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#1 New Routes Posted by Bernard on
Mon Dec 30, 09:45 EST 2002

Hi Andrew, Great job, the new routes look great, althought most of them are to difficult for us, they are very inspiring. The photos are of an outstanding quality. What for photografic gears did you use? I nearly can't wait next June to go there. Happy New Year, Bernard The Netherlands

#2 camera gear Posted by Andrew on
Mon Dec 30, 10:27 EST 2002

Thanks, Bernard. I am very glad that you find the site useful. I use almost exclusively a digital camera now. It is a Sony DSC-F707, which, although not a true digital SLR, does come with an excellent lens and has a high resolution CCD (5 Megapixels). I switched because I was finding it very slow scanning all of my color slides and cataloguing them, and also the local film developing stores were occasionally not doing a good job developing my film. ...Andrew Canada

#3 Technical Details Posted by Bernard on
Sat Feb 01, 11:31 EST 2003

Hi Andrew, Your idea of giving the technical details of your photographs is great. Bernard

#4 details feature Posted by Andrew on
Sat Feb 01, 12:43 EST 2003

Thanks, Bernard. Nice to know that people are looking at that data. ...Andrew

#5 Posted by Nick on
Tue Feb 04, 08:33 EST 2003

Andrew, nice site! Next time you go, give a few F & Gs a try, they're certainly longer than the lower graded routes, but still very doable for a fit, confident walker/mountineer. Also, for interest the best time to go seems to be early September when the snow has mostly gone (this can be a big problem in June and early July) and there are far fewer people but the weather is still generally good. Have fun!

#6 Via Ferrata virgins Posted by Phil - Birmingham, England on
Mon Mar 31, 06:43 EST 2003

Andrew Some friends and I are going to the Via Ferrate this July. Which area would you recommend we stayed in; Cortina d'Ampezzo or Madonna di Campligio (excuse the spelling!)?

#7 locations Posted by Andrew on
Mon Mar 31, 15:51 EST 2003

Hi, Phil. You didn't supply an e-mail address so I'll have to reply to this forum and hope you will read my answer here. I've never climbed in the Brenta (ie - Madonna di Campiglio), so I can't comment on the accommodations. All of the routes that I describe are somewhere in the main mass of the dolomites, so if it is those routes that you are interested in, then I'd definitely recommend Cortina D'Ampezzo because of its location in that area. Hope this helps, ...Andrew

#8 Via Ferrata Guidebooks / Equipment Posted by Brad on
Mon May 26, 20:44 EDT 2003

A friend and I are hoping to head to Italy this September to check out some of the Via Ferrata and I was wondering: Do you know of any good english Via Ferrata guide books (your site is a great start!) for Italy / Austria / France? Where did you buy your energy absorbing runner (presuming that's what you used)? How much was it? Cheers, Brad Braun (Brad_Braun@hotmail.com) PS: I've got some of my pictures at www.pbase.com/bb if you're interested! (No text though).

#9 Posted by Hugh on
Tue May 27, 07:32 EDT 2003

Hi, I was planning to do the Lagazuoi Galleries route in June. As this is a Grade A, is a harness and Petzel really required?

#10 Lagazuoi Galleries Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 27, 08:26 EDT 2003

Hi, Hugh. No, not really. The routes are not that exposed and can be pretty safely done without a harness. However, definitely you need the headlamp, because there are a lot of long and very dark tunnels. And I'd recommend the helmet, because bashing your head against the tunnel ceiling is very very painful. Very cool place, that. ...Andrew

#11 re: Via Ferrata Guidebooks / Equipment Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 27, 13:20 EDT 2003

Hi, Brad. My only printed reference has been the Hofler/Werner book (that I refer to on my site). Otherwise I've relied on the web. I know that there are some sites that document the French ferrate. Haven't really looked too much into the Austrian ones. Besides... there are lots of good ferrate in the Dolomites to keep you busy for a good while :-) I ordered my Petzl-Y ferrate lanyards from a place in Toronto Canada called Europe Bound. I think they were about $60 CDN each. Let me know if you need any more info. ...Andrew

#12 Grat work! Posted by Michele on
Thu Jul 17, 03:19 EDT 2003

Hi, I just want to say: great site, and very nice and useful reports and photos! My compliments (from Italy!).

#13 re: Grat work! Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jul 17, 06:35 EDT 2003

Grazie!

#14 ferrata book Posted by ivor on
Mon Jul 21, 13:25 EDT 2003

Hi Andrew, This is a really great site with some great pics! We are going to Dolomites in August and our operator is offering a book called "Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites vol1 " by two of their resident staff John Smith & Graham Fletcher published by Cicerone. It is ?in UK and can be obtained from Colletts (the tour operator), contact www.colletts.co.uk. I haven't seen a copy and I don't work for Colletts! Considering the paucity of info available in english I hope some will find this info. of use.

#15 book price Posted by ivor on
Mon Jul 21, 17:41 EDT 2003

Oops! Price of book is ?

#16 Posted by Iain on
Tue Jul 22, 07:36 EDT 2003

Ivor, Heading out to Arabba with Collets this Friday (25th) for a week so we might just overlap! The Cicerone guide should be available "at any good outdoor shop", my son found a copy for me earlier this year in Brighton, price ~?I think but it looks good and informative. There are also route descriptions at http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/cortina/ce/ceman/index.html so take a look and enjoy your trip, Iain

#17 Guidebooks Posted by Karen on
Sun Aug 10, 11:06 EDT 2003

Is there a guidebook out there for the Austrian Via Ferratas? Karen_tuson@hotmail.com

#18 re:Guidebooks Posted by Andrew on
Sun Aug 10, 11:28 EDT 2003

hmm... not that I know of myself, Karen. Wouldn't be surprised if there were several in German though. ...Andrew

#19 Posted by Iain on
Wed Aug 20, 05:02 EDT 2003

Didn't meet Ivor! but had a great week. Some of the Via Ferrata photos are appearing at www.thehoggs.smugmug.com Feel free to take a look

#20 Weather Posted by Paul on
Mon Aug 25, 17:35 EDT 2003

What's the latest you can go to the Dolomites in the summer before the weather closes in? - do you know how long the huts stay open for (or is it all year round)?

#21 re: weather Posted by Andrew on
Mon Aug 25, 18:31 EDT 2003

Hi, Paul. Good question. Well, one year I went in early October and the mountains were pretty much in summer (ie- no snow) conditions. no problems. Then the next year I went at the end of September and a rare early snowstorm covered everything in half a meter of snow. Made things much trickier! So I guess it depends. As far as the huts go, I find that most are open till the 3rd week of September or so, and some later. If you poke around on the web, you can find out how long certain places are open. And some places are available all the time, like the bivaccos (I think they are, anyway). Hope this helps, ...Andrew

#22 Via-Ferrata Posted by Ralf on
Mon Sep 08, 03:36 EDT 2003

hi everybody, I??ike to post the recommendation for new portal of Vie Ferrate. On http://www.via-ferrata.de you??find a lot of vie ferrate in the alpes. moreover you have the possibility to comment each Via Ferrata. I??also be glad if you give me some hints to some vie ferrate and send me fotos to routes that are not listed yet. Enjoy your time at Via-Ferrata.de, Best Regards, Ralf (Webmaster Via-Ferrata.de)

#23 via ferrate Posted by Andrew on
Sat Sep 13, 08:38 EDT 2003

HI, Does anyone know if there are winter rooms attatched to the Brenva huts, open in October? Cheers Andrew

#24 SUPERB Posted by Chris on
Wed Nov 26, 20:01 EST 2003

Andy, happened to stumble upon your site after doing a search on via ferrata and what a pleasure it was to. Just to compliment yourself on the quality of the photographs and the quality descriptions. Keep up the excellent work as the closest I will get to climing one is viewing this site (VERTIGO WIMP!)

#25 re: SUPERB Posted by Andrew on
Thu Nov 27, 08:17 EST 2003

Hi, Chris Thanks for the compliments on the web site. And, you never know, if you try one of the easy ferrate you might just get hooked, vertigo and all (a solid steel cable and a well-attached harness can do wonders for your confidence!) ...Andrew

#26 easy and difficult Posted by aruges on
Tue Dec 23, 14:59 EST 2003

hello! I'm french and happy writing you about via ferrata. there are two countries for ferrata :Italy and France.The others(swiss for example) are highest and expensive. In France,some of them can be made all the year:Aussois(Savoie)Grenoble(Isere),etc... We can find very difficult ferrata:Th?? (Savoie)and Crolles and grenoble(second section);also very easy ferrata:Aillon le Jeune (Savoie),St Julien Beauch?(gorges d'Agnielles)... In Italy the more difficult:Sarche (Rino Pisetta) and Mori near lago di Garda (a lake in south dolomites).All the others are less difficult and very beautiful!!!In dolomites the choice is very large:about 200 ferrata if I don't make mistake. Good discover and bye bye !

#27 italy Posted by rob on
Mon Jan 12, 14:12 EST 2004

just found your site and your pics brought back many happy memories of june 2003 in arraba. i climbed two of the ferratas on your index and found the pisciadu path exceelent. i am hoping to go back this year and i am looking forward to having a go at the col rosa. excellent photos!

#28 Help Posted by Juan Carlos on
Mon Jan 19, 12:31 EST 2004

hi, we are trying to get into Via Ferrata, we own some property with a Gorge and i have some technical questions: How far apart are "stops" that hold the cable? should i use the same distance i would use for trad-climbing? How are some ways (cheap and ultra-safe) that i can get the "staples" (steps). and what is the "ingeneer" description on those (as in lenght and how to install them) I would appretiate any help...

#29 ferrata construction Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jan 19, 18:23 EST 2004

Hi there. I personally know nothing about the actual construction techniques, but my observation is that the protection points are usually not more than 10 metres apart, and in some places (tricky sections) they are much closer together (<5m apart). ...Andrew

#30 via Ferrata construction Posted by Juan Carlos on
Tue Jan 20, 11:52 EST 2004

Thanks for your insight, if you have any other info as how to do it or somebody you know we could ask specifics it would be great. Thanks man Juan Carlos

#31 Ferrata Virgin Posted by Ric, Nottingham, UK on
Tue Jan 27, 23:07 EST 2004

Firstly, great site and very helpful. Three of us from England are going to the Dolomites this September to climb some ferrate for the 1st time. Basically a few quick questions; do you need a car to travel from one to another different climbs or is there plenty of public transport? is there plenty of places to camp that are open in Sept? Any other top tips for 1st timers like ourselves? e mail - ricbarberuk@yahoo.co.uk

#32 re: Ferrata Virgin Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jan 28, 07:50 EST 2004

Hi, Ric. I never really looked too closely when I've been in the dolomites, but there may indeed be a regional bus-line. Certainly there are some municipal ones in the larger communities (e.g. Cortina D'Ampezzo). However, for many routes, the starting locations are a bit out of the way down some little track or less-oft-used road, and I don't recall seeing bus stop markers on those. As for camping, yes, you will be able to find that many of them are open. They'll be at the end of their season, too, and won't be very full at all. September is a great time to go - not crowded and [usually] still nice weather. ...Andrew

#33 Vie ferrate/klettersteig Posted by Catherine on
Wed Feb 04, 10:13 EST 2004

Hello, My husband and I want to experience some vie ferrate/klettersteig this summer. We are rock climbers but with little Alpine experience. We are both pretty fit and reasonably strong, but I do get a little spooked by vicious unprotected exposure. Can you recommend a good place to start (not too easy, not too difficult), and any basic tips about what to do and not to do (other than the obvious things like taking the right gear, avoiding thunderstorms), and what are the best times of year? Any help greatly appreciated. Regards Catherine

#34 re:Vie ferrate/kettersteig Posted by Andrew on
Wed Feb 04, 21:34 EST 2004

Hi, Catherine I do know that there are some ferrata that are not completely and thoroughly protected, and I haven't been on those [yet] so I can't comment on them. But on the ones I have been on they have all been fully and thoroughly protected, and I got a very good feeling of security. If you are already used to exposure, then the pisciadu climbing path has plenty of that but is very well protected. Other good ones (but short) are Col Rosa and Pta Fiammes. Actually, now that I think of it, the Masare/Rotwand one is nice too.... I think September is probably the best time of the year to go. Nice weather (usually) and few people. ...Andrew

#35 Vie ferrate Posted by Catherine on
Tue Feb 10, 09:54 EST 2004

Hello, Andrew Thanks for your reply to my last note. Most interesting. As we have not done ferrate before, we are thinking of perhaps having someone guide us the first couple of days or so to make sure we don't have any epics! In the areas you've mentioned, which sound good, would you know how one would locate good guides? (I think we'd not be going much beyond a grade 3 at this stage but would hope to progress...) Kind regards Catherine

#36 re: Vie Ferrate Posted by Andrew on
Tue Feb 10, 23:14 EST 2004

Hi again. I don't personally know of any guides, although I'm sure there are some. in the area. So I unfortunately can't give you any information about that. However, if you are willing to go out on a limb a little bit, and have a little time, try a 'B'-class Ferrata (on the scale given in the Hofler/Werner guide). or even an 'A'-class Ferrata. With these I am pretty sure you'll have no problems (assuming of course that you are a reasonable capable walker). And there is nothing like a little experience under your belt to give you a good sense of what your limits and capabilities are. Hope all goes well for you, ...Andrew

#37 Posted by Simon Bailey on
Fri Feb 20, 06:21 EST 2004

Fantastic site Andrew, and a real boon for us planning our first VF trip this summer. As they say, keep up the good work....!

#38 Posted by Simon - Herts on
Sat Feb 21, 05:53 EST 2004

Andrew, very useful to find your site, my German/Italian is not up to some of the other ones. We too are a couple of newcomers to VF and are not of an age where we fancy getting it wrong on our own. We came across a perfect VF in the Tyrol last summer, going beyond a magnificent waterfall in the wide part of the Otz valley north of Solden. It was enough to temp us but without the right kit, rather frustrating to have to leave it. Should we try to find guides, or are there companies or groups that do basic courses in VF? Where doesn't matter, as long as they are reliable/safe etc. Cheers, Simon.

#39 re:guides Posted by Andrew on
Sat Feb 21, 07:20 EST 2004

Hi there. I personally don't know any guiding services, but my impression is that yes, there are several. The most important thing to have is a proper shock-absorbing safety restraint (e.g. Zyper-Y from Petzl), a harness, and a helmet. And to use them properly, of course, which is not hard at all. ...Andrew

#40 VF First Timers Posted by Andrew - Herts on
Mon Feb 23, 09:32 EST 2004

Hi there, first let me congratulate you on such an excellent site! There are many confusing sites on the web about Via Ferrata however as a beginners guide I've been enjoying the forum. We headed out to Venice and eventually Arabba. We went with Collett's mountain Holidays (www.colletts.co.uk) who operate in Arabba and Pedraces, in the Central Dolomites. Whilst they don't offer guided VF's they do organise two Ferrata's, five days a week (they also organise various grades of walking) and if we wanted to do anything extra (glacier routes etc.) they were happy to organise it for us. We also went canyoning and on Cortina?Taxi-Bob?ich is a bobsled with wheels. In fact their wealth of information was so valuable to us we ended up having the best holiday ever! We have been back to the Dolomites with them for two years running. There are two new guidebooks produced for the Dolomites - which was actually written by two of Collett's staff - VIA FERRATAS OF THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES: VOL 1 and 2 (John Smith & Graham Fletcher) They have updated the grading system to make it less ambiguous and updated all the routes. When we were using the Hoffler/Werner we found many of the descriptions out of date and unusable, the text was a translation of a ten-year-old guide. Camping is certainly possible in the central Dolomites, the Brenta and the South Tyrol - however the costs in Italy can be pretty high. Some campsites are open in September and as Andrew says it certainly a good time to go. Collett?ccommodation was reasonably priced and they were happy to organise everything but our flight. Which we found on with Easy-Jet. We have booked again for this summer and can?ait until June! I must also recommend another website www.trailzone.co.uk. Which has some great info and photos of Via Ferrata. Keep up the good work Andrew, Best regards, Andrew Chandler

#41 Early season? Posted by BillL on
Mon Feb 23, 22:28 EST 2004

Great site! Seems that most trips reported have been in September. Any hints for easier VF trips that might be reasonable 2nd week in June? (I know this is a stretch).

#42 re Bill Posted by Alan - Worcester on
Tue Feb 24, 06:05 EST 2004

Dear Bill, Early June is a great time to go and it's worth the risk of there being a little snow about. We went at the end of May last year (to Pedraces in the Dolomites) and had a subperb time. There was still a fair bit of snow around on the north faces but in 10 days we managed to get out on 6 via ferratas. The weather was warm and sunny. Most of the via ferrata had good access and were not too snowy on the summits, well we didn't need to use an ice axe or crampons! The routes are quiet in June as the main part of the summer season hasn't kicked in yet. However there were plenty of places open and restaurants to eat in. As long as you have a car access to all the ferrata is within an hours drive. We flew to Munich but the drive to the Dolomites was quite long - I think next time we would fly to Venice. We stayed in a self-catering chalet with Colletts - they have a great website - http://www.colletts.co.uk/ - Also the trailzone website detailed above is enough to whet your appetite! regards - Alan

#43 Brenta Posted by Jon Hillary on
Wed Feb 25, 05:40 EST 2004

Does anyone know if it is essential to have an ice axe with you in the brenta? Broschetti (sp?) way?

#44 Posted by Helena Jane - London on
Wed Feb 25, 05:48 EST 2004

Hi ?? reply to Bill My husband and I frst went to the Dolomites two years ago in the last week of June 2002, The weather was great yet not too hot or humid as it is down near Venice. We found the Cicerone guidebook hard to use and not greatly accurate. We started off in the Val Gardena and then headed to Corvara, Both of which are great bases, however they can both get very busy and Corvara was a little manufactured and very clean-cut. We got a lot done but found that we spent a lot of time sorting out what we were doing and where we were going. We went again last year with Colletts and got a lot more done. We stayed in their Chalet Valentin on a half board basis. We then didn?ave to worry about food ??eat breakfasts in the sun and a lovely 3 or 4 course meal in the evening. I would really recommend Colletts. The staff were a lot of fun and made us feel right at home. We also managed to go mountain biking and make use of the cable car system.

#45 re: Brenta Posted by Andrew on
Wed Feb 25, 07:30 EST 2004

Hi, Jon. I've never been to the Brenta, but in any case I imagine the answer to your question (about needing an ice ax) is more dependant on what time of the year you go. If early to mid-season, I'd say yes, and if later in the season or at the end (early in the fall) then no. ...Andrew

#46 Brenta Posted by Jon Hillary on
Thu Feb 26, 04:39 EST 2004

Thanks Andrew, Sorry - how stupid of me! I meant to say in June. I've Just got 'Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites: Vol 2' which covers the Brenta and reccomends that you should take an ice axe as a matter of course all year round. I will be flying to Venice then spending a week in Arabba then I will drive over to the Brenta. Great website by the way! big respect - jon

#47 Advice Posted by Chris on
Fri Feb 27, 09:25 EST 2004

To all, Myself and some friends are going to Cavalese in the Val Di Fiemme area of Italy this summer and are very keen to do some Via Ferrata routes. this will be the first time we have done something on this scale and i was wondering what sort of equipment is required. any information that you can provide will be very much appreciated as well as any good routes you care to recomend. Many Thanks Chris

#48 Wasy Ferrata Posted by Chris on
Sat Feb 28, 12:36 EST 2004

Will be going for the 1st time in Aug /Sept. Thougt of going around Cortina as we want to do a bit more sporty stuff. Are there any easy VFs around this area or are we better trying somewhere else. We wnat to start easy & work our way up.

#49 re: sporty routes Posted by Andrew on
Sat Feb 28, 13:02 EST 2004

Hi there... I hear that the Tofane have some sporty routes, although longer and higher (have not been on them myself). For shorter sporty routes, Col Rosa and Punta Fiammes are nice - but as I said, kind of short. ...Andrew

#50 VF Posted by Fred - London on
Wed Mar 03, 06:53 EST 2004

Hi Chris - get in touch with Collett's (www.colletts.co.uk - I think) their wealth of information in resort is great, we really hit the ground running with them. And their deals were very reasonable. If you really want to start off in Via Ferrata then I think the central Dolomites would be best for you! Cavalese is all well and good but it?lap bang in between the two mountain ranges you want to be in. If you are a beginner then the Brenta may be too hard for you, as Via Ferrata here really means Hut-to Hut! In the central Dolomites most routes are day routes and range in grade from 1A right up to 5C all within a driving time of around an hour if you position yourselves well. This should give you a good range if you are a beginner. See www.trailzone.co.uk. As for sporty routes around Cortina the Strobel on Fiames certainly isn?hort! It is a committing mountain day. The actual climbing on the Col Rosa is short but extremely exposed (if you are not a climber) and again a mountain day. There are sport climbing routes but a little local knowledge is useful in finding them. Get the new Cicerone guidebook VIA FERRATAS OF THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES: VOL 1. Good Luck. Fred.

#51 HIKING WITH INFANT Posted by ARMEN on
Tue Mar 30, 10:05 EST 2004

Andrew, Thank you for the information placed on your website. Amazing site. You should start publishing. I am planning a trip to Italy this September with my wife and 18 month old daughter. Both my wife and I are in good shape and are avid hikers. I have a small amount of climbing experience having climbed Mount St. Helens in Washington, USA. My compass / navigation skills are good. My plan is to do a 3 day hike starting in Cortina d?ezzo and using rifugi for two nights accommodations. We will be flying into Venice and will be taking public transportation to Cortina so a linear path is possible. I would like to do this hike independently with my family as opposed to with a guide or group. A few questions for you. 1. Can you recommend an appropriate path that will provide the most variety and the best scenery? 2. I would like to be as aggressive as possible while keeping in mind that I will have my 18 month old daughter on my back using a child carrier pack (are any of the Via Ferrara routes possible?) Regards, Armen Kulidjian Toronto, Ontario, Canada P.S. Do you live in Toronto (you suggested Europe Bound in Toronto for some equipment), if so, I would like to hookup for a drink to discuss further.

#52 re: HIKING WITH INFANT Posted by Andrew on
Tue Mar 30, 22:12 EST 2004

Hi, Armen Thanks for the compliments on the web site. Sounds like you'll have an amazing trip. You could stick to the A,B, and C-difficulty paths with your baby (and make sure that your baby is very adequately tied in with you and your harness!!). Now, I've been on Ds and Es in the Cortina area, but not easier ones. From my guidebook, though, I can see that a path called the Ivano Dibona High-level Path (level C) looks quite interesting. Also the Lagazuoi galleries is an easy 'A' (although not right at Cortina), and quite interesting (this one I have done). I don't know quite enough about the area to suggest a continuous path that links ferrata, but if you get the Tabacco maps of the Cortina area and look at them closely, you will surely be able to find a path, that includes ferratas, that traverses several huts. (Omni resources in the states sells these topo maps of the dolomites: http://www.omnimap.com/catalog/hiking/tabacco.htm) hope this is of use. ...Andrew

#53 ferrata pictures Posted by Aruges on
Tue Apr 20, 02:46 EDT 2004

Hello! I'm french ferratist.I want to say how I'm very happy to see beautiful pictures in the dolomits: Barbara,Masare,Rotwand ferrate. Thanks for those who take them! Also,map and description are interesting. I like Andrew's site because it give me new and more informations than french site ferrata.Thanks again!!! Bye bye.

#54 Hire of Via Ferrata gear Posted by John on
Wed Apr 28, 04:15 EDT 2004

Hi My new wife and I heading to the Dolomites from Venice while on our honeymoon in mid June. We plan to spend about 4 days on Via Ferratas. We don't really feel like lugging our harnesses and helmets all the way from Australia, then buying two Zyper-Y's when we get there. Is hire gear readily available, and what is the typical daily cost? Also in mid June I am a little concerned about a lot of routes being closed due to snow and ice. Any suggestions from anyone on a good area to concentrate on that would be good at that time of year. We are raw beginners at Via Ferrata but are experienced scramblers and beginner to intermediate level rockclimbers. I was thinking of Cicerone Guides Grades 1 and 2, maybe a Grade 3. My email address is johnhinz@optusnet.com.au. A good website and very handy for someone planning a trip. John

#55 re: Hire of Via Ferrata gear Posted by Andrew on
Wed Apr 28, 23:49 EDT 2004

Well, I have heard of hiring gear, but I don't know the specifics. I'd think a larger center (e.g. Cortina) would have such a thing in their climbing shops, but don't quote me on that. As for snow and ice early in the year, you could just focus on the lower routes. Just pick something lower than 2000m (the Cicerone guide has a few) and then while doing those, you will probably get an idea of how the higher terrain is looking, snow-wise.

#56 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Thu Apr 29, 14:40 EDT 2004

from Aruges to John: hello! effectivly there are very few shops in Dolomits for hiring gear about via ferrata,because Italians guides want to work with tourists.A via ferrata with guide cost about 40 or 50 euros /person according the difficulty of the via. But you have a chance for hiring gear in Canazei.I visited a shop where there is all material for via or climbing. In Cortina I didn't discovered anyone! Many ferratas are open all the year whatever the weather or the season,and not very difficult;for example:Lagazuoi tunnel (passo falzarego)near Cortina; torre di Toblin (tre cime di Lavaredo)near Misurina;sentiero Innerkofler(tre cime Lavaredo);brigata tridentina (passo Gardena) near Colfosco,and so on ... Good trip in june !

#57 how do you do Posted by Jerry Bigball on
Sat May 08, 05:43 EDT 2004

Hi! no news,good news!that's what French say. Nobody with ideas or photos on this site? it's really sad! perhaps bad weather is the reason? A question to make some discussion:are there in Great Britain ferratas ? Thanks for your answer. Jerry.

#58 Current Snow Conditions Posted by BillL on
Mon May 17, 20:39 EDT 2004

Can anyone supply current snow-pack conditions? We're headed out next weekend for only a couple of days in the mountians and would like to plan accordingly... Big snow year, cold spring...so keep below 2000m and south face only? Lean snow yeay, early melt off...High north faces OK??? Who's been out this year?

#59 Posted by Mucco on
Tue Jun 01, 14:39 EDT 2004

Hi Andrew, Nice site! We're thinking of doing Ferrata Brigita Tridentina in a couple of weeks (12th June). I'm just wondering what time of year you did it, and if there was much snow around. Don't want to have to lug crampons and axes all the way up the hill. Thanks, Mucco

#60 Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jun 02, 19:09 EDT 2004

Hi there, and thanks. I've only been in the dolomites in the September / October timeframe. In this particular case, there's little to no old snowpack left, although there is always the chance of a bit of fresh new snow if you are unlucky. If the weather has been recently nice when you go, you probably can omit the crampons and ice ax.

#61 Brigata tridentina Posted by Aruges on
Thu Jun 03, 14:52 EDT 2004

Hello Mucco! You can do ferrata Brigata tridentina in July watehever the weather. If unfortunatly snow will be present, it will not be a problem for climbing,it will be present on the top and descent.In that case an ice axe and good shoes are the only things to have with ourselve. good ferrata!

#62 Via Ferrata beta Posted by Jeff Sands on
Fri Jun 04, 17:42 EDT 2004

Andrew, Wow, great site. I have multiple Dolomite and via ferrata books and have found some great sites but am a bit overwhelmed by options at the moment. Here's our deal; my wife (ex-climber) and I will be in Rome with our infant in Oct. We're going to head up to the Dolomites for a few days for me to get some climbing in. What I'm looking for is easy access to good mid-level climbing (via ferrata). She's looking for a comfortable refugio or inn to relax in while I'm running about the hills. Any suggestions on a location? Everytime I go on line or open books I get overwhelmed with options. Thanks a ton, Jeff jeff "at" tolandnet.com

#63 mid-level ferrata Posted by Andrew on
Fri Jun 04, 22:21 EDT 2004

Hi, Jeff Well, I can only comment on the climbs I've already done. Anything on my web site that is 'C', 'D', or 'E' rated I've found to be mid-range (although that is subjective). The rifugio up on top of the Pisciadu climbing path is quite nice, based on my visit.

#64 Brigata Tridentina Posted by Mucco on
Sat Jun 05, 11:16 EDT 2004

Thanks for the advice, I think I'll bring an axe. M

#65 Jeff,Dolomits, october Posted by Aruges on
Sat Jun 05, 16:39 EDT 2004

Hello Jeff! October is a difficult month looking for opened refuges! Here are middle difficult ferratas: -F.Oscar Schuster;Sasso Lungo moutain;San Cristina city, rifugio Passo Sella (near the road). - F.torre Toblin; Tre Cime Lavaredo moutain,Cortina city,rifugio Auronzo(paying road). - F. Innerkofler; same adress than upon. - F. Lagazuoi (tunnel climbing or descending as you like),rifugio Lagazuoi(near the road),few km from Cortina. Good ferratas!

#66 Stay high for 4 days? Posted by Dan on
Thu Jun 10, 13:47 EDT 2004

Hi Andrew, First congratulations on a great site, very informative. I wounder if you can help. At the end of June we have a four day trip to Dolomites to do some VF. If possible we would like to to a 4 day ciruit back to the starting point(car). We want to stay high and camp/hut over night without desending to low. Can you suggest any areas that would fit the bill? Any advice on camping? Should we take ice axe and crapons? Grateful for your help. Dan

#67 Stay high for 4 days? Posted by Dan on
Thu Jun 10, 13:48 EDT 2004

Hi Andrew, First congratulations on a great site, very informative. I wounder if you can help. At the end of June we have a four day trip to Dolomites to do some VF. If possible we would like to to a 4 day ciruit back to the starting point(car). We want to stay high and camp/hut over night without desending to low. Can you suggest any areas that would fit the bill? Any advice on camping? Should we take ice axe and crapons? Grateful for your help. Dan

#68 Stay high for 4 days Posted by Johnny Boy on
Thu Jun 10, 16:50 EDT 2004

Dan, I am currently planning a 3 day "Get up, stay high" via ferrata trip to the Brenta group which is ideal for this kind of thing. You can easily extend the hut to hut trip to four or five days to do all the ferrata in this region (there are about 6 in the Brenta, a few of which are highly recommended). Some of the ferrata cross hanging glaciers so its bast to take ice axe and crampons. I have been to the Dollys a couple of times in late June / early July and found the weather to be pretty variable - snow at altitude one day then then hot sun the next. If you fancy the Brenta then a quick way up is on the Groste Cableway from Madonna di Campiglio. Enjoy! Andrew, top site. Good man!

#69 dolomits-collapse Posted by Aruges on
Tue Jun 22, 15:49 EDT 2004

Hello! does anybody knows what moutain collapse in dolomits on May end or June beginning ? This information given by Channel NEWS on T.V.was so fast that I couldn't understand anything ! It seemed it was a famous site. I did looking for on Italians newspaper on the web but I discovered nothing. I think it's not a hoax! Thanks.

#70 Via Ferrata in "Marche" Posted by charly on
Thu Jun 24, 17:13 EDT 2004

Hi there, I know that the Dolomites is THE place for Via ferrata but I'm actually in the region of Marche and I heard there where Via ferrata routes in the Gran Sasso park... I'm just asking in case someone knows what I'm talking about.. Information would be really appreciated Thanks ! Climb high :)

#71 Advice Needed! Posted by Cath on
Mon Jun 28, 18:57 EDT 2004

A friend and I are heading to the Dolomites in August. We will be flying in from London but at the moment I am overwhelmed with all the information and don't know where to start. Can anyone tell me 1.) where to fly into in the area? Cortina? Or another location 2.) Which area should we base ourselves out of if we just want to do small day trips and spend some time in local villages? 3.) Is a car necessary? 4.) Can we hire the gear there, if not what should be bring with us? Sorry for the ignorant questions, but there is TOO much to process. Any responses either on here or to my email would be greatly appreciated as I don't know where to start. Many thanks c_neidhardt@hotmail.com

#72 Cathy dolomits choice Posted by Aruges on
Tue Jun 29, 16:00 EDT 2004

Hello Cath, I'll try to answer at your questions if I've right understood ! 1?hat fly? is it an airport you are looking for? There are airports near Venezia :Mestre (few miles to Venezia);Treviso (north Mestre),Verona (south Garda lake). But you must rent a car for visiting dolomits! 2?ch area basing? :Riva del garda (west dolomits),campsites,beautiful lake, the greatest. Ortisei (tyrol houses,sculpted wood,funicular). Canazei (tyrol houses,funicular). Cortina. 3?r necessary of course!!!! 4?'s better to have your own climbing harness because rare sport shops hiring. Other advices:moutain shoes,pull over,impermeable cloth,helmet. I don't know if my answer is comprehensible ?

#73 For Jeff Sands Posted by Eugen on
Wed Jun 30, 15:53 EDT 2004

Hi Jeff, You might want to try he "Angelo Dibona" refuge. It is open year round, it is relatively low in the Tofana Massif (at the foot of the Tofana di Rozes) very close to Cortina and with auto access. They offer excellent meals and comfortable accomodations although keep in mind this is just a refuge. In Tofana you have the Lipella VF which is an excellent, very long via ferrata although not very difficult (in bad weather you may have orientation difficulties since not all VF is protected). Then there is VF Olivieri-Tofana di Mezzo with a very airy passage, also long. By car you can reach easily Passo Falzarego, take the tram to Lagazuoi and go after VF Tomaselli which, IMO, is an excellent VF, not very long but very exposed and well protected. In Cortina you have the Strobel and Col Rosa VF close to the town and nice but not very demanding. On the Monte Cristallo there are VF Marinelli, short but with great views, and Sentiero Attrezzato Ivano Dibona, long but easy with great sightseeing. Regards, Eugen

#74 Weather in October Posted by Chris on
Tue Jul 27, 12:18 EDT 2004

Hello, Myself and a few friends are heading out to do some ferratas and a bit of climbing at the end of September/beginning of October. By the sounds of it the weather may either be nice and summery, or cold and wintery. We won't have crampons or ice axes with us, and I was wondering how restricted we'll be if it's cold and wintery? We're planning to go to the Arabba/Corvara/Cortina area (haven't sorted out accomodation yet. We'll have a car, so will be able to move around, I was just wanting to check that there will be stuff that isn't iced up, that we'll be able to do. Cheers, Chris BTW. Great website - really useful stuff, and nice pictures too. Makes me look forward to my hols!

#75 Via ferrata Tridentina Posted by Don on
Wed Jul 28, 13:44 EDT 2004

Hi, I am going for a motorbike holiday in the dolomites in beg of sept and would like to take part in a Via Ferrate - i have contacted by mail some guides and Alpine guide Cantores has suggested the Tridentina - after seeing some of Andrews pics i am a bit apprehensive as i have never done any climbing so this will be my first try - what level of fitness do you have to be and do you need any particular experience for this ferrata - any information would be appreciated Regards from Malta

#76 pictures Posted by CEsplin@mac.com on
Tue Aug 10, 21:20 EDT 2004

Andrew, Love your site. I climbed Col Rosa last month and would love and 8X10 picture. Could you tell me how to get a copy. I would be glad to buy a copy for framing. Cordell CEsplin@mac.com

#77 Via Ferrata in May/June Posted by Lance Taysom on
Thu Aug 12, 09:43 EDT 2004

To Andrew & all, We are planning a trip in later May and early June. Can you recomend any Via Ferrata routes that may be snow free that time of year? Are there huts in that area? Do we need to reserve space in them? Thanks, Lance Lancedtaysom@juno.com

#78 Dolomits collapse Posted by Aruges on
Mon Aug 23, 15:31 EDT 2004

I got the answer for my own question , tue jun 22,on Andrew'site: It was Trephor tower (one of the five towers,cinque torri,a very known climbing site,near Cortina ),which collapsed on april 2004. I was in dolomits in august and saw the rocks of the fallen tower.

#79 Weekend Away Posted by Michael McCourt on
Mon Aug 23, 18:45 EDT 2004

Andrew, Cracking site. I might be optimistic, but I'm looking for a route in the Dolomites accessible in a weekend. I'd like to take my fiance, who is learning to climb but has excellent balance and a good head for heights, and tackle a route that is challenging without being over the top. Perhaps a 'c'. Can you recommend an area where we could get to a route quite quickly and easily from a roadhead - we can fly/drive to most mountain areas without much drama. Thanks, Michael (mick_mccourt@hotmail.com)

#80 re: Weekend Away Posted by Andrew on
Tue Aug 24, 08:01 EDT 2004

Hi there, Michael. Well, I can only speak for the routes I've done, so, I'd have to say that the Punta Fiammes is likely your best bet, or maybe the Col Rosa ferrata. Both short and readily accessible not far from the road just north of Cortina D'Ampezzo. I know, they are rated 'D' and 'E', but really, I don't think they are all that bad. They are steep in places, but if you have a good head for heights, you will manage fine. They are well protected in all places where they need to be. ...Andrew

#81 Thanks Posted by Dougie on
Fri Apr 08, 18:14 EDT 2005

Andrew,
My wife and I are going to the region in late August, early September. Thank goodness I stumbled across your site! If there was one town/village you would recommend for a week's medium-level hike - circular or linear - could you give us an additional handout, please? When are you going to publish that book or incorporate your site into a guide book like Lonely Planet or The Rough Guide, neither of which have much information on the area?
Cheers again,
Dougie

#82 Posted by Andrew on
Sun Apr 10, 14:16 EDT 2005

Hi, Dougie.

I haven't done any long multi-day ferrata outings myself. The most well-known one that comes to mind is the bochette ferrata in the Brenta section of the dolomites (which I've never been to).

Regarding the book, I used an existing guide book, which is quite good called 'via ferrata, scrambles in the dolomites', written by hoefler/werner. I hear there is a new version out, and I hear it is good. I think that would be your best bet for a guidebook.

