Pelmo Group

In this chapter we discuss one of the most famous, evocative and unmissable mountains of the Zoldo Dolomites, the Pelmo Group.

The Pelmo Group, a mountain massif in the Zoldo Dolomites in the province of Belluno, separates the Zoldo Valley and the Fiorentina Valley from the Boite Valley. It is divided into two main peaks: the Pelmo which reaches 3168 meters and the Pelmetto which, however, reaches 2990 meters. The first ascent occurred in 1857, from the Englishman John Ball, who chose Pelmo Mount as the first climb, with the simple motivation that this mountain seemed to him the most beautiful of all. The Pelmo is also remembered as the first peak of the Dolomites to be conquered.


Another feature of the massif is its eastern side, where the wide glacial cirque looks similar to a seat, so much so as to be locally called "El Caregon de el Padreterno". A local legend, in fact, narrates that the Padreterno after having created the Antelao, the Tofane, the Sorapiss, the Cristallo, the Marmarole and the tops of the Cadore, was so tired that he decided to create the Pelmo just to rest. A very interesting climb is on the Pelmetto, where you can admire the dinosaur footprints dating back to 250 million years ago. On one of its faces, of this enormous boulder, it has in fact numerous dinosaur footprints, a trace of a very remote and fascinating past. The first indication is due to Vittorino Cazzetta, from Selva di Cadore, fond of prehistory and mountain.

From here started the interest of the University of Padua, which sent some scholars to make the first careful surveys. At first this news was greeted with skepticism, because it is a rock born in marine environments, and therefore did not justify the presence of earthly beings like dinosaurs. Subsequently, accurate studies brought glaring results, in fact over a hundred prints were organized in plaster casts, organized in definite traces, and thus succeeding in giving a name to the individual species of dinosaur.

The publication speaks of Coleosaurs, small, very agile carnivorous reptiles, of which most of the footprints belong, other footprints instead were left by the Prosauropods, primitive ancestors of the herbivorous Sauropods. The most spectacular and best preserved slope belongs to an Ornitisco, with its characteristic three-toed footprint, with an elongated middle finger and two shorter lateral sides. At one time these Dolomite landscapes had to be very similar to the present-day Bahamas, where tongues of water enter the hinterland, leaving shallow waters at every low tide, ideal places for herbivorous dinosaurs.

The Pelmo Group is also famous for the strong Enrosadira, which colors these magnificent peaks of the Dolomites as a world heritage at sunset or at dawn. This natural event is to be attributed to the particular geological conformation of these mountains, and is dependent on many factors, among which the most important is certainly the position of the sun, of the reflection of the clouds and of the water mirrors. This extraordinary result, besides being an interesting naturalistic fact, is also a unique event of its kind, which involves and excites the observer, giving a moment of poetry to the sunsets of these rugged peaks. Do not miss the opportunity to admire this spectacular Dolomite phenomenon if you pass by these parts, passionate or not, choose the right mountain to contemplate the Enrosadira at sunset or at dawn.

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