pellarini is inexplicably one of the less famous mountain huts in Friuli Venezia Giulia, but the trail is one of my absolute favorites.
The departure is from Val Saisera, from the parking lot that intersects with the road to the restaurant Prati Oitzinger (Q860 – P2). From there, take the CAI path 616 to the refuge, which first crosses the Saisera stream and then plunges into the woods.
Among the Forest Sound Track trees
The initial stretch is a dip in the musical trees of the Forest Sound Track and runs on a mule track that alternates gentle slopes with more marked climbs.
The atmosphere is what you would breathe in a tale by the Brothers Grimm. The trees intersect as far as the eye can see and, if the moment is right, you can breathe an intense aroma of mushrooms and damp soil.
When the slopes give way to a sloping ground and the Saisera stream reappears on the right, it means that you have almost reached the halfway point. After passing the valley station of the cable car, it is almost as if someone were changing the scenography to a metaphorical theatrical performance starring nature as the protagonist.
A various trail
The mule track thins out and becomes a thin path, that skirts an imposing ridge of bare rock. If you love landscapes, you will probably stop here to take your first photos because, after the first few meters of ascent, you rise above the forest.
Climb a little more (in some places you’ll be facilitated by ropes) and the scene changes again to return to the undergrowth.
You then come to a crossroads. The road on the left leads to Sella Presnig (and for the more daring to Monte Lussari), the one on the right heads to Pellarini.
Continue right passing the first strip of gravel, that portends yet another change of scenery. From there on, the vegetation lowers and the stones protrude, but in the distance, finally, you can see the Pellarini.
You cross a scree of white stones, go up the last tight hairpin turns and there you are.
From the panoramic terrace, the view is breathtaking. Towards the valley, you can see Valbruna, the Jôf di Miezegnot, and Cima Cacciatore. Towards the mountains, you can admire the Jôf Fuart, the Large and Small Nabois, the Madre dei Camosci, and the Riofreddo.
If you have brought sandwiches, keep a space in your stomach for one of Irma’s sweets (I dolci di Irma) that await you in the center of Valbruna.
The bravest can continue further towards Sella Nabois (it is autumn though and it gets dark early, so calculate your timings well), the others can enjoy lunch and go down to the parking lot along the same road.
Why you should visit Rifugio Pellarini
I love the trail towards Rifugio Pellarini because in a few kilometers there are many different landscapes and scenarios.
Stefano and I trekked to Pellarini on September 13th, after our night in Malga Priu, just in time to complete Girarifugi 2020, as the structure closed the summer season last weekend.
We went up in about an hour and a half (the table indicates two hours) and completed our trip in a little less than three hours, not counting lunch.
Even with the refuge closed, in my opinion, the trip is worth the walk; as long as you promise to return in summer to taste the delicious dishes of Rifugio Pellarini.
If you have good hiking or trail-running shoes you don’t need to use boots, as long as it hasn’t snowed, of course.
What else can I say? Enjoy the walk and let yourself be inspired by the suggestions that only this season can offer.
- CAI trail: 616
- Altitude: 1500 slm
- Difference in altitude: +650
- Ascent: 2h
- Length: about 9km a / r
- Contacts: Rifugio Pellarini – +39 349 280 9282