I too am thinking of returning and trying out some new ferrata this year in late summer. Maybe we'll bump into each other!

...Andrew

#83 via-ferrata.de Posted by Ricardo on
Mon Apr 11, 18:47 EDT 2005

All about via ferrata you??find on
http://www.via-ferrata.de

kind regards, Ricardo

#84 Brenta Posted by Steve on
Thu Apr 14, 12:54 EDT 2005

Hi Andrew, Congrats on a great sight - shame that I only discovered it now rather than a year ago prior to first visit! Going back for more at end July 05 and plan to include trip to the Brenta region for 3 or 4 days. Anyone got recommendations/advice on Riffugios and routes in this area (I think that 4C is my "glass ceiling").

Best Regards,
Steve

#85 re: Brenta Posted by Andrew on
Thu Apr 14, 12:56 EDT 2005

Hi, Steve

Glad you like the site. I've never been to the Brenta region (not yet, in any case!), so I can't comment on the rifugios any more than what's in the various guidebooks. I'm hoping to do a bit of ferrata-ing in the summer, maybe I'll visit that area then.

#86 Tourist ambitions - refuge hopping Posted by Pat on
Fri Apr 22, 09:49 EDT 2005

Andrew

Interesting site, hope you can help. Appologies in advance - I'm hoping to draw on your knowledge of the area from the lay tourist perspective. At the beginning of June, my husband and I are hoping to ride the cable to Lagazuoi (I understand it's not open on the 4th to sleep) for the afternoon view and catch the last ride down (I think 5pm).

My question is: is it feasable to be able to drive then to Rifugio Auronzo, park, and then comfortably walk to Rifugio Lavaredo to stay the night, all before sunset (or at least early evening weather permitting)??

Many thanks,
Pat

#87 Shock Absorber Rental Posted by David Costa on
Sun Apr 24, 09:11 EDT 2005

Great Job! This is by far the best web site about Via Ferrate that I have found.

Are there many outfitters/rental places near the various VF, for I would rather rent a shock absorber than shell out the money for someting that I will probably use only once or twice?

I will be there in late May/early June, and that might affect whether or not these places (if any) are even open.

Lastly, is this something that you wouldn't reccommend renting for safety reasons?

OK, I lied...One more thing. At this time of year, do you think crampons and ice axes are a must? I gather that this is trail dependent, so let's assume we are speaking about a typical C or D- if that helps.

Thanks so much in advance.

David

#88 answers to questions Posted by Andrew on
Mon Apr 25, 11:46 EDT 2005

Hi there. To answer the last two posts....

1) I haven't been to the abovementioned rifugios, so unfortunately I don't have the answer to that question. Perhaps someone else reading this forum?

2) I _think_ that some sports shops carry them for rental. At least that's my vague recollection. I'd do a good inspection of them, of course. And in late May / early June I'd definitely go for crampons and ice axes. I bet there will be (in places) lots of snow and ice.

#89 RE: First Time Visit Posted by joebobhugh on
Tue May 03, 13:26 EDT 2005

Dear Andrew:

First Great Site! - but need help as I will be visiting Cortina D'Ampesso for a week and I am staying at the Faloria. This is my first trip to this area and I am interested in some climbs. Although I have problems with heights - that problem will go away if I can be hooked in (I have the fear I will jump not fall!). I have done ladders and some minor hand climbing. I will be hiking alone and am only interested in day trips of 4-8 duration.

#90 RE: First Time Visit Posted by joebobhugh on
Tue May 03, 13:28 EDT 2005

Dear Andrew:

First Great Site! - but need help as I will be visiting Cortina D'Ampesso for a week and I am staying at the Faloria. This is my first trip to this area and I am interested in some climbs. Although I have problems with heights - that problem will go away if I can be hooked in (I have the fear I will jump not fall!). I have done ladders and some minor hand climbing. I will be hiking alone and am only interested in day trips of 4-8 duration. And will I need the gear mentioned in the other posts, etc. (I do not mind buying and bringing). Or do you recommend that I get a guide and if so - suggestions and approximate costs.

May I thank you in advance for helping me get a foothold on this.

Joe Bob Hugh



#91 intro ferrating Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 03, 16:06 EDT 2005

Hi there.

Well, you'll definitely want a harness and a ferrata belay device if you have a tendency to jump! As far as the rest of it goes - definitely a helme. The ice ax and crampons are probably only necessary early in the year and/or on especially high routes or known-to-be-snowy routes (e.g. marmolada, etc).

Also I'd stick with routes that have no exposed gaps in the protection. some do. Whether or not this is the case is covered in most guidebooks.

#92 Thanks Posted by Joe Bob Hugh on
Thu May 05, 00:04 EDT 2005

thanks.

Joe Bob- As I find out info I will post.

#93 waht about kids Posted by victoria oxford on
Thu May 05, 16:02 EDT 2005

please can anyone advise whether VF are suitable for children aged 10 and 12 very fit and energetic and sensible. if so which ones would you suggest?

#94 suggestions for kids Posted by Andrew on
Wed May 11, 19:43 EDT 2005

My suggestion for kids:

-make sure they use all the proper safety equipment
-start off with an 'A' or '1' ferrata (depending on which guidebook's difficulty rating you are using) e.g. Grosse Tschierspitze or something like that
-progress up from there depending on how your kids react. Choose ferrate that have continuous wire protection for exposed bits if you want to avoid unprotected scrambling.

#95 regole della via Posted by patrick on
Tue May 17, 12:28 EDT 2005

great site. i have only recently even heard of via ferrata (hence, this question): are the routes 'one way'?

in other words, are some people going in one direction while others are going another? many of the routes you document appear to be loops and i was just curious if you encounter people travelling in the opposite direction that you are (or is that verboten?).

thanks and great job on this site...

patrick

#96 re: one way Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 17, 22:03 EDT 2005

Hi there

No, routes are not specifically one way, from what I can tell. Typically they are done going 'up' (if it is a route that is not a traverse, that is). However, there is no rule about going 'down' a ferrata.

...Andrew

#97 Digital Maps Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Sun May 22, 16:58 EDT 2005

Hi Andrew,

It's been a long time since my last post (2003). Have you been in the Dolomites since then?
Last year we went to the Brenta. A real wonderful mountain group.
We are going back (over 3 weeks) to the Dolomites for the 5th time. We will stay in Vigo di Fassa (2d time) for 3 weeks.
I have one question. Do you know where I can get digital maps of the regions: Rosengarten, Latemar, Sella, Sassolungo, Marmolada.
I'm looking for topo map at 1:25000.
Any ideas???

Thx,
Bernard

#98 Maps Posted by Andrew on
Sun May 22, 20:58 EDT 2005

Hi there.

Good to hear that you are returning to the Dolomites. So am I, actually - I plan to be there in mid-July.

As for digital topo maps... I wish I knew! I wouldn't mind having some myself. The best I can suggest is to get the tabaccao maps and scan them in!

...Andrew

#99 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Sun May 22, 22:57 EDT 2005

Andrew,

Where are you going this time?
I already started to scan some portions of the Tabacco maps 1:25000. But that's a tedious job. I use Oziexplorer to plan my trips and visualize the tracks.

Bernard

#100 via-ferrata.de Posted by via-ferrata on
Mon May 23, 12:09 EDT 2005

lots of information about vie ferrate I have found occasionally on

http://www.via-ferrata.de

#101 Ferrata expedition Posted by Kev Moore on
Tue May 31, 14:34 EDT 2005

Hi
Taking a trip for 8 of us to do some ferrata in Corvarra then the Brenta. However will need to hire 6 lanyards/helmets/harnesses from a central shop - Riva,Rovereto or Trento would be ideal places unless Verona has a shop (we're flying there) Would be very grateful for a contact

#102 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Fri Jun 03, 16:36 EDT 2005

Hi Kev,

For Corvara, I don't know if you can hire gears, but in Canazei (at the foot of the Sella group), I know there're a few real good specialized shops.
In Trento you've got Sportler (Mountain gears, 3th floor).
Also in Trento, the headquarter of the SAT (Societ?egli Alpinisti Tridentini), maybe they can help you further:

Societ?egli Alpinisti Tridentini
via Manci, 57 - 38100 Trento (Italia)
tel. 0461 981871
fax. 0461 986462
Opening hours: from monday to friday: 8 - 12am and 15 - 19pm
http://www.sat.tn.it/Home/


Good luck,
Bernard

#103 chances of space at bivacchi Posted by Andrew on
Fri Jun 03, 23:50 EDT 2005

Hi all...

Anyone know what the likelihood of free spots at the various bivacchi is in July? I'm trying to get an idea of how much they are used and when.
When I last visited in the fall, they seemed always empty. But maybe it is different in the summer.

...Andrew

#104 Aug Dolomites Posted by Lynn on
Tue Jun 07, 14:01 EDT 2005

Hi there,

Looking for people who want to share a trip to Corvara/Arabba area for cheap week of via ferratas 13/20th Aug,if interested please email me on Lynn@advs.fsnet.co.uk

#105 Aug Dolomites Posted by Lynn on
Tue Jun 07, 14:06 EDT 2005

Hi there,

Looking for people who want to share a trip to Corvara/Arabba area for cheap week of via ferratas 13/20th Aug, spent 4 months in 2004 exploring Dolomites, ascending many routes from moderate to the most technically demanding grades. If interested please email me on Lynn@advs.fsnet.co.uk

#106 Hiring gear Posted by Robbie on
Thu Jun 16, 04:55 EDT 2005

Hi Andrew, nice site though I have one or two comments. One correspondent asked about hiring gear in Corvarra. This is easily done -Sport Kostner in the main street are always helpful. If they run out of hire gear then there's another climbing shop in Arraba a few miles away at the other end of Passo Compolnga however when hiring the shock absobtion devices it's important to know which kind it is.

You're right when you say that with the "Zyper" type both carabiners are attached to the cable however with the older (and still very common)lanyard only one caribiner is attached to the cable; the other one is clipped out of the way, usually to the harness, - you only have two carabiners on at the same time when clipping from one stretch of cable to another otherwise the KISA cannot work. John Smith and Graham fletcher give a clear account of "how to" in VIA FERRATAS of the ITALIAN DOLOMITES - which is itself a worthwhile investment.

Also one correspondent was thinking about carrying a small child and one recommendation was the Ivan Dibano climbing path - this is a great route which features the longest suspension bridge in the Dolomites (it features in CLIFFHANGER) and, while not technically difficult, the top is frequently iced up as it starts at the top of the Monte Cristallo ridge so care would have to be taken. Falling with a small chld on your back would be similar to having a big sac on -recovery is difficult! Anyway, good luck

#107 Via ferrata in the Pyrenees Posted by Michel on
Tue Jun 28, 15:05 EDT 2005

Hello Andrew,
Compliments for this great site, impressive pictures.
Do you know where i can find info's on VF in the Pyrenees?
Thanks
Michel

#108 re: Pyrenees Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jun 28, 16:24 EDT 2005

Hi there.

Unfortunately, I don't personally know anything about vie ferrate in the pyrenees, but perhaps someone else reading this forum can comment.

...Andrew

#109 Gear Posted by Sheila Sharp on
Tue Jul 12, 04:52 EDT 2005

Hi Andrew
Wondering if you can give me some information please. My Partner and I are heading out to Cortina at the end of this month to camp and do some via ferrata. Are there any climbing shops in Cortina that hire out the gear - full body harness and belay system. Many thanks. Sheila.

#110 italian ferratas in Aoste valley Posted by Aruges on
Sun Jul 17, 16:17 EDT 2005

Hello everybody !
In N.-W. moutains alps there are ironways in beautifuls countries around Aoste main valley, near switzerland and french frontiers.
In Gressoney valley : ferrata Angster level: D ; and ferrata delle guide, level F.
In Valtournenche valley, ferrata del Gorbeillon, level: D.
They are near the same name villages , about 10-15 mn approach, 1 to 2 hours climbing, 15 to 30 mn for coming back, and 1600 to 1800 m top altitud.
Good climbing !

#111 Punta Penia Descent Posted by Spready on
Tue Jul 19, 07:57 EDT 2005

Hi there,

Just a helpful note:
After just returning from yet another week doing the VF's in the Dolomites - the good news is that the normal descent route from the Summit of Punta Penia down to the Marmolada Glacier is now cabled.
They were finishing it off on Friday 15th July - As we were descending it!

This now avoids the airy unprotected downclimb and abseil.

You will still need a length of rope for the Glacier descent as it is very broken and has some big cravasses!

#112 Torino/Turin Posted by John@art2zen.co.uk on
Sun Jul 24, 16:40 EDT 2005

Anybody know of the nearest VF to Torino please?
I'll be staying there in mid September and don't have long to climb but wonder if there are any VFs in the western edge of the Dolomites.
All information greatfully received.

#113 V.F. nearest Torino Posted by Aruges on
Thu Jul 28, 16:04 EDT 2005

hello!
effectively there are many vias ferratas near Torino:
-in the north-west corner Alps ,Aosta valley:
1 Gressoney st jean ferrata Jos?ngster
2 Gressoney la trinit?errata delle guide
3 Valtournenche ferrata gorbeillon
4 santuario Oropa (monastery) ferrata del limbo and ferrata of monte Mars.
5 Valgrisenche ,Morgex, ferrata Hans Marguerretaz.
Also others in the Aosta valley south: Susa valley near highway.
If you want more informations about them tell me.

#114 Hearty Thanks... Posted by Megs on
Thu Aug 04, 13:25 EDT 2005

...for making a lovely forum so that people like me don't panic when alll they can find is the translated VF route book that you used. From your website I have found the Cicerone Guides (excellent details, but need to buy the maps as well to boost up the mapping), and have reassured myself about kit and the timing of our trip. So now we are looking forward to two weeks in the dolomites in early September for virgin VF-ing around the Brenta, and then further north to find something else to climb.

I have a few niggles

Kit hire. I agree that buying something fundamentally important ensures that you know the kind of wear and tear that the piece has been subjected to, but to buy for only a few days climbing?? Hmm has anyone any further thoughts on this, and also whether people know if there are any kit shops in or near Madonna.

A la ped.
Given all sorts of mad ideas and ideals we are trying to do the area without resorting to hiring a car. I am satisfied that there is a great bus system around the Brenta, but I am less sure about campsites and hostels as the area is very much geared to skiing. We will also need to find somewhere to stash some gear whilst spending a few days up in the mountains.
Again, any suggestions will be gratefully recieved.

Thanks for the inspiration Andrew, and to all the other people that regularly answer these questions. Boo to organised tours and a big HURRAH to going it alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#115 answer to Megs Posted by Aruges on
Sat Aug 06, 02:20 EDT 2005

Hello Megs!
good idea hiring climbing gear, but do you think it's less expensive buying it,as you will climb some days?
In Sarche town there's a sportshop; in Madonna, probably, as it's greater than Sarche.
Along the road to Brenta moutain base, there are many campsites:from south to north : Dare, Mortaso, Pinsolo ,san Antonio di Mavignola,but nothing in Madonna.
In that campsites you can leave your own material in the office without problems.
Good trip for september!


#116 Austria Posted by Matt on
Thu Aug 18, 05:56 EDT 2005

Hi Andrew,

Great site with some great discussions going on. I was wondering if there is any info out there on VF in Austria ? I know you have had this question before (a few years ago) but I thought something in English may now be available.

Many thanks,

Matt

#117 VF in Austria Posted by Andrew on
Thu Aug 18, 07:52 EDT 2005

Hi Matt.

No, haven't heard of anything more, myself.

...Andrew

#118 austria- dolomiten Posted by Aruges on
Sun Aug 21, 08:21 EDT 2005

hi Matt,
for ironways in Austria click on:
Gallery Kletterstig
Klettersteig:Dachstein-Sudwand

A News in dolomits: last wednesday there was a collapse on Tofana di rozes , upon the beginning of via ferrata Lipella.I heard the news on radio because i was in the Brenta.

#119 June-July 2006 Posted by Gary on
Sun Oct 09, 04:59 EDT 2005

Andrew
Congratulations first on your great site.

I am planning a three week trip to the Dolomites VF mid June to first week July 2006. Solo at this stage.
I have considerable rock climbing experience but most partners in Aus at present are busy with younger families.
I am interested in perhaps contacting anyone through your forum that may be interested in partnering up for some routes.
I will have car (rental) and will likely mix accomodation between huts, self cater, hotel, camp.

#120 June-July 2006 Posted by Gary on
Sun Oct 09, 07:15 EDT 2005

Andrew
Congratulations first on your great site.

I am planning a three week trip to the Dolomites VF mid June to first week July 2006. Solo at this stage.
I have considerable rock climbing experience but most partners in Aus at present are busy with younger families.
I am interested in perhaps contacting anyone through your forum that may be interested in partnering up for some routes.
I will have car (rental) and will likely mix accomodation between huts, self cater, hotel, camp.

#122 Via Ferrata in New Zealand Posted by Mary Todd on
Mon Nov 21, 21:28 EST 2005

Hi Everyone,
If you are visiting Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand, come and check out The Rungway, the Southern Hemisphere's first and only Via Ferrata. Check us out on: www.rungway.co.nz
Thanks

#121 test Posted by Andrew on
Mon Nov 21, 21:33 EST 2005

test

#123 New Zealand Posted by Aruges on
Tue Nov 22, 16:10 EST 2005

Hi Andrew, thanks for your site!
Thanks also Mary! I didn't thought it would be a ferrata in New Zealand.It's far from Europe but it's interesting learnt the ferrata's developement in the world.

#124 Via Ferrata in USA (Utah) Posted by John Dilworth on
Wed Nov 30, 19:57 EST 2005

I found your site on google, and decided to drop a note about a new Via Ferrata that is currently under construction in the USA (3 routes are open). The routes are right outside the city of Ogden, Utah and offer spectacular views of the Wasatch Mountains, including a spectacular view of a 350ft waterfall.

There's some basic information and some photos from my trip on my website: ogdenhub.com

If you make it to Utah to explore the National Parks or even for skiing, (they plan to keep the routes open all winter), this could be something fun to do for a day. (the routes are about 30miles from the Salt Lake City Airport.)



-john dilworth

#125 Via Ferrata in USA (Utah) Posted by John Dilworth on
Wed Nov 30, 19:59 EST 2005
#126 ironways dolomits classification Posted by Aruges on
Fri Dec 09, 14:59 EST 2005

Hi Andrew and everybody,
this is the TOPTEN VIAFERRATA 2006 in Dolomits given by italian ferratists :
NAME GRADE
1 Bocchete Centrali E
2 Rino Pisetta G
3 Gamma al Dente del Resegone ?
4 Mori Albano mount G
5 Pertini ?
6 Costantini G
7 Cengia Gabriella ,
sentiero degli Alpini ?
8 Lissone al corno di Graveo ?
9 Punta Anna F
10 Torre Toblin D

Happy CHRISTMAS !

#127 questions Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Wed Dec 28, 10:47 EST 2005

Hello Message Board,

I am new to Via Ferrata and the concept of this sort of tour. I have a background in mountaineering and am a formal guide. I would like to ask about the environmental impact of these types of courses. It has been my experience that rock climbing has gone away from putting fixed placements. This seems to be putting even more in the environment. Is this being done on private land? Is there some sort of inspection critera so the lines don't degrade?

I'm full of questions and perhaps there is another website I could be directed towards to receive more information?

Cheers,
Steve G
USA

#128 questions Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Wed Dec 28, 11:31 EST 2005

Hello Message Board,

I am new to Via Ferrata and the concept of this sort of tour. I have a background in mountaineering and am a formal guide. I would like to ask about the environmental impact of these types of courses. It has been my experience that rock climbing has gone away from putting fixed placements. This seems to be putting even more in the environment. Is this being done on private land? Is there some sort of inspection critera so the lines don't degrade?

I'm full of questions and perhaps there is another website I could be directed towards to receive more information?

Cheers,
Steve G
USA

#129 re:questions Posted by Andrew on
Thu Dec 29, 14:39 EST 2005

Hi there

Interesting post. Let me give my take on what you wrote:

1) you mention ferratas as a 'tour'. Not sure what you mean by that.
Vie Ferrate are climbing routes with fixed protection and fixed wire ropes. Do you mean 'tour' in the sense of a guide? Do you mean 'tour' in the sense of visiting them?

2) Environmental impact. Well, having some metal wires and metal rebar drilled into solid rock is going to affect the immediate rock and terrain around them, in the sense that there is a hole in the rock, there is a bit of abrasion on some rock surfaces, and, of course, the effects of human traffic. Generally speaking, these routes don't go through vegetated areas, so there isn't much impact in that sense.

3) While it is true that many places in the world have gone away from fixed protection, the whole concept of the via ferrata in Italy and in the alps in general has a historical aspect to it, and also the fact that in Europe, wilderness areas are often viewed in a different light. 'Signs of man' in the wilderness are not as much of a problem there. People are generally ok with having these paths around. This is all being done on public land, in parks both national and regional. I don't know what the rules are for new routes, but new ones don't seem to go up that often. Also, there are many peaks in the dolomites that have no ferrate leading to the top of them.

4) I don't know about inspection criteria; lines do degrade, and through guidebooks and word-of-mouth, the current state seems to get around. People seem more willing to take personal responsibility when starting up one of these routes, rather than assuming that someone has done bulletproof testing.

I think one of the principle differences is that there seems to be a less litigious, less blame-someone-else type mentality. I personally could never see an Italian-style ferrata ever being possible in the US (and probably Canada too), given the problems with regulations and the danger of being sued. Those don't seem to be problems with the Vie Ferrate in Italy.

There are actually a couple of vie ferrate in the us and canada; however, they are so, so differnt in execution from the ones in the Italian Dolomites. They are on private land, for one. Two, they are extremely regulated, requiring a fee, signing of waivers, etc etc etc. One of them is in Kentucky - a placed called 'torrent falls' (here's the site: http://www.torrentfalls.com/viaferrata/index.asp). It is a good example of the only way such a route can exist in N.A.

While I treasure the more 'pristine' wilderness areas in North America, I, for one, am glad that I can go somewhere and try these ferrate, and I hope that the restrictions that would prevent these routes from being established virtually anywhere in north america never make their way to Italy.

Hope this answers your questions.

...Andrew

#130 Dolomites in early May? Posted by Brendan on
Tue Jan 03, 12:55 EST 2006

This is a great site and forum, I was excited to find so much good information in English, not to mention awesome pictures.

I'm planning on spending a week or so in the Dolomites in early May (say around the 7th-14th) this year. I'm an experienced rock and ice climber, and I'd love to get a little exposure while I'm out there -- via ferrata looks like the way to go. I have a few questions about going that time of year, though:

Will there be in trouble with roads being closed or otherwise accessing trailheads? My understanding is that the via ferrata never officially close ?? that correct? Assuming I bring an ice axe and crampons, should there be a fair selection of routes to choose from? What are the best bets?

I?uessing snow conditions vary a fair bit from year to year, does anyone know how to get information on current snow conditions: website, email, phone, snail mail, anything.

Thanks for your help,

Brendan

#131 conditions in May Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jan 03, 13:16 EST 2006

Hi there.

You are correct - ferrata are never 'closed'. It is up to the judgement of the climber as to what is reasonable or not.

Now, in May, the higher routes are likely to be either iced up or snowed-in, meaning you may have a hard time clipping in to certain segments of protection. This could be no big deal or a very big deal depending on the situation.

Regarding roads, I imagine that most of the main roads will be open - not sure about little access roads, though.

...Andrew

#132 Vie Ferrate in May Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Wed Jan 04, 11:42 EST 2006

Hello Andrew
This is my first post, although I've kept an eye on your site for some time. I'm prompted to write having seen Brendan's recent query about climbing Vie Ferrate in early May. I would certainly echo your comments about the chances of routes being out of condition because of snow or ice - I personally wouldn't contemplate planning a VF holiday in the Dolomites until the beginning of June at the very earliest. Even at that time of the year you'll almost certainly be limited to routes at an altitude of below 2000m. So much depends on the amount, and timing, of snow fall in the previous winter. For example, in 2004 there was a big dump in mid-March and, whilst it melted fairly quickly in the valleys , it effectively ruled out anything other than low-level VF activity until well into June. However, all is not lost! If Brendan really is limited to holidaying in early May, I'd suggest that he heads straight for Lake Garda. I'm incedibly lucky in living in the Dolomites, but I still take 2 or 3 trips a year to Arco (just a few minutes drive from the northern end of the lake) to climb in the area. It's been a mecca for hard rock climbing for years but, until recently, it was little known amongst english speaking vie ferrate enthusiasts simply because there was no english language guidebook available. Cicerone Press have now put that right and, as the joint author of their guidebook, I can vouch for the outstanding quality of the climbing. If Brendan wants a tick-list of the best routes to tackle I'd be pleased to oblige.
Happy climbing everyone!
Graham Fletcher

#133 Dolomits in may Posted by Aruges on
Wed Jan 04, 15:00 EST 2006

Happy new year for Andrew ,Brendan and everyone !

Brendan , you can have informations about Dolomits ferratas,around may,asking to refuges( second window : RIFUGI, on the up line with tel numbers) if they are opened on this site :

http://www.vieferrate.it/

It's really very just to go on ferrata in that season , but nevertheless good luck !

#134 Dolomits on may Posted by Aruges on
Wed Jan 04, 15:10 EST 2006

More quickly surely , on :
sito italiano di riferimento di vie ferrate e sentieri attrezzati

#135 re:Vie Ferrate in May Posted by Andrew on
Fri Jan 06, 17:49 EST 2006

Agree with Graham's advice, definitely.

hmm... Graham Fletcher, Graham Fletcher.... now where have I heard that name... let me think... hmm... oh gee, the name on my ferrata guidebooks says 'Graham Fletcher'. Is that you? If so, very neat, and we have a celebrity in our midst - and your guidebooks are great!

Now I'll have to speed up my ferrata page redesign - I feel suddenly inadequate! :-)

...Andrew

#136 early season ferrate Posted by dave thomas on
Sun Jan 29, 09:32 EST 2006

I'm going at Whit this year, the second visit at this time of year for me(also been in September). There will be limitations, cable cars and mountain huts shut for instance, and you have to take pot luck with the amount of snow, but you have the mountains virtually to yourselves. The resorts are virtually in shut-down (Cortina will be ok)but some accomodation is to be had everywhere, there are still places to eat and drink, and the days are long, an advantage if progress is slow. One word of warning though: we did the Tridentina (piscadu), the climb up was great, the virtical walls were snow-free but the walk off was a different matter, a north facing, steep, snow-filled gully, normally with protection but the cable was buried. But for our ice axes, we would have been forced to down-climb the ferratta: take winter gear up with you and don't climb anything you wouldn't be prepared to retreat down, unless you have local advice about the route.

#137 Via Ferrata Posted by Steve on
Tue Jan 31, 08:18 EST 2006

I am going to Pinzolo in the Dolomites first week in July 2006 and would like to try my hand at Via Ferrata. I have limited experience of climbing on walls but a lot pot holing, hence used to rope work and fixed protection.
Can you reccommend any routes for starters, or any groups of like minded individuals who will be in that area at the time?
Guides for the area?
Obviously I would prefer to start with something simple!
Is it best to hire equipment or buy. Obviously I have harness, ropes, helmet etc. What other equipment would you suggest?
Thanking you in advance.

steve.warner@doncaster.gov.uk

#138 Posted by Aruges on
Thu Feb 09, 07:11 EST 2006

Hi steve,
I suggest you, during your holidays in Pinzolo, to begin easy with sentiero SOSAT, in Brenta moutain, which is nearer from Pinzolo.
From Madonna di Campiglio, take Vallesinella Parking; then 1.5 hour walking to reach Tuckett refuge.Start to SOSAT;
A very short scale for beginning, then a horizontal walk ,and near the end 4 great scales.
Return following down Vallesinella refuge road.
Total time:4.3 hours.
I recommande you that way ; it's very beautiful !

#140 Mamolada Posted by SteveW on
Thu Feb 09, 09:27 EST 2006

Hi Andrew, Made an abortive post a few weeks ago, suspect just at time you've upgraded the site (great job!) - also looks like I was about a week behind your itinerary in '05!

Got a question for the forum re Marmolada: I've heard tell that a new wire has been added to Marmolada completing the circuit round the summit (over a section that previously required an abseil?). Wondered if anyone can confirm this?

Thanks
Steve

#141 Marmolada wire Posted by Andrew on
Thu Feb 09, 17:02 EST 2006

Hi there..

yes, there is in fact a post up above in this forum from last July, and it states that there is now a wire protecting the steep part of the descent route on the Marmolada ferrata.

...Andrew

#139 Posted by Aruges on
Fri Feb 10, 05:53 EST 2006

hi steve,
for beginning in via ferrata , I suggest you, one of them, near Madonna di Campiglio: sentiero SOSAT.
From Madonna , take Vallesinella parking.
Join Tuckett refuge about 1, 5 hour, for beginning Sosat.
No difficulties, only 4 scales.
Arriving on Brentei refuge, then following down by Vallesinella route.
Beautiful views on that site!

#142 shoes Posted by sean on
Wed Mar 15, 01:37 EST 2006

Hi Andrew, great site. I'm planning on a trip to the dolomites this year in early September. Im not sure what to wear footwear wise though. My initial thought was a pair of approach shoes but some of the photos Ive seen show a reasonable amount of snow, plus I'm not sure how long the hikes in and out of the route will be- would a pair of hiking boots be preferable? Is it feasible to climb via ferrata in hiking boots? (I mean real full thickness leather above ankle style boots)

#143 Posted by Jon on
Fri Mar 17, 13:00 EST 2006

Excellent site, can't believe I only found it today. Photos excellent, have been on your site for approx. 2hrs, brought back great memories of last July, stayed in Moena, a cracking little town with enough bars/restaurants to last the two weeks we were there, plus a gear shop owned and run by a retired mountain guide (I think he was about 135 years old)Full gear could be hired for about 15 Euros and bought for about 120.
Our previous mountain experience was no more than adventurous hill walkers with easy scrambling in the Lake District/Snowdonia/Scotland. We did a few easy ones (VF Bepi Zac in the Fassa region is good, although you don't really need the kit). Can highly recommend VF Passo Santner for rock scenery. Although it doesn't summit anything, it spits you out onto a small plateau with fantastic views of the Vajolet Towers.
Returning to Corvara this year, with VF Piz Da Lech and Tridentina on the tick list (noted your comments re. Tridentina)
Would appreciate anyones comments regarding Corvara, with particular emphasis on bars

Cheers

Jon (Derbyshire, England)

#144 Hut news Posted by Stephen McCarthy on
Tue Mar 21, 13:10 EST 2006

Hi Andrew,
What a great site. I googled it up while researching a trip to the Brenta group for this Sept. You deserve a pint for all the hard work and such a high quality. Thank you.

We did some of the Alta Via 2 last year and we started in Passo Cerado to Passo di San Pellegrino. The Pradidali hut was closed. I got the impression that they were renovating a hut a year in that area, the Treviso had already been upgraded but if the Rosetta gets it this year it will mean some long days.

Wealso did the Tridentina, a super day out.

Keep up the good work.

#145 Posted by Matt F on
Mon Mar 27, 10:50 EST 2006

Andrew

Of all the Via Ferrata sites yours is definitely the most helpful, so good work.

I am completely new to mountain sports (I'm Australian - we go to the beach) and would love to go on an organised tour of some Via Ferrata.
All the group bookings seem to be for about 7-8 days. I was wondering if you knew of any tours that had shorter itineraries (around 3-4 days) or could recommend some contacts from your numerous trips who would have some good advice.

Any advice on how to get there without being ripped off would be great. Thanks

Matt

#146 re: guided trips Posted by Andrew on
Mon Mar 27, 18:43 EST 2006

Hi there, and thanks for all of the kind compliments!

Unfortunately, I really know nothing about tour groups in the dolomites, or in Italy in general. I've only ever done the car hire (rental) thing and driven around myself, stayed in campgrounds or huts or hotels on my own. If you are up for that, it is a fine way to explore the area.

Does anyone else on this forum have any thoughts or experience on tours?

Sorry I'm not able to give you any direct feedback!

...Andrew

#147 Short Itineraries Posted by Kristoffe Hocking on
Tue Mar 28, 05:04 EST 2006

Andrew,
Once again well done on the website. I discovered it the other day whilst researching the Dolomites and it's a god send.

I'm going to Dolomites for the second May long weekend for 4 full days on the hill. We are flying into Verona and hiring a car. We plan to explore the lower Dolomites due to the time of season. We are all experienced climbers but it will be our first time doing via ferratas.

Could you (or anyone else for that matter) suggest a sample itinerary based on the info above. We would like to stay in some refugios if possible but realise it may be a little early for this.

thanks for your advice,

cheers,
Kristoffe

#148 re: lower routes Posted by Andrew on
Tue Mar 28, 19:03 EST 2006

Hi there.

Well, of the 'lower' routes I've done, you could try something like Punta Fiammes or Col Rosa near Cortina, although your dates are quite early - I'm not sure if even those routes would be snow-free enough. maybe.

I hear that there are good routes in the Lake Garda area that are low in altitude and probably good for the time of year in which you are visiting. Unfortunately, I've never tried any of the ferrate in this area. (yet, anyway).

I'm guessing that most rifugios would be closed around this time of year.

#149 Via Ferrata Builder Posted by Wilfred on
Thu Mar 30, 05:18 EST 2006

Hi

Does anyone know or can give me the contacts of a list of Via Ferrata builder in France or Italy?

Cheers.
Wilfred

#150 Corvara Posted by Robbie on
Wed Apr 05, 14:20 EDT 2006

Hi Jon,

Re. Corvara - We've returned to Passo Compalonga for the last three years and have found it an excellent base. The town of Corvara itself is clean (almost antiseptic) and there are several excellent restaurants, bars a pizzarias. Fornellas is always friendly, good food, reasonable prices, good house red, what more can you ask? There's also an excellent pizzeria on the main street near to Sport Kostner (if you need to hire gear the staff there are always helpful). If you get fed up of Corvara then Arrabba is at the other end of Passo Compalonga (so only a twenty minute drive) and it too is a really pleasant little town with a couple of good restaurant/bars. All in all I can recommend both towns though maybe Corvara has the edge when you're sitting there in the evening, sipping a glass of something nice, having done Piz da Lech or Brigata Tridentina, just watching the paragliders spiral down from Piz Boe to the landing field!!!.

#151 Posted by Jon on
Sun Apr 09, 14:03 EDT 2006

Robbie,

Cheers for info re. Corvara, paragliding sounds great. Do they take passengers? (I fear my complete lack of paragliding experience may result in the trajectory of a housebrick. Wrapped in lead). Re. restaurants, do the pizzerias serve the cheese/tomato/anchovy/salami/chilli pepper/asparagus/2 raw egg special? Had one at a place in Moena. The best I can say is that it is highly enjoyable whilst eating it.
Do you know if there is anywhere to hire mountain bikes in the area? Appreciate this is a Via Ferrata forum but scenery like the Dolomites would be a great thing on a bike. We're going for two weeks arriving on 8th July so we have time for a few days on the bike.
Cheers again for the info., if you're back this year and our dates overlap let me know, will buy you a beer/wine somewhere. But not a special pizza.

#152 Corvara Posted by Robbie on
Fri Apr 21, 17:32 EDT 2006

Hi Jon,

Yes, you can get a tandem flight from the Piz Boe (the last flight before they stop for lunch, so about 1130am, is often a good one and the pilots are very skilled). I'm not absolutely sure but I think you can hire bikes in Arabba - in fact it seems to be a popular thing to take them up the mountain in some of the larger cable cars like the Porto Vescovo -the one which goes up to Via Delle Trincee (La Mesolo) and then ride back down into town. As for the "special" pizza you had, I don't think I've ever seen anything as exotic in Corvara or Arabba, but then if eaten something like that I'd have had to spend the next few days just sleeping it off.

Cheers, Robbie

#153 Guided Trips Posted by SteveW on
Tue Apr 25, 09:13 EDT 2006

To Matt F. Re guided trips I'd recommend Collets - UK company - that have self-catering accomodation based in both Arraba and Pedraces. Their reps organise "accompanied" trips for all customers that vary all the way up the grades. Note that these aren't available every day, but we did our first couple of routes with them and it helped us callibrate the guide books and climbing grades to allow us to be self sufficient thereafter. Also means you're not tied-in to a specific itinerary. The reps were also available on evenings to help out with advice on other routes - condition/grades etc.

There's also a host of organisations that advertise in UK magazines like Trail and TGO offering fully guided via ferrata hols.

Get off the beach and get up there!
Good luck
Steve

#154 Hiking from Madonna Campiglio Posted by Becky on
Tue Apr 25, 20:50 EDT 2006

Hello, Great site! I'm trying to plan a 3-day, two overnight hut trip for my honeymoon (my fiancee won't tolerate more than two nights sleeping with 50 other people on a honeymoon, otherwise it'd be much longer!). I bought Lonely Planet's Walking in Italy book and it was pretty useless. . . I was thinking of trying to start in Madonna Di Campiglio since we'll be coming from Lake Como and was wondering if you could recommend two huts to stay at to make a large circle. We're not climbers, just hikers looking for about 5-10 miles of hiking/day. email address beckyliddicoat@yahoo.com
thanks!

#155 Hiking from Madonna Campiglio Posted by Becky on
Tue Apr 25, 20:56 EDT 2006

another reason I thought to write to you is that I think I'll face divorce if I take my fiancee on a trail that involves holding onto ropes with huge drop-offs and cliffs like in some of your photos, . . . so if you could recommend hikes that don't involve hooking into fixed ropes that would probably be good. . .
beckyliddicoat@yahoo.com

#156 re: Brenta Huts Posted by Andrew on
Tue Apr 25, 22:31 EDT 2006

Well, as one data point, I stayed in the rifugio Brentei last summer, and there were 3 of us, and they gave us a 3-person room. So, depending on your hut and availability, you may not have to stay in a big common bunkroom.

