Punta Rocca: THE HIGHEST VISTA POINT IN THE DOLOMITES
THE HIGHEST VISTA POINT OF THE DOLOMITES
At the Punta Rocca lift station, there is a vista point created in 2010 to give all visitors a 360° view out over the World Heritage Dolomites. From here, you can see from the Brenta Dolomites to Latemar and on to the Sciliar-Catinaccio and Puez-Odle groups. Continuing to the east, you can see Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto, the Conturines, and the Dolomiti d’Ampezzo, the Dolomiti di Sesto, and the Marmarole. To the south, you have Antelao and Pelmo, Civetta, Mojazza, and Schiara, as well as a portion of the Friuli Dolomites. Continuing out across the infinite horizon, you can also see the Feltre summits and the Pale di San Martino. From here, you can see it all, and you may even catch a glimpse of Venice on a particularly clear day. This is an amazing vista point that all can enjoy, even those with disabilities.
The Marmolada glacier has made a substantial contribution to shaping the northern face of this great summit. It is a wall-sided glacier that rests against the rocky spires that culminate with Punta Rocca (3,310 m / 10,860 ft) and Punta Penia (3,343 m / 10,971 ft). At times, it can reach up to these crests and frame their vertical faces with a spectacular sheet of ice. The glacier is melting rapidly. In 1960, it covered a surface of 305 hectares (754 acres) but withdrew to 170 hectares (420 acres) by 2006.Today, the front edge of the glacier has retreated above Sasso delle Undici and Sasso delle Dodici, which once marked the boundaries between the glacier’s three sections (i.e. west, central and east). These spires of limestone, once enveloped in ice, are of great interest and visual impact and are now nunataks (from the Inuit nunataq, meaning “the dorsal fin of a shark”) that have been smoothed and striped by the movement of the glacier. These glacier-sculpted roche moutonnée, with their ruts and furrows, are quite common in this area.
GROTTA DELLA MADONNA
You can also visit Grotta della Madonna delle Nevi. Excavated in a style similar to the tunnels dug during the First World War, it is home to a statue of the Virgin Mary executed by Franco Fiabane, a sculptor from Belluno, and consecrated by Pope John Paul II when he came to Marmolada in 1979. The cloak worn by the Virgin Mary is a faithful reproduction of the rock formation on the south face of Marmolada.People across religions and cultures see the mountains as being somehow sacred, and throughout the world mountain summits have been associated with a sort of spiritual dimension. The Dolomites specifically (and Marmolada has few rivals in this regard), with their powerful yet fragile landscapes, embody the beautifully conflicted philosophical concept of the sublime. This concept, which helped shape European culture from Romanticism onward, was defined by Edmund Burke in 1756 in reference specifically to the Dolomites mountain range.
New for 2018 are Punta Rocca’s brand-new panoramic elevators. Now visitors can go from the boarding platform straight down to the renowned Marmolada glacier by way of one of two elevators housed behind vast windows offering a spectacular view out over the ice.
PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT – 50 YEARS MOVING TO THE SKY
Again this year, there will be the photography exhibit honoring 50 years of the Marmolada cable lifts through photos of the audacious construction of this lift system at an altitude of over 3,000 m (9,800 ft)—a lift system that is the embodiment of innovation and technology.