Itinerary 2: Serra Dolcedorme (north ridge)

The north ridge of Serra Dolce Dorme is devided into two parts, a broad and fairly plain saddle that reaches its low mark at Passo delle Ciavole, and the steep and rocky spine that forms the actual ridge. The trailhead of the ascent is the above-named remote mountain pass.

Part 1: Colle d’Impiso – Passo delle Ciavole


Setting off from Colle d’Impiso (A), turn hard left and take the most evident forest track that winds down to the plains called Piani di Vacquarro. Once reached the plains, follow this track for another 100 meters until you reach a fork where you may find one of the few remaining signposts of the whole area. From here, turn left and follow the arroyo of the torrent Frido, always keeping it on your left. Immediately after crossing a small rivulet, turn left again. After entering the beech forest, keep direction until you reach a point where the forest track, now to your right, steadily begins to gain height (1), windings its way up to an extensive clearance called DSCN1443Radura di Rummo (2). — In case you should feel like making a call, try it here! This is one of the few spots where you cell phone might actually pick up a clear sign. — Nearby there is also a spring (ital.: sorgente or fontana). Look to your left for a number of small rocks seaming a narrow and inconspicuous path and follow it for about 200 meters until you reach the creek. The spring itself is somewhat hidden under some bolders, to the left.

Back at the clearing, keep following the forest track that after a while begins to steepen noticably before it flattens out again. A few more meters ahead, the forest suddenly opens wide into the first of the three central high plains of the Pollino massif: Piano Toscano.

Piano Toscano - background: Serra delle Ciavole

From a loose heap of bigger rocks on a small elevation, once marked by another signpost, you can catch a view on almost all of the major peaks: Monte Pollino and the ‘Great Slip’ (ital.: la grande frana) – to the south-east, Serra delle Ciavole (image) and the almost pyramidal summit of Serra Dolce Dorme – to the south-west.

Heading for your destination, you might want to avoid at least some of the more prominent moraines that will come your way, in order to save your breath for the ascent. However, keep direction and always point roughly for the peak of Serra Dolcedorme.


With the impressive south-east face of Serra delle Ciavole now very close (to the left), continue in the same direction. But instead of scaling the the last morainal elevevation (image above), aim slightly to the left, and you will soon pass some huge bolders. Before entering the forest again, try to make out the lowest point of the saddle. As from here on the path gets rather unclear, and because of the thick vegetation and high trees that cover the part that lies ahead, this can be helpful in order to precisely locate the pass (B).

Part 2: Passo delle Ciavole – Serra Dolce Dorme

The pass …