#157 re Brenta Huts Posted by SteveW on
Wed Apr 26, 08:45 EDT 2006

Hi Becky, Have to say that you are likely to be be pleasantly surprised by the Brenta huts. We stayed last year at Alimonta, Agostini and Pedrotti; and also stopped by at Tucket and 12 Apostles. All of a v high standard, generally with smaller rooms. Great food/cake/beer/wine/coffee (half-board deals usually), blankets provided - take your own liner. Most of them are accessible from the lower valleys. We did the wires though. A looped walk ought to be possible (there generally seemed to be a Plan B option incase weather got bad), but would need a bit of planning - I suspect that for the duration you're talking it'll be difficult to avoid retracing some of your steps.

We travelled in mid July and had booked in advance. But wasn't too busy even then. Aug a different matter by all accounts.

We used Fletcher/Smith book - Vol 2 I think is the one that includes the Brenta.

That said, I would rate our trip to Brenta as one of the best. Even if you're not on a V-F its still a spectacular area. Not to be missed!

Regards,
Steve

#158 Civetta Posted by Topper on
Mon May 22, 13:32 EDT 2006

Wow what a site. Did Civetta a few years back then Marmolada. Civetta was done from a standing run at the hotel. Don't recommend that. Good hut at Rifugio Coldai 2135 for an early start. Need some of the classic exposure routes for this summer to scare a friend and make him want to return?

#159 ferrata "Pertini" Posted by Franci on
Sun Jun 04, 04:27 EDT 2006

I've read the Italian classification of the best "ferrate".
I'd like to tell you that the difficulty of the Pertini's route is as almost the same as "Brigata Tridentina".
It's located in Val Gardena, which is one of the most beautiful places of the Dolomites.
It's a very very good route and I recommend you to do it.

Bye Bye everybody

Franci

#160 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Sun Jun 04, 04:40 EDT 2006

I've just read the Italian classification of the top ten Vie Ferrate.
I'd like to tell you that the difficulty of Pertini's route is as almost the same as Brigata Tridentina, but it's more interesting.
It's located in Val Gardena, which is one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites.
I suggest this to everyone who want to do a ferrata in the Dolomites because it's very very beautiful.

Good climbings!

Hi
Franci

#161 VIa ferrata "PERTINI" Posted by franci on
Sun Jun 04, 04:42 EDT 2006

Oops I forgot to put the subject in the latest message.

Bye

#162 VF near Aosta/Cogne Posted by Mick on
Wed Jun 28, 16:15 EDT 2006

We are going to be based near Cogne for two weeks in July and plan to tackle the Monte Emilius VF in the Aosta Valley, using the helful downloadable description (Italian/French/English).

I believe there are other VFs near to Aosta, but don't know their names to search for nor where they start. Can anyone list them? Are there any around Cogne? Are there any English descriptions available or decent topos in Italian that can be downloaded?

#163 pelmo Posted by andy on
Thu Jun 29, 14:50 EDT 2006

Anybody know if there is a ferrata up mount pelmo?

#164 Posted by Martina on
Thu Jun 29, 16:14 EDT 2006

Hello Andrew
I have perhaps a little peculiar request/question.
My name is Martina, born and raised in Slovakia, but I am living in Denmark. I have in the past 5 years travelled quite extensively in the Italian Dolomites and conquered quite some peaks! I have now found myself in a situation where I, this summer, don't have anyone to go with and would very much like to hear from some enthusiasts who are planning to do via ferratas, either in Italy, Switzerland or Austria. I have my equipment, some experience but I don't thrive well on my own, and would prefer a company of some strong man/men:) that are skilled climbers and a good company. I am very open-minded, with bubbly personality and I look for challenges. Would you be able to advise where to find (a) teammate(s)to this beautiful sport with sometime in august? Thank you and Best Regards, Martina (dior2009@gmail.com)

#165 partners Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jun 29, 17:12 EDT 2006

Well, I'm not going to be in the dolomites this summer, but perhaps someone else reading this will take you up on your offer.

...Andrew

#166 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Fri Jun 30, 03:30 EDT 2006

Hi Andrew,

Do you know who build all these via ferrata in Italy? The concept of via ferrata look very interesting to me, as a rock climber. But how safe is it? I'm always curious to know if there is any standard that these ferrata builders followed, as compared to rock climbing. In rock climbing.. I think there are CE, or UIAA,...standard to follow. Would really appreciate if I could find out more from these Italian via ferrata builders. Thanks.

Wilfred

#167 builders Posted by Andrew on
Fri Jun 30, 07:52 EDT 2006

Hi there.

Some ferrate were built as access paths for soldiers in World War I; later ones were built purely for sport by climbing clubs.

I don't know for sure about a common standard of building. I wouldn't be surprised if the Club Alpinismo Italiano (who seem to be involved in much of the building) have a modern standard. However, I've noticed that the state of the ferrate vary from ferrata to ferrata. It is the responsibility of the climber, ultimately, in my opinion, to do research beforehand about the state of the protection, and also to constantly re-evaluate while climbing.

A good, solid, well-installed ferrata is practically bulletproof (i.e. very safe), assuming you clip in properly.

It is important to approach these routes from a true climbing mentality - that is, you are on your own and you need to evaluate all the conditions (rock, weather, AND ferrata protection) at all times, and retreat if necessary.

#168 Posted by peter on
Sun Jul 02, 08:18 EDT 2006

going on hols to italy and i have two spare days and would like to go via ferrate i like the look of the pisciadu climbing path. the trouble is its around may and i was looking to find out how hard tis route would be at this time of year if possible


find the site really good pics are great and plenty of info
thanks

#169 pisciadu in may Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jul 02, 08:44 EDT 2006

I've never been in May, but perhaps someone else could volunteer their experience at that time of year?

#170 Pisciadu (Tridentina) Posted by Paula on
Tue Jul 11, 23:18 EDT 2006

Hi Peter,
We were in the Corvara region around May 26 + this year. The intention was to to the Tridentina route, however there was just too much snow in the approach gulley and on top. It was a very late, (snowy) spring as the locals told us. I would think it would be possible in a lower snow pack year. We returned after the first week in June and there was still snow. I suppose one could posthole through that to get on the route, as we heard some people did. We weren't into that though. Hope that helps, Cheers, Paula

#171 Posted by peter on
Mon Jul 17, 14:05 EDT 2006

thanks paula at least i know what to expect.

#172 Trying to identify a location Posted by Steve on
Thu Jul 27, 11:23 EDT 2006

First, I love the new site ...

I'm trying to track down a ferrata location that was presented recently on an American TV show ...

I have a handful of pictures but have had no success pinpointing the location:

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i168/t_hunter_2006/tv%20show/sm_set25_Picture5.jpg (note suspension bridge, bottom left)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i168/t_hunter_2006/tv%20show/sm_set25_Picture7.jpg (suspension bridge, close-up)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i168/t_hunter_2006/tv%20show/sm_set25_Picture8.jpg (climbing face)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i168/t_hunter_2006/tv%20show/sm_sam_via_ferrata.jpg (rung or ladder type)

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!


#173 Posted by Steve on
Thu Jul 27, 14:40 EDT 2006

Please kindly disregard, I found the location ... it is in Peille, France

#174 2006 august Posted by Aruges on
Fri Aug 18, 13:23 EDT 2006

Hi Andrew and everybody;
what bad weather for first weeks in august: rain every day, grey sky, fog on moutains tops and cold air of course !
nevertheless I did some ferratas as Averau, Meisulès,Brigata tridentina, 5 th Cir pike, Zacchi and Sperti.
I 'll advice whose dont'like ferrata the Gunther Messner footpath on the Puez moutain (7-8 hours).
That's all. What have you done Andrew ?

#175 50th birthday challenge Posted by Pauline Zalewski on
Wed Aug 23, 04:34 EDT 2006

Hi
I am looking to do a challenge with a group of people for my 50th birthday in the summer 2007 . I enjoy fell walking in the lakes and need something to get fit for! The only bit of scrambling I have done is Crib Goch on Snowdon,Bristly Ridge , Tryfan, Striding Edge etc.Do you think a Via Ferrata is a possalility cos they look fantastic!

#176 50th birthday bash Posted by Pauline Zalewski on
Thu Aug 24, 16:28 EDT 2006

Hi
I am looking for a challenge for a group of people to do for my 50 th birthday and think the via ferrata look fantastic!
I am a fell walker but the only srambles i have done are cribgoch on snowdon,tryfan ,bristly ridge,striding edge and similiar. I do however want a challenge and something to get fit for. Do you think a via ferrata route would be a possibility?

#177 sure... Posted by Andrew on
Thu Aug 24, 19:15 EDT 2006

Hi there... I don't see why not!

#178 Posted by pauline zalewski on
Sat Aug 26, 04:53 EDT 2006

Hi
Thanks for your reply.Do you have any suggestions about which one to do in Italy? I fancy one with a suspension bridge !
Pauline

#179 where is Andrew ? Posted by John hucklefield on
Tue Aug 29, 07:32 EDT 2006

ouhouh.... Andrew ; where are you ?

#180 I'm here! Posted by Andrew on
Tue Aug 29, 08:41 EDT 2006

Hi. I'm still here... just haven't gotten around to posting yet. I haven't done anything in the dolomites this year. I've been more focused on some other trips out in Western Canada this year (if you go to my home page you'll see the report for those).

I plan to do some more ferrata next year, and I am appreciating the tips and suggestions I'm seeing on the forum. And then, I can add them to my online ferrata guide!

...Andrew

#181 Pauline's birthday bash! Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Sep 03, 10:45 EDT 2006

Hi Pauline
The short answer is, definitely yes! If you?re comfortable on the kind of scrambles you mention, then you?ll have no problems on many of the VFs in the Dolomites. You will, however, need to be properly kitted up (helmet, harness & self-belay gear), although you don?t necessarily have to buy the kit if you?re only dipping a toe in the water, since you can hire everything you need in many of the major resorts.
Probably the most important question, though, is when exactly are you planning to go. The VF season is fairly short in the higher mountain groups, so the timing of your trip will determine what you?ll be able to tackle.
Tell us a little more about your plans, and I?m sure that I, and some of the regular contributors to this site, will be able to offer some advice on what to consider.

#182 ideas Posted by midge on
Sun Sep 10, 05:56 EDT 2006

hi

im heading to the dolomites on wednesday (my first visit, im so excited!) and will be staying at Steiner Campground which is about 8kms from Bolzano. i am interested in doing 2-3 via ferratas - i have done a couple in France so have the basic idea! could you please give me some recommendations of routes (i will not have a car so will either need to get by bike or public transport), also where i can get some information on these routes....

hope you can help :-)

#183 Guide Necessary? Posted by Linda on
Fri Sep 22, 03:16 EDT 2006

Hi there,
Is a guide necessary on the VF routes, or can a person just bring their own gear and tackle it without a guide. My boyfriend is a very experienced rock climber/mountaineer and from what it sounds like, we could. It's difficult to find a website that offers this information (most seem to offer expensive guided tours).

Thanks,
Linda
New Westminster, BC, Canada

#184 re: needing a guide Posted by Andrew on
Fri Sep 22, 07:24 EDT 2006

Hi there.

You are absolutely right. If you have a good sense of safety in alpine environments, and you use the right gear (a dynamic ferrata self-belay device, etc), you will be fine.

All of the ferrate I've done have been without a guide.

#185 Accommodation Posted by Kate on
Wed Sep 27, 03:54 EDT 2006

Hey,

I'm going to do my first VF with a group of friends and leaving on Friday. We had planned to camp, but have decided the kit list was too big. Have you got any recommendations for cheap good accommodation? I was thinking Corvara or Arabba, but open to suggestions.

Thanks so much for the inspiration!

#186 Vie ferrate accomplished Posted by Bob Hughes on
Sun Oct 15, 06:58 EDT 2006

Hi Andrew,

Thankyou for your previous snipets of info in early Sept.

We are a couple from Australia in early 50's, pretty fit and regularly walk and exercise, but with little climbing experience.

We purchased the Cicerone book 'Via Ferrata's in the Dolomites' after reading Andrew's website

We designed a schedule to start with a grade 1A and move up from there. Our goal was to finally attempt the grade 3B VF Brigata Tridentina, if things went well in our 3 week adventure in northern Italy.

The first climb was a very easy 'Gran Cir' in Corvara. I consider a very good one to start with as you learn to use the appropriate via ferrata safery harness, self belay device etc in almost unexposed circumstances.

We then tryed the 'Piz da Cir' a grade 2A in the same region. This is a relatively short climb but you certainly get a taste for good climbing and 'airy' situations, but well protected. My wife commented during the climb that it was more challenging then she would have thought and didnt know if she would attempt any more.....But, she woke me early next morning motivated to try the grade 2A on Monte Toblina in Misurina area. There are 2 climbs on the Torre Toblino the other is a 3B. We selected the 2A and found it to be a well protected climb,and a confidence builder. An excellent hike from Rifugio Auronzo, past the Tre Cima to Rifugio Locatelli to get to this mountain.

The next day we tackled the Monte Paterno grade 2B in the same region, you pass a lot of WW1 remains...good stuff ! Stayed at Rifugio Auronzo overnight

We moved to Cortina on the last day of the chairlift and gondola (glad to get out !) to VF Marino Bianchi grade 2B and over 3200m in altidude. In our opinion this was our first 'serious' via ferrata. After leaving Rifugio G Lorenzi you are immediately on the via ferrata. It is a challenging, very 'airy' and fantastic experience.....you are really on top of the world !

We then moved to Sesto in the far north of the region to do the RF Croda Rossa di Sesto grade 2B. A strenuous hike to get there (leave early) and good challenge with air and some reasonably exposed situations....good stuff again !

I write this email not to brag about our trip but to explain to a lot of people in an 'unsure' mind (as we were)about tackling vie ferrate, that if you take the challenge and use plenty of commonsence, combined with a good fitness level, plan well so you dont have to hurry (dangerous)....you should really enjoy like we did. We are already planning our trip for next year... cant wait !...Before leaving, we returned to Corvara to attemp the VF Brigata Tridentina grade 3B , but the weather closed in, so we considered that to be a good excuse to return next year !

Another small point to mention is we purchased 'Scarpa' boots a couple of weeks before leaving Australia and 'broke them in' before leaving....good choice. Also you will find that the via ferrata equipment is readily available for hire in all the regions we went to whilst in the Dolomiti..We went in Sept and didnt pre plan any accom....no worries. We had a small renta car for the full period and wouldnt do it any other way...

Ciao ciao !

Bob Hughes (Australia)

#187 Grading/Guidebooks Posted by Chris on
Sat Oct 21, 11:51 EDT 2006

As with most forms of rock sports the grading seems a bit unreliable.
Smith/Fletcher seems to give a better overall picture of the routes. Hofler/Werner can occasionally seem a bit muddled and I suspect loses a bit in translation. But Hofler/Werner is a lot lighter than carrying two Smith/Fletcher guidebooks if doing the High Level Alta Via 1 walking route from hut to hut to link via ferrate. I did this in September, from Cortina to Belluno and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Specific comment (winge) about Schiara Group:
The routes in Hofler/Werner are graded much harder than they are, and the timings can be easily beaten. VF Marmol is graded E (and from a quick glance at a Smith/Fletcher guide it is graded quite hard in that too) and I suspect this is because one needs to descend the route to finish the Alta Via 1, so many people are doing it with full kit at the end of a hard day's walking. However even allowing for the fact it is graded in descent (which is trickier than climbing up) it didn't actually seem a whole lot more difficult or dangerous than the via ferrata on the southern descent of Nuvlao which is graded A in the same book! I actually met a walker who had no VF kit and just used the wire as a hand rail while descending. The other routes in the Schiara also seem to be a bit easier than the grade.

If staying at the 7 Alpini refuge I would recommend ascending Zacchi onto Berti, and then reversing down Berti and continuing west to descend Sperti. This gives a much better round trip, and can easily be done in a day by the fit and aclimatised. Its a friendly hut and a very nice area.

#188 ferrata Pertini Posted by Aruges on
Wed Nov 08, 13:56 EST 2006

hello everybody;
information: Sandro Pertini ironway in val Gardena is definitively dismantled since few weeks.The European nature control take this décision because the ferrata was in an natural parc.

If anybody wants to get advices on dolomits on this forum , he has to give us more details as the dates for example.

#189 Summer/Winter Posted by Jennifer Baron on
Tue Nov 14, 07:52 EST 2006

Firstly let me congratulate you on a superb site! It is beautifully laid out and has a great depth. I have especially enjoyed looking at the maps and photos you attach.

I had my appettite whet by a skiing trip to Pedraces with Collett's last January and am looking at trying Via Ferrata after reading their brochure on return to the UK.

We are scramblers in the UK and not climbers and fancy working our way through the grades, has anyone had experience of Collett's Mountain Holidays in the summer? I am very tempted to return there with them as I thought they ran a great program and even though we went ther to ski we were given the option to try snowshoeing and throughly enjoyed it(!) and would reccommend their winter holidays to anyone (http://www.colletts.co.uk/winter/winter_dolomites.html) Does anyone have an idea on what the best time of year is to go for the ferrata?

I have read through the other threads and would just like to know if there is anyone who can offer advice to a Via Ferrata virgin.

All the best,
Jen

#190 re: best time of year Posted by Andrew on
Tue Nov 14, 17:40 EST 2006

I'd say the best time of year for ferrata-ing is Late June to Early October. August is quite busy, if you don't like that sort of thing.

...Andrew

#191 Alta Via n.2 with Marmolada Posted by Carolyn on
Fri Dec 01, 13:20 EST 2006

Hi, what a great site!! My husband and I are planning on hiking the Alta Via n.2 next September and really wanted to do the VF over the Marmolada. Just wondering if we can get away with not bringing ice axes, I know we need crampons, harness, etc. (done a lot of climbing/bouldering), but was hoping to not lug ice axes for 180km. If anyone can give me some input, that would be great, Thanks a lot, Carolyn

#192 Latemar Posted by Drew on
Wed Dec 06, 23:07 EST 2006

Andrew,
We are hoping to do the Masare and Latemer VF this summer on successive days while staying at Karer Pass. Do you know of a way to access the Latemar from Karer Pass? You and the guidebooks seem to have accessed from Obereggen, right? We won't have a car, so going from Karer Pass would be preferable.
Thanks for your work on the site!
Drew

#193 access to Latemar Posted by Andrew on
Thu Dec 07, 22:20 EST 2006

Hi there

Looking at my Tabacco 029 map, I see that there is are access trails up into the Latemar from the Karer pass. There are several trails which all funnel into the same trail (number 18) once you get up high. The access trails down low are 18, 17, and 517. looks like 17 and 517 start right at the height of land at Karer Pass.

This is all a vague description, of course. Best if you get the actual map and see for yourself.

#194 Marmolada Posted by Robbie on
Fri Dec 08, 15:39 EST 2006

Hi Caroline,

I'm not sure if you're talking about the Punta Penia ridge on Marmolada when you say you hope to do a route on it but if it is that route then I would recommend carrying an axe, a (half)rope and a set of crampons.

Descending the icefield from the summit is a potentially serious undertaking especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse. The crevasses are deep and just too wide to step over comfortably so at times an athletic stretch/jump is called for. I saw one or two people with these new walking pole/axe combinations but none looked particularly comfortable with them. All of the local guides had axes and had their clients on a half rope and made an ice axe belay for them on a couple of the more tricky crevasses.

I don't mean to make it sound too serious; it's a great mountain route and with the right tools it's pretty straightforward to negotiate the icefield but I wouldn't want to do it without an axe. (My own background is mostly Scottish winter climbing, usually around grade 4/5 so I'm reasonably used to snow/ice/winter situations) Hope this helps. Cheers

#195 Maps Posted by Jack Scoffham on
Tue Dec 12, 04:19 EST 2006

Sir,

Firstly a fantastic website. I am planning a trip to the Dolomites myself and am looking for the correct maps. I will use the "Tobacco" maps myself but am having trouble finding the right ones. Can you advise me on the ones you used (map numbers and areas) for your via ferrata as listed.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Jack Scoffham
jackscoffham@yahoo.co.uk

PS. Sorry if this info is already here somewhere!

#196 re: Maps Posted by Andrew on
Tue Dec 12, 19:49 EST 2006

Almost all of the ferrate I've done are covered by two Tabacco 1-25,000 maps: map 03 and map 07. There are a couple outside of that (namely the Latemar, Canalone, and Brenta ferrate), and those are found on Tabacco Maps 014 and 022, and Kompass 1-20,000 map 688, respectively.

Hope this helps,
...Andrew

#197 Marmolada ridge Posted by Carolyn on
Thu Dec 14, 12:53 EST 2006

Hey Robbie, thanks so much, I did mean the Punta Penia ridge, just wanted to make sure, difficult to get actual info about exactly what is involved. Will take your advise, thanks again, Carolyn

#198 Punta Penia Posted by Robbie on
Thu Dec 14, 17:16 EST 2006

Hi Carolyn,

You don't necessarily need to take all that gear over - most people do if they already have it but if you were staying at somewhere like Corvara you can hire harnesses and belay kits. When we were in the shop (Sport Kostner) last year there were a couple of British mountaineers hiring crampons (to do that very route) so I dare say you could probably hire a suitable axe as well. I suppose its just whether you prefer to bring your own gear because you know it.

Cheers, Robbie

#199 via ferrata kit hire Posted by Hywel on
Mon Dec 18, 05:55 EST 2006

I and my friends intend to go to do a few via ferrate in the Brenta next year. Does anyone know of a centre (and details) for kit hire in Maddona di Campiglio?

Io e miei amici intendono andare fare alcuni via ferrate nell'anno prossimo di Brenta. Nessuno sa di un centro (ed i dettagli) per l'affitto di attrezzatura in Madonna di Campiglio?

Thanks

#200 Via Ferrata kit hire Posted by Hywel on
Mon Dec 18, 06:18 EST 2006

I and my friends intend to go to do a few via ferrate in the Brenta next year. Does anyone know of a centre (and details) for kit hire in Maddona di Campiglio?

Io e miei amici intendono andare fare alcuni via ferrate nell'anno prossimo di Brenta. Nessuno sa di un centro (ed i dettagli) per l'affitto di attrezzatura in Madonna di Campiglio?

Thanks

#201 marmolada Posted by Carolyn on
Wed Dec 20, 16:53 EST 2006

thanks again Robbie, I guess I will have to carry all throughtout the hike as we are starting in Bressanone and hiking to Feltre(180km) on the the Alta Via 2 for 10 or so days, we are doing a straight thru hike, so no real base, moving every day to a new hut. I have equipment, so maybe we can find other options for VF on the hike so we can justify lugging everything! carolyn

#202 marmolada Posted by Carolyn on
Wed Dec 20, 16:53 EST 2006

thanks again Robbie, I guess I will have to carry all throughout the hike as we are starting in Bressanone and hiking to Feltre(180km) on the the Alta Via 2 for 10 or so days, we are doing a straight thru hike, so no real base, moving every day to a new hut. I have equipment, so maybe we can find other options for VF on the hike so we can justify lugging everything! carolyn

#203 Advice re routes early June Posted by Elizabeth on
Mon Jan 15, 06:06 EST 2007

Hello and Happy New Year

A bunch of us are going to Arraba area early June (I'm organising a trip for colleagues from work)and I am looking into routes, never having done anything like this or even been to the area before. We are all keen hillwalkers, some with limited climbing experience, keen to push ourselves. There may be 1 expereienced climber with us. We are thinking of 2 days walking, 3 days via ferrate, probably grades B-C (from your website). I've got the Ciccerone guide and there is so much to choose from! Do you have any recommendations for suitable routes and do you have any top tips? Are there any routes to avoid? Would we be able to walk the Marmalada?

Thank you

#204 Ferrata Construction Posted by Peregrine on
Mon Jan 15, 13:30 EST 2007

I am considering construction of a VF on private land in southern UT. Beautiful site. Have the technical skill to install, but want to find specs info and product sources. Any catalogues (any language) and European instalation guidelines? Many thanks.

#205 Advice re routes early June Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jan 15, 19:54 EST 2007

Hi there.

I've not done many routes in the Arabba area, but I see from my guidebooks that there are several nice ones.

A couple of notes:

-you are going 'early' in the season for ferrate. There may still be significant snow and ice, especially on the higher altitude routes. Be aware of this and assess when you see the route. Ice ax, crampons, and skills may be needed if these conditions exist on the route you are doing.

-The Marmolada route requires glacier travel and snow fields. I haven't done it myself, but if I was going I'd definitely bring an ice ax and crampons at the very least, and be comfortable and skilled in using them. And, possibly, though only possibly, a rope may be useful; this would would depend on the skill and comfort level of your group and on the actual route and conditions, both of which I have no direct experience.

...Andrew

#206 re: ferrata construction Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jan 15, 19:57 EST 2007

Wow - a ferrata in Southern UT? I love southern UT (in fact, I'm probably going to do some backpacking there this april). While I can't comment on construction specifics, I've seen the pictures of the torrent falls ferrata in the US. I notice their website (http://www.viaferratatorrentfalls.com/) has a contact for 'how to build a ferrata'. Have you seen this site or contacted them?

#207 advice routes on june Posted by Aruges on
Tue Jan 16, 14:00 EST 2007

hello Elizabeth,
Arabba is an excellent site for all you want to do.
Here are some proposals:
walking with the route to Puez refuge starting Colfosco, near Arabba (2-3 hours);or going roud Sella moutain from passo Sella (2- 3 hours);
climbing Marmolada moutain (not glacier) by ferrata Eterna ( Fedaia lake);or passo Gardena to Colfosco and then Arabba (3 h);
ferrata Brigata Tridentina (B- C), Gardena col.
ferrata Trincee(B) in front of Marmolada glacier.Starting Fedaia lake.
Have a good trip !

#208 instalation guidelines Posted by Aruges on
Tue Jan 16, 14:14 EST 2007

Hello Peregrine,
here are some e- mails:
in France:
-info@via-ferrata-roc.com ;
-ROCAVENTURE ;
-info@sisypheoutdoor.com ;
in Switzerland :
-www.ViaFerrata.com

Good luck !!!

#209 VF Eterna Brigata Posted by Tom on
Mon Jan 22, 12:11 EST 2007

Hi, I'm wondering how hard Eterna Brigata in Cortina is. I mean what sort of climbing grade would it be technically? How long are you climbing at this grade for on the route? Is some of the route hiking or is it all climbing. How many hours?

#210 VF Eterna Brigata Posted by Tom on
Mon Jan 22, 14:02 EST 2007

Hi, I'm wondering how hard Eterna Brigata in Cortina is. I mean what sort of climbing grade would it be technically? How long are you climbing at this grade for on the route? Is some of the route hiking or is it all climbing. How many hours?

#211 ferrata Eterna Posted by Aruges on
Mon Jan 22, 15:22 EST 2007

I haven't done the ironway Brigata Cadore or Eterna on Marmolada.
The Italian site give it for 4 hours rising and grade C-D .
Descent , two possibilities :
- on glacier (snow-shoes and crampons)for 2 hours.
- by funicular.

#212 Via Ferratas partners Posted by Gary on
Sun Feb 04, 07:20 EST 2007

Andrew

What a great site with a lot of photographic and map information. Congratulations.

I have climbed for many years in Australia (rock) and trips to Wales, French alps, USA, etc. I have a very old UK "climber & rambler" mag that has a write up on via ferrates that had always fueled my interest. I am now hoping to get to Dolomites late June this year.(2007)
I am looking more just for the 'adventure' and exploring different areas on the via Ferrates.

Do you believe it would be possible to meet other partners in any of the main areas like Cortina or do you know of any (non commercial) bulletin boards for same?

Thanks
Gary
garylyons@williamsref.com.au

#213 re: partners Posted by Andrew on
Sun Feb 04, 15:04 EST 2007

Hi there, and glad you like the site. I don't personally know of any such groups, but I've noticed that there are people on this forum who sometimes are looking for hiking partners, so your post here might attract some attention. Hopefully they'll e-mail you, or you could keep checking this forum from time to time.

...Andrew

#214 hut 2 hut 2007 Posted by les few on
Sun Mar 04, 11:05 EST 2007

Hi Andrew we are thinking of visiting the Italian dolomites this summer to camp cycle and do hut to hut . Are there camp sites around Arabba? and is it possible to go hut to hut ? We have never been to the dolmomite before any information would be of use. thanks
Les & yvonne.

#215 re: camping and hut to hut Posted by Andrew on
Sun Mar 04, 18:54 EST 2007

Hi there.

I'm no export, but I believe the answers both of your questions is yes! There are several campgrounds dotted around the dolomites. I haven't stayed at any in Arraba, but I have stayed in a few others throughout the region.

As far as hut-to-hut hiking goes - yes... there are lots of trails and lots of refugios (huts) with beds. You may need to call ahead from time to time and reserve spots, though, depending on what time of year you go.


...Andrew

#216 Valle de Aosta Posted by Chris on
Sat Mar 31, 06:04 EDT 2007

Hi,

I went to Cortina last year and did a few Ferrata routes and loved it!! This year I am going to the Valle De Aosta in June/July to do a bit of Walking and hopefully some Via Ferrata to.. was hoping that someone knows where i can find a info on any routes in that area?

Many Thanks

#217 Aoste valley Posted by Aruges on
Wed Apr 04, 15:29 EDT 2007

goods informations on that site:
alcune escursioni, ferrate ed arrampicare recenti
but you have to translate it.
If you wish to know some Aoste ferratas , you can ask me.

#218 Gear and grades Posted by James on
Wed Jun 13, 11:15 EDT 2007

Hi, great site! I am interested in doing some via feratta this summer and was wondering what gear I need, specifically boots. I would want to do as high a grade as I could, I have climbed in trekking boots at a UK trad HVD (Hard Very Diff) grade, I do not know how this compares to other grades but it is pretty easy. Given this would I need climbing shoes at say grade 4 or would good trekking/mountaineering boots be OK, also are crampons needed on the higher routes? Thanks.

#219 re: boots Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jun 17, 13:55 EDT 2007

I use my La Sportiva Mountaineering boots on a few of the 4-grade ferrata routes. This is definitely ok. In fact, I think even on the 5-grade routes, most people use mountaineering boots. I haven't tried any 5-grade ferrata routes myself (yet - I'm going to try a few this July), but I plan to use my mountaineering boots.

...Andrew

#220 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Mon Jun 18, 11:20 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew an impressive site with good information, I did the Brenta area a couple of years ago, where would you suggest next? The ideal would be somewhere with a number of good routes, with cable cars as I am lazy, possibly a two day outing with over night in a hut. i will only stay 3/4 days as I'll be touring Europe on my motorbike.

Thanks

rhell

#221 re: routes w cablecars Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jun 18, 23:19 EDT 2007

Hmm..

Well, for the ones I know about, there is Piz da Lec. Good cablecars all the way from down in Corvara. It is a mid-grade ferrata, lots of ladders, but not very long.

There's also the Marino Bianchi Ferrata near Cortina - good cablecar access, ferrata starts right from the hut next to the top cablecar station, actually. That one is also mid-grade.

...Andrew

#222 Transport Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Mon Jun 25, 09:47 EDT 2007

Is it essential to hire a car in the dolomites? If not is the bus system good enough and where would be the best place to stay (camping) to connect to as many Via ferrata, prefrably harder ones. Just trying to weigh my options up. Thanks!

#223 Re: bus Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jun 25, 22:09 EDT 2007

Hi there

Based on my (somewhat limited) understanding of the area, not having a rental car hampers your ability to reach many of the ferrata starting points. I know that in the fletcher/graham guidebooks, they do occasionally talk about bus routes to reach some of the ferrate, but I don't recall many route descriptions having this info.

I really don't know which areas would have better bus services, either.

Sorry I can't be of more help,
...Andrew

#224 TRINCEE Posted by Stu on
Tue Jun 26, 22:34 EDT 2007

Andrew,

Congratulations on a teriffic website, and many thanks.

Can you recommend a good rifugio to stay in the night before climbing VF Trincee? We will be coming from a day off in Bolzano, and will drive down to Cavalese after we finish Trincee.

Thanks for your help.

Stu

#225 re: rifugio near trincee Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jun 27, 09:29 EDT 2007

Hi there, glad you like the site.

Um, I'm not positive, but I think there may be a rifugio somewhere along the Passo di Fedaia. A quick look reveals one... the Dolomia Rifugio, which is somewhere along the lake at the pass.

Do a google for 'Dolomia Rifugio' and you'll find some websites that describe it. It looks like you could walk from the rifugio up to the ferrata pretty easily.

#226 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Jun 28, 09:55 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
This is Graham Fletcher, back after a few months out of circulation, and with a few comments which I hope will help on couple of recent posts.
Firstly, TRANSPORT.
On 25th June, somebody (not signed) asked whether car hire was essential in the Dolomites. Well, it certainly makes life easier, but if the cost, or logistics, rule this out, then I?d say without hesitation that Cortina is the best base from the point of view of public transport access to the greatest number of VFs. The same correspondent goes on to ask about opportunities for camping and Cortina fits the bill here too. The best site in the area is Camping Olympia at Fiames (about 4km north of the town), and it?s also very close to a couple of good, mid-grade, routes. The best, and hardest, routes however are to be found on the west side of town, towards Passo Falzarego, which involves a change of buses at Cortina?s bus station ? not as much of a problem as it might sound, since the local buses are pretty regular. The alternative would be a stay in a rifugio on the west side of town: Rif. Dibona?s a good bet.
Next, Stu asked about access to VF Delle Trincee on 26th June. The best starting point is undoubtedly Arabba, on the north side of the route. Whilst there isn?t a rifugio in the town, there are lots of good little guest houses which aren?t much more expensive. You can then take the Porta Vescovo cable car, virtually up to the start of the route. Two pieces of advice: take the first ride up in the morning, since the route?s very popular and gets crowded; secondly, take a head torch, because the tunnels at the eastern end of the route are well worth exploring.
Hope that helps, but I?ll check the site again in case any further information is needed.
Happy VFing everyone!
Graham

#227 VF TRINCEE Posted by Stu on
Thu Jun 28, 15:21 EDT 2007

Andrew / Graham,

Thanks for the excellent advice. I'll try to find somewhere in Arabba to stay. We will have a rental car, so transportation is not an issue.

I certainly appreciate your valuable information.

Stu

#228 anyone ferrata-ing in July? Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jun 28, 21:21 EDT 2007

On the off chance that anyone reading this site / forum is going to be doing anything in the dolomites in the last two week of this July ('07)....

I and a few friends will be doing just that (trying out some new vie ferrate in the dolomites this coming July). I'm looking forward to trying some different and perhaps more challenging routes, and maybe, just maybe, we'll run into each other out there!

...Andrew

#229 hi Graham Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jun 28, 21:31 EDT 2007

Hey there, Graham.

I'm honored that you are still reading this site! thanks for the info on the public transport situation (for the person who asked about that sort of thing a few days ago).

...Andrew

#230 JULY TRIP Posted by Stu on
Fri Jun 29, 09:17 EDT 2007

Andrew,

My son, brother, and nephew will be in Cortina starting 12 July; first night at Hotel Menardi. We are doing Tofane VFs on 13th, VF Ivano Dibona on 14th and 15th, and VF Trincee on 17th.

Do you think we can do Tofane (CORT 12?) and Lagazoui tunnels (FALZ 1A) all in one day? If you had to pick the most scenic VF and this was your first time doing VFs, which one would you choose? Which rifugio is your favorite? Given my experience with the rifugi in Alpe Siusi last summer, I don't think we need sleeping bags - - do you agree?

The VF gear is fairly expensive - - I have bought most of it locally (except the lanyards and vertigo carabiners; hard to find in the US). I'm wondering if we should just rent it there, given the cost. Thoughts? Do we have to have vertigo carabiners or is there a Black Diamond model that will work?

Graham,

Your guidebook is awesome. Please advise as well.

Thanks for your advice, gentlemen.

Stu

#231 re: JULY TRIP Posted by Andrew on
Fri Jun 29, 17:38 EDT 2007

>Andrew,
>
>My son, brother, and nephew will be in Cortina starting 12 July; >first night at Hotel Menardi. We are doing Tofane VFs on 13th, VF >Ivano Dibona on 14th and 15th, and VF Trincee on 17th.
>
>Do you think we can do Tofane (CORT 12?) and Lagazoui tunnels (FALZ >1A) all in one day? If you had to pick the most scenic VF and this >was your first time doing VFs, which one would you choose? Which >rifugio is your favorite? Given my experience with the rifugi in Alpe >Siusi last summer, I don't think we need sleeping bags - - do you >agree?
>

Although I haven't climbed it myself, my understanding of it (from the Graham/Fletcher guidebook) is that it is a fairly easy ferrata, provided you use the cablecar to get up and down. If you do that, then I think you could indeed have enough time to scoot up to the Lagazuoi tunnels on the same day. Start early!

I haven't stayed in any rifugios in the Cortina area, but I can recommend a nice little hotel that I've stayed in several times : the hotel meuble myriam, on the north-ish end of the town of Cortina. Friendly mom & pop sort of place.

