Erera – Piani Eterni Karst Plateau

Erera Brendol Plateau and Piani Eterni from Cimia
(photo by: Enrico Canal CTA-CFS)

Access: From Val Canzoi (Stua Lake) to Erera pastures, along a steep mule track (trail no. 802).

Alpine grasslands and expanses of karst limestone
In the mosaic of environments characterizing the Park, Erera – Piani Eterni karst plateau stands out for the extraordinary quality of its natural contents and originality of the landscape. The plateau consists of two main environmental units:

  • Erera pastures, fragment of alpine grassland set on a flat surface area, slightly degrading, of two coalescent torrential cones
  • the inaccessible area of Piani Eterni, a large plateau characterized by large rocky surface areas (Gray Limestones) tormented by karst phenomena (fissures, sinkholes, limestone pavements), on which a thick and entangled shrub vegetation grows (sub-alpine shrub formation with mountain pine, willow, and rhododendron)

However, Piani Eterni also have a concealed side, mysterious and disturbing, a subterranean world scattered with cavities, caves, and galleries (the deepest cavity almost reaches 1,000 meters) quickly absorbing the water of the plateau and feeding the several karst springs (Val Canzoi, Val del Mis).

Rocks, environments, and other features

Rocks: Gray Limestones (Piani Eterni); Red Ammonite sup. (small wall behind Casera Erera and Pendana di Brendol); Biancone and Scaglia rossa (mountains delimiting the plateau in the north: Mt. Brendol, Le Rosse di Erera, Mt. Mondo)

Landscape features:
Glacial features: glacial cirques (I Laghetti, Busa del Toro, Cimia cirque, Van dei Cavai)
Karst features: limestone pavements, kart fissures, dolines Periglacial features: screes, nival basins
River-torrential features: Brendol gorge; torrential cones (Erera pastures)

Environment / Landscape

High-mountain karst-nival environment with unique morphological and environmental features, characterized by an alternation of rocky surface areas smoothed by the glaciers and sculpted by karst phenomena, alpine pastures, entangled shrub formations with mountain pine, willow, and rhododendron, and fragments of “human landscapes” (rural buildings, pastures). The usually rounded/gentle shapes of the mountains delimiting the plateau in the north (Mt. Brendol, Mt. Mondo), shaped in the gentle and degrading formations of Biancone and Scaglia rossa and the large alpine grasslands covering them, give the landscape of this alpine chain fragment a typically alpine aspect.

Notes:demanding itinerary (difference in height 1,000m)