Monte Cristallo, Dolomites, Cortina d'Ampezzo (Belluno) - Italy


ANA National Italian Alpine Association


Italian Army


XPS panel on larch planking protected with corrugated sheet metal


Bitumen Polymer membrane ubder the floor







The recovery of the Buffa bivouac in Perrero: an authentic mountaineering feat

The Bivouac Carlo Buffa di Perrero, in the Padeon fork on Monte Cristallo, above Cortina d'Ampezzo, is back in use after the renovation which involved the soldiers of the 6th Alpine Regiment stationed in Brunico, together with insulation specialists and waterproofing and to the carpenters who took on an authentic feat at almost 3,000 meters above sea level.

The bivouac, named in memory of the Italian Army, colonel Carlo Buffa di Perrero who died in the First World War, is set against a rock face at an altitude of 2,760 metres.

It was obtained from the barracks left by the Italian Army during that conflict. It can be reached via the Ivano Dibona equipped path, built between 1969 and 1970 to commemorate the mountaineer (Angelo's nephew), symbol of the Ampezzo alpine guides, who fell in the mountains on August 8, 1968, at the age of only 23, during a climbing on the Cima Grande di Lavaredo, while climbing a route marked out by his grandfather.

The bivouac, in addition to a purely mountaineering value, also has a high historical and symbolic value: on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Corps, the Alpine troops in arms in collaboration with the National Alpine Association, launched the project to make it finally usable again and usable.

Restoring the Bivouac as well as a building renovation operation was above all a mountaineering feat: given its position, in fact, the bivouac can only be reached by following the Dibona ferrata or with the aid of a helicopter.

The reconstruction project

All the works were carried out in safety, but also withstanding and overcoming the inconveniences and problems that any connoisseur of the mountain can easily imagine.

The synergy between the Alpine Troups of the 6th Regiment, the carpenters, the tinsmiths and waterproofing and insulation professionals, made it possible to complete the work in just two weeks. All the materials were brought up with the help of the helicopter and the reconstruction operations were carried out by trained personnel who made themselves available for a unique operation of its kind.

Working at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres, in a context of incomparable beauty, but with innumerable difficulties and risks, entailed a considerable commitment to setting up and making the site safe: a challenge for all the protagonists of the enterprise!

The solution adopted

Until now there was no pavement on the bivouac dug inside the mountain. A wooden floor was then created consisting of a 35 mm larch plank fixed to a 100 mm beam in direct contact with an Ediltop 4 mm polymer-bitumen membrane applied directly to the rock.

Once the walls and windows were restored, the most challenging part of the project was the construction of the roof. An SOPRA XPS CW80 mm latest generation insulating panel was fixed to a 25 mm larch planking supported by a 300 mm beam, protected by a breathable membrane on which a second 25 mm larch planking was fixed.

Alsan Foam EPS/XPS single-component polyurethane adhesive foam was used for the sealing. A corrugated sheet was applied to complete the work.

Credits: ANA, Esercito Italiano, Curzel Legno, Soprema, F.lli Schiavon