>The VF gear is fairly expensive - - I have bought most of it locally >(except the lanyards and vertigo carabiners; hard to find in the US). >I'm wondering if we should just rent it there, given the cost. >Thoughts? Do we have to have vertigo carabiners or is there a Black >Diamond model that will work?
>

I use Petzl AmD Ball Lock carabiners when I climb on ferratas. They are auto-locking and can be released with one hand.

here's a link to an REI page with these 'biners



>Graham,
>
>Your guidebook is awesome. Please advise as well.
>
>Thanks for your advice, gentlemen.
>
>Stu

#232 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Jun 30, 10:49 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew (and Stu)
Here are a few pieces of advice, prompted by posts in the past 24 hours.
Stu wonders if it would be possible to do (CORT 12?) and the Lagazoui tunnels all in one day. I recall that you'll have a car available, so transport between the routes won't be a problem, but the operating hours of the cable cars might well be, so an early start isn't necessarily the answer (unless you plan to walk up, which I wouldn't advise). If you're determined to try it, it's probably best to do the tunnels first, since the Lagazuoi cable car starts earlier than the Tofana lift system (I haven't got the times to hand, but check on the internet). Also, if you're trying to pack the two trips into a single day, then you'll probably be tempted to reverse the two Tofana routes once you've completed them, which would be a real shame, because the walk out to Rif. Vales is a super mountain itinerary.
Stu also asks which is the most scenic VF. Of course, it's completely subjective, but if you consider only the heart of the Dolomites (sadly, most visitors don't explore the peripheries) then I'd go for VF Brigata Tridentina (Corv 4). It's a lovely route, in scenery which just gets more spectacular as it unwinds, but it's very popular, so start very early (or after lunch if the weather's stable). You mention that some of the party are first timers, but don't let the grade (3B) put you off, since it's the upper section (which includes the suspension bridge) which earns it the grade, and that can be avoided by walking up the big bowl to the rifugio, although you'd be missing out the best part of the climb! Rif. Pisciadu has a wonderful situation, so you won't want to resist a beer to celebrate. Finally, for the return walk, I strongly recommend the longer, but more beautiful, Val de Mezdi.
Stu also asks for nominations for a favourite rifugio. Meg, my wife, 'doesn't do Rifugios', and I also prefer a bit of comfort. However, I like Rif. Scarpa, at the foot of M. Agner, and the Comici, in the Dolomiti di Sesto. The best food, though, is the pasta at Rif. Averau! If I really must stay overnight, then I always use a very light silk sleeping bag liner, which is all you need with the blankets on offer.
As for the best karabiners, I've used all sorts, but always come back to my old favourites, the Salewa VF karabiners. If you rely on rented gear, then you're unlikely to get a really good quality karabiner, and you MUST check that a previous user hasn't retied the kit in a way which renders it dangerous (as I've seen several times).
Hope this helps.
Graham

#233 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Jun 30, 11:06 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
If you bump into anyone from this forum in July then it's likely to be me, since Meg & I live here! We're at the foot of the biggest, hardest and probably the best VF of them all: VF Costantini, on Moiazza (Agord 4, volume 2).
You mentioned that you're planning to look at a few of the more challenging routes, so just a couple of words of advice about two which might be on your list.
Firstly, that excellent route, VF Eterna Brigata Cadore (Fassa 14) is closed because of the dangerous state of the protection. Here's a copy of a note I've put on the website of Cicerone, our publishers:
'The already poor protection on this route has deteriorated to the point where it has been closed until maintenance work can be carried out. The timing of this depends on the availability of funding, so it is not possible to say with certainty when it will be carried out.'
Secondly, you might want to tackle VF Stella Alpina (Agord 5), another wonderful route, which I can see from our house! Stella Alpina is very well protected, but the normal descent route is closed at the moment because of the unstable state of the rock. Again, I'll paste in a note from Cicerone's website: 'This route has recently been closed since unstable rock above the route renders it potentially dangerous. Work will be undertaken to remove or stabilise the area of rock when funds are available but, in the meantime, you should not use VF Canalone, notwithstanding any advice you might receive locally that the route can still be climbed safely. You should instead use the Via Normale as your means of descent from Monte Agner, which is a much more attractive route anyway! '
I'd be interested to hear what your plans are.
Cheers, Graham



#234 THANKS AGAIN Posted by Stu on
Sat Jun 30, 13:55 EDT 2007

Andrew / Graham,

Thanks again, gentlemen, for such good advice. I do hope we happen to meet you along the way next month. I'll be sure to report back with a post how it all turns out.

Best regards,

Stu

#235 re: advice on routes Posted by Andrew on
Sat Jun 30, 17:58 EDT 2007

Graham... thanks for all of the info. Much appreciated.

I was in fact hoping to make the agordo / pale di san martino area one of the places to explore on my upcoming visit. I haven't yet done any routes in that area (plus the routes do look interesting there).

I'm also eyeing a few routes in the southwestern periphery of the area, down around lake garda / rovereto / trento / verona area. We'll probably do a few of those when we first arrive (14-16th ish of July or thereabouts).

After that, though, we're likely to head to the Pale di. S. Martino area and the Agordo area. I'm thinking of one of the routes up Civetta; I'm thinking about the VF fiamme gialle up monte pelsa - that sounds nice, too. In the Pale di S. Martino, I'm thinking that VF bolver luigi sounds nice, challenging, and interesting. Oh, and also I've been wanting to do the ferrata up to the top of the Marmolada for a while now, so we'll probably aim for that as well.

Anything is a possibility, really, including some of the 5Cs you mentioned. We'll see how our little group of 4 do on some slightly less challenging ferrate before I push for those.

Sounds like you have a great spot to live in - if you can see the AGORD4 ferrata, then you must be somewhere around Agordo. wow! Perhaps we'll see you out on these routes? I would not be suprised, though, if you been up and down all of these a few times....

...Andrew

#236 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jul 02, 04:27 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
Right first time: yes, we live in Agordo.
You've got quite an agenda for a two week trip, so let's hope you get good weather, so you're not wasting time waiting for the storms to clear! I'm pleased to read that you're including the Lago di Garda area in your itinerary, although it'll be rather warm and humid in July, so try to make early starts if you can. Over the years we've used Arco as our base: it's a lovely, historically important little town, and with some really good gear shops - and one of the best ice-cream shops you'll ever come across (La Tariffa, on the main drag). Let me know if you want some suggestions for accomodation.
As for the rest of your trip, you have some interesting routes in mind. The only one that you mention which I'd have misgivings about is the Monte Pelsa route. John, my co-author researched this one, and did the initial write-up. You'll see that he was very enthusiastic about it, although quite why has always been a mystery to me! When I climbed it, with a couple of friends, we all hated it! Mind you, we were caught in a major storm on the way down, so that didn't help. Seriously though, in a short trip like the one you're planning, I think you can spend your time more profitably.
Graham

#237 Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jul 02, 10:01 EDT 2007

>Hi Andrew
>Right first time: yes, we live in Agordo.
>You've got quite an agenda for a two week trip, so let's hope you
>get good weather, so you're not wasting time waiting for the
>storms to clear!

Hi, Graham.

Our agenda does have a lot of stuff on it, but it is deliberately not firm - and if the weather is bad, we're going to head into nearby cities (e.g. go visit the Biennale in Venice or something like that) and do routes when the weather improves. And if that means that we don't do as many ferrate as possible, well... that's ok.

>I'm pleased to read that you're including the Lago di Garda area in
>your itinerary, although it'll be rather warm and humid in July, so
>try to make early starts if you can. Over the years we've used Arco
>as our base: it's a lovely, historically important little town, and
>with some really good gear shops - and one of the best ice-cream
>shops you'll ever come across (La Tariffa, on the main drag). Let me
>know if you want some suggestions for accomodation.

Hey, that's great information. Sure, I'd love your accommodation suggestions! Thank you so much!

>As for the rest of your trip, you have some interesting routes in
>mind. The only one that you mention which I'd have misgivings about
>is the Monte Pelsa route. John, my co-author researched this one, and
>did the initial write-up. You'll see that he was very enthusiastic
>about it, although quite why has always been a mystery to me! When I
>climbed it, with a couple of friends, we all hated it! Mind you, we
>were caught in a major storm on the way down, so that didn't help.
>Seriously though, in a short trip like the one you're planning, I
>think you can spend your time more profitably.

Hmm... interesting advice, and I'll definitely take it under consideration. Apart from the storm, what was it in particular that made you hate it? Unaesthetic? The iffy descent route? Poor protection? It certainly seemed nice in the description!

>Graham

Andrew

P.S. if anything that we're doing interests you, you are welcome to come along!

#238 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jul 02, 10:59 EDT 2007

Hello again Andrew
About 3 years ago we found a really good apartment complex (La Porta del Cuore), and we've used it a couple of times a year ever since. It's in a quiet, leafy side street, but only about 2 minutes from the town centre. It has a range of different sized apartments, and secure basement car parking (parking can be a problem in the summer in Arco). The only drawback might be that there's a minimum stay of 3 nights in the high season, but that might well fit in with your plans, since there's stacks of good, hard climbing to be done in the area. The website is at: http://www.laportadelcuore.it
Like most places in Italy, the office closes down for a couple of hours at lunchtime, but the receptionist, Lucy, speaks excellent English.
Monte Pelsa: where do I start? The walk-in seems to go on for ever, with no views to speak of because of the tree cover. When you do actually start to climb, the rock is interspersed with more steep walking through the woods. As one of my English companions said 'if I'd wanted to go walking, I'd have stayed in the f****** lake district'! In my view, it's only the final 75m wall that's worthwhile, and then only if you do the harder option of the two. The descent is a stinker: at least it was in a storm. It involves a seemingly endless, steep gully, on rock which is so friable that close attention is needed the whole time, which isn't easy after a climb of 1300m or so. There's simply much better things to do with a day on a short trip.
Thanks for the invitation to join you: I might well come along, provided you're not doing Monte Pelsa!
Graham

#239 Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jul 03, 07:26 EDT 2007

Ok, good clarification on the Monte Pelsa route!

Interesting little spot, the 'porta del cuore'. I'll definitely look into what they have to offer.

As far as meeting up for an outing, we'll have to exchange contact information. Why don't you use the 'feedback' link (either on the left-hand side of the page or at the very bottom) to send me an e-mail address? (that way only I will see it, and not the whole world!). I can then give you my e-mail address and we can exchange more specific information that way.

...Andrew

#240 Routes Posted by Richard on
Tue Jul 03, 21:07 EDT 2007

Graham and Andrew,

My wife and I are planning a trip to the Dolomites during the beginning of September and I have a few questions for you:

1 Is the weather typically good this time of year? Are thunderstorms or snow common?
2 Are all cable cars/ski lifts open in September? When do they close for the season?
3 We are considering staying in Arabba as a base? Is Arabba a good location or would you recommend somewhere else?
4 Of the VF that you have done, what would be your top ten list of best VF?
5 What type of VF gloves do you recommend and where can you buy them in the states?

Thank you.

#241 re: Routes Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jul 03, 22:51 EDT 2007

Hi, Richard

I've been to the Dolomites a couple of times in the fall, and it is a nice time of year for several reasons:

1) definitely quieter and less crowds.
2) weather CAN be very cool and refreshing.

But,

1) not all cable lifts are open. Of course, this may just mean a longer approach hike for a particular ferrata, if you are ok with that.

2) not all rifugios are open.

3) you may get an early snowfall. Probably not an issue in September, but it can happen.

My top list of ferrata (so far) are probably:

-Brigata Tridentina (Pisciadu Climbing Path)
-Ferrata dei finanzieri (Colac)
-Via delle Bocchette Centrale (in the Brenta)
-Trincee ferrata
-Col Rosa Ferrata
-Punta Fiammes Ferrata

I'll have more to add after I come back from my July trip, I'm sure.

As for gloves, I'd recommend anything relatively snug-fitting and with the fingers cut off. Home Depot might have some gardening gloves that fit the bill. Or even some cycling gloves might do as well.

Don't know too much about accommodations in Arabba, but I'd guess there'll be something appropriate for you there. It seems like most small towns have reasonable accommodations.

...Andrew

#242 Routes Posted by Richard on
Tue Jul 03, 23:05 EDT 2007

Andrew,
Thank you very much for the prompt reply. I have a few more questions, if you don't mind:
1. Do you know how I can find out which lifts will be open 9/2-9/10 (internet, etc)?
2. Have you done any via ferrata in Switzerland? Do you know of any guide books for Switzerland via ferrata?
Thanks again! Thanks for the route recommendations too, very helpful.
Richard

#243 Routes Posted by Richard on
Tue Jul 03, 23:14 EDT 2007

Andrew,
Thank you very much for the prompt reply. I have a few more questions, if you don't mind:
1. Do you know how I can find out which lifts will be open 9/2-9/10 (internet, etc)?
2. Have you done any via ferrata in Switzerland? Do you know of any guide books for Switzerland via ferrata?
Thanks again! Thanks for the route recommendations too, very helpful.
Richard

#244 via ferrata boots Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Wed Jul 04, 06:13 EDT 2007

I am planning a trip to Italy to do the Boucchette Route this summer. Do i really need to buy new stiff boots? Will my three season comfy boots do - i would hike for weeks in them in the Himalaya but for Italy I seem to need more?

#245 re: Routes Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jul 04, 17:33 EDT 2007

Hi, Richard

Unfortunately, I don't have any info on specific openings and closings of cablecar stations. I can only suggest calling or e-mailing a tourist office in the area you are interested in.

Secondly, don't know about ferrate in Switzerland. I'm sure there are some (and in France and probably other countries too), but I haven't done any research into that area. Perhaps Google 'klettersteig switzerland'?

#246 re: via ferrata boots Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jul 04, 17:34 EDT 2007

Hi there

I think you'll be probably be fine in your 3-season boots on the ferrate delle Bocchette. Note that I've only done the Bocchette centrale section, but I found it was mostly ladders and ledges, so the actual climbing demanded of your boots is not super high.

...Andrew

#247 Graham? Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jul 12, 17:19 EDT 2007

Hi, Graham

Haven't heard from you after our last back-and-forth. If you are still interested in potentially meeting up for an outing, you can contact me by using my feedback form link to send an e-mail. The link is available in the sidebar, but here it is inline and you can just click straight away on it. If you are busy or meeting up for an outing doesn't work out, that's ok, too, and thanks for all of your great advice!

contact form

#248 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Jul 13, 09:17 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
I've just sent a note through to you via the feedback form but, since this is my second attempt to get through to you by this means, I'm posting this to let you know that I've sent you my contact details.
If you don't get the feedback note, let me know and we'll think of something else!
Graham

#249 Arabba Posted by June Carr on
Sat Jul 14, 16:59 EDT 2007

Hi, I am hoping to go to Arabba early August to do some hiking and wonder if it is possible to get there without my own transport. I am living in Rome and will take public transport to the nearest big town. Also, I have been trying to check out budget accomodation on the net and seem to only get hotels or apartments! Any ideas of good websites or better still - can you reccommend any cheap accomodation for one mature lady! I am willing to wash dishes......

#250 Marmolada/Swiss VF Posted by Craig on
Mon Jul 16, 04:39 EDT 2007

Hi
Does anyone have any info on the current state of the glaciar descent from punta penia?I saw some photos from a couple of years ago where the trail zig zagged around some pretty big crevasses.Is this avoidable if i was heading up myself?Anyone up for it last 2wks July?
There is a book on swiss Ferrata..they had it at george fishers in the lakes.Theres also a Klettersteig book for Austria and Germany,its good but beware,some of the info is out of date.Last year on one route a section of cable car i hoped to use had been removed..about 10years before!

#251 Transport to Arabba Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jul 17, 09:01 EDT 2007

This is a note mainly for June Carr, who was asking about getting to Arabba by public transport. Yes June, you can manage it, but it's quite a slow journey. If you're travelling from Venezia, there's only one bus a day which goes through to Arabba, and even then it only runs on workdays. It leaves Piazzale Roma at 15.55, and arrives in Arabba at 20.10. On the assumption that you'll want to go back the same way, you'll need to set your alarm clock! The return bus leaves Arabba at 06.20, and arrives in Venezia at 10.10.
You can pick up the same bus at Belluno, if that would be easier for you: it leaves at 18.10.
I guess you'll know Trenitalia's website at: http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
which will help you plan your journey to Venezia or Belluno.
You were also asking about accommodation, but I can't really help you here. Arabba's become more developed and touristy over the 10 years I've known it, and the price of accommodation has gone up accordingly. There are still a few little guesthouses in the village though, but I think it would be unwise to turn up without booking ahead in August. The local tourist office should be able to help with better advice than I can offer, but I'm sure you can find a number of places at ?30-?40 a night for B&B (no dishwashing deals on offer though).
Anyway, have a great time, wherever you finish up!
Graham

#252 Posted by June Carr on
Sat Jul 21, 22:05 EDT 2007

Thanks Graham, all that information is really helpful. I will act on the advice and book ahead for accomodation. Thanks again, June

#253 recent experience Posted by Drew on
Wed Aug 01, 22:54 EDT 2007

We just returned from a great several week trip to Italy. We completed the Roda de Vael, Masare, Gran Cir, Brigatta Tridentina, Torre Toblino, Monte Paterno and Torre Cadin routes. If anyone wants any beta on any of these, I'd be happy to share.

#254 Via Attrezzata del Gronton Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Aug 07, 10:34 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
Anyone planning a trip to the area of Passo san Pellegrino should be aware that this route has now been closed for maintenance, with notices to that effect posted at each end.
It's a beautifully constructed, old wartime path but, over the years, a lot of fallen rock has accumulated on the surface of the route, along most of its length. Whilst it's perfectly easy to clamber over it, work is now to be carried out to remove several hundred boulders (they've all been marked with red crosses) to restore the integrity of the original construction. Some new cabling has already been installed, with more to come.
It's going to be a big job, and the route won't be formally reopened in the near future but, in the meantime, it's still a straightforward excursion until the work gets underway, although no timetable is yet available.

#255 the name Posted by Kaspars on
Wed Aug 08, 04:30 EDT 2007

Hi!
We also are back from our first ferrata trip in Dolomites. Thank You for web material, it really helped. May I ask You for one more help if You can? One of our relaxing routes was Sentiero ... (excause me, for I do not have Smiths guidebook with me right now, but I hope the second name was Astaldi. In Smiths book it was found under Cortina as grade 1A under number 9 or so I think) witch starts at rif.Dibona (1.picture). Taking the way up to ferrata, I took some pictures, looking back to rif.Dibona - over the road (Cotina - Passo Falzarego) was gorgeous mountains (2.picture). But I was not able to find, what the name has these "ribs" (3.picture) if they has.
Excause for my English :(
Pictures:
http://kasis.lv/dolom1.jpg
http://kasis.lv/dolom2.jpg
http://kasis.lv/dolom3.jpg

#256 re: Sentiero Astaldi Posted by Andrew on
Wed Aug 08, 07:12 EDT 2007

Hi there. Nice pictures!

I'm not sure I exactly understand your question. Are you saying that you couldn't find the sentiero Astaldi, or are you asking about what the name of the rock strata encountered on the route is? or something else...?

We did the Sentiero Astaldi just a few weeks ago. This will be one of the new routes info will be posted for in the coming weeks on this website.

...Andrew

#257 the name Posted by Kaspars on
Wed Aug 08, 08:13 EDT 2007

:) My English..
The question is, what is the name of mountain, seen in third picture

#258 re: Croda da Lago Posted by Andrew on
Wed Aug 08, 22:12 EDT 2007

Hi there. Thanks for the clarification. The mountain in your picture is called 'Croda da Lago', maximum altitude 2715m. More info can be found here:

http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/152949/Croda-da-Lago.html

...Andrew

#259 the name Posted by Kaspars on
Thu Aug 09, 02:54 EDT 2007

Thanks a lot!!

#260 Ivano Dibona Posted by Richard on
Sun Aug 12, 01:45 EDT 2007

Is is possible to complete the Ivano Dibona route in one day with your own transportation? Any information is appreciated.

#261 re: Ivano Dibona Posted by Andrew on
Sun Aug 12, 12:55 EDT 2007

Hi there

well... I think you might need to use some sort of public transport if you only have one vehicle. I've only done the upper part of the route, not the whole thing end-to-end.

...Andrew

#262 Ivano Dibona Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Aug 13, 09:14 EDT 2007

This is one for Richard, who was asking about the possibility of tackling this route using one's own transport. Andrew has already made the point that you'd need to use public transport if you only have one car available, and he's quite right. If you have two cars available you could drop one at the north-western end of the route, at Ospitale, and then drive back to the start at Rio Gere. However, you'd be committing yourselves to about 45 minutes of extra driving at the beginning and end of your day. With only one car, you'd need to get the bus into Cortina after completing the route, and then a second bus back to Rio Gere to pick up your car. The only sensible way to tackle this route, in my view, is to leave your car in Cortina, get the bus to Rio Gere, and then, after completing the route, get the bus back into Cortina to collect your car. The first bus from Cortina in the morning was at 08.35 last year, but you'd better check the current timetable at the bus station. There were buses back to Cortina at 16.10 & 18.40, but again these are last year's times and need checking. Whilst it's a fairly long route, the bus timetable gives you lots of time to complete the trip.

#263 Itinerary Posted by Richard on
Tue Aug 14, 13:44 EDT 2007

Graham and Andrew,

Thank you for the information. We will be in the Dolomites in early September and have the following VF on our to do list.

Gran Cir &Piz Da Cir V
Giovanni Barbara and Lucio Dalaiti
Santner Pass
Marino Bianchi & beginning of Ivano Dibona
Brigata Tridentina
Michielli Strobel
Delle Scallete
Via Delle Trincee
Ferrata Del Centenario SAT

Are there any of these routes that you would not recommend or other routes that you would recommend from those listed above?

Can you recommend some of the best hikes in the Dolomites?

Thanks again,

Richard

#264 Richard's Itinerary Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Aug 16, 11:56 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew: I'm eagerly awaiting your account of your recent trip but, in the meantime, here's some comments on Richard's proposed itinerary.
I think you're in danger of spending as much time driving as you are climbing! Your list includes stuff in the Sesto Dolomites, routes in the Cortina area and the Sella, the Catinaccio, and right across to Lake Garda (although that might be on the way back to the airport?) Since you asked for suggestions, here's a few points that might be useful.
I wouldn't waste a day on the Giovanni Barbara route: it used to be a pleasant outing but, since it was made more 'accessible' for tourists, it's been turned into a picnic site with wires. If you want to fill the slot with something in the same area, have a look at VF Ettore Bovero, which has really good climbing, although it's a bit short for the walking involved. Another route not on your list, and in an area you'll be visiting is Piz da Lech. It's an excellent route, and arrives at a summit with superb views.
You're then off to the Catinaccio, and have picked the Santner Pass route. If I only had one day in the area I'd personally choose VFs Masare & Roda de Vael. The former is quite hard for its grade, but the combination of the two makes for a really good day.
I see that, following your query about completing the Ivano Dibona route using your own vehicle, you've revised your plans. I think your current idea is the best way to spend a day on the Cristallo group and doesn't raise the problem of retrieving your car. Incidentally, the upper part of the Marino Bianchi route now has a separate, partly cabled, descent route, which reduces the problem of congestion.
You'll enjoy the delle Scalette route in the Sesto, but why not also do the de Luca/Innerkofler route on the way back to Rif. Auronzo. You can easily do both in a day (but take a torch for the tunnels).
Finally, you asked about hiking in the Dolomites, although I don't know when you're going to fit it in! For my money, the finest walking in the Dolomites is in the Tofane/Lagazuoi area, north of Passo Falzarego.
Have a great time!
Graham

#265 Bocchette Centrale Posted by Peter on
Wed Aug 22, 21:53 EDT 2007

Hi,

Wow, lots of info here.

I will be in Italy the last two weeks in Sept visiting a cousin near Trento. I was hoping to find someone who could give me or point me to some in-depth info on the Bocchette Centrale route.

#266 re: Bocchette Centrale Posted by Andrew on
Wed Aug 22, 23:13 EDT 2007

Hi, Peter

I just came back from doing most of the Bocchette Centrale route, and I'll be putting up new route descriptions on this page in the next few weeks on just that. Stay tuned.

...Andrew

#267 Bocchette Centrale Posted by Peter on
Fri Aug 24, 00:40 EDT 2007

Ok, looking forward to it.

#268 Thank you! Posted by Margaret on
Fri Aug 24, 15:06 EDT 2007

Andrew, You Rock! Thank you Graham for your very helpful input too.

We are off for a fun advenuture to VF in the Dolomites and your site is invalueable.

Best,
Margaret

#269 re: Bocchette Centrale Posted by Andrew on
Fri Aug 24, 18:05 EDT 2007

Hi, Peter

Wait a second... I just realized -- I've already done the Bochette Centrale! So, you can just go to the page that describes it (I assume you haven't yet based on your earlier post):

Via Bocchette Centrale Description

#270 re: Bocchette Centrale Posted by Peter on
Sun Aug 26, 23:23 EDT 2007

Andrew,

Thanks for the link, I missed it. I am going through a bit of a steep learning curve about the VF and the geography of Italy. If I understand correctly most if not all of the routes you have posted on your site will be within a short drive from were I will be visiting. Ragoli is the name of the village, and it is just south of the Bocchette Centrale, about an hour or less by car. Mmmmm this is going to be better than I thought.

#271 Itinerary Posted by Richard on
Thu Aug 30, 09:38 EDT 2007

Graham,

Thank you for the information. I will definitely follow your advice.

Richard

#272 Buying gear Posted by Bernard on
Tue Sep 04, 12:29 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew - Great site. I have just got back from Julian Alps in Slovenia and would highly recommend it to anyone who fancies some high mountain routes with pegs and cables to protect the exposed parts, but who doesn't feel quite ready for a fully fledged via ferrata. My question is this : a friend has said that it is easier and cheaper to buy harnesses, helmets, y-ropes etc in Italy, and that there are plenty of shops in the towns of the Dolomites. Is this your experience too. Please advise: bbulaitis@googlemail.com

#273 re: buying gear Posted by Andrew on
Wed Sep 05, 06:59 EDT 2007

Hello. I have heard of what you say, but in my particular case I've never tried to buy or rent gear from local stores in the dolomites. Perhaps if Graham is reading the forum, he can comment (since he lives in the dolomites and likely has had more contact with local stores).

...Andrew

#274 Buying gear Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Sep 07, 11:19 EDT 2007

Hi Bernard
I've just seen your query about buying gear, and Andrew's suggestion that I might have something to add.
Your friend is right: most towns, even relatively small villages, in the Dolomites sell VF gear. Of course, the larger the town, the greater the number of outlets and, competition being what it is, the better the price. When I need new gear I tend to visit either Cortina, Bolzano, or Arco (north of Lake Garda), each of which has a good range of shops with a lot of gear from which to choose. Actually, I think that's the main advantage to buying stuff here: the wider choice available. I've seen quite a few shops in the mountain areas of the UK where it's possible to buy VF kits, but the range on offer is pretty limited (I?d guess that the same applies to gear shops in the States and Canada as well). In my view, one of the main things to look for when buying ready made VF sets is the type of karabiner included: in fact, that would be the factor which would determine my choice. I?ve used quite a lot of designs which are sold as suitable for VFs, but my strong preference is for the type where the gate is released by pressure from the heel of the thumb, which is naturally applied when the krab is offered up to the cable. This type is available from Salewa, Mammut and Camp (I use Salewa Attac G2s).
As to whether gear is cheaper here than elsewhere, that?s more difficult. The only comparison I can make with confidence is with the UK and, yes, it?s cheaper here in the Dolomites ? at the moment. My reason for putting it that way is the effect of varying exchange rates (over the 8 year life of the euro, there?s been a big variation in its value against sterling).
If you want to do a bit of research on prices and choice, have a look at www.sportler.com . Sportler are quite a large chain, and claim to be the biggest outdoor equipment shop in the alps: they certainly have an enormous shop in Bolzano.
Graham

#275 Sentiero Attrezzato Gaetano Falcipieri Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Sep 10, 12:12 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
I've just looked at your report of your day on this super route - congratulations on an excellent presentation!
Meg & I did this route 5 years ago now, and we haven't had the opportunity to go back, so I'd be interested to know if the diversion between Gallerie 41 & 42 is still in place. I would hope that the route had been repaired by now, but the landslip which was the problem was a pretty big one, so perhaps it's still not reinstated?
Incidentally, you obviously had a much better day than we had, weatherwise!
Graham

#276 re: Sentiero Attrezzato Gaetano Falcipieri Posted by Andrew on
Mon Sep 10, 14:18 EDT 2007

Hi, Graham

Yes, the 'detour' around the slide is still there - but there is a quite reasonable 'herdpath' (i.e. unofficial footpath) that traverses over the slide, and we took that. It wasn't at all bad, and the footing on this new little footpath is good.

...Andrew

#277 Posted by Paolo (Treviso-Italy) on
Tue Sep 18, 09:43 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew,
great web site, congratulations! Contents and Photographs are of a very high quality.
I've noticed some great ferrate are still not here:
- Lipella in Tofana di Rozes
- Costantini in Moiazza (Civetta group)
- Stella Alpina in Monte Agner (Pale di San Martino Group)
- Tomaselli in Fanis Group.
....
It would be a pleasure to meet you in one of these routes next time you'll come in the Dolomites.
Ciao and thank you for the good job.
Paolo

#278 Posted by Andrew on
Tue Sep 18, 17:38 EDT 2007

Hi, Paolo

Thank you very much for the compliments on the web site.

All of the ferrata you've listed below interest me very much, and I look forward to doing them at some point. Who knows, maybe we will meet on a route (I'll have to rely on you saying hi, because you will of course be able to recognize me).

...Andrew

#279 visiting in Oct Posted by Karen Steer on
Wed Sep 26, 11:10 EDT 2007

Hellow Andrew et al:
A very helpful site - thanks for sharing all your info and experiences. A question that I'm hoping you or someone who visits this site can answer:
I will be traveling to Italy in mid-October and am very interested in a mix of overnight hiking (1-2 nites max), day hikes, and small town ramblings. I am thinking of 3 days in the Dolomites. The various hikes in the Brenta region and the Via Ferrata sound amazing, but it seems that most of the refugio are closed in mid-Oct. What do you recommend?
Is it possible to take one-day trips to the area that would allow me to see the beauty of the dolomites but then still return to a town that has accommodations? Are there any refugio still open at that time that would be worthwhile to plan a trip around? Is the region in general just too cold and snowy and I should plan my time elsewhere in Italy.
Thanks for all your help! Karen

#280 re: visiting in Oct Posted by Andrew on
Wed Sep 26, 18:41 EDT 2007

Hi there.

The general answer to your question about whether it is too cold or snowy in October is....

It depends.

I've been in the Dolomites in October when there wasn't a stitch of snow, and I've been in September when we got dumped on. So, you'll have to play that one by ear.

As for rifugios, it does seem that most are closed in October (perhaps Graham knows of some that aren't). Also, most of the lift systems are shut down, too, so that may hamper your access. However, there are many routes that can be done in a day (e.g. Col Rosa and Punta Fiammes near Cortina, both of which are lower-ish in altitude and which don't require any chairlifts to get to). In the Brenta Group, something like the Sentiero SOSAT could be done as a day hike from the Vallesinella parking lot. There are other examples as well.

If you look at my writeups, you can usually tell if it is going to be more suitable for an October outing:

(a) is it relatively short distance-wise?
(b) is it at a relatively low elevation (i.e. less chance of snow/ice)?
(c) is it described with a chairlift approach?

The best options will be the ones where (a), (b), and (c) are all true.

#281 October in the Dolomites Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Sep 27, 08:57 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew & Karen
Well, the snow's arrived already! Here in Agordo, we've had quite heavy rain for the last 2 days and, of course, it's been falling as snow above about 1500m. Is it here to stay for the winter, though? The forecast is for temperatures to climb again over the next few days, but it's anybody's guess whether that will be sustained sufficiently for the snow to melt away. Last year we had warm, sunny weather right through till the end of October, but that was pretty exceptional: we often get quite deep snow cover during September, and it looks as though this year might be falling into that pattern. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Dolomites become a no-go area, but you need to bring along the right equipment and clothing, and perhaps limit yourself to rather lower level walking.
As far as rifugios are concerned, most have now closed or are about to do so. The only ones which will remain open during October would be those with road access and which can therefore expect steady business throughout the year. But you can certainly enjoy some great day excursions from valley bases, so don't get too hung up on the closure of rifugios.
Andrew mentioned the usefulness of the lift systems, but again most have now closed until the start of the winter season. There are, however, a couple which have unusually long summer seasons because they attract large numbers of visitors right into the autumn. These are the Passo Pordoi lift (into the Sella group) and the Passo Falzarego lift (into the Lagazuoi group), and both open up some wonderful high mountain walking opportunities. The Pordoi lift is open till 21st October, and the Falzarego lift till the 5th November.

#282 Via in May Posted by Bob on
Wed Oct 03, 16:55 EDT 2007

Hello Andrew,

I am planing on going to do some via ferrata next year with my brother. I found your site and find it very helpful. All the information are so well displayed and very useful. Thanks a lot for sharing all of this.

I have a question for you, because of time problems, we will only be able to go to the dolomites in mid or maybe end of May. Could the weather be a problem at that time of the year?

Thanks for your answer
Great web site!!!

Bob

#283 ferrata in may Posted by Andrew on
Wed Oct 03, 18:55 EDT 2007

Hi there.

You may find that there is still significant snow in the higher dolomites in May. Keep this in mind when planning your routes; it may well turn the higher ferratas into true alpine mixed climbs.

The lower regions / routes should be fine at that time of year (e.g. punta fiammes, che guevara, etc). Have a look at the route descriptions to see what the maximum altitude of each is. You can then use this as a guide for what routes are more likely to be 'in shape' in May.

...Andrew

#284 Thanks Posted by Bob on
Wed Oct 03, 21:03 EDT 2007

Hey Andrew,

I really appreciate your quick answer. I already bought a lot a new gears to be ready for some cold weather in may, I am still deciding on the shoes. I was also wondering if all the routes will be open at that time and if we will be able to do vias like the Bochette central and Bochette Alte?

Well once again thanks a lot for your answers and once again amazing job for you web site!!!!

take it easy!

Bob

#285 Posted by Andrew on
Wed Oct 03, 22:02 EDT 2007

Hi Again, and thanks for the compliments on the web site.

I'm not sure what you mean by the term 'open'. If you mean 'passable', then my finger-in-the-air guess is that you have a less than 50% chance that routes like the Bocchette Centrale and Bocchette Alte will be passable.

When I say 'passable', I mean it in terms of climbing it with all or most of the wire available for you to use, and with no terrain requiring extensive use of ice ax, crampons or ropes.

The transition from a 'passable' route to a 'not passable' route, as they say, is gray, and it is moveable. I don't know what your particular mountaineering skill level is - perhaps you are ok with stretches of buried wire or hard ice above extreme exposure. So, what may be easy for person A may be extremely difficult for person B. It depends.

Again, I'll repeat my initial statement. In May, I'd say there is a greater than 50% chance that the high routes in the Brenta will be in winter condition, requiring more than basic ferrata climbing skills.

There are far more experienced people than me on this forum. Anyone else on here care to comment? Graham, perhaps?

...Andrew

#286 Early November Posted by Steve on
Fri Oct 05, 07:51 EDT 2007

Both skilled mountaineers, both myself and collegue are planning a trip to the Dolomites in early November. Never having VF'd before, are the routes above 2000 completely out of the question due to icing of cables etc, Can you recommend any suitable routes or should we give it a miss?

#287 Early November Posted by Steve on
Fri Oct 05, 08:46 EDT 2007

Both skilled mountaineers, both myself and collegue are planning a trip to the Dolomites in early November. Never having VF'd before, are the routes above 2000 completely out of the question due to icing of cables etc, Can you recommend any suitable routes or should we give it a miss?

#288 VFs in late May/early November Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Oct 05, 12:44 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew
Thanks for the invitation to comment on Bob's recent queries about VFs in late May. I see that similar issues have also been raised by Steve, who's considering a trip in November. I think your advice to Bob, that he has only a 50% chance of finding routes in condition in May, is about right. I also agree with your suggestion that he should be looking at areas outside the Dolomites proper, such as Lake Garda, Bassano del Grappa and Vicenza, where there is excellent climbing to be found. These areas don't get the exposure they deserve, particularly since you can pretty much guarantee good climbing conditions throughout the whole year.
Steve's thoughts of a November trip to climb Dolomite VFs seem to me to be incredibly optimistic. It seems to me, Steve, that it depends on what you really want to do. If you want to climb VFs in November, then forget about the Dolomites, and go to the areas I mentioned above. If a visit to the Dolomites is more important, then come prepared for full-on winter conditions. You'd be hard pressed to find any cables at that time of year, unless you tackle some of the steepest, and therefore hardest, routes. The other issue you should consider is snow conditions. November falls into that difficult period in the Dolomites, where ther's quite a lot of snow, but it's not consolidated enough to climb safely.

#289 Posted by Bob on
Fri Oct 05, 13:34 EDT 2007

Dear Graham,
First of all thank you so much for you and Andrew to answer to my questions so rapidly.
I can now realize by your answers that we might get into a real challenge by going in the Dolomites in May but we want to do the Bochette so bad...
I have been once in Lake Garda and know how beautifull is this part of Italy. I was wondering if there are via ferratas as well over there or if it is regular rock climbing. If so where can I found info about those vias?
Well have a good day guys
Thanks again

Bob

#290 VFs in Lake Garda area Posted by Andrew on
Fri Oct 05, 18:19 EDT 2007

Hi.

I myself have only done two ferratas in the Lake Garda area (and one a little further away to the east). These are all documented on my web page here - just go to the ferrata overview map and you'll see them over by Lake Garda.

As for the rest... well, they are well documented in the Fletcher/Smith Ferrata guidebook, or you could ask on other web sites on the 'net.

