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Monday, September 17, 2007

Ferrata Brigata Tridentina

This is justifiably a highly popular ferrata. One of the main reasons is the natural beauty of the Sella walls which, combined with the exposure, make the ascent up to the Torre Exner a highly satisfying outing. Other factors include its easy access, the possibility of cutting the itinerary short in bad weather, Rifugio Cavazza, the option of climbing up to Pissadù and, last but not least, the famous suspension bridge. Try to avoid the weekend crowds so as to get the most of this fantastic outing.

Getting there
Take the road to Passo Gardena and the car park and disused quarry at 1956m, six hairpin bends beneath the Pass towards Val Badia.

Access
From the car park at 1956m follow the marked path to the base of the ferrata. Alternatively, from Passo Gardena take path no. 666 for about 30 mins to join the ferrata slightly above the start.

Ascent
Start by climbing up the first vertical face using the metal cables to reach a terrace and the path that leads in from Passo Gardena. Continue to beneath the east face of Torre Exner and follow the well-equipped ferrata up and leftwards. A variation leads off through the wide gully at about 2350m to the Masores plateau and Rifugio Cavazza. The ferrata however continues steeply up the east face to reach a series of ladders shortly beneath the summit, to then traverse leftwards across the suspension bridge which spans the deep gap. Once on the Masores terrace, stride across to Rifugio Cavazza and lake Pissadù just a stone’s throw away.

Descent
Take path no. 666 northwest down Val Setùs. Cables have been fixed on the steepest sections and snow patches may still be present in late August. The path joins up with the one that coasts beneath Torre Brunico and leads back down to the car park

Surce

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Catinaccio group: Ferrata Passo Santner

The Ferrata del Santner, situated on Catinaccio’s impressive west face, seems to have been made specifically to extenuate the beauty and very particular nature of the entire Dolomites massif. It follows a natural line diagonally leftwards and, leading relatively easily into the heart of King Laurin’s kingdom, is quite simply unforgettable. One of the most famous rock formations in the Dolomites meets the eye at the gateway to the Gartl valley: the mythical Torri del Vaiolet. The Ferrata Passo Santner is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and famous round-trips in the Dolomites.



Getting there:
From Pozza di Fassa drive to Passo Costalunga and continue on right at the fork for the Laurin chairlift at M.ga Frommer. Take this to Rif. Fronza alle Coronelle. From Carezza take the chairlift to Rif. Paolina and continue on path no. 552-549 to Rif. Fronza. From Vigo di Fassa take the cable car Ciampediè to Rifugio Ciampediè and then continue on paths no. 549 and 552 to Rif. Fronza.


Access:
From Rif. Fronza take path no. 550 up polished rocks quickly to the fork. Turn off left onto path no. 542 to cross Catinaccio’s SW face. The start of the ferrata proper is located on a scree terrace.


Ascent
From the scree terrace follow the ferrate across ladders, pegs and cables up north through gullys and across minor saddles. The path twists and turns in search of the easiest line through this rock maze to reach the highest col at 2680m. Cross this and descend carefully into a gully which often remains covered in snow. Climb up the opposite flank on the gully’s left-hand side to reach Passo Santner, 2760m, just a few minutes walk away from Rifugio Santner and the Via Normale climbing routes to the Catinaccio peaks. The panorama westwards onto the green Alto Adige deep below is stupendous.


Descent: From Passo Santner follow path no. 542 down into the Gartl and the monumental Tre Torri del Vajolet. Reach Rifugio Re Alberto (2700m) and the lake at the foot of these famous towers, to continue through the large basin on path no. 542 through this massif, polished by the thousands of footsteps to the famous refuges Vajolet and Preuss (2243m). Proceed towards the Gardeccia basin to then follow signs right (no. 541). This path traverses beneath the Catinaccio’s east face to the fork and path no. 550, which leads steeply up to and over Passo delle Coronelle (2630m) to then return to Rif. Fronza. Alternatively, for those wishing to return to Rif. Ciampediè and Vigo di Fassa, follow path no. 546 from Rif. Vajolet to Rifugio Gardeccia and then continue on path no. 540 to climb up to Rifugio Ciampediè.


