At the foot of the more than 3,000 m high Sasso di Santa Croce Group a natural cave is located, which can be visited during the summer months.
Image gallery: Snow Cave
Above the famous La Crusc (Holy Cross) Pilgrimage Site the impressive rock faces of the Sasso di Santa Croce Group rise into the sky. A small mountain stream flows down from one of its peaks, the 3,026 m high Mt. Sasso delle Dieci (Piza dales Diesc, in Ladin). During particularly snowy winters, it forces its way through the snow masses covered by scree at its foot.
When in spring, during snowmelt, there is more water in the stream, the cave is getting bigger. The same effect is obtained by the so-called inverted chimney effect during summer when the Snow Cave melts from the inside. This cavity beneath the Sasso di Santa Croce Group (in the pic) can be visited - a real adventure! In mild winters with little snow, however, it can happen that the cave doesn’t even form…
The easy hike, ideal for families, begins at the mountain station of the La Crusc Chairlift at 1,820 m a.s.l., starting from the hamlet of San Leonardo. The path no. 15B leads - with a wonderful view on the Armentara Meadows - in a 40-minute walk to the Snow Cave. First it proceeds uphill to a saddle where the view opens up on Mt. Marmolada, Mt. Piz Boé, Mt. Sassongher, the Gardenaccia Highland and the mighty Sass de Putia. Afterwards the hike continues to a vast scree and a snow field. Right there, beneath a rock, there’s the cave carved out by water. Recommendable: a side-trip on the way back to the beautiful Armentara Meadows or the La Crusc Pilgrimage Church.