Or wait until I get chance to do more of them... ;-)

...Andrew

#291 What about june ? Posted by Bobby on
Mon Oct 08, 05:32 EDT 2007

Hi guys,

I'm bobby, bob's brother.
First, congratulations for this wonderful website and this huge amount of information.
We got well your 50-pourcent-chance-of-going-thru-in-May piece of advice. What do you think about last 2 weeks of june? Any chance to get better conditions ? Actually, we'd like to find a compromise between about-nice weather and about-not-crowded via ferratas.
I've seen on the website that you had your GPS track reported on a "real" chart. Did you load digital charts of dolomites on a GPS to do that? If so, could you tell me where you got those digital charts?
Thank you.
Cordialement,

Bobby

#292 re: June Posted by Andrew on
Mon Oct 08, 09:02 EDT 2007

Hi there, Bobby

Yes - the end of June is likely going to improve your chances of getting an 'in-condition' ferrata route. There will still likely be some late season snow lingering in deep gullies or north-facing aspects of slopes. So... if there is any chance of that, you might want to consider taking an ice ax and crampons (this sort of thing varies depending on the type of route). Either that or try and pick routes that have a generally south-facing aspect.

In any case, your chances of good conditions, I'd say, go from 50% to probably 90 or 95%.

Regarding my tracks - those are simply paper topographic maps (scanned-in by me) that have had my GPS tracklog (i.e. the one I took while on the climb) drawn on top by me.

...Andrew

#293 Tks Posted by Bobby on
Wed Oct 10, 05:30 EDT 2007

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your precious help and quick answer.
See ya

The Bob frenchies

#294 World's Highest Via Ferrata Posted by Jason on
Sat Dec 01, 00:58 EST 2007

Hello,
My friend who has just came back from his Asia tour, told me about a World's Highest Via Ferrata that was just open in Oct 2007 on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysian, Borneo.
Has anyone heard of this or try it?
Jason

#295 Garda surrounds ironways Posted by Aruges on
Mon Dec 24, 04:45 EST 2007

They are many ferratas around Garda lake. Some of them are unknowned by strangers because not celebrated. Nevertherless they are beautiful and sometimes athletics.
I done some of them last summer, and some years ago:
- Amicizia ironway on SAT-pike (Riva Del Garda), grade C /D, 6 hours ;
- Dei Colodri ironway ( Arco Di Trento), grade A/B, 4 hours;
- Rio Salagoni ironway ( Dro), grade C/D, 3 hours;
- Favogna ironway ( Favogna / Fernberg), grade B/C, 5/6 hours;
- Gerardo Sega ( Avio, Molini valley), grade C/D, 6/7 hours;
- Giulo Segata ( Rovereto, prati di Viote), grade D and E, 3 hours;

and those one I don't make:
- De Gasperi ( prati di Viote);
- Campalani (Ilasi valley);
- Angelo Viali ( Arzignano);
- Che Guevara ( Pietramurata).

I climbed on that one celebrated:
- Rino Pisetta ferrata (Sarche), grade E, 5 hours;
- Ottomarangoni ferrata (Mori), grade E, 2/3 hours.


Bonne grimpe , salutations sportives .

#296 Posted by Amanda (British Columbia) on
Mon Jan 07, 01:40 EST 2008

Hey Andrew,

Dude - your website rocks. I stumbled across it a few years back and was amazed by the pictures. Didn't think I was ever going to get to Italy to experience it...but just getting divorced and I've got the time and money now...So thanks man. I'm pretty sure I've convinced a friend of mine to make the trek to Europe summer of 2008. Really, the website and all the pics and info are truly inspiring. Kudos.

#297 canada ferrata Posted by Aruges on
Wed Jan 09, 12:59 EST 2008

Ow , British Columbia , what a pleasure as souvenir for myself !
I was in september 2007 in Victoria on Vancouver Island.
A very long trip from Europe .
In Canada it seems to be a lonely ferrata :
http://www.whistlerguides.com/summer/ferrata/ferrata.htm
Soon olympics games with Inuits ?

#298 new dolomit ironway Posted by Aruges on
Wed Feb 06, 08:01 EST 2008

Well , what a great discussion on that message board !
Allright... I give you a small information about a new ferrata since 2007 : in Brescia area's , Idro lake ,Crench ferrata is its name.
Good chat !

#299 thank you Posted by Andrew on
Thu Feb 07, 07:13 EST 2008

Hi, Aruges

Thank you for the information. Always nice to know about new vie ferrate.

...Andrew

#300 ferrata Pertini Posted by Aruges on
Wed Feb 20, 06:29 EST 2008

Sandro Pertini ironway in val Gardena is definitively dismantled since few weeks.The Italian opposition group take this decision because the ferrata was in an natural parc. (Aruges past message).

Correction:V.F. Pertini was not dismantled but only closed at that time. Since 2008 february beginning, the European Council decide to open it again.
Localization : Selva town, Vallunga, national park Puez and Gardenaccia.

#301 VF Pertini Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Mar 25, 09:15 EDT 2008

Hi Aruges
Thanks for posting your updated information about this route. I haven't had chance to look at it yet, but hope to do so this summer. In the meantime, I'd be interested to know where you heard about the reopening.
Graham

#302 french ferratas Posted by Aruges on
Tue Mar 25, 15:16 EDT 2008

Hi Andrew,
I know that this website is devoted to Dolomits ironways only but I thought that some of european ferratists visiting your own website ( english,canadian, austrian, italian,etc...) will probably be interesting to discover french ferratas.
So I can give for all the link. There are about 130 french ferratas and everybody can read easy the ironway technical cards and comments , translated in english.
I believe that this french ferrata website is actually the one to propose everybody an exhaustive translation french to english language.
What do you think Andrew ?

#303 re: link to french vf site Posted by Andrew on
Tue Mar 25, 23:32 EDT 2008

Sure, I can post a link to the site from here (I think that is what you are asking, correct?)

...Andrew

#304 french site Posted by Aruges on
Wed Mar 26, 07:19 EDT 2008

O.K. it's alright Andrew.
This is the link:
http://www.laviaferrata.fr/
You can have your own on that french site, do you want it ?
Thanks.

#305 great site Posted by fletch on
Thu Mar 27, 03:58 EDT 2008

#306 great site! Posted by fletch on
Thu Mar 27, 04:02 EDT 2008

Hello andrew,great site about a wonderful place, ive been doing via ferrata climbing in the dolomites for 4 years now i cannot get enough of cortina and surrounding areas, i was wondering in the val di fassa area is rotwand and masare routes known as fassa 1 and fassa 2?

#307 Route names in Val di Fassa Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Mar 27, 09:58 EDT 2008

Hi Fletch
(this could be confusing, since some of my friends call me Fletch!). Anyway, this is to clarify the names of the routes you mention in the Val di Fassa area.
FASSA 1 is VF Laurenzi, which runs along the Molignon ridge, in the northern Catinaccio. It's quite a hard route (we graded it at 4C), but is a great day's climbing.
FASSA 2 is nearby, but very different in character (and easier; it's 2B).
FASSA 3&4 are in the southern Catinaccio, and are known as VF Masare and VF Roda de Vael. They're nearly always climbed together, and often appear in Italian and German guidebooks as one route, known simply as VF Masare. They're fairly straightforward climbs, but are in a superb situation, so well worth doing.
Hope that clears things up, and encourages you to look further than Cortina for your climbing.
Graham

#308 answer to Graham Fletcher Posted by Aruges on
Thu Mar 27, 12:50 EDT 2008

Hi,
about Sandro Pertini news, it's here:
http://www.vb33.it/news/ti1202205268.htm
Bolzano february 2008.

#309 new link added Posted by Aruges on
Thu Mar 27, 17:45 EDT 2008

Hi

Ok, I've added the link to laviaferrata.fr in my 'other sites' section (available from the left-hand sidebar menu). Or, you can go direct to it from here.
And sure, I'll gladly take a link from your site to mine. That would be great!

#310 cheers! Posted by fletch on
Fri Mar 28, 03:49 EDT 2008

hello andrew

thanks for the advise mate!

#311 links english/french Posted by Aruges on
Fri Mar 28, 07:16 EDT 2008

Very well, Andrew, I see it on "the other sites", thanks again.
You will have your own link on the french site. It will be a good thing for french ferratists to have goods informations about Dolomites routes.
Bye.

#312 Bocchette Centrale Posted by Toby on
Sat Apr 12, 18:17 EDT 2008

I'm looking t organise a trip to do the Bocchette Centrale route with a group of friends in August. I'd be grateful if anyone has advice on whether it is still safe to do it at this time of year in terms of weather and if the rifugio are still open. I was also like to know how best to get from the UK to Trento , which I gather is the closest major centre. I've only done a small amount of vis ferrata but have spent a lot of time in the hiking in the mountains and feel that this route is not too much of a stretch in terms of skill level. Is this a correct assumption?

Cheers,

Toby

#313 Gear rental Posted by Mark on
Sun Apr 13, 18:33 EDT 2008

Does anyone know where to rent ferrata gear in the Arco or Riva area? We will be spending a few days there during a whirlwind Italy tour in early June. We don't want to drag harnesses helmets etc from Alaska then all around Italy for only a few days of use. Any info would be helpful. Thanks, Mark

#314 Bocchette Centrale Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Apr 17, 12:16 EDT 2008

Hi Toby. The only part of your question which is easy to answer is about the rifugi in the Brenta: yes, they?re open, but it?s the busiest time of the year, so it?s essential to book ahead. You refer specifically to just one of the routes in the Brenta, but I guess you plan on doing a traverse taking in several vie ferrate along the way. The weather in such high mountains is never to be taken for granted, and these are all serious routes, so you need to be properly prepared and equipped, even in high summer. I get the impression that you?re just starting to plan your trip, and I think you have quite a bit of research to do before you begin to finalise your plans.
As to your group?s ability to tackle such routes, it?s impossible to give you any advice without knowing a lot more about what you?ve done before. Don?t forget though that, even if the routes you plan to do aren?t particularly difficult technically, they?re still a serious undertaking.
Getting to the Brenta is easiest if you fly to Brescia (Ryanair from Stanstead) and then hire a car, but if you?re planning on staying in rifugi for the duration of your trip you?ll probably prefer to use public transport. The best starting point for your trip is Madonna di Campiglio, on the western side of the Brenta and you can get a bus there from the centre of Brescia, but it takes a few hours, and there are a limited number of services each day. You can also get to Madonna from Trento, but again it?s not the easiest journey, and you?ve got the added problem of getting to Trento in the first place. As I said, you?ve got a lot of research to do!
Graham

#315 Hiring VF gear in Arco Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Apr 17, 12:20 EDT 2008

Hi Mark
Whilst there are quite a few good gear shops in the area, particularly in Arco, I don't recall a hire service in any of them. The best two shops in town are Red Point, and Gobbi Sport, so I suggest you e-mail them with your query.
Graham

#316 harness Posted by sheri on
Sun Apr 20, 14:10 EDT 2008

your web site is fanstastically helpful well done! my question, is it absolutely necessary to have a full body harness for via ferrata or will a standard sport climbing harness do the job? thank you

#317 re: harnesses Posted by Andrew on
Mon Apr 21, 18:48 EDT 2008

Hi, and glad you like the site.

I personally (and the people I have done ferratas with) have used only standard waist climbing harnesses. I haven't had any issues, but it is in theory more possible to flip upside down without a chest harness if you take a fall (more so if you have a big pack on).

So... personal preference is the answer, I guess. I think I'd say it is safER to use a chest harness, but not necessary.

...Andrew

#318 Track logs Posted by Andrew on
Sun Apr 27, 12:28 EDT 2008

I have to repeat what everyone else says. Great website. Absolutely thorough and well-presented. When do you have time to earn money for all these trips?

Do you have the GPS track logs for your 2007 VFs? I would like to use them to verify routes on a few that I want to hit up this summer. I've been on the Strada del Galleria a few times, but didn't realize there was a Via Ferrata until last week.

For you and your buddies...I have an apartment in Vicenza that will be vacant during July (military exercise) and most of August (Kilimanjaro hike). If you know someone that needs a base of operations, let me know.

andrew.lotze at us.army.mil

#319 Hut Contact Details & Opening Times Posted by Iain on
Tue May 13, 12:31 EDT 2008

Hi guys and girls,

We are looking at doing the Madonna di Campiglio heading via the Tuckett and Alimonta Huts.

We will be heading there 'out of season' - the first week in October when they seem to be 'closed'. Are they fully shut or is it a case of us carrying food etc.

Also any if any of you have done this out of season do you have any advice?

Many thanks

Iain

#320 re: Brenta Huts in Oct Posted by Andrew on
Wed May 14, 07:27 EDT 2008

Hi.

You are right: as far as I know, both of those rifugios are closed in October. I don't know if part of them are available for sleeping only. Perhaps Graham is lurking on this forum and knows....
October can indeed be quite nice, assuming you are not unlucky enough to get an early-season snowfall. Quiet and uncrowded!
...Andrew

#321 Hut Contact Details & Opening Times Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat May 17, 06:53 EDT 2008

Hut Contact Details & Opening Times

Hello again Andrew

I?ve just noticed the request for information from Iain: I?ve actually been lurking in Alto Adige (great mountain biking, by the way), rather than on the forum. Anyway, here are a few comments to add to your own about Iain?s plans.
Firstly, it?s not clear what routes you have in mind Iain, but I?m guessing that you?re considering following part of the main spine of the Brenta, along the Bocchette Alta and Centrale routes. Like pretty well everything in the Brenta, these are high level, serious routes, so I?d take along a rope, ice-axe and crampons since you?re travelling so late in the year. Andrew?s right about it being quiet and uncrowded then, but that?s mainly because there?s a fair chance that you?ll be ?snowed-off?. Consequently, it would be wise to have a Plan B to fall back on if the winter snows have arrived by then.
All of the higher level rifugios close before the end of September, and none to my knowledge have any winter/emergency facilities: the Tuckett and Alimonta huts certainly don?t. The lifts will also have closed down by then, so you have to be prepared for a walk-in from Madonna.
Graham

#322 Out of Season Posted by Iain on
Mon May 19, 07:08 EDT 2008

Hi guys and girls,

We are looking at doing the Madonna di Campiglio heading via the Tuckett and Alimonta Huts.

We will be heading there 'out of season' - the first week in October when they seem to be 'closed'. Are they fully shut or is it a case of us carrying food etc.

Also any if any of you have done this out of season do you have any advice?

Many thanks

Iain

#323 Memories Posted by mattep on
Wed Jun 04, 00:56 EDT 2008

I just wanted to say what's up to the creator of this great presentation. I was researchin the name "Detassis" as that is the old original name for the very powerful Bavarian family of Thurn und Taxis... The created the first real postal service in Europe in the 16th century and I remebered a simiolar sounding name of one of the Via Ferratas I did as a kid with my faily in the Brenta Group..so I googled the name and found this site and got pretty emotional looking at all this great pictures. I grew up in Padova but spent every august til age 15 with my parents in a little town in Val di Non called Coredo and did many of those ferratas and generally have spent the warmest and happiest times of my life there.... I'm 32yrs old and been in the USA since 1993 I go to Padova every year but I have not gone back to the Dolomites since at least 1991 and after all these yrs I've been missing those sites so much (I live in NYC !!) it makes wanna plan my nexct trip there...maybe this august !!! ... Grazie e ciao !

#324 Refugio Booking Posted by Jennifer on
Fri Jun 13, 20:00 EDT 2008

Hello Everyone,

My husband and I are planning a week long trek and climb of some ferrata from September 12-17. We plan on going from Sesto to Misurina and staying at various refugios. Will all of them still be open at that time AND how do we easily contact them to make reservations? Over the phone is difficult with the time difference from the US and we're wondering if contacting a travel agent or climbing club may be easier?

Thanks Much!
Jennifer

#325 VF Tomaselli Posted by Darren on
Mon Jun 16, 06:11 EDT 2008

Hi - looking for some advice please guys.

Heading over the to the Dolomites this weekend with some friends and 2/3 of us were looking at the Tomaselli as a "highlight" to the trip.

We've never climbed on VFs before, but has climbed "proper" routes (up to about HVS UK grade) although not for some years admittedly.

Trying to make some sense of the VF grades isn't easy if you're not used to them. How does the 5C of the Tomaselli compare to say a V Diff rock climb? Or scrambling eg like Curved Ridge in Glencoe? I appreciate the exposure is probably the biggest difference, but in terms of techinical difficulty, is it hard, or is it relatively easy scrambling with BIG exposure?

Also, in terms of kit, would a rope/some gear be useful in addition to the usual VF kit?

Many thanks - any advice/comments welcome.

DM

#326 Rifugio booking Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jun 16, 10:47 EDT 2008

Hi Jennifer
Yes, the rifugios in the Sesto Dolomites will still be open when you travel, but the only way of booking them is by making contact directly with the individual managers, since there?s no centralised booking facility. A very few (for example Rifugio Auronzo) have an e-mail address, but otherwise you need to phone them. However, in mid-September, the pressure on accommodation is greatly reduced, so you can be reasonably certain of getting accommodation at the 11th hour, either by just walking in, or by ringing ahead a day or two before. I?ll attach a link to the relevant section of the CAI website which gives you the information you?ll need, but don?t forget that some rifugios are privately owned (I recall that Rif. Pian di Cengia is one such).
http://rifugi.cai.it/ricerca%20avanzata/ricercaAvanzata
Graham

#327 VF Tomaselli Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jun 16, 11:15 EDT 2008

Hi Darren
I reckon it?s almost impossible to equate rock climbing and VF grades, partly because it depends on how much use you make of the cable on a VF ? look at the section ?Cable Etiquette? in the Cicerone guidebook to see what I mean. Several pitches on the Tomaselli route would be very hard, and one (?The Nose?, which is photographed in the route description) would be way beyond most climbers, without the cable. And yes: you do have pretty big exposure as well!
However, you say that this route would be the highlight of your trip, which I presume means that you?ll be doing some other, easier routes first. That will enable you to ?calibrate? your standard of climbing against the guidebook grades, so you?ll be able to make a properly considered judgement. I certainly wouldn?t suggest that you should lug ropes and other heavy gear along with you, although a quickdraw is often useful to clip in to the cable if you want to have a rest or take photos. I also usually carry a couple of fairly long slings just in case anyone feels the need for a tow.
Incidentally, we?re having a spell of cold, wet weather out here in the Dolomites at the moment, with snow falling at about 2500m (Tomaselli tops out at nearly 3000m). It?s due to warm up later in the week, but you might find that your plans need to be rethought at the last minute! You should check out the latest weather situation on the link below before you set off.
http://www.arpa.veneto.it/bollettini/htm/dolomiti_meteo.asp
Graham

#328 Tomaselli Posted by Darren on
Tue Jun 17, 04:25 EDT 2008

Thanks Graham for the feedback - yes we're doing some easier routes first so hopefully that will give us a feeling for the grading.

I can put my climbing rack away then!!

Hope the weather improves - was hoping for shorts and t-shirt at 3,000m - maybe not! Down jacket packed anyway just in case.

Thanks again. Will post a note letting you know how we got on.

Regards

D

#329 Tomaselli Posted by Darren on
Tue Jun 17, 07:48 EDT 2008

Thanks Graham for the feedback - yes we're doing some easier routes first so hopefully that will give us a feeling for the grading.

I can put my climbing rack away then!!

Hope the weather improves - was hoping for shorts and t-shirt at 3,000m - maybe not! Down jacket packed anyway just in case.

Thanks again. Will post a note letting you know how we got on.

Regards

D

#330 Tomaselli Posted by Darren on
Thu Jun 19, 04:54 EDT 2008

Thanks Graham for the feedback - yes we're doing some easier routes first so hopefully that will give us a feeling for the grading.

I can put my climbing rack away then!!

Hope the weather improves - was hoping for shorts and t-shirt at 3,000m - maybe not! Down jacket packed anyway just in case.

Thanks again. Will post a note letting you know how we got on.

Regards

D

#331 Via buddies? Posted by Mark on
Thu Jul 03, 11:03 EDT 2008

Hi, I'm keen to do some medium to difficult level via's and hiking between refugios somewhere in the Dolomites 21-25 Jul 08. Is there anyone available at that time who would like to buddy up?


#332 Nice site Posted by Max on
Thu Jul 03, 15:13 EDT 2008

Hi I'm max from (near) Venice

I run 50+ vie ferrate in Dolomites so I know mst of vie ferrate in your list. What i want to say is: great site ! IMHO is one of the best about this argument available.

I met your site looking for Via ferrata al Canalone (Val di Canali) I'd like to run in 2-3 weeks.

Congratulations

Max 'Guderian'

#333 end of alta via 1 VF Posted by david on
Sun Jul 20, 07:49 EDT 2008

Hi I'm taking three of my kids down the Alta Via 1 in August and trying to get a sense of how tricky the VF will be at the end.We are all experienced Dolomite treckers and the oldest aged 20 has a lot of climbing experience.The other two are 14 and 16 yrs.Ideally I would like to hire VF equipment at the start of the Alta Via....but I wouldnt be able to return it there unless by post !So i guess we'll have to buy it in the UK.
Better that than losing them.you get quite fond of the kids in the end !
Any comments/suggestions ?

#334 VF section at southern end of AV1 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jul 22, 12:01 EDT 2008

The VF you encounter at the southern end of the AV1 is VF Marmol, graded 3B in the Cicerone guidebook. It?s a pretty straightforward route, and shouldn?t pose any problems for you and your kids - unless one of you suffers from vertigo, since there is a bit of exposure on some sections. I just wonder, though, whether it?s really worth lugging heavy VF gear with you for ten days or so, just for two or three hours of climbing. You can always take the official (and therefore waymarked) variation to the west, past Rif. Bianchet, or another variation on the east side of the Schiara, on paths 528 &527. If you want to climb VFs, then plan a trip to do just that.
However, if you?re still determined to stick to the main route, then you do need to gear yourselves up: unless you?re all pretty experienced and confident, this isn?t a route to tackle without the necessary protection. Of course, you can buy the gear you need in the UK but, depending on how you?re planning to travel to your start point, it might be better to wait till you arrive in Italy, since the choice of gear is much wider. Up to a year ago, I?d have also said it would be cheaper, but the strength of the euro has put paid to that!
Graham

#335 VF Eterna Marmolada Posted by Martin Holloway on
Tue Jul 22, 12:24 EDT 2008

HI

Does anyone know if the VF Eterna is doable currently, each time I've been to the start over the last few years it has had a warning attached to it saying it's under construction and that's scared me off each time.

Is it just to keep muppets off it or is it OK to go?

Answers much appreciated

Martin

#336 VF Eterna Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jul 22, 13:18 EDT 2008

This route is definitely closed! It was never well protected, and much of the cable finally gave up the ghost and has been removed. It's a pity, since it was a superb route, but it's impossible to say when, or indeed whether, it'll be reopened. In the meantime, there are lots of other great routes to do!
Graham

#337 VF in Spetember Posted by Klaus Illum on
Wed Jul 23, 06:51 EDT 2008

Great site!

I have been to the Dolomites a couple of times, but always in July/August. I wonder if somebody could advice me on the weather and possibilities for climbing via ferratas during mid/late September. My mate and I are aiming at the more difficult routes, such as the Civetta routes and VF Tomaselli.

Thanks in advance
Klaus (Danish, highest point 178m above sea)

#338 re: VF in Spetember Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jul 23, 08:00 EDT 2008

Hi.

September can be very nice. You usually get a nice quiet atmosphere. However, there are two or three main issues:

1) the rifugios and lifts start to close. Some are still open in mid to late September, but many aren't.

2) there is a chance you'll get an early snow, that will make many of the high altitude routes much more difficult.

...Andrew

#339 VF eterna Posted by Martin Holloway on
Wed Jul 23, 14:45 EDT 2008

Graham

Thanks for that info, I'm glad I stumbled across this site, otherwise I'd have given it a go this time!! I've seen a few photos on line of the closed notice with people having climbed past it, so good job I asked.

Two other questions. Is the lift open from the end of Punta Anna back towards Cortina this weekend coming?

Does anyone know the current state of the glacier coming off the MArmolada from the Punta Penia route? I've done it before when there were no crevasses at all, but wanted to check curent status before I return with some friends next week

Thanks in advance

MArtin

#340 Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jul 23, 22:01 EDT 2008

Answers to those questions I don't personally know. Perhaps if Graham F. is lurking around here, he'll answer.

...Andrew

#341 Punta Anna Cablecar, & Marmolada glacier Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Jul 24, 03:24 EDT 2008

This is one for Martin. Yes, the Tofana cable car is open: it has quite a long season, remaining open till 14th September this year.
As for the current state of the glacier on Marmolada, I?ve only seen it from the other side of the valley this summer, so can?t really advise. However, whatever its condition today, might not prevail till next week! It?s proving to be rather an unsettled summer, with fairly frequent snowfalls above 2500m, so you should seek advice locally when you arrive.
Graham

#342 VF Sandro Pertini Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Jul 24, 09:25 EDT 2008

Aruges was good enough, back in March, to advise us that the new route, VF Sandro Pertini, near Selva di Gardena, had been reopened. Well, I?ve now had chance to climb it, and it?s as good as its reputation suggested! I hope the next edition of the Cicerone guidebook will contain a full description of the route but, in the meantime, you?ll find a note in the updates section of the Cicerone website. If anyone is interested in climbing the route, and you really should if you?re in the area, you can read about it at:
http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/362/title/via-ferratas-italian-dolomites--vol-1
Graham

#343 Posted by Joe G on
Fri Jul 25, 16:57 EDT 2008

Hi All,

Just came back from Cortina after a week of ferrate and climbing...

Yes, a lot of snow last Monday, 13 Jul above 2400 meters...quite a bit of rain too...and looks like much convective activity on a weekly basis...

Andrew, did the Tomaselli and the Lipella....I think you would enjoy these...I don't think you have them in your index. Very nice routes; the Tomaselli is challenging, the Lipella is long and dumps out to a trail that allows to the top of the Tofana di Roses.

Also; this is a wonderful website, thanks for the work.

Joe G
gagsfighter@yahoo.com

#344 Ortisei Posted by Emily on
Sat Aug 02, 23:21 EDT 2008

Hello,
I have been looking everywhere to find out what the busiest time in Ortisei is but I can't find it. Could anyone tell what the busiest time in Ortisei is?

#345 Ortisei. Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Aug 03, 12:02 EDT 2008

Now!! It's never exactly a peaceful spot, but July and the first three weeks of August are the most frantic.
Graham.

#346 Ortisei Posted by Emily on
Mon Aug 04, 04:21 EDT 2008

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#347 Ortisei Posted by Emily F on
Mon Aug 04, 04:26 EDT 2008

Hi,
Thanks.

Its probably busiest then because it is winter and lots of skiers go there to ski. Ortisei is really pretty!

Do you know why it is popular with Italians?

#348 New Route in dolomites Posted by Martin H on
Mon Aug 04, 10:40 EDT 2008

hi all

just returned from a super week in Dolomites, did several routes we've done before but also a new one at Col de Bos, which isn't in the guidebooks.

Col De Bos. A fifteen minute walk East north East from Lagazuoi cable car car park takes you on a more or less level traverse around the obvious nose on the skyline, past the old WW1 hospitalbuildings to the foot of Col de Bos. the ferrata is pretty much brand new, with great equipment and follows a cracking route probably grade 3B. As usual the first 30 meters are the most tricky, Takes about 2 and a half hours and pops you out on a cliff top, with great views.

Descent is either by a loose zig zag path adjacent and obvious from the route, or slighlty longer route back to the 402 near Lagazuoi.

Thoroughly recommended to all

M

#349 Posted by volpesce on
Thu Aug 07, 10:29 EDT 2008

Hallo,

Being 'climbing parents' of 2 sons (4 and 7 years old) we decided during our holiday in Arco to walk/climb some via ferrata with our kids. We did 4 routes: 3 of them were great and also possible with little children (nevertheless they are 1.20m and 1.40m ;-)). One route simply was impossible because of the big steps (near castello Drena).
Biggest problem we experienced was to try and find out wich via ferrata (besides the difficulty rating and distance, but most of the time that can be 'discovered' in books and maps) was possible for children in terms of stepsize and distance between cable and steps!
Does anyone have tips were to get that kind of info (for routes anywhere not just the Dolomites), or has experience (with or without kids) and knows routes that can be done??

#350 Martin?s new VF on Col dei Bos Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Aug 10, 11:44 EDT 2008

Martin?s right to recommend this route: it really is a good ferrata. I climbed it on a recent trip to the area, but haven?t had chance to produce a proper route description yet. However, Martin?s assessment of the grade was spot on at 3B. The route?s certainly worth a day of your holiday, although don?t start out from Passo Falzarego, but park about a kilometre down the road towards Cortina, at Bar Strobel instead (there?s also a bus stop here). The route?s about 30 minutes walk away, on the south-west corner of Col dei Bos, which is shown on the Tabacco map. Our publisher, Cicerone, have a section of their website devoted to updates, which I hope will include this route very shortly.
Graham

#351 Sept Trip Posted by Jeff on
Mon Aug 11, 21:25 EDT 2008

Wow - this is a great site, tons of info, hence why I am now asking questions to those who know - hopefully someone will be able to find the time to answer - PLEASE:)
OK so my lady and I are planing a trip - we have about 4 days to do some serious Via Ferrata climbing in mind. This is what we had in mind, start off from Passo Falzarego, through the Lagazuoi Tunnels, then up VF Tomaselli (stay at a rif that night), then make our way over/down so that we can do Astaldi, Punta Anna, then Gianni Aglio. So a few questions - doable in 3-4 days? We would really like to be able to do the whole route via hiking routes - are they conected at all through the mountains? Or is it easier to climb, spend the night, then come down, make our way via bus (we will not have a car unfortunately - limited budget) to the next starting point? Are there any Rif that anyone along this route would recomend above the others? Does Col dei Bois connect to Lagazuoi Tunnels? Any other suggestions, commets (all are welcome) - we will be traveling around the 21-27 Sept (I know late - but only time we could get...)
Thanks in advanced.
Jeff

#352 Jeff's September Trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Aug 12, 12:13 EDT 2008

The main point is that, yes, your planned itinerary is doable in 3-4 days, and you can link all the routes you mention on well established hiking routes. BUT, there are a few problems you should think about!
Firstly, it?s anyone?s guess what condition the mountains will be in that late in the year. You?re hoping to spend much of your time around the 3000m level, and there?s a chance you?ll be snowed off.
Secondly, many of the Dolomite rifugi close on 21st September this year, although Rif. Dibona and Rif. Lagazuoi will still be open whilst you?re there. These are both very good bases, and convenient for the itinerary you have in mind.
Thirdly, the Dolomiti bus service changes to its winter schedule on 14th September, which means the service, especially to Passo Falzarego, is greatly reduced. The winter timetable isn?t available yet, but it?s something you should check out later. Incidentally, the Lagazuoi cable car will still be open, and you?d probably find it useful to use that to save you a bit of time.
Those are the basics, but post another message if you want to pursue the idea.
Graham

#353 Jeff's Sept Trip Posted by Jeff on
Tue Aug 12, 21:37 EDT 2008

Graham,
Thanks so much for replying. We knew that we would be taking a chance with the snow, this itenerary is our main plan, however Mother Nature always makes the final decision, and we always have a plan b and usually c just for that reason and many others.
Thanks for the two Rif suggestions - will for sure be checking them out - we really hope to enjoy the mountains for aslong as possible. Any suggestions for the best way to contact both of them?
I've got your guide book already - great thanks for that!! - so have been on the web site, and will hope that we can find the schedule soon for transport to the base of Lagazuoi - and go from there.
Incidently, if these routes do get snowed out - do you have any suggestions for alternates? We are both adrenaline junkies in great shape and always up for a challenge, but we do have our heads about us too.
In the end - we do hope to follow the original plan, and prep for it. If it doesn't happen, so be it we will have a plan b, and most likely a c aswell. But we would like to try it, and go as preped as possible, so any advice, knowledge anyone can share is never a waste.
Thanks for all of your help in advanced. And to anyone else who would have anything to offer.
Jeff

#354 Jeff's September Trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Wed Aug 13, 09:29 EDT 2008

Hello again Jeff
As for contacting the rifugi, I suggest that you can safely leave that till you?re here in Italy since you?re travelling so late in the season. However, here are the contact details:
Rif. Dibona: Tel. 0436 860294
Rif. Lagazuoi: Tel. 0436 867303. E-mail. rifugio.lagazuoi@dolomiti.org
Rif. Pomedes: Tel. 0436 862061. E-mail. rifugio.pomedes@dolomiti.org
(I didn?t mention this one before, but I think it might still be open when you travel).
As far as Plan B is concerned, when the routes up in the Tofana/Fanes area aren?t in condition, most people head for the two routes in the Fanes valley, north of Cortina (CORT 2 & CORT 3 in the guidebook). I guess that Plan C would involve abandoning the idea of climbing VFs, and just enjoying the amazing walking in this area. Plan D, if you really want to contemplate it, would be to go to the Lake Garda area!
Graham

#355 Jeff's September Trip (again) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Wed Aug 13, 09:31 EDT 2008

Sorry Jeff: ignore the British flag symbol in my last message - the phone numbers are, of course, Italian (International Code 0039). It's just Skype playing tricks through my computer!
Graham

#356 Sept Trip Posted by Jeff on
Wed Aug 13, 17:38 EDT 2008

Graham,
Thanks for all the info - and advice, it is much appriciated. Will post after the trip and let you know how we made out. Crossing my fingers for little to no snow...
If anything else comes to mind - feel free to post again, I'm sure something will come to me aswell.
Jeff

#357 West Route to Belluno Posted by John on
Thu Aug 14, 11:53 EDT 2008

Hi there,

I am doing the AV1 (North to South) in September. I am thinking of staying at Rifugio Bianchet and then bypassing the Schiara VFs and taking the easterly route into Belluno. It looks like I will have to get back up to the saddle and come around the east face of the Schiara (527/528). Could this route into Belluno be done in a day? I would prefer to avoid the east Variant VII route of the AV1. Truth be told, I would really prefer to come into Belluno under my own steam. Would Bianchet not be the best place to start this day?

#358 Clarification Posted by John on
Thu Aug 14, 17:02 EDT 2008

Hello to Graham (if you read this board),

A clarification from my previous message... I meant to say the I wanted to avoid the west Variant VII of the AV1. I would like to go from Rif. Bianchet to Sentiero 527/528 (avoiding the VFs-I will have no gear) to the east around the face of the Schiara and then south into Belluno. Would this be a doable day (even if around 10 hours)?

Thanks,

John

#359 World's Highest Via Ferrata in Borneo, Sabah. Posted by Jason on
Fri Aug 15, 04:51 EDT 2008

Been asking around and posting here for information about this new Via Ferrata in Asia. Didn't get any reply.. anyway, I went off to search for info. Managed to locate this Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu (4095.2m Above Sea Level). Apparantly this Via Ferrata end at 3800m a.s.l. My friend's buddy had tried it in July 08. He mentioned that it was really fantastic and challenging. The view is also spectatular.. I am planning to go early next year 2009. Anyone interested can visit there website: www.mountaintorq.com

cheers
Jason

#360 John's AV1 trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Aug 16, 09:07 EDT 2008

Hi John
From Rif. Bianchet, round the Schiara, and on to Belluno in a day? Personally, I wouldn?t dream of trying it! After doing the length of AV1, doubtless carrying a heavy rucksack, you?d be facing a total height gain of about 1750m, and a total descent (to Bolzano, just north of Belluno, where you can get the local bus) of about 2500m. Bear in mind also that some of the paths you?ll be using are relatively little used, badly waymarked, and not easy to follow. Just for good measure, the Schiara experience some of the most changeable weather conditions in the Dolomites, so you might well finish up walking in torrential rain!
I guess you?ve got 4 options:
Firstly, swallow hard and do the VF, even without gear. It?s not desperately hard, but you?d need to be completely confident of your ability, and not be fazed by the exposure.
Secondly, take the official variant to the west, and get the bus into Belluno.
Thirdly, take the variant to the east, and plan for an extra night: Rif 7th Alpini is the only practical choice.
Finally, rejig the last few days of your trip, miss out Rif. Bianchet, and make Rif. 7th Alpini your last night on the route.
I?d be interested to hear how you decide to resolve this dilemma!
Graham

#361 Schiara Options Posted by John on
Mon Aug 18, 12:09 EDT 2008

Thanks Graham,

I appreciate your thoughts! My friend and I are going to be travelling fairly light (18-20 lb packs) but that is a lot of descending into Belluno (2500m). I am fairly confident in my abilities on the VF, but I just don't want to get in over my head without protection. Of the 5 VF routes off of Schiara, which would you say might be the easiest and least exposed? I just don't want to get stuck in a crux of a downclimb that I can't pull off. Berti? Sperti? Marmol? I agree that it would be preferable to do the more direct VF route into Belluno, but I am prepared to go longer for a less exposed non-VF route and should be able to support that decision physically (I am a pretty fit trail runner/cyclist).

#362 John's AV trip Posted by Graham Fetcher on
Tue Aug 19, 09:10 EDT 2008

Hello again John
Of the three VF descent options, Marmol, Zacchi and Sperti (Berti is the ascent route for M. Schiara), it?s no accident that the former has been designated as the line for the Alta Via. All three involve roughly the same technical difficulties (which aren?t great), but Marmol is marginally less serious than the others, and is the more direct route which, given your itinerary, is quite an important consideration. The issues you have to be aware of are the exposure on the extended traverse roughly half way through the descent, and the potential for stone fall on some sections, particularly after wet weather. You sound quite confident yourself, but will your partner feel similarly?
Clearly, I?m not in a position to advise which of the four options I spelled out earlier is right for you. However, whatever your decision, like all mountain activities, you have to recognise when circumstances dictate that you should fall back on Plan B. So, before setting out from Rif. Bianchet, take careful note of the weather before committing yourselves.
I?d be really interested to hear how you get on in due course, so please post another message here when you return.
Graham

#363 day trip Posted by Tonia on
Wed Aug 20, 22:42 EDT 2008

Hey all!