Surce:
http://www.dolomites.org/

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Ferrata dei Finanzieri, Canazei (Colac)

The Ferrata dei Finanzieri climbs the NW Face of the Colac. This mountain, seen from Canazei in the early morning light, is not particularly attractive and some even consider it repulsive. The ferrata however leads up to its summit and one of the most spectacular views onto the Marmolada and the Sella massif. Technically speaking the section at half-height up steep, stepped terrain is the most demanding both physically and mentally and should pose no particular problems as the ferrata is well-equipped throughout.

Getting there: From Canazei in Val di Fassa drive to Alba and the cable car Funivia del Ciampac. Take this to the top at 2170 m.

Access: From the cable car descend along the piste east to a small artificial lake. Walk up the opposite slope along a narrow path past hairpin bends to the start and the first cables (15 mins).

Ascent: The ferrata begins immediately with an equipped section that leads to a path which continues leftwards to the base of a large sloping ramp directly beneath a steep vertical face. Climb up the ramp, keeping close to the wall: the ramp poses no particular difficulties but is covered in rubble and scree. After a short descent climb up a steeper section that leads to the ferrata’s crux. Ascend this difficult, vertical face via a series of stepped terrain (well-equipped). The face soon levels out and the ferrata continues more easily over less demanding terrain. A steep section leads to the final gully and then, leftwards, to the finishing crest. Follow this directly to the summit.

Descent: From the summit scramble down the SE face past sections equipped with cables. The route now leads pleasantly onto the Ciampac face before descending steeply (cables) onto the Contrin face. Traverse beneath beautiful yellow/grey limestone towers and descend a gully on its right to the metal cables. A nice path now traverses at altitude before rising up to Forcia Neigra at 2509m and then descending quickly SW to Ciampac.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vie Ferrate in the Tofane Group

Ferrata Gianni Aglio


The ferrata leads up the highest of the three Tofane. When joined to the Giuseppe Olivieri ferrata at Punta Anna (see related itinerary) it makes up a long and difficult, but highly satisfying traverse for the well-trained. Even though the route is made easier by the cable car which leads to the summit, because of its height and the possibility of bad weather it shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Getting there
From Cortina take the “Freccia nel Cielo” cable car as far as the second station of Rif. Ra Valles.


Access
The starting point, unless coming from the G. Olivieri Ferrata or the Sentiero attrezzato G. Olivieri, is the middle station of the Ra Valles cable car. From here, ignore signs for the “Olivieri” and Punta Anna, and ascend (SW) along the marked path to the Doss de Tofana, where the ferrata begins (2900m).


Ascent
From the Doss de Tofana, after some steps and a vertical drop, equipped with a ladder, the itinerary leads onto the SW face and along ledges to the Torre Gianni Aglio gorge. Use the fixed cables to traverse the east face of the Torre (difficult and exposed, keep rope tight). After another airy traverse on the north face, reach the large Bus de Tofane “window” at 2920m up steps and rubble. It is possible to descend the scree slope from here to path no. 403, which links to Rifugio Giussani and Rifugio Dibona. For the summit, however, continue up slopes (at times snowy) and, after a ramp with avalanche barriers and two vertical drops equipped with ladders, follow the marked rocky path to the cross at the summit.


Descent
Descend to the Rifugio Cima Tofana and the cable car station. N.B. the last descent is at 16.00!



Surce: http://www.dolomiti.org/


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Monday, June 18, 2007

Sella Group: Ferrata delle Mèsules

This is the ferrata on the Sella and, seeing that it dates back to 1912, also the oldest. It takes a line through the NW Face of Piz Ciavaces, first climbed in 1909 by Mayer and Haupt. The first 250m up the splendid vertical wall are airy and demanding but the difficulties ease off once the characteristic ledge at half-height is reached. The ferrate is one of the most beautiful in the area and consequently extremely popular. Those who prefer not to queue up… have been warned.

Access. The walk-in takes about 15 minutes. From Passo Sella follow the obvious path NW, traversing beneath the Sella towers to the base of the ferrata situated to the right of a large black streak which marks the line of a waterfall.

Ascent
Begin by climbing up cables to a series of chimneys with pegs. Continue past fantastic vertical rock up the NW Face (ladders and fixed cables) to reach a ledge and amphitheatre: follow this the broken ledge at half-height (2250m). Having surpassed the major difficulties enjoy the splendid view onto the Alps far in the distance and, close up, the elegant and imposing Sassolungo. Traverse left along the enormous ledge to the start of the second part of the ascent which, via gullies and stepped terrain, leads more easily to the Piz Selva summit (2941m).

