- start: Centro ricreativo L'Aser 308m - CAI 713
- length: 10.8Km
- altitude difference: 1070m
- duration: 4h 45m
- Departure from the parking lot at an altitude of 967 m
- Departure from the centre of Gemona
- Flora of Monte Cuarnan
Route: Centro Ricreativo L'Aser, 308m - mulattiera del Torrente Vegliato - sentiero CAI 713 (conoide del Torrente Vegliato) – Sella Foredor, 1089 m – Malga Cuarnan, 1075 m – cima del Monte Cuarnan, 1372 – sentiero CAI 715 – sentiero CAI 717 – sentiero CAI 713 – mulattiera del Torrente Vegliato - Centro Ricreativo L'Aser
Mount Cuarnan (1372 m) dominates the plain of Friuli, extending from the foothills of the Alps to the Venetian lagoon. Its steep slopes form a barrier against the wind from the south and the east. The mountain slopes are gentle and rounded, marked by two fault lines, fractures in the earth’s crust formed by upward-thrusting forces, explaining the frequency of earthquakes in the area.
The itinerary described here offers an opportunity to observe interesting geological phenomena and a variety of environments following one upon the other as climatic conditions change at different elevations in the foothills of the Alps.
Departure from the parking lot at an altitude of 967 m
It’s easy to get here from Gemona along a paved road with a series of hairpin bends climbing the northwest slope of Mount Cuarnan. At an altitude of 967 metres is a large parking lot where you can leave your car to walk to the Alpine hut, or take path 717 lower down toward the western part of the mountain peak.
Departure from the centre of Gemona
If you want to set out on foot from Gemona (275 m), take path CAI 713 from the hamlet of Scugjelars. After cutting across some of the hairpin bends in the road to the mountain, the path becomes a mule track, crossing the Vegliato creek. A little way further along, leave path 713 to take path 717, which crosses over the paved road once again and continues up the slope.
From the road, when you come to a little shrine (932 m), proceed along path 717, climbing through the woods, walking along the side of a small construction and then entering a beech grove. After walking for about 40 minutes, you will emerge on the plateau of high pastures by the hut and drinking trough. Head east from here to path 715 and the ledges of Ôrs di Cuarnan (1175 m.).
Photo by Martina Andenna
Proceeding along path 715, in about 20 minutes you will come to the Shelter on Mount Cuarnan (1338 m), a small stone and concrete refuge named after Elio Pischiutti which can host up to ten 10 people. Continuing along the path, in 10 minutes you will come to the obelisk-shaped chapel of Christ the Redeemer, rebuilt in 1985 (originally built in 1901 by the parish of Montenars). A bit of trivia: the cross on the top of the obelisk was carried up here by 40 volunteers.
Cappella del Redentore sul Cuarnan
From the chapel of Christ the Redeemer, go back a few dozen metres to path 714, which drops down along the northern slope to the right. The path crosses a shrubby area before entering the beech grove. In 30 minutes you come to Sella Foredôr, where you should turn left and take the path to the Alpine hut (1075 m)
Flora of Monte Cuarnan
Photo by Martina Andenna
The wealth and variety of flora of the Gemona area and the foothills of the Alps in this region in general has attracted botanists and naturalists to the mountains since the eighteenth century. 1300 plant species thrive in the foothills of the Alps east of the Tagliamento river, half the total number of spaces present in the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The plant species most frequently encountered in the limestone and dolomitic limestone scree include Aquilegia einseleana, Campanula cespitosa, and Epilobium dodonaei, while flora growing in rocky areas include a number of endemic species, such as Aurinia petraea, Medicago pironae and the Illyrian Athamanta turbith. The upper part of the mountain is covered primarily with mountain prairies and is home to numerous plant species of great importance, including Rhaponticum scariosum heleniifolium, Asphodelus albus, Gentiana lutea symphyandra, Lilium carniolicum and Narcissus radiiflorus.