We're coming over to Italy in October (four of us) with a full itinerary but would LOVE to get a one day climb in. Is this possible? We won't be bringing ropes or anything as this is more of a touring trip. Can anyone advise? I would really appreciate any guidance!

Thanks!

#364 Tonia's Day Trip Posted by Graham Fetcher on
Fri Aug 29, 06:33 EDT 2008

Hi Tonia
If you want any advice, I think you?ll have to be a bit more specific! For example, where in Italy do you plan to visit, when exactly are you going to be here, what sort of climb are you thinking of, and what mountain experience do you have?
The main focus of this site is the Dolomite mountains of northern Italy and, more specifically, the via ferratas which are found there. Is this what you have in mind?
Do let us know what you?re thinking of.
Graham

#365 via ferrata Posted by Tonia on
Sat Aug 30, 08:12 EDT 2008

Hey Graham!

Thanks so much for responding. Sorry to be so vague = new at this! We'll be in Venice on October 6th and were hoping to swing up to the Dolomites for a day of climbing via ferrata on the 7th. There's four of us. 3 of us have a little more than a handful of experience toproping and 1 of us is far more experienced (not me!). I didn't know if there was an outfit that we could just drive up, say "hey, we're here," and they could gear us up and point us in the direction to go! That would be our ideal situation. Am I dreaming?!

Thanks!
tonia

#366 via ferrata Posted by Tonia on
Sat Aug 30, 08:12 EDT 2008

Hey Graham!

Thanks so much for responding. Sorry to be so vague = new at this! We'll be in Venice on October 6th and were hoping to swing up to the Dolomites for a day of climbing via ferrata on the 7th. There's four of us. 3 of us have a little more than a handful of experience toproping and 1 of us is far more experienced (not me!). I didn't know if there was an outfit that we could just drive up, say "hey, we're here," and they could gear us up and point us in the direction to go! That would be our ideal situation. Am I dreaming?!

Thanks!
tonia

#367 Tonia's day out Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Aug 31, 10:01 EDT 2008

Hello again Tonia
Are you dreaming? Well, you certainly have a few problems to think about!
I suppose the obvious issue is the weather so late in the year. When you get to the end of September, you have to regard any days when you can climb VFs as a bonus. It?s impossible to predict exactly when the snow will bring an end to the climbing season, but it?s sometimes about mid-September (I?ve known it as early as the beginning of September, but that?s unusual). Assuming climbing is still possible, you will probably be limited to routes at lower altitudes.
Now you have a couple of logistical issues to think about:
Firstly, you?ve got to consider how long it?s going to take to get to the mountains from Venice. Unless you?re going to hire a car, and make an early start, it?s just not realistic to plan a day?s climbing in the Dolomites. Have you really only got one day to spare?
Secondly, you?ll need gear. I wouldn?t expect you?ll be bringing your own with you, so you?ll need to find a shop to hire it from. That?s not normally too difficult, but it would be wise to make arrangements beforehand to avoid wasting time on the day. It also limits you to certain areas, because it?s only in the main mountain resorts that you?ll find a hire service.
Your idea of the one-stop shop might just be possible: try contacting the mountain guides office in Cortina, where you might be able to arrange for gear hire and, at the same time, someone to take you up a climb in the area. I think their official programme will have ended by then, but you might be able to sort something out. Their website is: http://www.guidecortina.com/
Graham

#368 via ferreta beginner Posted by Veronika on
Sun Aug 31, 10:41 EDT 2008

Hello. I've done just once via ferreta and became very enthusiastic about it.What kind of routes are sutable for me as a beginner? (I'm in a normal sportive form). I'm looking for scenec views and not very long (about 2 hours) routes.
1) ARE 2B AND 2C LEVELS not too difficult?
2) what does it mean when it's written "there is a bit of exposure" ?
3) Should I bye something except the belt and helmet?
4) Do I have to take course to do via ferreta?
5) What resources or guides should I read before start?

#369 re: via ferrata beginner Posted by Andrew on
Mon Sep 01, 15:30 EDT 2008

Hi, Veronika. I'll try and answer your questions:

>Hello. I've done just once via ferreta and became very enthusiastic >about it.What kind of routes are sutable for me as a beginner? (I'm in >a normal sportive form). I'm looking for scenec views and not very >long (about 2 hours) routes.
>1) ARE 2B AND 2C LEVELS not too difficult?

It all depends on your comfort level, but if you are not afraid of large drop-offs then I believe that you will be fine with 2B and 2C-grade ferrate.

>2) what does it mean when it's written "there is a bit of exposure" ?

It means that there are some locations where there are some steep drop-offs (meaning an area where the ground is very steep and you are right at the edge of or actually on this steep ground). For a statement like "there is a BIT of exposure", that implies that the amount / extent of this steep ground is relatively small.

>3) Should I bye something except the belt and helmet?

Well, you should definitely have a proper ferrata dynamic self-belay device, like the petzl zyper-y or something similar.

>4) Do I have to take course to do via ferreta?

No. If you use a ferrata belay device properly and climb safely, you should be ok. Only if you do not feel comfortable in familiarizing yourself with the proper usage of the self-belay device would it then be necessary to get guided help or instruction.

>5) What resources or guides should I read before start?

Well, I recommend the latest Cicerone guidebooks on the vie ferrate. Please see the link on the left-side of this page entitled 'Rating Systems'.

Hope this helps,
...Andrew

#370 Posted by Tonia on
Mon Sep 01, 16:11 EDT 2008

Hey Graham,

Thanks so much for your info. I got a contact through guidecortina and was able to email him directly and we'll see how things go. Thanks for putting things in perspective! I guess we're typical Americans wanting things STAT and cramming too much in!

Happy climbing!

tonia

#371 September weather Posted by Veronika on
Wed Sep 03, 17:44 EDT 2008

Andrew,thank you very much for your detailed answer.
It helps a lot!!!
I've got one more question: Is yhe weather of middle September (16-22)
sutable for via ferreta climbing.I've heard there are a lot of rains in this period in nothern Italy while others say September is still proper time.May be it depends on daytime?
Thanks for your answers

#372 re: september weather Posted by Andrew on
Wed Sep 03, 20:11 EDT 2008

Hi, Veronika

My own opinion is that September weather can be quite beautiful: nice cool weather, and the routes are not busy.

HOWEVER, it is also starting to be the time where you may get significant snow. I would say that the chances are still relatively low for snow, but keep in mind that it is more likely than in the summer months of July and August.

...Andrew

#373 Posted by Veronika on
Thu Sep 04, 05:35 EDT 2008

ok, thank you

#374 advice please Posted by Sylvia on
Sat Sep 06, 06:28 EDT 2008

Hi,

You?ve heard it all before but great site!

My husband Frank and I are keen bush-walkers and rock climbers in our fifties. Frank can comfortably lead around 16 (UK VS, French 5+) on natural pro and around 19/20 (UK E1, French 6b) on a sport climb. We live in Australia and are planning a trip to the UK next year with friends to do the coast to coast walk and then to Asturias in Spain for some shorter walks 
Frank is keen to try some Via Ferrata while we are in Europe but the choice is a bit overwhelming.
We?d prefer to stay in the one spot rather than move around a lot as we will be travelling from place to place with the coast to coast walk. We?ll be in the UK and Spain from around 10th August to 12th September so could fit in a few days or maybe even a week either before 10/8 or after 12/9. Afterwards might make more sense flight-wise, but then might not be the best weather-wise. Before might be crowded?
I read on the message board that Colletts do guided trips and that you can hire a guide in Cortina but I suspect Frank will want to do his own thing. We have our own harnesses, helmets, carabiners etc. but no crampons or ice axes etc. as we?re not into mountaineering.
Can you suggest a place to base ourselves that would give us access to a variety of Via Ferrata that would be within our capabilities? We could hire a car to get to the start of various Via Ferrata but would prefer not to have to travel too far. Alternatively if there is one Via Ferrata in our range that is an absolute must do?.

Any advice most welcome,
Thanks
Sylvia

#375 Sylvia's trip in 2009 Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Sep 06, 13:54 EDT 2008

Hi Sylvia
Your query raises lots of issues, but I think these are the main ones.
Firstly, with your experience, you absolutely don?t need to be thinking about hiring guides, or joining guided parties. Large groups make their own traffic jams, and you can do without that!
Secondly, Cortina is as good a base as you could find for a first time trip to the Dolomites. Easily accessible, good gear shops, good public transport, lots of cable cars into the mountains, and some great routes.
Thirdly, I?d always pick September over August (and I think Andrew, our host, favours September, also). The weather tends to be more settled, and the crowds have reduced. The down-side is that there?s a risk of snow at higher altitudes, and the bus services (which are focussed on Cortina) revert to their winter timetable on the middle weekend of September. The cable cars, though, run into October.
You?ve got lots of time to plan your trip, so post another message when you feel you need more detailed advice about routes, places to stay etc etc..
Graham

#376 re: Sylvia's Trip Posted by Andrew on
Sat Sep 06, 14:24 EDT 2008

One minor thing that wasn't clear to me from your post: although it sounds like you have a good assortment of climbing gear, I'm not sure if you have a self-dynamic belay device of the sort that is required for via ferrata climbs. A fall on a ferrata with no dynamic component to your protection can easily exceed a factor-2 climbing fall.

However, If you've already got that bit of kit, then disregard the above!

#377 Posted by Sylvia on
Sat Sep 06, 16:55 EDT 2008

Dear Graham and Andrew,

thanks for your prompt responses. We have lots of belay devices but not the type recommended so would either buy a Petzl zyper-y or similar or if we can't be bothered carrying our gear all around the UK and Spain I believe we can hire for around AU$15 a day.

I'm assuming a hire car would be the go and is Venice the best/closest airport to Cortina?

Thanks again,
Sylvia

#378 Rifugios Posted by Robbie on
Wed Sep 10, 16:53 EDT 2008

Hi Andrew,

We've just come back from Alleghe but because we were only there for a few days I didn't get a chance to do anything on Civetta (my friends already had their wish list compiled!). Next year I'd like to do the VF Alleghesi with an overnight stop in the rifugio. Did you book it in advance or just turn up on spec? If you did book it, do you have the contact details? Many thanks.

PS It's good to see that your site remains as popular as ever. It's a great resource for getting good quality information. Of course it also helps to have a regular contributor like Graham with his "insider" information giving regular updates. And on that subject, Graham, is there any possibility that the 5C on Marmolada might be re-cabled? We heard, second-hand, that a couple of lads had gone on to it but then retreated because it seemed so precarious.

Cheers, Robbie

#379 re: car hire Posted by Andrew on
Wed Sep 10, 17:39 EDT 2008

Hi, Sylvia.

It is true that Venice is the closest major airport, and is only a 2 hour or so drive from the airport. Milan would also be a consideration (possibly cheaper flights and/or car hire rates)...

...Andrew

#380 VF Eterna, Punta Serauta (Marmolada) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Sep 13, 07:04 EDT 2008

Hi Robbie
It doesn?t look likely that this route will be reopened in the foreseeable future. The problem is the lack of resources for the recabling job which is needed and, until some grant aid is secured, I guess it will remain officially closed. Needless to say, it?s hardly practical to prevent people going onto the route, and I understand that it is being climbed occasionally. However, it has to be treated as a rock climb rather than a via ferrata in its present condition. Add to that the amount of loose rock on the slab, and you can see why the local guides aren?t prepared to take clients on it at the moment.
You were also asking whether it?s necessary to book ahead for stays in rifugios. I recall that, last year, Andrew booked ahead at Rif. Torrani, but it really depends on the time of year. If you want to be sure of a bed in the peak periods, then it?s certainly advisable to book beforehand. Whilst it?s most unlikely that you?d be turned away from a remotely situated rifugio like Torrani, you might well finish up on the floor in the corridor if you haven?t booked! However, most people tackling the Alleghesi route seem to prefer a stay in Rif. Coldai to get an early start, enabling them to get back down to the valley on the cable car before it closes for the night. Consequently, I?d certainly advise booking ahead for Rif. Coldai, because it?s so popular. The phone numbers, by the way, are:
Rif. Coldai: 0437-789160
Rif. Torrani: 0437-789150.
Graham

#381 Next year Posted by Robbie on
Thu Sep 18, 15:33 EDT 2008

Hi Graham,

Thanks for your prompt response. It's back to that time of year when I spend ages looking at Andrew's website, reading the forum and thumbing through your guidebooks planning next year's routes.

As an aside, how do decisions get made about re-cabling routes and who, or which organisation takes the lead in planning it?

I was on VF Vallon 2 or 3 years ago, just at the bridge (when it wasn't there!), when the helicopter flew in and dropped the material for the new bridge - just in time for us to do it the following year. And this year it looked like Finanzieri had been recently re-cabled and, if I'm not mistaken, the first pitch of Via delle Trincee too.

#382 Route maintenance Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Sep 20, 06:34 EDT 2008

Hello again Robbie
Your question about route maintenance isn?t easy to answer. The majority of routes are overseen by CAI, usually the local section. Like most things here in Italy, the organisation of CAI is complex! Amongst the many committees and sub-groups, there?s often a nominated individual who is responsible for checking a particular route on a regular basis. I?m a member of the Agordina section, and one of my neighbours looks after VF Costantini (the biggest and hardest route in the Dolomites). Inevitably, the reliability of the checking regime varies, and some of the more remote, or less well used, routes are sometimes rather neglected.
Whilst many routes are of World War 1 origin, some are much more recent. Consequently, these arrangements are often different in the case of ?recreational routes? constructed more recently by a section of CAI other than the local one. In those circumstances, that section will usually take responsibility for checking and maintaining the route.
But there are other bodies who?ve built ferratas. Take, for example, two of the most recent routes in the Dolomites. VF Sandro Pertini, in Selva, was financed by the local tourist organisation, and I don?t yet know what arrangements they?ve made, if any, for maintenance. VF Col dei Bos, at Falzarego, was built by the military for training purposes, and I expect they?ll continue to look after it themselves.
Minor repair work can be financed by CAI, but more major repairs, like VF Eterna on Marmolada, often have to wait until someone stumps up the cash to do it!
Graham

#383 Finished Trip Posted by Jeff on
Thu Oct 02, 10:56 EDT 2008

To all,

Just back from 5 days of Via based out of Cortina - and it was amazing! We were lucky enough to get the Tomaselli in on the 22nd of sept - but it snowed as we were up there, but we did get one of the hikes we wanted in. We then actually did all 3 of Cort Via's and they were great aswell. In the end we hired a car, and actually picked up several people on various days who were trying to take the local bus or taxi that late in the year. So I will go with Graham's advice to me and he has restated it a few times - hire a car - prices are pretty good. My lady and I stayed in the Olympic campgrounds just north of the city, and everything worked out great. Already planning and reading about where to go next for sure. Just a final note of thanks to all the advice and resources available here, it really made the trip all that more amazing.

Jeff

#384 Posted by Robbie on
Tue Oct 14, 18:24 EDT 2008

Hi Andrew and Graham,

You're probably bored witless looking at peoples' holiday snaps however if you find yourself with few minutes spare I've uploaded some shots of various trips over the last few years inspired by this site and Graham and John's book.

You can find it at
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk./robbiemain35


#385 Alta via 2 Posted by Vegard on
Tue Nov 04, 17:24 EST 2008

Hi!

Im planning a trip to the Alta Via 2 in mid-May next year and I have to clarify a few things. I will be greatful for all responses!

1 My first concern is, of course, amounts of snow. Has anyone had any experience with the AV2 in this time of year? Any advice?

2 If snow is a problem, would crampons and an ice axe be adequate tools for crossing these parts of the Dolomites? I have a lot of experience with snow, but not ice climbing.

3 Are there any lodges open in this time of the year for meals? Where can I find info regarding this?

4 I expect harnessess, ice axes etc. can be bought in Bressanone?

5 If the conclusion is that the route is highly risky due to snow, can anyone recommend another route, app. the same length(185 km)? Anywhere in the Alps, if that's what it takes:)

In advance, thank you!!

Vegard, Norway

#386 september Posted by Aruges on
Fri Nov 28, 15:58 EST 2008

Hi, Andrew and Graham,
I didn't wrote on this message board since many months and I'm glad to do it now telling you my september Dolomite travel.
I had only 5 days on that place.
As you said Andrew, september can be a good month for doing ferratas . My first day in Cortina( september the eight) was under a very big rain , but after it, sun was present every day.
We make first Olivieri ferrata on Punta Anna, then Zandonella ferrata on the very beautiful Popera mountain to the Croda Rossa di Sesto.
The third day was a simple visit to Vandelli lake in Sorapiss mountain: splendid blue color lake. Last day was a walking to Piz Boe ( Boe pike) on Sella mountain.
I would like to make Trincee ferrata but telepherique was closed for this end summer season. The next other one to Piz da Lech del Boe ferrata was also.It's something to have in memory when anybody wants to go in september.
I'm glad to see on your own site Andrew, some via ferrata pictures I made last years ago like Canalone ferrata. About this small ferrata arounds, I nearly lost myself when I decide to return by an other way: I climbed to forcella d'Oltro on Pale San Martino High Road 1, many hours to join my camping base Castelpietro.
I see looking your own ferrata list, Andrew ,that you're quite a Dolomit specialist , congratulations !
Sorry I'm talkative !
bye bye.

#387 re: september Posted by Andrew on
Fri Nov 28, 18:18 EST 2008

Hello, again!

Thanks for the updates -- very appreciated! Always nice to see more useful information about the Dolomites, so again - thank you very much!

...Andrew

#388 VFs delle Trincee & Piz da Lech - without cablecars! Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Nov 29, 06:16 EST 2008

Hello again Andrew & Aruges
Good to hear you enjoyed your recent trip to the Dolomites, Aruges. You?re right to point out that many of the cablecars close in September, but that doesn?t necessarily mean that these 2 vie ferrate in particular can?t be climbed. In fact, since both are very popular routes, it?s often best to do them when the lifts aren?t running, since you can be sure of a more peaceful day.
My very best day on delle Trincee was in late September a few years ago, when we walked to the start of the route from Ristorante Lezuo, which is on the way up towards Passo Pordoi, using footpath 680. It took a couple of hours longer, but we had the route to ourselves ? a very rare experience! I recall that, when Andrew did the route, he walked up from Passo di Fedaia, which is a shorter approach, and more suitable if you?re staying further south.
The Piz da Lech route is easily accessible from Albergo Boe, just north of Passo Campolongo. The walk to the start of the route takes less than 2 hours.
Best wishes everyone, Graham

#389 cablecars in september Posted by Aruges on
Sun Nov 30, 13:15 EST 2008

Hello Graham,
You're right about the second approach to ferrata delle Trincee by the way upon Fedaia lake, and also right about walking up peacefully when cablecars are stopped.
I saw the way from Albergo Boe to ferrata Piz da Lech del Boe.
I was tired after Zandonella ( about 1200 m uneven, I don't know in feet , ten hours walking :approach -ferrata and return) ; so I decided to take the big cablecar to the upstation Sella.
Thanks for your answer and advices.
Bye.

#390 Huts in Brenta Posted by David Galsworthy on
Thu Dec 04, 11:04 EST 2008

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for the great site - have enjoyed immensely your descriptions and pictures of the VF's. Have been to the Dolomites twice for a total of 2 weeks of VFing concentrating on the area around Arraba and Cortina. I am now planning to go to the Brenta Alps next September (09) with a group of friends to do a circuit of the Brenta. We plan to spend a night in Madonna then go from hut to hut ( Tuckett, Alimonta, Agostini, Brentei) via the VF routes Sent A Benini, Sent delle Bocch Alte, Sent delle Centrale, Sent Brentari, Sent Castiglioni, Sent dell Ideale and Sent SOSAT and then back to back to Madonna.

I was wondering if you had any information about how I can book the hut accommodation. There will be about 7 in the party so I don't want to leave it to chance that we get a place in the relevant huts. Any information (as well as on the proposed route) gratefully accepted.


Regards

David Galsworthy

#391 booking hut accomodation Posted by Aruges on
Thu Dec 04, 14:39 EST 2008

Hello,
for Andrew, sorry to answer the first.

For booking hut accomodation it may be important to know what are the closing dates in september for Brenta refuges.
Many refuges are closed after september the 15th or the 20th.
On Internet all dolomites refuges give their own opening dates.
Second point, no one refuge accept accomodation several months before, except if somebody send money; but be careful with that mean!
It's advisable to inform the refuge 's caretaker several times , for example, 2 months then 1 month,then 2 weeks before to be credible and having luck for a accomodation.
Goog luck!

#392 Hut booking Posted by David Galsworthy on
Sat Dec 06, 04:28 EST 2008

Aruges - thanks for the information. Have now managed to get an email address and telephone number for the Tuckett hut and an email, telephone number and website ( with on-line booking) for the Alimonta Hut. Have yet to track down the information on the other 2 huts - the Agostini and the Brentei. The route taking the VF's right round the Brenta looks amazing and I am very excited about the prospect of doing it. We will be going in the first two weeks of September so hut closure will not be a problem. The weather this year in September was very cold in the Brenta so I hope we it will be a bit warmer next year.

Kind regards

David

#393 Thank You Posted by Christine Falcipieri on
Tue Dec 23, 12:44 EST 2008

Hello!

My family and I have been looking for information about this for a long time! I came across your images today and want to say, "Thank you!" It is wonderful to see them and learn more about my ancestors!

Christine

#394 Via Ferrata in May Posted by Howard Floyd on
Wed Jan 07, 13:44 EST 2009

Hi,

Help and advice required. I am thinking of a trip to the Dolomites during the last week of May this year with the purpose of doing some via ferrata. I have not been to this area before (my via ferrata experience is France/Austria/Switzerland. I have been told that this time period is probably too early in the season with almost certainly snow about at the higher altitudes and probably wet or cold lower down. Does anyone have experience of the area at this time. Any information would be welcome.

Thanks

Howard

#395 re: Via Ferrata in May Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jan 07, 16:49 EST 2009

Hi, Howard.

Yeah, I'd agree with your assessment. May is very likely going to be too snowy and icy (for basic via-ferrata-ing, I mean). I suspect that much of the cabling will be covered or inaccessible.

Now, if you wanted to do winter mountaineering with an occasional fixed placement to clip into, then perhaps.... but for straight via ferrata-ing, this is likely too early.

Now, maybe some of the lowest altitude / most southern dolomite ferrate might be doable -- for example, the area around Lake Garda. I suspect that some of these routes might be open by then. Perhaps Graham will comment on his knowledge in this matter.

...Andrew

#396 Posted by Andy on
Thu Jan 08, 16:51 EST 2009

Great site! This is what we needed when we went to the Dolomites back in 2004, armed with just the Cicerone guide. In our experience (climbing and caving) it's best to start out on a 3b and see how you go from there - if you're an accomplished climber you shouldn't have any difficulty with the 5c's in the Cicerone guide, although the sense of exposure on some of the routes is amazing!

#397 VFs in May Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Jan 11, 10:20 EST 2009

Hi Howard
I think Andrew?s advice about climbing VFs in May was just right. It?s always impossible to predict with certainty when winter conditions will give way to reasonable climbing weather, but if I was planning a trip to the Dolomites several weeks, or even months, in advance, then I?d certainly be looking at June at the earliest. I?m lucky in living here, so I don?t need to commit myself in advance, and can take advantage of an unusually early start to the season. In 2006 for example, I did manage to get some good ferrata days in as early as mid-May (the earliest routes to become climbable are often those in the Fiames area, north of Cortina ? they?re routes CORT 2, 3 & 4 in the Cicerone guidebook).
Normally, I head for the Lake Garda area in spring: in fact the semi-tropical climate means you can climb there pretty well all year round, but I?d certainly avoid the main summer months because it?s just too hot and crowded then. And don?t think you?ll find the climbing tame by comparison with the Dolomites: there are some wonderful routes, right up to grade 5C.
Graham

#398 Sylvia's trip in 2009 Posted by Sylvia on
Mon Jan 12, 02:35 EST 2009

Hi Graham and Andrew,
back again. I know it is still some seven months away but as we enter a period of total fire ban days and 40 degree celsius heat my mind turns to the holidays and cooler places far away from bush fires.
If you could tell me which routes you'd recommend for Frank and I it would give me something to daydream about while avoiding the heat :-) Also we think we might prefer to stay somewhere a little quiter than Cortina as the place we live in only has 300 residents off season. It has around 5,000 in peak periods but that's another story.
I think I posted last around September las year with details of our climbing experience. Have since bought some new carabiners that you can open and close with one had - still trying to get used to them - but will wait and purchase other via ferrata specific gear once we get there.
Thanks
Sylvia

#399 Sylvia's Septmeber trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jan 12, 05:43 EST 2009

Hello again Sylvia
Interesting to read about your problems with the heat: we?re enjoying temperatures of -12 or so at the moment! Still, it?s proving to be a great winter sports season.
Anyway, back to your September trip. I recall that your initial preference was not to hire a car. I guess you?ll have to weigh up which you want to avoid most ? hiring a car, or staying in Cortina! If relying on public transport is your main priority, then I still believe that Cortina is much the best base for you. If you feel more strongly about staying somewhere more relaxed, then hiring a car becomes much more sensible. You could avoid this impasse by joining up with an organisation like Colletts, and making use of their infrastructure, but I also recall that Frank was keen to remain independent. So, those are the trade-offs you have to consider.
However, since you seem to be leaning quite strongly against Cortina, my advice would be to look at Arabba or Corvara as suitable bases. There are several top quality routes within easy access of either village, and you can hire the necessary gear in both, in the event that you prefer not to lug the stuff around Europe with you.
You asked for a check list of routes to tackle: here are my suggestions (I?ll use the reference numbers in the Cicerone guidebook).
CORV 2: only a half day, but a perfect introduction to accustom yourself with the gear.
CORV 4: probably the most popular VF in the Dolomites, and deservedly so.
CORV 5: some find it tricky for its grade, but I love it!
ARAB 2: a must-do route.
ARAB 1: end on a high: this is a 5C, but not one of the hardest in this category.
That?ll give you something to dream about during the heatwave!
Graham

#400 Sylvia's September trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jan 12, 05:44 EST 2009

Hello again Sylvia
Interesting to read about your problems with the heat: we?re enjoying temperatures of -12 or so at the moment! Still, it?s proving to be a great winter sports season.
Anyway, back to your September trip. I recall that your initial preference was not to hire a car. I guess you?ll have to weigh up which you want to avoid most ? hiring a car, or staying in Cortina! If relying on public transport is your main priority, then I still believe that Cortina is much the best base for you. If you feel more strongly about staying somewhere more relaxed, then hiring a car becomes much more sensible. You could avoid this impasse by joining up with an organisation like Colletts, and making use of their infrastructure, but I also recall that Frank was keen to remain independent. So, those are the trade-offs you have to consider.
However, since you seem to be leaning quite strongly against Cortina, my advice would be to look at Arabba or Corvara as suitable bases. There are several top quality routes within easy access of either village, and you can hire the necessary gear in both, in the event that you prefer not to lug the stuff around Europe with you.
You asked for a check list of routes to tackle: here are my suggestions (I?ll use the reference numbers in the Cicerone guidebook).
CORV 2: only a half day, but a perfect introduction to accustom yourself with the gear.
CORV 4: probably the most popular VF in the Dolomites, and deservedly so.
CORV 5: some find it tricky for its grade, but I love it!
ARAB 2: a must-do route.
ARAB 1: end on a high: this is a 5C, but not one of the hardest in this category.
That?ll give you something to dream about during the heatwave!
Graham

#401 Posted by Sylvia on
Wed Jan 14, 07:12 EST 2009

Excellent thanks Graham. Have decided to hire a car and next time Frank is in Melbourne I will send him in search of the Cicerone guide book, so I can while away some time in the hotter weather :-)

#403 Via Ferrata giides Posted by Jeff on
Wed Jan 14, 13:52 EST 2009

Can you recommend guide options that could lead a group of four in the Italian Via Ferrata? This would be our first excursion in the Via Ferrata. Also, is there a particular time of the year you would recommend to benefit most from a first excursion? Thanks, Jeff

#404 Sylvia's trip 2009 Posted by Sylvia on
Wed Jan 14, 19:21 EST 2009

Hello again Graham,
I am assuming it's Volume 1 of the Cicerone guide that we need?
Also, would you recommend anywhere in particular to stay in either Arabba or Corvara?
Thanks

#405 re: Guides Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jan 14, 20:17 EST 2009

Hi, Jeff. Thanks for your question. I'll give the quick answers to your questions first:

1) can you hire guides? yes Do I have recommendations? I don't - but perhaps others do.

2) best time of year to do ferrate? July and August

I invite you to peruse the other messages in this forum for more details, as these two questions have been asked and answered several times before.

#406 Sylvia's summer trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu Jan 15, 08:33 EST 2009

Hello again Sylvia
If you?ve settled on the Arabba/Corvara area then, yes, it?s Volume 1 that you need. However, do make sure that you get hold of the most recent edition, which was published in 2006. This is the 3rd edition of the guidebook, and it contains several new routes, and amendments to a lot more. More importantly, perhaps, the section on the correct use of equipment was completely rewritten for this edition, incorporating the latest advice from UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d?Alpinisme).
Actually, there?s a completely new edition in preparation currently, but it?s unlikely to be in the shops until well into the summer. This will contain even more new routes but, in the meantime, you can see some information about them on the Cicerone website. Check out the updates section for the guidebook at
http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/362/title/via-ferratas-of-the-italian-dolomites--vol-1
As for somewhere to stay, both villages have quite a lot of options, with Corvara having the widest choice. There?s everything from a campsite to 5* hotels, so how deep is your wallet? Unfortunately, I can?t recommend anywhere in particular, since we live just down the road, so have no need of hotels!
Graham

#407 Posted by Sylvia on
Thu Jan 15, 15:58 EST 2009

Hi Graham,
thanks again for all your advice. We're really looking forward to the trip. Take care, Sylvia

#408 Arabba & Corvara Posted by Sylvia on
Sun Jan 18, 02:27 EST 2009

Hi Andrew,

just dawned on me as I was starting to prepare dinner that although Graham can't recommend accommodation in Arabba or Corvara because he lives locally, that given the number of trips you have made to the area you might be able to recommend somewhere. We don't mind if it's self-catering or chalet style but we're not looking for anything at the 4 or 5 star end of the market. I think the coffers will be a bit depleted by the time we get to Italy :-)

Thanks
Sylvia

#409 Hotels for Sylvia Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Jan 18, 05:38 EST 2009

Hi Sylvia
I?ll give you links to a couple of small, reasonably priced hotels, the first in Arabba, the other in Corvara. Whilst I haven?t stayed in either, I can vouch for the quality of the pastries! Both are well located in relation to facilities in the villages, and both are really well run. If I had to make a choice, I?d opt for the one in Corvara.
http://www.garnierica.it/home1ing.html
http://www.garniraetia.it/Seiten/hauptframe_e.htm
If you prefer to go self-catering, then all I can suggest is that you do a web search, since I can?t recommend anywhere in particular.
Graham

#410 re: accommodations Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jan 18, 09:25 EST 2009

Hi Sylvia.

Strangely enough, I haven't stayed in that many hotels in the dolomites. Most of the time I've either camped at local campgrounds, or I've been at a rifugio in the mountains. I have stayed at a quaint little family-run hotel in Cortina, but that's not the location you are looking at.

...Andrew

#411 Accommodations Posted by Sylvia on
Mon Jan 19, 02:13 EST 2009

Thanks anyway Andrew. Bringing camping gear from Oz along with hiking and climbing gear just isn't practical so we'll probably go with one of Graham's recommendations.
Very much looking forward to doing the Via Ferrata Graham has suggested and some others off your web site.

Thanks
Sylvia

#412 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Sun Feb 01, 05:44 EST 2009

Hello Andrew or anyone else who can answer my questions. My fourth year on the bounce to the Dolomites and always in glorious weather. However this year I am planning to go in May, around the Cortina area. Anyone now if there is much snow up there or will

#416 Posted by [anonymous poster] on
Sun Feb 01, 05:45 EST 2009

Hello Andrew or anyone else who can answer my questions. My fourth year on the bounce to the Dolomites and always in glorious weather. However this year I am planning to go in May, around the Cortina area. Anyone now if there is much snow up there or will I get away with good boots and a little luck?

#417 VFs this May Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Feb 01, 08:16 EST 2009

Hello to the optimist who?s asking about VFs in May!
Frankly, I think you can forget about doing any VFs this May. This winter is proving to be the most snowy over here in the Dolomites for years (there?s about 2 metres of consolidated snow above 2000) and, unless late winter/early Spring are extraordinarily warm, I can?t see any chance of the routes round Cortina being in condition till mid/late June. By the way, it?s snowing heavily right now!
I suggest that you either reschedule your trip, or consider going to Lake Garda. Sorry to keep banging on about that area, but I really can?t understand why more people don?t visit and try out some of the best VFs you?ll find anywhere.
Graham

#418 test Posted by Andrew on
Mon Feb 16, 15:36 EST 2009

This is a test message

#419 re: VFs this May (in reply-to message #417) Posted by Andy on
Mon Feb 16, 16:36 EST 2009

Graham Fletcher wrote:
 

Hello to the optimist who’s asking about VFs in May!
Frankly, I think you can forget about doing any VFs this May. This winter is proving to be the most snowy over here in the Dolomites for years (there’s about 2 metres of consolidated snow above 2000) and, unless late winter/early Spring are extraordinarily warm, I can’t see any chance of the routes round Cortina being in condition till mid/late June. By the way, it’s snowing heavily right now!
I suggest that you either reschedule your trip, or consider going to Lake Garda. Sorry to keep banging on about that area, but I really can’t understand why more people don’t visit and try out some of the best VFs you'll find anywhere.
Graham
 

 Thanks Graham, I have resheduled for Mid June and will take the risk of a little white stuff. It could well mean I have the place to myself which is no bad thing, crampons and axe it is then. Thanks for the tip on the Garda area but I went there in August. To be Frank it was a nice area but it just doesn't have the Alpine feel for me. I also tried the long trek to the Brenta's from Limone'. Was it worth it... Lots of traversing, hmmm,  but great scenery. Thanks for the guides they are a must for every trip.

#420 About the time of the year Posted by Haldun Aydingun on
Thu Feb 19, 15:06 EST 2009

Hi,

I would like to ask if second week of June is too early to try Cortina area's ferrata rotes? I will apreciate any comment about it.

Best regards,

e-mail: h@aydingun.com

 

#421 re: About the time of the year (in reply-to message #420) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Feb 19, 15:22 EST 2009

Hi, Haldun

The second week of June will probably be ok for the lower-altitude routes in the Cortina area, like the Punta Fiammes (M Strobel) or Col Rosa (E Bovero) routes.   As for the passability of the higher altitude routes in the area, that will depend on the weather and the snowpack level this year.   Graham has informed me that this year there is a large snowpack, so it might be the case that these routes will still have some snow in mid-June. 

In any case, if I'm wrong, I'm sure Graham will correct me.

...Andrew

Haldun Aydingun wrote:

Hi,

I would like to ask if second week of June is too early to try Cortina area's ferrata rotes? I will apreciate any comment about it.

Best regards,

e-mail: h@aydingun.com

 

#422 VFs near Cortina in early June Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Feb 20, 08:57 EST 2009

Hi Haldun

Since we last exchanged messenges, two or three weeks ago, we've had another metre of snow above 2000m! If you keep an eye on this website:

 http://www.arpa.veneto.it/bollettini/htm/dolomiti_neve_e_valanghe_en.asp

you'll see how much snow remains as the winter progresses. As you'll see, the snowpack is currently over 2.5m in places, and it's going to be a while before that much clears! However, I think I'll go along with Andrew in guessing that the couple of routes he mentioned will be in condition, but I wouldn't be particularly optimistic about higher level routes as early as your planned trip.

Why don't you post another message nearer the time, and I'll give you an update on conditions: who knows, you might be able to leave the ice axe and crampons at home after all.

Graham

PS Surprised you're not enthusiastic about the Lake Garda routes!

#423 re: VFs near Cortina in early June (in reply-to message #422) Posted by Haldun Aydingun on
Sat Feb 21, 05:30 EST 2009

Hi,

Thanks for your answers and comments. Maybe we have to postpone our trip a bit towards the early July side. On the other hand your suggestion about lake Garda routes sounds very logical. There will be no snow there. But I was hoping to do PUNTA ANNA especially. It is your fault, you put so nice photos and such a good narration, it became a must :)

I will look at the web site for the snow conditions and will ask you before coming.

Many thanks

Haldun

#424 Posted by Andrey on
Sun Mar 01, 10:54 EST 2009

 Hi Andrew, i'm planing to  visit via ferrata in Italy this year. Do you tink that first deys of  September are appropriate. I have litle expiriens climbing ferrata , moslty  short  vertical levels.
I have a lot of question , and i hope you will be kind to help me

Excuse my poor English.

#425 re: (in reply-to message #424) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Mar 01, 12:01 EST 2009

Hi, Andrey

The first days of September are probably an excellent time to visit the ferrate.  The weather is usually still nice, most of the rifugi are still open and many of the crowds have gone away.

...Andrew

Andrey wrote:

 Hi Andrew, i'm planing to  visit via ferrata in Italy this year. Do you tink that first deys of  September are appropriate. I have litle expiriens climbing ferrata , moslty  short  vertical levels.
I have a lot of question , and i hope you will be kind to help me

Excuse my poor English.

