The S.A.T refuge Roda di Vaèl, located on the Ciampàz saddle, in the southern part of the Catinaccio/Rosengarden mountain group and on the foot of the Croz di S. Giuliana and the Masarè peak, celebrated in the year 2007 its 100th foundation anniversary.
The idea of building a refuge in the upper Vaiolon valley maturated during an assembly of the section “Welschnofen-Karersee” of the German and Austrian Alpine Association of Welschnofen, since a first refuge had already been built below the peak of the Coronelle
In the year 1898 the section had already negotiated with the local authority to acquire a municipal site in the area Sforcella in the Vajolòn valley, in order to build a refuge.
The constructing work for a refuge with 20 sleeping places, began in spring 1906 and on 7th August of the same year, the official opening was celebrated.
Theodor Christomannos was one of the construction sponsors, which already had sponsored the Grand Hotel Karersee and the “Dolomites road”, making possible the drive from Bolzano to Cortina passing over the Costalunga/Karerpass. This refuge and the nearby, some years older refuge “Kölner Hütte alle Coronelle” were the most liked destinations of the hotel guests of the Karersee area and specially those of the Grand Hotel. But the section Welschnofen-Karersee named the refuge “Ostertag Hütte”, following the family name of the industrialist of Ludwigsburg – Stockholm, Karl Ostertag-Siegle, due to his generous financing for the construction and furnishing of the small refuge.
The first manager of the refuge was the mountain guide Anton Plank of Welschnofen and in the time between the two World Wars, his sons running the refuge, following the S.A.T’s instructions. The first of these two hosts was Luis Plank, from the year 1925 to 1929, than his brother Josef Plank from 1930 to 1939, both supported by their sister Rosa Plank, who worked in the kitchen.
In July 1921 the refuge was entrusted to the SAT through the authority of the Italian army and the name was changed into the current “Roda di Vaèl”.
Except of some preservation and strengthening works on the building, there was no change in the refuge until 1983, where the S.A.T. decided for the renovation and enlargement.
From the year 1947 to 2004 the refuge was run by only two hosts, each for the time of 30 years:
in 1947 the new host, Carlo Delmonego, was celebrated. Very famous in the Fassa Valley as hotel owner and later also as the head of the mountain rescue service. Born in 1906 in Vigo di Fassa, before the Second World War he bought the Hotel Cervo and lived in Switzerland for some time as a foreign worker. After the war he returned to Vigo and reopened the hotel, running it together with his wife. In the first years after the war he also took on the refuge. But the real hostess was his daughter Carla Delmonego, who was an excellent accordion player, instrument she had learned in Switzerland. A lot of local people walked the way up to the refuge right for listening to her music.
The sudden painful death of Carlo Delmonego in autumn 1974, forced the S.A.T. and its refuges commission, to find a new host for the “Roda di Vaèl”.
The choice fell on Rino Rizzi, a famous alpine guide of Pera di Fassa, who had already worked in refuges. In the age between 16 and 20 years, Rino Rizzi had been the porter of the refuge “Re Alberto I” run by his uncle Marino Soraperra and at the same time also that of the Contrin refuge.
In the early 80’s, S.A.T. decided to renovate the hut totally. In September 1982 the committee gave the order for the new building, with work start posed in September of the following year. So, the rebuilding started in September 1983 and continued through the entire summer 1984 for the partly opening of the refuge in the year 1985. The works came to its end in the same year and the official opening was set in summer 1986.
Apart from the enlargement of the sleeping capacity, the thermo sanitary installations were totally renovated and enlarged. The refuge was provided with a new electricity generator and with four water containers with a capacity of 8 m³ water each and a rainwater collecting pump. Furthermore the service suspension railway has been built too, indispensable for the supply of the refuge and the transport down to the valley of the rubbish. The new refuge was official opened on July 13th 1986. On this occasion the main (dining) room of the refuge was named after the academic alpinist gold medallion for the CAI and S.A.T, Marino Scenico, a grandiose alpinist of the 6th U.I.A.A. grade of difficulty, gained on rock faces in the Dolomites.
During the management entrusted to bruno deluca between the autumn of 2007 and during the summer of 2008, the refuge has been subjected of a further major restructuring. Among the work carried out to enlarge the main entrance, the building of a drying room, the outer cover with wood shingles and the renovation of all the windows with the official blue and white in color, typical of all the S.A.T. refuges.
Since summer 2011, due to the unexpected death of Bruno Deluca, passed away due to an accident occurred on the Majarè wall, the management of the shelter went to his wife Roberta Silva who currently runs it with the precious help of her ” Vael family” a group of dynamic and tight-knit staff who carry out with great dedication and sharing this role and share with the guests the spirit of welcome, hospitality and deep passion for life in the refuge that had already characterized the management of Bruno, Roberta’s husband .