14 Casera Campigat (1801 m a.s.l.) - The cliff escarpment
Despite its rudimentary equipment, the hut (1801 metres above sea level) can provide the visitor with sufficient shelter in case of need. In the surroundings of Casera Campigat (Sass Negher, Campo Boaro, Val delle Camorze, Coston della Vena) there emerge igneous rocks (pillow lava) allowing us to observe directly their coming into contact with dolomite rocks. This is an area that abounds in various minerals quartz, analcime, heulandite, chalcedony and even native copper.
The Marmolada-Monzoni area was affected by steady and significant important and persistent magma outpouring during the Late Ladinian. These lava spills led to the creation of a volcano, similar in size to that in Stromboli. Large amount of lava spilled over the seabed which, due of the high temperature amplitude between the water and the lava, solidified taking on the shape of a pillow (pillow lava). As soon as the lava poured from the underwater slopes, the pillows rolled and reconsolidated further down, thus forming pillow-breccia.
From the Casera one has splendid view over the cliff escarpment of the Pale di San Lucano Group, covered by igneous rocks from Cima Pape. The development of the landscape was determined mainly by the lithology. The Gardès Valley (Val di Gardès) is the dividing point of two completely different kinds of environment. To the south are the carbonate rocks of the escarpment cliff of the Pala Group, with its layers inclined at approx. 40° (clinostratifications); they are covered by scarce vegetation composed mainly of dwarf mountain pine. To the north are the profiles of the volcanic clastic rocks (Formazione della Fernazza, the Marmolada Conglomerate) and igneous rocks further down (basalts and monsonites). The latter are transformed in fertile soil which allows the cultivation of rich pastures and high-tree woodland. The environment of Pale di San Lucano-Cima Pape has inspired the great Austrian geologist E. Von Mojsisovics to coin the notion of “facies eteropy.”
Pat Casera Campigat, the CAI path Nr. 759 continues uphill through volcanic rocks (reshaped pillow lavas) until it reaches the Valghere-Palalada ridge. While on the ridge, we are averted to the presence of the waterfall Cascata delle Comelle by the noise of the water gushing from the ravine bearing the same name; past several skips, the water flows through the ledge of the hanging glacier valley, carved in the Contrin Formation, and end up in the underlying Val Garés.
The village of Garés is located on an alluvial fan; to the north it is cordoned by the volcanic rocks of Cimon della Stia, followed abruptly by dolomite of the Focobon-Group characterised by jagged peaks, its slender rocky towers, and glacial cirques cupped in deep valleys dominated by vertical walls. The landscape is the result of selective erosion affecting fractured and tilted dolomite rocks crossed by magmatic veins.
The dark mass that is Sass Negher with its odd summit tip appears nearby; further away the volcanic rocks of Campo Boaro that covering the escarpment of Pale del Balcon.
Further north looms Marmolada's vast south wall; Cime d'Auta and even nearer is located the enormous "callanco", or "gully" of Marmolada - an extensive erosive phenomenon involving subtly stratified Permian rocks (Val Gardena Sandstones and Bellerophon Formation) and the Lower Triassic (Werfen Formation).
The Pape subgroup stands out not only with its typical colour, but also because of the forms inherent of selective erosion, such as the step-like slopes with alternating ledges of soft rock and rocky walls of hard rock. The monocline relief, or cuesta, of Lastei di Pape features a surface carved in the hard layers of the Marmolada Conglomerate.
The path continues going up and down over volcanic rocks, where the visitor can come across minerals, such as heulandite; with its red-orange colouring, the mineral stands out from the incasing greenish rock. Ice-contact terraces, also known as Kame, can be found at an altitude of approx. 1800 metres; other sub-horizontal features form due to structural surfaces at various altitudes. Path Nr. 759 proceeds with gentle ups and downs and reaches the saddle pass Caoz at 1944 metres above sea level; it then descends to the recently renovated Casera ai Doff (1878 metres above sea level), which is an excellent spot for refreshment.
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