 

#426 photos Posted by helen on
Sun Mar 01, 14:47 EST 2009

Hi Andrew, which are the most scenic ferratas. Those with suspended rope bridges, great views and good shots etc. I am a photographer first , climber second.

cheers Helen

#427 re: (in reply-to message #425) Posted by Andrey on
Sun Mar 01, 15:44 EST 2009

and many of the crowds have gone away. HAPPY HAPPY

I fave so many qustions , sorry for bugging you. If you have time i will be glad to talk whit you.

#428 re: photos (in reply-to message #426) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Mar 01, 18:42 EST 2009

Hi, Helen.

That's a tough question!   Pretty much every ferrata I have been on has been very scenic in some way.  But, I suppose I could take a stab at which (of the ones that I have done) I think are most scenic (please note that these are in no particular order):

  • In the Brenta, the Bocchette Alte route,
  • The Ferrata delle Trincee,
  • Piz da Lech in the Sella Group,
  • Pisciadu climbing path (also in the Sella Group),
  • De Luca / Innerkofler route (good views of the Tre Cime),
  • The Masare / Rotwand ferrate,
  • The Punta Anna route and the Gianni Aglio route,
  • Sentiero Astaldi (easy and short but scenic in a different colorful kind of way),
  • Ivano Dibona (all those bridges and ruins are pretty neat).

I'm going to stop there, because I could basically go on and list most of the ferrate I've done!  But rest assured, the above are scenic!

Graham has done far more ferrata routes than I (in fact, all of them!), so perhaps he'll chime in with his scenic favourites.

...Andrew

helen wrote:

Hi Andrew, which are the most scenic ferratas. Those with suspended rope bridges, great views and good shots etc. I am a photographer first , climber second.

cheers Helen

 

#429 re: (in reply-to message #427) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Mar 01, 18:45 EST 2009

Hi again, Andrey

I can try to answer some of your questions, sure.

...Andrew

#430 Posted by Andrey on
Mon Mar 02, 03:14 EST 2009

Hi Andrew. My hiking and climbing  groop has 2 members me and my girlfriend, i feel shame , but she is beter climber then me. Do we need a guide for roots C tipe for example  "Bocchette Centrale" ?

About the gear, is there a rental gear or a have to take whit me mine, do i have to take whit me mine one ropes and hardw?re? Rental -And if you aware about the prises

Where to stay for 3, 4 night?  I prefer uncrouded villages but Theis will be mine first time ia Italy and I'm not familiar whit the prices in smal simple hotel. Can you recommend me a hotel or hut ... ?

If you tink that it will be more comfortable to you , here is my ICQ number 300-618899 and skype Futurama1982.

 thank for the patience

 

#431 re: (in reply-to message #430) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Mar 02, 10:20 EST 2009

Hi, Andrey.   To answer your questions:

1) If you are reasonably skilled in knowing your position and following a map, then I do not think you will need a guide.   Make sure that you follow the proper ferrata climbing rules, though.

2) I have never myself rented gear, but I hear that many of the towns that are near major ferrata routes have rental gear.  I'm guessing that in the case of the Brenta, Madonna di Campiglio would be the best bet (but I have no specific recommendation).

3)  A reasonable hotel in nearby towns is probably going to cost somewhere betwen 60 and 100 Euro per night.   In rifugios, the cost will probably be around 30 Euro (including food).   In the Brenta, there is an excellent set of rifugi.  I personally have stayed at the Rifugio Brentei and the Rifiguio Tuckett, and both of those are quite nice.  Elsewhere in the dolomites are many other nice rifugi, including the Rifugio Rosetta in the Pale,  the Rifugio Coldai near the Civetta, and the rifugio Lorenzi in the Cristallo.

In Cortina, there is one nice little hotel that I have stayed in several times: the Hotel Meuble Myriam, run by a nice family, and with reasonable rates.

Anyway, these are my limited ideas - there are many places in the dolomites that I have not yet explored!

...Andrew

Andrey wrote:

Hi Andrew. My hiking and climbing  groop has 2 members me and my girlfriend, i feel shame , but she is beter climber then me. Do we need a guide for roots C tipe for example  "Bocchette Centrale" ?

About the gear, is there a rental gear or a have to take whit me mine, do i have to take whit me mine one ropes and hardw?re? Rental -And if you aware about the prises

Where to stay for 3, 4 night?  I prefer uncrouded villages but Theis will be mine first time ia Italy and I'm not familiar whit the prices in smal simple hotel. Can you recommend me a hotel or hut ... ?

If you tink that it will be more comfortable to you , here is my ICQ number 300-618899 and skype Futurama1982.

 thank for the patience

 

#432 Posted by Andrey on
Mon Mar 02, 10:55 EST 2009

Thanks Andrew you are very kind. Are the route fully equiped , or a have to take extra gear like (60 m rope,  , carabines  nuts and friends ).

Excuse my english but i'm not  familiar whit this terms in english

 

#433 re: (in reply-to message #432) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Mar 02, 17:31 EST 2009

Hi, Andrey

Your terms are correct.  Regarding routes, you can consider them to be fixed-climbing paths.  There is a wire cable on sections that are more exposed or technical.   Therefore you do not need to bring your own rope.  You also do not need to bring any protection (nuts, friends, etc).   What you do need is a proper ferrata-specific dynamic belay device, a climbing harness, and two self-locking large-diameter carabiners. 

(I suppose there may be some ferrata routes that are not always adequately protected, in which case you would have to switch to classic climbing with the full gear - but on the routes that I have done, this is not the case).

Andrey wrote:

Thanks Andrew you are very kind. Are the route fully equiped , or a have to take extra gear like (60 m rope,  , carabines  nuts and friends ).

Excuse my english but i'm not  familiar whit this terms in english

#434 Posted by Andrey on
Tue Mar 03, 07:30 EST 2009

Hi Adrew, i saw that some of the routes are multiday , is it appropriately to spent the night ot open sky in sleeping bags (September), i'm talking about (Bocchette Centrale)

#435 re: (in reply-to message #434) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Mar 03, 07:56 EST 2009

Hi, Andrey.

You know, that's a good question.  I don't actually know what the rules are regarding camping-at-large in the Brenta (or in any part of the dolomites, for that matter).  Perhaps someone else on this forum can answer... maybe Graham?   My guess is that it is not officially permitted....

...Andrew

Andrey wrote:

Hi Adrew, i saw that some of the routes are multiday , is it appropriately to spent the night ot open sky in sleeping bags (September), i'm talking about (Bocchette Centrale)

 

#436 re: photos (in reply-to message #426) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Mar 03, 09:11 EST 2009

 

helen wrote:

Hi Andrew, which are the most scenic ferratas. Those with suspended rope bridges, great views and good shots etc. I am a photographer first , climber second.

cheers Helen

 Hi Helen

I wouldn't disagree with any of Andrew's specific suggestions, or with his general comment that pretty well all VFs are scenically rather special. What I would add, though, is that I find those routes with a historic resonance (especially relating to the first world war) of particular interest, and I guess you would too as a photographer. There are lots of those, which you can easily pick up from the guidebooks, but they're mainly in the northern Dolomites.

Here's a few specific routes to add to Andrew's list:

  • VF Laurenzi (northern Catinaccio)
  • VF Sandro Pertini (near Selva di Gardena)
  • The two VFs on Torre Toblino (Sesto Dolomites)
  • The two (really easy) VFs on Cima Capi (overlooking Lake Garda)
  • VF Zacchi (Schiara Dolomites)

Let us know when you do them, and share your photos on your website if you have one. 

Graham

 

#437 Sleeping out in the Dolomites (in reply-to message #434) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Mar 03, 09:21 EST 2009

 

Andrey wrote:

Hi Adrew, i saw that some of the routes are multiday , is it appropriately to spent the night ot open sky in sleeping bags (September), i'm talking about (Bocchette Centrale)

 Hi Andrey

Apart from a few, often privately owned, areas of mountains, I'm not aware of any rules forbidding 'wild camping' in the Dolomites. However, I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to consider sleeping out at between 2 and 3 thousand metres in September! Anyway, it's just not necessary. There are so many refuges, bivouacs, baitas and other little huts where you can spend a night if you're caught out, or just want to make an early start in the morning. Don't forget, though, apart from refuges, the facilities you'd find are very limited, and you'll need to carry your bedding, food and probably water as well. Is it really worth it?

Graham

 

#438 (in reply-to message #435) Posted by Andrey on
Tue Mar 03, 09:54 EST 2009

Hi Andrew, i asked this question because sometimes not everyting can by provident and if happens so , and we can't make our way back in light, sometimes it is better not to rush but spend one night on open. I have bad experience  rushin things out . I do not plan to make camp. Sleeping there is plan B if   things go rong and night falls. Thanks for the important and quick answers. I wish you only good things happens to you and more interesting and exciting trips.  

#439 via ferrate Posted by matthewjstc@gmail.com on
Sat Apr 18, 08:38 EDT 2009

Hello Andrew-

I happened upon your site and I am so glad I did! I have decided to make a trip to the ferratas in July and I would like your opinion. I plan on being in the area for at least 7 days, Is there a region you would suggest so that I could experience several different routes with ease? Or is the area fairly well connected with trains, buses and other forms of transportion. I don't have my own vehicle.

Do have any absolute favorites! Perhaps ones with plenty of exposure.

Also, while I am an avid hiker, climbing is something I am new too. I am looking at buying some gear right now, but don't know where to start. Do I need a full rack? Would a harness and hemet suffice?

Thanks, Great Site!

-Matt

(please reply by email)

#440 Next best Via Ferrata route in the dolomites Posted by Toby Butland on
Tue Apr 21, 15:48 EDT 2009

Me and a group of relative novices went and did the sosat and centralle route in the Brenta group last year and loved it and want to know another equally spectacular yet managable route in the the main dolomites group.  Any suggestions.

#441 re: Next best Via Ferrata route in the dolomites (in reply-to message #440) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Apr 21, 17:35 EDT 2009

 

Toby Butland wrote:

Me and a group of relative novices went and did the sosat and centralle route in the Brenta group last year and loved it and want to know another equally spectacular yet managable route in the the main dolomites group.  Any suggestions.

Well, let's see.  Moderate and spectacular in the central dolomites....  Perhaps the Ivano Dibona route?  Scenic, not too hard, and lots of WWI ruins and such, plus a big bridge.

I've only limited knowledge of the vast array of ferrate routes in the central dolomites -- perhaps Graham will have some suggestions, too.

#442 re: Via Ferrata virgins (in reply-to message #6) Posted by Topper on
Sun Apr 26, 13:43 EDT 2009

Hi Phil, I have climbed in both areas and it really depends on where you are coming from? Brenta is a bit of a trek and the ferrata can be a bit tedious, lots of traversing. The Cortina area can be reached from Venice in under two hours and the range of Ferrate is fantastic. Accomodation can be cheap but the beer is costly.  Lake Garda has a bit to offer but not the exposure you would get in the High Dolomites. Happy climbing and  recommend you go to Monte Patterno (Misurina) 1st climb,  via the toll road if you are choosing Cortina.

#443 re: Next best Via Ferrata route in the dolomites (in reply-to message #440) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Wed Apr 29, 11:46 EDT 2009

 

Toby Butland wrote:

Me and a group of relative novices went and did the sosat and centralle route in the Brenta group last year and loved it and want to know another equally spectacular yet managable route in the the main dolomites group.  Any suggestions.

Hi Toby

Here are a few more routes to add to Andrew’s suggestion of the Ivano Dibona route. I’ve also gone for a few quite easy routes, some little more than challenging walks, but all pretty spectacular.

VF Marino Bianchi (CORT 5 in the Cicerone guidebook). If you take Andrew’s advice and tackle the Ivano Dibona, you could also have a look at this route whilst you’re in the area.

VF Bepi Zac (FASSA 9). Like the Dibona, this is a really easy route, but in a really spectacular situation. It’s another old wartime route and, like the Dibona, can be climbed without gear if you’re confident of your ability (although I’d never go without a helmet).

VFs Lamon & Formenton (CORT 12).

VF de Luca/Innerkofler (MISUR 4). Again, gear hardly necessary, but fascinating situation and tons of wartime history.

Strada degli Alpini (SESTO 2). Yet another where I don’t bother with gear (apart from the helmet), but I enjoy it more every time I do it. The Salvezza Ledge, the highlight of the route, has to be one of the most spectacular pieces of wartime construction in the Dolomites.

VF Brigata Tridentina (CORV 4). This is the only moderately difficult route in my list of suggestions, but it’s a classic, and you can walk off the route at the half-way point if you’re finding it hard going, since the upper half is a bit tougher.

Best wishes, Graham

#444 Via Ferrata - French Alps in May? Posted by Rob on
Thu Apr 30, 10:53 EDT 2009

Hello,

My girlfriend and I are thinking about doing the via ferrata in the french alps in the mid-may time frame.  We have Chavy's excellent guide book to the area but are not sure about some things.  Here are our questions...

- Is mid may going to be too cold?

- Where should we get the gear?

- Are the sites open?

- Any good camping sites?

Sorry to ask so much but this trip is coming up quickly.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Rob 

#445 re: Via Ferrata - French Alps in May? (in reply-to message #444) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Apr 30, 11:25 EDT 2009

 

Rob wrote:

Hello,

My girlfriend and I are thinking about doing the via ferrata in the french alps in the mid-may time frame.  We have Chavy's excellent guide book to the area but are not sure about some things.  Here are our questions...

- Is mid may going to be too cold?

- Where should we get the gear?

- Are the sites open?

- Any good camping sites?

Sorry to ask so much but this trip is coming up quickly.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Rob 

 Hi, Rob

Unfortunately I don't know much of anything about the french via ferrate (this site is only about the ferrate in the Italian dolomites).  However, having said that, I would imagine that any high routes (2200m+ or so) are very likely to be in winter condition in May.  If there are low routes available, I'd angle for those.

 

#446 site quality Posted by doug ellison on
Mon May 04, 16:26 EDT 2009

tried some via ferratas in June 2007 on the back of a trekking trip and really enjoyed it so we are going back  to Pedraces in July, your site has really wetted my appetite and its is obvious that  this a real labour of love,"absolutely first class" keep up the excelent work, regards THE GEORDIE CHAUVINISTAS ps how much harder is Trincee compared to Tridentina

#447 re: site quality (in reply-to message #446) Posted by Andrew on
Mon May 04, 21:41 EDT 2009

 

doug ellison wrote:

tried some via ferratas in June 2007 on the back of a trekking trip and really enjoyed it so we are going back  to Pedraces in July, your site has really wetted my appetite and its is obvious that  this a real labour of love,"absolutely first class" keep up the excelent work, regards THE GEORDIE CHAUVINISTAS ps how much harder is Trincee compared to Tridentina

 The Trincee ferrata is easier than the Tridentina ferrata.  There is a short bit right at the very beginning (of the western end) that is perhaps a bit harder (and even that is questionable).  After that, the Trincee ferrata is much easier, in my opinion.


 

#448 Grading of VFs delle Trincee and Tridentina. Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue May 05, 12:15 EDT 2009

 Andrew wrote:

'The Trincee ferrata is easier than the Tridentina ferrata.  There is a short bit right at the very beginning (of the western end) that is perhaps a bit harder (and even that is questionable).  After that, the Trincee ferrata is much easier, in my opinion.'

I don’t need much temptation to start a debate about the thorny issue of route grading, and Andrew’s observation that VF Tridentina is harder than VF Trincee has given me an excuse! Anyway, one of the main values of forums like this is the opportunity for an exchange of views, so here goes.

 I have to disagree with Andrew’s assessment of the first passage of delle Trincee. It’s steeper than anything on Tridentina and therefore requires better climbing skills (or more muscle in the absence of it!). Also, being on volcanic rock, the holds are sparser and of a different character to the limestone which predominates in the Dolomites. Of course, the assessment of difficulty is a pretty subjective matter, but I suspect most people would side with me on this one!

That said, I do agree with Andrew that the rest of the Trincee route is easier than Tridentina. However, that raises a point that John and I felt strongly about when we were finalising the gradings we applied to routes. You can’t say ‘such and such a route is only a grade 3 - ah, but by the way, there’s a short grade 5 passage in the middle’. Our view is that you have to grade according to the hardest passage of a climb, not the majority of it, or even some notion of an average.

Anyway, that’s our view, so any other contributions to the debate?

Graham

#449 Crampons / ice axes needed ? Posted by David Galsworthy on
Wed May 06, 17:00 EDT 2009

Dear Andrew and Graham

I am starting to plan a trip to the Brenta in early September with a group of friends spending 5 days in the mountains linking up a series of VF's and staying in the huts. I know the weather can be bad in the Brenta but do it think it likely we will need to take crampons / ice axes as part of the gear. Any thoughts on the subject gratefully received !

Thanks for the site Andrew - have really enjoyed looking at the pictures of some of the VFs I have climbed in my previous visits to the Dolomites.

Regards - David

#450 re: Crampons / ice axes needed ? (in reply-to message #449) Posted by Andrew on
Wed May 06, 21:20 EDT 2009

Hi, David

I think there's a good chance that early September will have good weather (no guarantee, of course).  And, the rifugios should still be open then (I think).  I'd say don't bother with the crampons and ice ax.  Any snow you get (if indeed you are unlucky enough to get a big early snowstorm) won't be deep enough for an ace anyway, and there won't be any underlying ice in such a situation, either.  

Anyway, those are my 0.02 cents' worth.

...Andrew

David Galsworthy wrote:

Dear Andrew and Graham

I am starting to plan a trip to the Brenta in early September with a group of friends spending 5 days in the mountains linking up a series of VF's and staying in the huts. I know the weather can be bad in the Brenta but do it think it likely we will need to take crampons / ice axes as part of the gear. Any thoughts on the subject gratefully received !

Thanks for the site Andrew - have really enjoyed looking at the pictures of some of the VFs I have climbed in my previous visits to the Dolomites.

Regards - David

 

#451 Italian vias ferratas Posted by Aruges on
Sun May 10, 14:40 EDT 2009
Hello everybody, first I will thanks Andrew . Italy is the only one european country with so much ironways. Many people speaking about Italian vias ferratas , see often Dolomites. Yes , of course there are beautiful; but you have others near Dolomites mountains as Susa Valley, Aosta Valley and lombardy.All of them in the North near Swiss and French frontiers. Someones farther like Apeninnes mountains or Liguria. The interest of the others V.F.in Susa or Aosta is that they can be done earlier without so much snow. For example near Susa town we can find : - V.F. Rouas , grade C. - V.F. Monte Pirchiriano , San Michele, grade C. - V.F. Roca Bianca, grade B. - V.F.orrido di Foresto, grade D. -V.F. orrido di Chianocco, grade B. Susa and Aosta Valleys are near each other. Their own ferrata are at low altitud and in a week , you can do ten or twelwe vias ferratas. Campings and hotels are less expensives than those of Dolomites. Good vias ferratas.
#452 first via ferrata experience Posted by rick mcmahon on
Tue May 12, 17:44 EDT 2009

Aloha Andrew,

You have a brilliant website with high quality content....keep up the great work. My question is more of advice and recommendation from you. I am an experienced hiker (age 54) with sufficient stamina and endurance for hiking in general. However, I have no via ferrata experience, but want to experience the thrill of doing so this upcoming trip to the dolomites this September.  I will be in Solden, Austria with other family members doing the HF Holiday thing for 10 days and then on to Italy for my second time in the dolomites. Also, do I need a guided trek? Please, your top picks for how I described my circumstances.

Mahalo in advance,

Rick

#453 re: first via ferrata experience (in reply-to message #452) Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 12, 18:20 EDT 2009

Hi, Rick

Well, I think that if you stick to the moderately-graded routes, and get yourself some proper via ferrata gear (helmet, harness and dynamic self-belay device), and follow the simple guidelines outlined here, on other sites, and in guidebooks, you should be able to do this on your own.

There are many nice moderate routes in the eastern / north-eastern parts of the Dolomites (sesto dolomites area and in the cortina area).  I personally haven't done many in the sesto dolomites, but I know there are several moderate routes there.    I know that Graham has talked of some of these routes in this very forum, so please do browse around through the older posts.

...Andrew

rick mcmahon wrote:

Aloha Andrew,

You have a brilliant website with high quality content....keep up the great work. My question is more of advice and recommendation from you. I am an experienced hiker (age 54) with sufficient stamina and endurance for hiking in general. However, I have no via ferrata experience, but want to experience the thrill of doing so this upcoming trip to the dolomites this September.  I will be in Solden, Austria with other family members doing the HF Holiday thing for 10 days and then on to Italy for my second time in the dolomites. Also, do I need a guided trek? Please, your top picks for how I described my circumstances.

Mahalo in advance,

Rick

 

#454 re: first via ferrata experience (in reply-to message #453) Posted by rick mcmahon on
Tue May 12, 18:27 EDT 2009

Thanks much for the quick reply. How is it, you have so much time to visit Europe? Does your website generate revenue for your trips? Just curious.

#455 re: first via ferrata experience (in reply-to message #454) Posted by Andrew on
Wed May 13, 07:24 EDT 2009

Hi again...

I guess it must seem like I visit often, but really it isn't so.  At most I go once every two or three years.  

Unfortunately no, my website doesn't generate me any revenue.  As you can see, there is no advertising on it (I'm somewhat loathe to do so... but who knows, maybe someday).

...Andrew

#456 Ferrata Fun Posted by John McTighe on
Tue May 19, 13:37 EDT 2009

Hi Andrew, Thanks for the great site.I really enjoyed your pictures.

Anyway I was hoping to spend a week in the dolomites in July (possibly based in Cortina) to do some ferratas. I did the AV1 last year (but the group i was with did not want to tackle any ferratas - boo). I know its hard to give a definite answer but I'd be grateful if you could recommend your favourite ferrata in the area. 

Alleghesi looks fantastic - i stayed in Rifugio Coldai last time so I know how to get there. Not sure if its suitable for a newbie though... Any suggestions would be great.

Also - do you have any experience of bivouacing (eg on Marmalada) - any tips for equipment etc?

Thanks

John (mctighe.john@gmail.com)

 

#457 re: Ferrata Fun (in reply-to message #456) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun May 24, 11:55 EDT 2009

 Hi John

Since Andrew seems to be tied up at the moment, perhaps I could offer my own comments on your planned trip this summer.

I certainly think that you can’t go wrong in choosing Cortina as your base – particularly if you’re relying on public transport to get to the Dolomites, and to get around once you’re here. I guess the only downside is the cost of accommodation, which is probably higher than anywhere else in the area. There’s a really good choice of ferratas easily accessible from the town, and if I had to say which would be my personal favourite, I’d say without hesitation that it’s VF Tomaselli (FALZ 1 in the Cicerone guidebook). You claim to be a newbie though, so I’d suggest you work your way up to this particular route, since it’s one of the hardest in the Dolomites! My advice would be to tackle the two routes in the valley north of Cortina to start with (CORT 2 & 3), both good routes, but not too demanding. As for the Alleghesi route: well, I wouldn’t say it was an obvious route for somebody with limited experience and, besides, Cortina wouldn’t be a good jumping off point to do it from. So, leave that for next year perhaps.

You’re the second person to ask recently about bivouacking in the mountains here. I just don’t see the point frankly, when there’s such a good network of rifugios and bivouac huts.

Anyway, whatever you finally decide, enjoy your trip!

Graham

#458 VF Posted by Magdalena on
Sun May 24, 18:53 EDT 2009

Hi All,

I’m very glad I found this site, it’s been an extraordinary source of
information in preparation for my first trip to Dolomites.
Thank you for useful hints and tips and all beautiful pictures.

I’m heading to east part of the region next week and I guess I’m pretty
well equipped and ready to ‘rock’:). My only worry is that it is quite
early in the year and perhaps there are some aspects of my trip which I
haven’t thought of yet. It will be a solo trip and I haven’t decided yet
of where to stay. I planned to bring my camp equipment. But read couple
of previous posts and it looks that, perhaps Cortina as a base camp would
be a better option. Well, bringing my tent would make me fairly self
sufficient in this regards, but again it’s extra few pounds in my
rucksack (perhaps unnecessary). I’m also wondering if the camp
sites open in June?

Anyone knows? I appreciate any details so I could get my self ready
as best as possible.

Thanks again for the site. It made the preparation even more exciting.

Regards
Magdalena

 

#459 VF Posted by Magdalena on
Sun May 24, 18:59 EDT 2009

Ooops, if my previous post is illegible, please let me know and I'll retype it.

Regards Magdalena

#460 re: VF (in reply-to message #459) Posted by Andrew on
Mon May 25, 19:09 EDT 2009

No problem, Magdalena - I'll clean it up for you.

...Andrew

Magdalena wrote:

Ooops, if my previous post is illegible, please let me know and I'll retype it.

Regards Magdalena

 

 

#461 june in cortina Posted by topper on
Thu May 28, 06:28 EDT 2009

Hi I am off for my yearly pilgrimage to the Dolomites and as I am going early this year and due to record snow falls am I advised to take crampons? Has anybody been in the area recently? I still have 3 weeks but some of the Tofana routes look a bit snowy from the web cam shots.

#462 Magdalena's trip to the Dolomites (in reply-to message #458) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu May 28, 08:03 EDT 2009

 Hi Magdalena

Yes, you’re right. It is a bit early in the year for a VF holiday. Especially so this year when we’ve had the snowiest winter for 20 years. Fortunately, we’ve had some unusually hot weather since mid-May, so the snow is melting fast. However, you’ll have to take stock of what’s possible when you arrive, since I doubt if the higher routes will be realistic for another couple of weeks or more.

You’re also right in guessing that Cortina will be a good base, and there are a couple of routes just up the valley from there which I think will certainly be climbable now since they’re at a relatively low altitude (see CORT 2& 3 in the Cicerone guidebook). You also asked about campsites, and there’s a good one in the valley very close to these two routes. Have a look at the link below:

http://www.campingolympiacortina.it/olympia/olympia.htm

You’ll also see that it’s open all year round, to answer your other question.

Enjoy your trip!

Graham

#463 re: june in cortina (in reply-to message #461) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Thu May 28, 08:14 EDT 2009

 Hi Topper

I’ve just posted a reply to Magdalena, which touches on the same subject. You’re right about the snow, but you’ll see that I mention the unusually hot weather we’re having. So, the snow is melting rapidly, but I still don’t think that any of the higher altitude routes, or routes with a northern aspect, will be climbable yet. Still, you’ve apparently got 3 weeks, and that will probably make a big difference. Why don’t you post another query before you start to think about packing ice-axe and crampons, and I’ll give you an update. In the meantime, you can check out the site below for information about snow conditions and the depth of the snowpack.

http://www.arpa.veneto.it/bollettini/htm/dolomiti_neve_e_valanghe_en.asp

Graham

#464 re: Magdalena's trip to the Dolomites (in reply-to message #462) Posted by Magdalena on
Fri May 29, 14:21 EDT 2009

Hi Graham,

So it was the snowiest winter for 20 years? How lucky I am! Well, I've no choice but to re-arrange slightly my initial plans and throw few extra pairs of warm socks into my rucksack :). I've already checked out the campsite you recommended and I guess this is where I head first.

Thank you very much for reply and all your advices. You helped a lot.

Take care

Magdalena 

 

#465 re: Grading of VFs delle Trincee and Tridentina. (in reply-to message #448) Posted by SteveW on
Thu Jun 04, 10:49 EDT 2009

A while since I've been on this site. As good as ever though.

Having been up both these routes a couple of times I would agree with Graham's gradings. Second time up both was with a larger group of mixed ability and the Trincee start unfortunately got the better of a few of our number. Imagine if this section had been much further into the route?! From my recollection, also bear in mind that Trincee holds snow much later in the season than Trincee and would also pose a problem, even on the  "easier" sections. That said, Trincee is a fascinating route, well worth the visit, and the difficult first stage can always be bypassed.

Of more concern to me is the fact that the Cable car from Arraba has never once been open when I've been there ;-(

Steve

#466 re: Ferrata Fun (in reply-to message #457) Posted by John McTighe on
Thu Jun 04, 11:57 EDT 2009

Hi Graham,

Thanks for the reply. I've been reading through your book (vol I) and the routes look great.

My plan would be to start with a few easy Ferrata and work my way up. I guess I need to see for myself how easy a Grade 2 is and how much exposure is in a B before I try anything more challenging. There seem to be a good few beginner/medium routes in the Misurina region.

One final question - dio you have any personal preference for footwear on the ferrata?

I'm trying to decide between Boots, Climbing shoes and lightweight summit shoes.

I'll probably wear boots & keep the rock shoes in the rucksack just in case.

Rgds

John

 

 

#467 Sleeping bags in the Brenta ? (in reply-to message #449) Posted by David Galsworthy on
Thu Jun 04, 13:20 EDT 2009

Does anyone know if you need a sleeping bags for rhe refuges in the Brenta ?

Information on this welcomed.

David

 

David Galsworthy wrote:
 

Dear Andrew and Graham

I am starting to plan a trip to the Brenta in early September with a group of friends spending 5 days in the mountains linking up a series of VF's and staying in the huts. I know the weather can be bad in the Brenta but do it think it likely we will need to take crampons / ice axes as part of the gear. Any thoughts on the subject gratefully received !

Thanks for the site Andrew - have really enjoyed looking at the pictures of some of the VFs I have climbed in my previous visits to the Dolomites.

Regards - David

 

 

#468 re: Ferrata Fun (in reply-to message #466) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Jun 05, 11:15 EDT 2009

 Hello again John: gald you appreciate the guidebooks!

A couple of comments on your latest post:

  • You're right that there are some good routes for a relative beginner in the Misurina area, and it's a superb mountain group to explore. You can reach Misurina (and then onwards to Rif. Auronzo) by bus from Cortina, if that's where you're still planning to stay. 
  • In my view rock boots are completely unnecessary for VFs. You'll be far better off with light weight Sportivas, or something similar - after all, they're designed for VFs. Also bear in mind that you'll be doing a lot of walking on pretty rough ground, so you'll need good ankle support.

Graham

#469 re: Sleeping bags in the Brenta ? (in reply-to message #467) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Jun 05, 11:22 EDT 2009

 Hi David

If you plan to stay in rifugios, then you'll be provided with blankets, but will need to use a sheet sleeping bag, which are available to hire. Better still, take your own light-weight bag to minimise the environmental impact of the large scale laundering which is involved. Silk is perfect: it weighs next to nothing and is really comfortable.

Graham

 

#470 What kind of Carabiner can be used Posted by Gabor on
Thu Jun 11, 11:37 EDT 2009

Hi,

I have just bought a Petzl Scorpio Vertigo based Ferrata set. (Up till now I rented ones and didnt get the official description) And to my surprise its description doesnt allow it to be used on ferratas where the wire does not contain a loop where it is connected to the rod/peg that holds it to the rock becouse then it can break. Based on your pictures it is nowhere the case in Dolomits. (And the max allowed 3m vertical distance is exceeded in a lot of places as well.)

Do you think I can use it safely? Is there any ferrata carabiner that can be officially used there?

Of course the best protection is not falling ;o)

In begining of July can I expect some snow on Finanzieri, Trincee or Brigata Tridentina routes?

 

#471 re: Sleeping bags in the Brenta ? (in reply-to message #469) Posted by David Galsworthy on
Sat Jun 13, 15:35 EDT 2009

 

Graham

Thanks for your information - its appreciated. Will check out the supply of silk sleeping bags as suggested. Hope you are well - we met in the bar in Arraba a few years ago whilst staying in the Sport Hotel. You have since moved to the Dolomites by the looks of it - lucky for some ! Still can't complaint too much with the Yorkshire Dales on the doorstep - limited VFs in this area though.

regards

David

Graham Fletcher wrote:
 

 Hi David

If you plan to stay in rifugios, then you'll be provided with blankets, but will need to use a sheet sleeping bag, which are available to hire. Better still, take your own light-weight bag to minimise the environmental impact of the large scale laundering which is involved. Silk is perfect: it weighs next to nothing and is really comfortable.

Graham

 

#472 re: Sleeping bags in the Brenta ? (in reply-to message #471) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Jun 14, 04:56 EDT 2009

 

Hi David

I guess that, over the years, I’ve met quite a few people in bars, not only in Arabba! However, I’m useless on names, but near-perfect on faces. So I’m sure I’ll know you, but I can’t put a face to the name right now (it would be good if Andrew ever upgraded this site to enable photos to be posted).

Anyway: yes, we now live in the Dolomites on a permanent basis, having spent a few years dividing our time between here and the Lake District. As we say in Italy: ‘la vita e dura’.

Best wishes for the Brenta trip.

Graham

 

David Galsworthy wrote:

 

Graham

Thanks for your information - its appreciated. Will check out the supply of silk sleeping bags as suggested. Hope you are well - we met in the bar in Arraba a few years ago whilst staying in the Sport Hotel. You have since moved to the Dolomites by the looks of it - lucky for some ! Still can't complaint too much with the Yorkshire Dales on the doorstep - limited VFs in this area though.

regards

David

 


 

Graham Fletcher wrote:
 

 Hi David

If you plan to stay in rifugios, then you'll be provided with blankets, but will need to use a sheet sleeping bag, which are available to hire. Better still, take your own light-weight bag to minimise the environmental impact of the large scale laundering which is involved. Silk is perfect: it weighs next to nothing and is really comfortable.

Graham

 

 

 

#473 re: What kind of Carabiner can be used (in reply-to message #470) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jun 15, 05:51 EDT 2009

 

Gabor wrote:

Hi,

I have just bought a Petzl Scorpio Vertigo based Ferrata set. (Up till now I rented ones and didnt get the official description) And to my surprise its description doesnt allow it to be used on ferratas where the wire does not contain a loop where it is connected to the rod/peg that holds it to the rock becouse then it can break. Based on your pictures it is nowhere the case in Dolomits. (And the max allowed 3m vertical distance is exceeded in a lot of places as well.)

Do you think I can use it safely? Is there any ferrata carabiner that can be officially used there?

Of course the best protection is not falling ;o)

In begining of July can I expect some snow on Finanzieri, Trincee or Brigata Tridentina routes?

 

 Hi Gabor

I’ve been puzzling over your reference to the ferrata wire ‘containing a loop where it is connected to the rod/peg that holds it to the rock’. I’m still not sure what you mean, but perhaps you’re referring to the rubber devices that are sometimes found on the most recently constructed VFs, which are intended to absorb some of the impact of the karabiner when it reaches the lower end of the wire. Whatever you have in mind, any gear that you use can only reduce the chance of equipment breakage or personal injury, not completely eliminate it. As far as your karabiner is concerned, if it’s the one shown in this link:

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/special-locking-carabiners/vertigo

then it’s designed specifically for VFs, so is as good as anything on the market.

You’re right in saying that the best protection is not to fall in the first place! In fact, over many years of climbing VFs, I’ve seen very few people fall, and I’ve never seen a serious injury, so don’t let your worries prevent you going out and enjoying the mountains.

You also ask about the chances of finding snow on Finanzieri, Trincee or Brigata Tridentina at the beginning of July. Since we’ve had the snowiest winter in 20 years, I guess you might, but not so much that those routes will be impossible. There’s still quite a lot of snow above 2000m, especially on north facing slopes, and in gullies, but it’s already possible to climb many VFs. It’s frequently in descent gullies where you’re most likely to find old snow, but the routes themselves are generally clear.

Graham

 

#474 re: What kind of Carabiner can be used (in reply-to message #473) Posted by Gabor on
Mon Jun 15, 11:05 EDT 2009

Hi,

thanks for your answer.

Regarding snow: If I managed to get up on a ferrata, then I am sure I will find some path down despite an eventual snow.

Regarding carabiner:

http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/L60_SCORPIO_L60502-C.pdf

- is the descritption of the lanyard/carabiner. On the first page on the right bottom (Type of Via Ferrata)there is a shematic drawing showing my concern. On many French ferrata photos I saw that the wire has a curve at the bottom. Bot on the italian or Austrian ferratas as far I know a straight wire is being used.

Anyhow: Falling is not in my plans.

 

 

#475 re: What kind of Carabiner can be used (in reply-to message #474) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jun 15, 12:10 EDT 2009

 Hi Gabor

Thanks for sending the link; now I understand what you were getting at. Actually, I don't ever recall seeing cables designed with that sort of loop near the bolts in the Dolomites - although I've come across them in Provence. As I said in my note, the newly built, or restored, VFs frequently have rubber 'stoppers'  to prevent a catastrophic impact in the event of a fall, but most have nothing of this sort, so I guess you're right: don't fall!

Graham

#476 AV2 Posted by jon on
Wed Jun 17, 22:50 EDT 2009

Hi,

I am planning to hike the AV2 from beginning to end in July and want to travel as light as possible. Would you recommend that I buy a harness etc. for this? I am not planning to over Marmolada. I hiked the AV1 last year (but not Schiara).

Thanks, jon

 

#477 Routes Posted by Chuck on
Mon Jun 22, 21:20 EDT 2009

Love the site.  Headed over late Aug/early Sept.  Are all the routes pretty well marked?  Not planning on getting a guide but don't want to waste time route finding. 

#478 Suggestions Posted by Curtis on
Mon Jun 22, 21:23 EDT 2009

Looking at doing a week this summer.  Want to do a couple of day of via ferrate and then a 3-4 days of low key hiking.  Want to minimize driving time from the via ferrate to where ever we decide to hike (assuming we have to drive) is there an area that you would recommend that has good hiking and some good ferrate

thanks

#479 re: AV2 (in reply-to message #476) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jun 22, 21:57 EDT 2009

I'm not super familiar with the Alte Vie routes, but I'm guessing that you could probably get by without a harness, etc.   AV2 goes over the Marmolada?  to the highest point?

