In this chapter we discuss one of the most incredible and evocative areas of the Sesto Dolomites, a World Heritage Site, the Popera Group.
The Popera Group is a small mountain group of the Alps which is located after the Croda dei Toni Group, on the border between the province of Belluno and that of Bolzano. The SOIUSA subdivides it into: subgroup of Cima Undici, subgroup of Croda Rossa di Sesto and Bastione Cima Bagni-Aiarnola. Among the major peaks we can point to Cima Undici, with its 3,092 meters, and Popera Mount with its 3,046 meters. In particular, the first ascent to Mount Popera dates back to 1874 when, climbing through the basin of Busa di Dentro, S. Siorpaes and M.Holzmann conquered the summit. Furthermore, the massif of the Gruppo del Popera was fiercely contested during the hard battles of the First World War.
It can be reached from the Val Comelico, located in the upper Cadore in the province of Belluno and immersed in the great forests and the green meadows. The upper part of the Comelico Superiore valley is dotted with small pearls of water, where the clear blue of the sky is reflected in the emerald green of the alpine lakes, while on the western end of the valley rises the Dolomite group of the Popèra. Each village deserves a visit, they are unique and curious, with museums on Ladin culture and works of art, but above all with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
"Ladino" is a word coined by linguists who documented the diversity present in the Alpine territory. This term indicates the dialects that settled in the first millennium, that is, after the Roman Empire, in the Alpine arc, from the Swiss canton, to the Dolomites to Friuli. The purpose was to enhance the historical differences that make up the various valleys of the Pale Mountains, from the neighboring and more popular ones such as the Veneto or the German.
The Ladin tradition of Comelico has preserved and maintained very strongly some popular manifestations of lay rituals and religious ceremonies, witnessed by the great participation in the various parades in the streets of the towns. Not to be missed among the peaks of these mountains of the Comelico one of the most heartfelt and spectacular events of the Alpine arc, the Carnival, which has always been in the popular culture the main secular festive moment, heritage of ancient pagan propitiatory rites.