Descent
From the Mesules plateau follow path no. 649 to forcella Antersase. Descend along path no. 647 down Val Lasties to reach the Passo Sella road which, in 2.5km, leads back up to the pass.
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Vie Ferrate in the Tofane Group

Ferrata Giuseppe Olivieri

This ascent, almost entirely equipped with cables, follows the steep southern arête up Punta Anna, the large outcrop that looks onto the Tofana di Mezzo. Without a doubt one of the most interesting and beautiful via ferrata in the Dolomites, its steepness, exposure and beauty render it immensely satisfying, and the view onto the imposing south face of the Tofana di Rozes is unforgettable. The ferrata can be extended by combining it with others close by, including the ascent of the Tofana di Mezzo.
Getting there
By car: from Cortina take the road towards Passo Falzarego. Near a little church after Pocol, a signed track (signposted Rifugio Dibona) leads off to the right. Turn left at the next fork and continue to Rifugio Dibona. By chairlift: from Cortina take the road towards Passo Falzarego. Just outside Cortina turn right following signs for restaurant Pietofana. From here take the chairlift first to Rifugio Duca d’Aosta and then to Rifugio Pomedes.

Access
From Rifugio Dibona take path no.421 to Rifugio Pomedes. From Rifugio Pomedes follow the signposted path away from the top of the chairlift to the scree slope and then leftwards to the start of the ferrata beneath the east face of Punta Anna.

Ascent
The steep and exposed ascent follows a line through the east face, then briefly onto the SW Face, before continuing on Punta Anna’s steep southern arête. Airy sections up extremely solid rock lead in about 1 hour to the beneath Punta Anna (2731m). From here there are two options. Either 1) follow the equipped ledges leftwards (signposted Giussani) to the scree slope that leads down from Bus de Tofana and enjoy the scree run down to path no. 403. This links Rif. Giussani to Rif. Dibona and leads gently back down to the starting point – recommended). Or 2) continue up the crest towards the Terza Torre Pomedes, via cables and easy slabs, to reach the Doss de Tofana and the descent path. Alternatively, continue from the Doss de Tofana to the summit of Tofana di Mezzo along the Via Ferrata Gianni Aglio.

Descent
1) Descent along the Bus de Tofana scree slope: reach path no. 403 and descend to Rif. Dibona. Continue along path no. 421 to Rif. Pomedes if the starting point was at restaurant Pietofana. 2) Descent from the Doss di Tofana: follow the path towards the Ra Valles cable car station and then turn off right down Sentiero Giuseppe Olivieri. Equipped in the steepest sections, this leads swiftly to Rif. Pomedes.

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Galleria del Piccolo Lagazuoi

Galleria del Piccolo Lagazuoi
This very particular remnant of the First World War is completely equipped with cables and leads through the famous winding tunnel created by the Italian soldiers. Starting from Cengia Martini they dug through the Piccolo Lagazuoi to attack the Austrian soldiers occupying the summit.



Getting there
From Cortina d’Ampezzo to Passo Falzarego (SS 48) and then with the Funivia del Lagazuoi cable car to Rifugio Lagazuoi. Alternativly, follow path no. 402-401 on foot from Passo Falzarego (2117m) (2 hrs- 630m height difference).


Access
Directly from Rif. Lagazuoi along the obvious path.


Ascent
Given its steepness the tunnel is usually descended from Rifugio Lagazuoi. Its dark and damp environment is only rarely broken by a few spectacular windows cut out of the rock, before it opens out below at Cengia Martini and the military remnants. This itinerary is an excellent choice when the weather is poor and a torch, ideally a headtorch, is indispensable. Without a doubt highly interesting and unique, it allows the hiker to experience “at first hand” the enormous hardship and suffering endured by the troops fighting on both sides of the Great War in the Dolomites.


Descent
From Cengia Martini follow the marked path to quickly reach path no.402 which leads back to Passo Falzarego.



Website:
http://www.dolomites.org/


To download the map of the Via Ferrata click here

Enjoy your stay in the Dolomites.

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