Among the white limestone rocks of the Canin range, at 1850 m above sea level, stands the Celso Gilberti refuge. Famous for its ski area, it changes its face in summer, becoming a tranquil place to relax, walk, observe ibex and local wildlife, and reconnect with only seemingly cold nature.
A scenic trail that climbs in elevation through forests, then continues on a wartime mule track with steep switchbacks and finally on level ground through rocky landscapes and a few wartime bunkers. A longer route than going up the slopes but decisively much more scenic.
If you visit the refuge during the summer season and away from the operating hours of the cable car, you will be able to spot ibex moving in groups on the surrounding rock faces. By staying overnight and rising at dawn, you can enjoy the spectacle of ibexes approaching and stopping just beyond the hut door.
Near the shelter is an imposing rock face. Descending to the valley along CAI trail 635, we skirt this massive ridge of smooth white limestone. Not everyone knows that from this wall opens the entrance to a long, complex, unvisited cave that comes out on the opposite side of the massif.
The hut stands in front of the striking vertical wall of Bila Peč. Behind it rises the Jôf di Montasio massif. Mount Canin, which gives its name to the range of the same name, can also be glimpsed. Canin marks the border between the province of Udine and Slovenia and is the last massif of the Julian Alps in Italian territory.
One of the most striking karst landscapes can be admired from the Gilberti refuge. White stones, sometimes jagged, sometimes polished by the force of weathering, characterize the landscape of the Canin massif. If you are lucky and careful, you may come across cemented fossils in the boulders. In addition, the area is also home to a substantial population of ibex and chamois.
Several routes of easy, medium or high difficulty, equipped or not, start from the Giliberti refuge:
It should not be forgotten that the karst territory is one of the most interesting areas of the Alps for speleologists as it is rich in caves that stretch for a length of about 50 kilometers and are up to 1,000 meters deep.
Gondola opening days summer 2022:
Gondola opening times summer 2022:
The shelter has dormitories and a larger dormitory for a total number of 40 beds. The dining area contemplates 60 indoor and 32 outdoor seats and offers excellent home cooking. For half board, the cost is about 50 euros. The facility is clean and modern. There are 2 toilets and they are equipped with washbasins and showers. Hot water shower is available for an additional fee.
Animal lovers will appreciate the presence of Pane, a friendly little dog who wanders around the shelter wagging his tail in search of caresses.
The Bila Peč Botanical Path starts from the Gilberti mountain hut, a short path within everyone’s reach, stunning for lovers of flora and fauna, but also from a geological point of view.
Along the trail you can see a remarkable variety of flowers, including the very rare white poppy and other plant species that have adapted to live in extreme high-altitude environments. Within this hollow carved out among the rocks live a multitude of animals, including marmots, ibexes and salamanders.
Look up and you will see hawks and griffon vultures circling, and look carefully down on the rocks and you may unearth Megalodont fossils, or bivalve mollusks. Don’t forget the brochure explaining all the species of plants flowers you will encounter, you can get it for free at the Gilberti hut!
In winter, the gondola allows skiers to reach the ski slopes while in summer it allows everyone to reach the lodge easily. Clearly the planting spoils the view a bit, but the Gilberti refuge is still a secluded and special place.
The geologic history of the Canin Massif has caused its rocks to shift from the sea floor to present-day mountainous landscapes. Some areas are therefore rich in fossils imprinted in giant boulders but are a few hours’ walk from the refuge and clearly, in any case, not collectible.
Ibex are wild animals that live in isolated environments away from humans. Their sighting is therefore more likely in the off-season, during the summer, at quiet times and especially at times when the gondola is not operating.
Through this section you can contact the Gilberti shelter directly. Use it to inquire about services, rates, meal & overnight reservations, weather and trail status information, and trails. Remember that with this form you will contact the activity managers directly. Explorer FVG is only an intermediary and does not handle responses and is not responsible for the information exchanged in these conversations.
Celso Gilberti Rifugio
Conca Prevala, Sella Nevea
Chiusaforte 33010 (UD)
Manager: Irene Pittino
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