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Mountain ranges / Carnic Alps / Creta Grauzaria / Val Aupa - Creta Grauzaria (via normale)

Val Aupa - Creta Grauzaria (via normale)

Starting point: Val Aupa (720 m)
Starting point Lat/Lon: 46.47643°N 13.18512°E 
Path name: via normale
Time of walking: 4 h 20 min
Difficulty: very difficult marked way
Difficulty of skiing: no data
Altitude difference: 1345 m
Altitude difference (by path): 1365 m
Map:
Views: 1,134
Trip rating: 4 votes
Number of pictures: 152
Access to starting point:
Drive to Tablja (it. Pontebba) in Italy.

From Via Macroni street turn right to Via Zardini street. Immediately after driving through the underpass, turn left. Afterwards keep left or. straight. There are markings for Val Aupa and for the city limit of Pontebba. From this sign, drive 14,4 km to Val Aupa (you will pass Studena Alta, Sella di Cereschiatis and the villages Saps and Bevorchians).

Soon afterwards, two roads branch off to the right, the first one before the bridge and the second one after the bridge. Turn right for the second one. To be sure, check the signs where you need to spot the sign "Rif. Grauzaria, sentiero n. 437" (the sign is in distinctive brown color). See a photo. Follow the paved road a few bends higher through a pine forest to the parking place.

Option 2: drive to Možac (it. Moggio Udinese) in Italy and turn for Val Aupa. After Dordolla two roads branch off to the left (with a bridge between them). See pictures. Follow the paved road a few bends higher through a pine forest to the parking place.
Path description:
Go to the upper end of the parking place and head uphill. After 10 meters, turn left to a footpath. In the next few minutes keep to the right twice and arrive to a narrow, steep cart road. Follow it upwards. After few minutes keep to the right again and follow the narrower footpath into the forest (left path leads to the village / paese Dordolla and Grauzaria). Follow the markings no. 437, while the footpath is leading you further west and gaining altitude. You may notice that pine trees grow only at the beginning of the trip, and that by this point they were being replaced by beech trees. After a while, a small spring wets the path, but water here is not drinkable. Near an alpine pasture Flop (it.: Malga Flop) keep to the right (left path leads to the village / paese Dordolla and Grauzaria).

A footpath will lead you close by the pasture with some panoramic historic photographs (1941) that depict a former glory of now abandoned alpine pasture.

Follow the path into the forest again. Soon you will reach the treeline. Keep on the right path (while the left one branches off to the bivouac Feruglio). At this point it remains 30 minutes to reach the hut. A majestic view opens up (see photos). The path crosses the slopes below the mountain Cima della Sfinge (1847m). Further west is another mountain Cima dai Gjai (1916m). Worth noting is that between these two mountains, a steep marked path leads to the Portonat saddle. Cross various torrent beds and ascend the last 30 to 50 meters to the hut. Before this final ascent, a path branches off to the left to the Portonat saddle (1860m). To the right you will reach the hut (2 minutes). The hut is open in the summer time and it offers accommodation. There is also a drinkable water outside.

A trail for Portonat notch begins here, at the last torrent bed below the Rifugio Grauzaria. Carefully follow the markings no. 444 through this highly erosive terrain until you gain at least 100 meters of altitude. Do not follow any other path to the east. The trail is steep all the way to the Portonat. A typical alpine flora of pine bushes is soon replaced by a stony terrain. At this point, one short section is secured by a fixed rope. Afterwards, follow the trail up through a crumbly terrain and expect a lot of scree. In this section, a trail to Cima dai Gjai, 1916m, branches of (sentiero Alpinistico Piero Nobile). In the last sections, a narrow gully with a lot of scree in it leads first to the false summit point, where the trail first slightly descends and then leads up to the Portonat notch at 1860 meters of altitude. From the hut Rifugio Grauzaria, 2 hours are needed to Portonat. The technical difficulty is approx. "slightly difficult". The easiest ascent to Creta Grauzaria branches off here. It is still very difficult. The rock face at the beginning is estimated as UIAA II. There are two fixed anchors in the first 30-50 meters for abseiling (if you consider it necessary on descent). Afterwards, the terrain is crumbly, exposed in some sections, but technical difficulty is not above UIAA I. At times, even a well seen trail shows itself. In the last section below the summit, a small fore-summit cross will greet you, soon afterwards comes a statue of Virgin Mary, a summit box and a small summit cross. A summit-stamp is available at the hut Rifugio Grauzaria.

Timing: Rifugio Grauzaria (1h 20min); Portonat (3h 20); Creta Grauzaria (4h 20 min).

Photos and the description are from June, 2019.
On the way: Malga Flop (980m), Rifugio Grauzaria (1250m), Portonat (1860m)
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