...Andrew

 

jon wrote:

Hi,

I am planning to hike the AV2 from beginning to end in July and want to travel as light as possible. Would you recommend that I buy a harness etc. for this? I am not planning to over Marmolada. I hiked the AV1 last year (but not Schiara).

Thanks, jon

 

 

 

#480 Via ferratas tracks Posted by Alex on
Tue Jun 23, 07:39 EDT 2009

Hi Andrew,

Great site! Great forum!  We want also to discover the beauty of dolomites by taking some VFs this week and the next. It is possible to download some of your tracks (for example .kml file ) for later use with a GPS tracker? If yes, please let me know where we can find them.
Much appreciated
Alex

Much appreciated

Alex

#481 re: Routes (in reply-to message #477) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jun 23, 08:39 EDT 2009

 

Chuck wrote:

Love the site.  Headed over late Aug/early Sept.  Are all the routes pretty well marked?  Not planning on getting a guide but don't want to waste time route finding. 

 Hi Chuck

You certainly don't need to hire a guide: a good guidebook will be fine. Most vie ferrate are easy to find, and easy to follow. Also, in the period you're planning on travelling, there will be plenty of other climbers around on all the more popular routes, so just follow the team in front!

Graham

 

#482 re: Suggestions (in reply-to message #478) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jun 23, 09:19 EDT 2009

 

Curtis wrote:

Looking at doing a week this summer.  Want to do a couple of day of via ferrate and then a 3-4 days of low key hiking.  Want to minimize driving time from the via ferrate to where ever we decide to hike (assuming we have to drive) is there an area that you would recommend that has good hiking and some good ferrate

thanks

 Hi Curtis

You're spoiled for choice! I'd suggest you consider one of these 4 areas:

  • the Catinaccio/Sasso Lungo area, basing yourself in Campitello do Fassa
  • the Sella/Puez Odle area, basing yourself in Arabba or Corvara
  • the area round Cortina
  • the Sesto area, basing yourself in Misurina

Each area provides far more than a week's worth of  climbing/walking, and I suggest that one thing you should consider in choosing between them is how you plan to get to the area, and then get around once you're here. For example, if you decide to rely on public transport, then Cortina's the best bet, but accommodation is more expensive there. Hopefully you've got time to do a bit more research, starting with Andrew's website, which is a real treasure trove!

Graham 

 

#483 re: Via ferratas tracks (in reply-to message #480) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jun 23, 10:06 EDT 2009

Hi.

Currently I have my tracks in the native .txt format output by the program 'GPS Utility' (http://gpsu.co.uk).   I could make those available.

...Andrew

Alex wrote:

Hi Andrew,

Great site! Great forum!  We want also to discover the beauty of dolomites by taking some VFs this week and the next. It is possible to download some of your tracks (for example .kml file ) for later use with a GPS tracker? If yes, please let me know where we can find them.
Much appreciated
Alex

Much appreciated

Alex

 

 

#484 favorite 3-4 routes Posted by Joan on
Tue Jun 23, 13:07 EDT 2009

My husband  and i are heading to Italy the end of August  for VF- we've climbed there in the past so slightly familiar with area- wondering your suggestions for favorite routes -we have three weeks

#485 re: Via ferratas tracks (in reply-to message #483) Posted by Alex on
Wed Jun 24, 04:39 EDT 2009

Hi,

Thanks for clarifications; I see that under http://alavigne.net/FileDownloads/index.jsp?dirselection=GPSData/Europe2005 you have only Ferrata Canalone.txt track file. I used http://gpsu.co.uk/ for opening and converting the file in a .kml (I use http://aeguerre.free.fr/Public/PocketPC/NoniGPSPlot/EN/index.php and Google Maps mobile on a WM6.1 GPS device).
Again much appreciated  if you take some of your time to put some other VFs .txt track files there.
Regards,
Alex

 

Andrew wrote:
 

Hi.

Currently I have my tracks in the native .txt format output by the program 'GPS Utility' (http://gpsu.co.uk).   I could make those available.

...Andrew

Alex wrote:

Hi Andrew,

Great site! Great forum!  We want also to discover the beauty of dolomites by taking some VFs this week and the next. It is possible to download some of your tracks (for example .kml file ) for later use with a GPS tracker? If yes, please let me know where we can find them.
Much appreciated
Alex

Much appreciated

Alex

 

 

 

 

#486 re: Via ferratas tracks (in reply-to message #485) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jun 24, 07:03 EDT 2009

Hi, Alex

You are right that I only have some of my tracks available.  However, in the location you mention, there are actually more ferrata tracks than just the Canalone one:  Piz da Lec, Bren5, Trincee, Colac, Cima Auta, and Cristallo are also ferrata tracklogs.

Anyway, to make things a bit easier, and to include more of the ferrata, I've added a new folder in my file downloads called 'Ferrata'.  Also, on my via ferrata pages, the sidebar on the left now contains a link called 'GPS Tracks', under the 'Reference Material' section

Hope this helps,

...Andrew

P.S. At some point in the future I will likely offer various [other] formats directly from this site.

 

Alex wrote:

Hi,

Thanks for clarifications; I see that under http://alavigne.net/FileDownloads/index.jsp?dirselection=GPSData/Europe2005 you have only Ferrata Canalone.txt track file. I used http://gpsu.co.uk/ for opening and converting the file in a .kml (I use http://aeguerre.free.fr/Public/PocketPC/NoniGPSPlot/EN/index.php and Google Maps mobile on a WM6.1 GPS device).
Again much appreciated  if you take some of your time to put some other VFs .txt track files there.
Regards,
Alex

 

Andrew wrote:
 

Hi.

Currently I have my tracks in the native .txt format output by the program 'GPS Utility' (http://gpsu.co.uk).   I could make those available.

...Andrew

Alex wrote:

Hi Andrew,

Great site! Great forum!  We want also to discover the beauty of dolomites by taking some VFs this week and the next. It is possible to download some of your tracks (for example .kml file ) for later use with a GPS tracker? If yes, please let me know where we can find them.
Much appreciated
Alex

Much appreciated

Alex

 

 

 

 

 

 

#487 re: Via ferratas tracks (in reply-to message #486) Posted by Alex on
Wed Jun 24, 12:14 EDT 2009

Hi,

Thank you very much Andrew, I've  found most of Vfs around Cortina area - I'll use them in this trip.

Sorry for my ignorance of the other tracks, I was only interested in VF near Cortina D'Ampezzo.

Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Alex

#488 thanks - great detail very helpful Posted by Tania Fuessel on
Thu Jun 25, 05:56 EDT 2009

hey andrew,

just dropping a line to say how much i am enjoying your site, i have just discovered it, and it is just what i have been looking for. i live in australia, and i love hiking, and have just discovered via ferrate  .klettersteig, really keen to do some planning then get back over to the dolomites and start my first foray into the iron road.

so thanks for all the work you put in, it is an excellent resource, and i am sure i am going to be spending some time on here in the near future!

have fun,

tania

#489 re: thanks - great detail very helpful (in reply-to message #488) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jun 25, 07:30 EDT 2009

Most kind.   Thanks!

Tania Fuessel wrote:

hey andrew,

just dropping a line to say how much i am enjoying your site, i have just discovered it, and it is just what i have been looking for. i live in australia, and i love hiking, and have just discovered via ferrate  .klettersteig, really keen to do some planning then get back over to the dolomites and start my first foray into the iron road.

so thanks for all the work you put in, it is an excellent resource, and i am sure i am going to be spending some time on here in the near future!

have fun,

tania

 

 

#490 safety rope 20m Posted by topper on
Mon Jun 29, 10:08 EDT 2009

Came back from the Cortina area two weeks ago. Never have I seen the Dolomites looking so spectacular. Still a lot of snow on the peaks clear sunshine and fresh air, superb. However around the Misurina area and just about everywhere in the gullies there is still alot of snow. Some of the cables on the easiest routes were covered and made them a bit more exciting. I had a 20m 8mm rope as a back up and it came in very useful to navigate across the snow fields. A couple of shortened walking poles would have been beneficial as I was using other peoples spike holes as finger holds (made it exciting anyhoooo). Oh and a belay device wouln't go amiss. There is still snow on the Tofana,  Kahoola micro spikes may have been useful. Perfect place to be though, less crowds in June as well. 

#491 rock climbing Posted by Samuel on
Mon Jul 13, 12:54 EDT 2009

 

 

Hola

I am going to be in the dolomiti from August 1st to the 17. I am staying in Selva di Cadoore. Thi sight has been very helpful to decide waht via Ferratas to do.

I was wondring if someone knows of a similar site that describes rock climbing in the area.

Of course any Beta on easy routes ( 5.6 to 5.8) that are easy to descend from ( rappel or walk-off) would be greatly appreciated. please email ( stabachnik@yahoo.com)

Thanks

samuel

#492 New to Italy Posted by AJ on
Sun Jul 19, 05:27 EDT 2009

I just moved to Italy 3 weeks ago from the US and learned about via ferrata's locally.  I hiked to one just north of Lake Garda yesterday, I can't wait for my gear to come in that I just ordered!  I am having an issue converting the text tracks for GPS to Garmin.  Do you have any advice?  One of the ones I tried to convert was about 50 kilometers from where it should have been.

#493 re: New to Italy (in reply-to message #492) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jul 19, 11:14 EDT 2009

Can you tell me a bit more about how you went about doing the conversion? 

The track files on my site are from a shareware program called 'GPS Utility' (http://gpsu.co.uk).  It can convert those track files into just about any format, including garmin .gps files.   Also, there are other free-ish shareware-ish converters out there...

...Andrew

AJ wrote:

I just moved to Italy 3 weeks ago from the US and learned about via ferrata's locally.  I hiked to one just north of Lake Garda yesterday, I can't wait for my gear to come in that I just ordered!  I am having an issue converting the text tracks for GPS to Garmin.  Do you have any advice?  One of the ones I tried to convert was about 50 kilometers from where it should have been.

 

 

#494 Thanks! Posted by John McTighe on
Mon Jul 20, 08:22 EDT 2009

Hi Guys,

Just back from a fantastic week in the dolomites. Highlights were the West VF ascent of Marmolada & VF Cesare Piazzetta in the Sella Massif. Didn't get to do VF Tomaselli as the Storm came in on Fri Night/ Sat. 

Just wanted to say thanks a million for this great resource and also for answering my questions on gear/locations/difficulty.

Best regards

John

#495 re: Thanks! (in reply-to message #494) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jul 20, 21:22 EDT 2009

Thanks for the compliments.  I myself must do those great routes that you did.  They are on my list!

..Andrew

John McTighe wrote:

Hi Guys,

Just back from a fantastic week in the dolomites. Highlights were the West VF ascent of Marmolada & VF Cesare Piazzetta in the Sella Massif. Didn't get to do VF Tomaselli as the Storm came in on Fri Night/ Sat. 

Just wanted to say thanks a million for this great resource and also for answering my questions on gear/locations/difficulty.

Best regards

John

 

 

#496 Bocchette Alte Posted by denagharan on
Tue Jul 21, 21:07 EDT 2009

Hi Andrew,

Im planning to do the via feratta at the Bochette Alte. Do you have any info on organizers for this trek and climb route?  I don't  seem to be able to find any. My schedule there is going to be 15-21 Sept.  You may e-mail me at denagharan@gmail.com if you have any info. I contacted a company that offered a 4 day package in this route for 500 pounds but i have not heard from them yet. .thanks

#497 re: Bocchette Alte (in reply-to message #496) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jul 21, 22:48 EDT 2009

Hi - I don't have any personal knowledge of guiding companies in the Brenta.   Perhaps others reading on this forum do.

How do you feel about doing the route without a guide?  It's very well-travelled and reasonably obvious to follow (and not that hard technically).

...Andrew

denagharan wrote:

Hi Andrew,

Im planning to do the via feratta at the Bochette Alte. Do you have any info on organizers for this trek and climb route?  I don't  seem to be able to find any. My schedule there is going to be 15-21 Sept.  You may e-mail me at denagharan@gmail.com if you have any info. I contacted a company that offered a 4 day package in this route for 500 pounds but i have not heard from them yet. .thanks

 

 

#498 re: Bocchette Alte (in reply-to message #497) Posted by denagharan on
Wed Jul 22, 01:06 EDT 2009

i dont mind doing the trek without a guide. It that im interested in the 4 day trek with accomodation in terms of refuges and food. thats the reason i asked about guided trips

#499 Equipment Posted by Chuck on
Mon Aug 03, 22:29 EDT 2009

Heading over in a few weeks and I see you recommend using a lanyard.  Anyway you could just use some webbing or some 9.5mm dynamic rope that I don't mind cutting instead of the lanyard?

Also,  did you ever figure out a scale that would equate to our climbing scale.  Some of the type 4 climbs look exposed but not technically difficult.  I would hate to get half way up and it gets really technical.

#500 Recommendations for a 5-night trip Posted by Guy on
Tue Aug 18, 03:15 EDT 2009

Hi Andrew,

I came back from a trip to the Brenta Dolomites 4 weeks ago. My first time in the mountatins.

We did Vidi, Benini, SOSAT, Bocchete centralle and Ideale and had the time of our lives. Weather was perfect, crowds were low - couldn't be better.

Your wonderful site helped me plan the trip - so thanks a lot!

I'm planning another trip on the first week of September, this time to the east Dolomites.

Where can I find a string of rifugi connected by vie ferrate for a comparable trek to the one we did in Brenta? Where would you go first - Tofana, Misurina, Sesto?

Thanks,

Guy

#501 East dolomites trek Posted by Guy on
Tue Aug 18, 03:35 EDT 2009

Dear Andrew.

Thanks for the site, it helped me plan a wonderful trip to the brenta Dolomites last year.

My friends and I are planning a 6 day trek to the east Dolomites on the first week of September.

We want to visit a string of Rifugi connected by interesting vie ferrate.

We like the exposure and enjoy fairly technical climbs, but wouldn't like very long or strenous walks.

Which range would be your first recommendation?

 

Thanks,

Guy

#502 re: East dolomites trek (in reply-to message #501) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Aug 18, 20:18 EDT 2009

I have only spent a small amount of time in the very easternmost corners of the dolomites, but it does seem like there are a number of rifugios you could string together out there (I'm referring to the sesto dolomites). 

As far as the Cortina area, there doesn't to me appear to be a good continues string of rifugios in the Cristallo or Tofane groups.   I remember reading that the Sorapis group had some sort of nice circuit, but again, not having done it, I don't know how good it is.

Perhaps Graham will have more concrete suggestions....

...Andrew

Guy wrote:

Dear Andrew.

Thanks for the site, it helped me plan a wonderful trip to the brenta Dolomites last year.

My friends and I are planning a 6 day trek to the east Dolomites on the first week of September.

We want to visit a string of Rifugi connected by interesting vie ferrate.

We like the exposure and enjoy fairly technical climbs, but wouldn't like very long or strenous walks.

Which range would be your first recommendation?

 

Thanks,

Guy

 

 

#503 Guy's September trip Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Wed Aug 19, 12:02 EDT 2009

 Hello Guy

It’s not uncommon for people who’ve spent some time climbing the Brenta VFs to ask if there’s anything similar in the main Dolomites. In fact there’s nothing quite like the Brenta, in the way that you can do an extensive tour by linking VFs, although there are three areas in the Dolomites worth looking at

The first is the Catinaccio area (if you’re using the Cicerone guidebook, look at FASSA 1-6).  I’m not sure it would meet requirements, though, because it’s in the far west, and your preference is for the east. Also, the climbing’s generally pretty easy.

The second area is the Pale di S. Martino group (look at the San Martino area in the 2nd volume of the Cicerone guide). Again, though, it’s not the area you’re looking at, and there’s a fair bit of walking between routes, most of which are fairly straightforward.

The Sesto Dolomites, which Andrew’s already suggested, is the third location which you should look at (see both the Misurina and Sesto sections of the Cicerone guidebook). There’s a mixture of quite easy and fairly tough VFs here, but some involve a lot of walking so, again, I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for.

Perhaps the problem is that you’re trying to replicate your trip to the Brenta. If your preference is for the harder climbs, then maybe you should head for a base like Cortina or Arabba, and forget the idea of a tour. Have a think about what’s important for your trip, and perhaps you’d like to post another question as your ideas get firmed up.

Graham

#504 re: Guy's September trip (in reply-to message #503) Posted by Guy on
Thu Aug 20, 15:35 EDT 2009

Thank you Andrew and Graham,

Given what you say - right now the idea would be to do two trips with 1 or 2 rifugio stops each, and spend one night in Cortina (good restaurant etc). Perhaps in the sella group and the Tofane. I'll read some more and get back to you if that's OK.

 

Guy

#505 Dolomite VF region info Posted by Lou Christen on
Fri Aug 21, 17:24 EDT 2009

Hi Andrew,

First I want to say thanks for all the great info on your sight. It's very helpful so far. I'm head over to that area in a few weeks and I was wondering if I could pick your brain a bit? It will be my first time in the area, I'm traveling alone and am thinking I'll spend 5-7 days there. I'd like to do some Via Ferrata but maybe do some normal hiking too. Is there a town(s) that you think I should pick as a base? (and which

Cicerone Via Ferratas Book would correspond to that area) Since I'm traveling alone, I'll need someone to hike the VF with. Do you know of any shops that offer day trips? Or should I just pick up a harness/helmet and meet up people on the trails? Lastly, and transportation challenges (bus/train) that might dictate my trip and any must see/do recommendations?

Thanks for all your info and help!

Cheers,

Lou

louischristen@yahoo.com

#506 re: Dolomite VF region info (in reply-to message #505) Posted by Andrew on
Fri Aug 21, 17:56 EDT 2009

Hi, Lou

The Cortina, Arabba, and Corvara areas all have good ferrate close to them.   These areas are documented in the 'volume 1' (North, Central, ane East) book of the Cicerone ferrata guidebooks.

Assuming you are comfortable, it is definitely possible to do the vie ferrate on your own, especially if it's a not-too-hard / popular route.  You'll likely have someone not too far away.   You could always hang around the start of a ferrata and stay close to another party when they come by, I suppose.

My understanding is also that the above areas have decent bus transport, which makes them additionally attractive for the parameters you supplied.   As for gear, I'm pretty sure there are gear shops around that will rent stuff.  I think Graham has already covered this in a post somewhere in this forum, so you might want to browse through the forum messages, looking for posts from Graham.   (set the messages per page to 100 and use the browser search -- that'll make it easier).

Most ferrate are very scenic -- I don't think you'll go wrong picking most any of them in the above areas.

#507 .Cost of refugios in Brenta (in reply-to message #471) Posted by David Galsworthy on
Sat Aug 22, 02:18 EDT 2009

Grahm

Sorry to bother you again but I can't get a reply to my emails from the Refugios in the Brenta. Can you give me an idea of what the cost of bed plus evening meal would be so we have an idea of how many Euros to take.

Hope you are having a good Summer and we are now really looking forward to out Brenta traverse.

David

David Galsworthy wrote:

 

Graham

Thanks for your information - its appreciated. Will check out the supply of silk sleeping bags as suggested. Hope you are well - we met in the bar in Arraba a few years ago whilst staying in the Sport Hotel. You have since moved to the Dolomites by the looks of it - lucky for some ! Still can't complaint too much with the Yorkshire Dales on the doorstep - limited VFs in this area though.

regards

David

Graham Fletcher wrote:
 

 Hi David

If you plan to stay in rifugios, then you'll be provided with blankets, but will need to use a sheet sleeping bag, which are available to hire. Better still, take your own light-weight bag to minimise the environmental impact of the large scale laundering which is involved. Silk is perfect: it weighs next to nothing and is really comfortable.

Graham

 

 

 

#508 Cost of rifugi in the Brenta Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Aug 22, 08:36 EDT 2009

 Hello again David

Not an easy question to answer!

 CAI rifugi have a centrally regulated price structure. But, each rifugio falls into one of four categories, depending on facilities, with a further sub division depending on whether you have a bed in a large dormitory, or a room with no more than four beds. Consequently, this year, the price of an overnight stay can vary from €20 - €30 per night if you’re not a member of CAI, or one of the other affiliated clubs (such as CAF or the Austrian Alpine Club). If you are a member of such a club, then the prices are generally reduced by 50% (bearing in mind that membership also includes insurance cover, then it’s well worth joining). If you turn up in a storm, and find the rifugio full, then you can expect to be given an emergency bed – which might be the floor in the corridor – for as little as €6-8 (again, there’s a 50% reduction for members).

You will be served a wholesome, if fairly simple, meal for about €10-15, including a glass of wine, and will pay in the order of €5 for a light breakfast (the reduction for members for food is generally about 20%).

However, as you’ll know, quite a lot of rifugi, including several in the Brenta, are privately owned and run, so they can charge what they like, although they’re usually not far out of line with CAI prices unless they’re pretty smart places – some are hotels in all but name.

Hope that helps but, if in doubt, bring too many euro – you’ll doubtless be coming back again!

Enjoy your trip, Graham

#509 joining CAI Posted by chris on
Mon Aug 24, 21:40 EDT 2009

Is there a way to join CAI (online?) before going?  I went to the CAI website but it did not appear that was possible...

#510 kit rental Posted by CHRIS on
Mon Aug 24, 21:55 EDT 2009

this question has been asked a number of times but ill give it another go.....does anyone have any suggestions for where I might be able to rent a VF kit near the Brenta group?  I will be in the Stelvio/Livigno area prior, then driving to Rif Valisinella to hike the SOSAT route.  After this I am heading to the dolomites (ortisei/val gardena) but the the only ferrata I plan on is SOSAT.

 

Any suggestions for where I could rent from?

Also, what kind of weather should I expect in a few weeks?

Thanks

#511 re: joining CAI (in reply-to message #509) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Aug 24, 23:26 EDT 2009

I don't know about the CAI in particular (since I'm from Canada), but I do know that the CAI honors discounts for members of other countries' alpine clubs if they are part of the UIAA (which Canada and probably most of Europe's various clubs are).

...Andrew

chris wrote:

Is there a way to join CAI (online?) before going?  I went to the CAI website but it did not appear that was possible...

 

 

#512 re: kit rental (in reply-to message #510) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Aug 24, 23:26 EDT 2009

My only guess would be something in nearby Madonna di Campiglio, but I don't know for sure.   Any other input out there?

CHRIS wrote:

this question has been asked a number of times but ill give it another go.....does anyone have any suggestions for where I might be able to rent a VF kit near the Brenta group?  I will be in the Stelvio/Livigno area prior, then driving to Rif Valisinella to hike the SOSAT route.  After this I am heading to the dolomites (ortisei/val gardena) but the the only ferrata I plan on is SOSAT.

 

Any suggestions for where I could rent from?

Also, what kind of weather should I expect in a few weeks?

Thanks

 

 

#513 re: Posted by chris on
Tue Aug 25, 07:43 EDT 2009

so joining the american alpine club (AAC) should do it?  They offer an on-line enrollment so I could sign up right now...

#514 re: (in reply-to message #513) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Aug 25, 18:08 EDT 2009

so long as they are a member of the UIAA.  Here, let me have a look online... yes, according to the UIAA's website, the AAC has been a UIAA member since 1932.  

You need to bring your AAC membership card with you.  And, (hopefully) your membership card contains the UIAA logo.  That helps prove to the staff at the rifugio that your membership (i.e. that you are 'soci') is eligible for a discount.  

...Andrew

chris wrote:

so joining the american alpine club (AAC) should do it?  They offer an on-line enrollment so I could sign up right now...

 

 

#515 re: Cost of rifugi in the Brenta (in reply-to message #508) Posted by David Galsworthy on
Sun Aug 30, 17:43 EDT 2009

Graham

Thanks for the useful info - the message is take lots of Euros !! 

regards

David

#516 Equipment Rental Posted by Jerry on
Thu Sep 03, 18:07 EDT 2009

Hi,

Awesome website! It is full of very useful information and astonishing pictures, thanks. I've discovered the dolomiti this summer and have been wanting to try the via ferrate ever since but didnt really know where to start. I plan on going again in 10 days and with your website... I feel almost ready!

One question though: Do you know by any chance if you can rent the necessary equipment around Corvara?

Thanks,

Jerry (jerryroos@gmail.com)

#517 Renting VF gear in Corvara Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Sep 04, 09:13 EDT 2009

 Hi Jerry

Yes: you can hire everything you need, apart from boots of course, at Sport Kostner. You'll find the shop at the top of the town, behind the little bus pull-in area.

Graham

#518 re: Dolomite VF region info (in reply-to message #506) Posted by Lou Christen on
Mon Sep 07, 10:27 EDT 2009

 

Thanks Andrew!
 
I finally got though all of the past posts. Graham’s book has arrived. Now I think I have Dolomite info overload. :o) But it’s all good. Anywho, since I last wrote, it looks like I’ll be renting a car instead of taking a bus. In your last reply you suggested Cortina, Arabba, and Corvara as areas to explore. Any new recommendations now that I’m not dependent on the busses? And can you recommend any addition campgrounds? Olympia will work for Cortina but I’d like to check out a smaller town too. I’ll be there next week and I’ve learned that that’s when things are starting to close….
 
Thanks again,
Lou
 
 
 
 
Andrew wrote:

Hi, Lou

The Cortina, Arabba, and Corvara areas all have good ferrate close to them.   These areas are documented in the 'volume 1' (North, Central, ane East) book of the Cicerone ferrata guidebooks.

Assuming you are comfortable, it is definitely possible to do the vie ferrate on your own, especially if it's a not-too-hard / popular route.  You'll likely have someone not too far away.   You could always hang around the start of a ferrata and stay close to another party when they come by, I suppose.

My understanding is also that the above areas have decent bus transport, which makes them additionally attractive for the parameters you supplied.   As for gear, I'm pretty sure there are gear shops around that will rent stuff.  I think Graham has already covered this in a post somewhere in this forum, so you might want to browse through the forum messages, looking for posts from Graham.   (set the messages per page to 100 and use the browser search -- that'll make it easier).

Most ferrate are very scenic -- I don't think you'll go wrong picking most any of them in the above areas.

 

 

 

 

#519 Lou's trip next week Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Sep 08, 10:53 EDT 2009

 Hello again Lou

Now that you’re hiring a car, and not dependent on public transport, you can indeed look at other possible bases. More importantly, with your own transport, you can also travel easily between bases and tackle routes in different sections, something that’s not so easy to do if you’re using the local buses. For example, from Arabba, you can easily get to the routes in the Corvara and Falzarego sections, and some of the Cortina routes, all within 30 – 40 minutes.

However, I suggest you start by thinking about what sort of climbing you want to do, since I reckon this will determine the best base for you. I remember from your original post that you’re looking to hire gear, so I guess this is going to be your first time on VFs (but maybe you’ve got a lot of rock climbing experience?). You might therefore be looking for some of the less taxing routes to start with, and since the Arabba/Falzarego area’s got some of the harder routes in the Dolomites, this might not be the best place to start.

If you do prefer an area with a concentration of easier/mid-grade routes, then maybe you should consider the Sesto area (Misurina’s a good base, and with a big campsite). It’s also one of the richest areas in terms of WW1 history, if this happens to interest you (most of the VFs are based on old military routes).

The other area which offers a concentration of easier routes is Val di Fassa. Campitello and Canazei are both good starting points, and both have campsites. From here, you can access a lot of routes in the Fassa and Selva sections of the guidebook.

To be honest, you’re spoiled for choice, and you can do some great climbing from any of the various bases that Andrew and I have suggested, but I suggest you make your choice on the basis of the type of route you want to climb. Incidentally, I agree with Andrew’s remark that you don’t need to join a guided trip; these are popular areas, so you’ll be in company most of the time anyway.

One final thought: have a look at the updates section of the Cicerone website, because there are quite a few new routes and other updates you should be aware of. The link is:

http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/362/title/via-ferratas-of-the-italian-dolomites--vol-1

Best wishes  Graham

#520 No cable cars :-( Posted by Sylvia on
Sun Sep 13, 15:40 EDT 2009

Hi Graham,

we arrived in Arrabba today (along with thousands of racing cyclists) to discover that the Porta Vescova cable car stops operating today. That might make ARAB2 outside our reach (especially given the weather forecast for this week). The original list you kindly provided me with earlier in the year (message 399?) was Corv2, Corv4, Corv5, Arab2 and Arab1. Although we would still love to do Arab2 we think it might possibly be too big a day given the weather and Arab1 recommends a saftey rope (which we don't have). Could you possibly recommend another couple of routes which would suit the weather/lack of cable cars?
We will visit the tourist information office tomorrow morning but at this stage we don't know if the Valln chairlift is stuill operating or not (Corv5)

Thanks
Sylvia

#521 Sylvia in a rain soaked Arabba! Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Sep 14, 08:46 EDT 2009

 Hi Sylvia

Rotten timing with the weather! After a wonderful summer, the rain started yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, and is forecast to continue, probably until Thursday. We live at only 650m above sea level, so it’s still falling as rain, but I’d guess you’re getting some snow on the mountains above Arabba. If it really is too bad to contemplate doing the ferratas round Arabba, then the usually reliable fallback is a trip to Fiames, north of Cortina. The two routes there (CORT 2 and CORT 3 in the guidebook) are at a much lower altitude, and are fine routes. It’ll take you perhaps 11/2 hours, but if that’s the only way to get a ferrata done, then it’s worth the drive.

I don’t recall how long you have, but if the weather does improve in time, then the Vallon lift operates till 20th September this year, so you can still tackle VF Piz da Lech (CORV 5). As for VF delle Trincee (ARAB 2), then you can always follow the advice in the guidebook, and walk in to the route from Ristauro Lezuo, a little below Passo Pordoi.

We advised a safety rope for the Piazzetta route mainly with mixed ability parties in mind. A ferratist with a reasonable amount of experience and confidence won’t have much trouble with this route; it’s certainly not the hardest of the Grade 5 routes in my view. However, if there is a weaker member of your party, or someone who isn’t comfortable with the big exposure you’ll experience, then a rope in the rucksack is a sensible precaution. You’ve only just arrived, so after you’ve completed a few routes, you’ll be in a better position to make the necessary judgement – if the weather allows!

Best wishes,  Graham

#522 re: Sylvia in a rain soaked Arabba! (in reply-to message #521) Posted by Sylvia on
Mon Sep 14, 11:00 EDT 2009

Hi Graham,
thanks for that advice we'll certainly take it on board once/if the snow clears.
Regards
Sylvia

#523 re: Cost of rifugi in the Brenta (in reply-to message #508) Posted by David Galsowrthy on
Thu Sep 24, 06:16 EDT 2009

Dear Graham

Your info about the refuges was pretty much spot on - about €50 per night all in. The trip went really well - the weather was brilliant ( 7-10 Sept) but the huts were surprisingly full. We did the

Via Ferrata Sentiero Alfredo Benini

Via Ferrata Sentiero delle Bocchette Alte

Via Ferrata Sentiero delle Bocchette Centrale

and then long walk back to Madonna to avoid a bit of glacier. This has got to be a pretty unique expedition linking such a length of via ferrata together and very memorable. Thanks for your advice and hope you had a good summer.

 

regards

 

david

#524 David's trip to the Brenta. (in reply-to message #523) Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri Sep 25, 09:58 EDT 2009

 Hi David

Thanks for the feedback: always good to hear of people enjoying themselves in the Dolomites! You certainly ticked off some real classics this time - doubtless you'll be starting to plan your next trip soon!

Best wishes,  Graham

#525 price of lifts Posted by Julian on
Wed Sep 30, 05:33 EDT 2009

Hi, can anyone give me an idea of the lift prices?. We (a family of four) are going summer 2010 and intend using the lift systems to access some of the ferrata's. Of particular interest are the Cristallo, Falzarego and Arabba (Portovescovo) lifts. Any information will be of great help so i can budget for this.

#526 Price of lifts for Julian Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Oct 03, 07:16 EDT 2009

 Hi Julian

The information you need is normally to be found at this website:

www.dolomiti.org

However, it seems to be down at the moment (perhaps it’s being updated for the winter season), but check it out later for prices, operating seasons and timetables.

In the meantime, I can give you a fairly good idea of the prices for a couple of the lifts you mention, although they might be slightly more expensive next summer.

Falzarego: return ticket, €13; one-way, €9.

Portovescova: return ticket, €10; one-way, €8

The Cristallo lift is a 2-stage system, and I don’t recall the prices, so you’ll need to check the website later to complete the picture. Incidentally, if it’s relevant to your family group, you’ll find that on most lifts, there are discounts for children and seniors, perhaps in the order of 20%.

Graham

#527 re: Price of lifts for Julian (in reply-to message #526) Posted by julian on
Sun Oct 04, 09:47 EDT 2009

Thanks Graham, your info is a big help, and i will check out the website next spring. In the meantime  I had better start saving right now....

julian

#528 fall trip to Dolomites Posted by Joan on
Wed Oct 14, 15:12 EDT 2009

Hello.

 

we got back september 12th from a three week trip to the Dolomites.  The via ferrata was wonderful. We did  14 routes ranging from 1A to 5C.   Alot of the routes we did were recommended from your site- Thanks for the good info and woderful pictures.

#529 New ferrata in Cortina. Posted by Aruges on
Sun Oct 18, 06:09 EDT 2009

Hello everybody,

A new via ferrata is built since august  2009 in Cortina d'Ampezzo .

Its name : Ski Club 18 al Faloria .

I climb it for  this september  2009 and it's a pleasure for me to give you informations .

Start : teleferic station to Faloria mount in Cortina which leave you at middle way station , then you go by  sender to the roc base in 35 mn.

Ferrata development: about 400m uneven; vertical climbing; many rungs; rigid cable and no way out; new safety equipment for carabiners in case of falling along the cable.

Level of difficulty : very difficult ; scale D/E . 

Return : two options : telepheric descent  or walking on forest road to Rio Gere then by sender forest to Cortina.

Comments : Ski Club 18 is a difficult ferrata ; splendid views on surroudings Cortina moutains ( Averau, 5 torri, Tofane, Pomagagnon, Cristallo, Lagazuoi); recommendations for teleferic : buy a come/back ticket. At the top it is a bar -restaurant and you can take beautiful pictures of Cortina and surroundings. Climbing ferrata Ski Club 18 is possible many months in the year except when snow is very important arrouding.

That's all !

#530 re: New ferrata in Cortina. (in reply-to message #529) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Oct 18, 20:01 EDT 2009

Thanks for the info on the new route, Aruges.   Good to see you posting again!

#531 Via delle Bocchette Centrale Posted by Robert Duffield on
Tue Nov 10, 21:02 EST 2009

 Hi Andrew,

I've been looking at your website as I'm planning to do about 5 days of walking (with 3 other guys) in the Dolomites some time in early July 2010. We plan to start off with some fairly easy walks, building up day by day and finish our week by doing the Via delle Bocchette Centrale. In your description of this walk you mentioned that you satyed in rifugio Brentei. I'd be most grateful if you could give me some details about rifugio Brentei. For example, what level of accommodation is it, do we need sleeping bags, do we need to make a booking, is food available or must we carry our own food in? Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards, Rob.

#532 re: Via delle Bocchette Centrale (in reply-to message #531) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Nov 11, 00:02 EST 2009

Hi, Robert.  To answer your questions:

  1. Do you need sleeping bags?  strictly speaking, no, not a full-on bag - but you do need to use some sort of 'liner sack' - a lightweight sleep-sack, if you will (a sleeping bag is acceptable, too, if you wish).   If you don't bring your own, the rifugio will probably have disposable ones you can buy.  It's better and cheaper if you bring your own.
  2. Level of accommodations - if they have them still available, you'll likely be able to get a private room to yourself, according to the size of your group.  If those are already taken, then you'll be placed in the group dorm rooms.   I think the price is more or less the same either way.
  3. Food - there is food available.  In fact, it's quite like being in a restaurant;  there are several choices and a menu.  Usually quite tasty, too.
  4. If you can get membership in an Alpine Club that is affiliated with the UIAA, you can present that at the rifugio for a big discount on the accommodations and perhaps a small discount on the food.   Check for an alpine club associated with your country of origin.
Robert Duffield wrote:

 Hi Andrew,

I've been looking at your website as I'm planning to do about 5 days of walking (with 3 other guys) in the Dolomites some time in early July 2010. We plan to start off with some fairly easy walks, building up day by day and finish our week by doing the Via delle Bocchette Centrale. In your description of this walk you mentioned that you satyed in rifugio Brentei. I'd be most grateful if you could give me some details about rifugio Brentei. For example, what level of accommodation is it, do we need sleeping bags, do we need to make a booking, is food available or must we carry our own food in? Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards, Rob.

 

 

#533 season for via ferrata SOSAT Posted by Vernon on
Tue Jan 26, 06:55 EST 2010

Hi,

I'm interested to know whether attempting the Via Ferrata SOSAT route around late April is too early or not. From what I've read there may still be plenty of snow / ice around at this time of year. Can Andrew or others help with some basic information here?

Cheers,

Vernon

#534 VF SOSAT in April Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Jan 30, 11:40 EST 2010

 Hi Vernon

Despite the fact that Sentiero SOSAT is just about the lowest level ferrata in the Brenta, I still think that late April is totally unrealistic to climb it as a VF – at that time of year you’d have to regard it as a full-on winter alpine route. For example, last year (admittedly after a particularly snowy winter) it was only just coming into condition in July.

We obviously don’t know how much snow we’re going to get during the rest of this winter, but I’d suggest that you defer your trip for at least 2 months. However, if you’re committed to travelling to Italy in April, and want to climb some VFs, then you could consider going to Lake Garda. There are some outstanding routes there, and April’s just about the perfect time of year to climb them.

Graham 

#535 re: Lou's trip next week (in reply-to message #519) Posted by Lou christen on
Sun Feb 14, 09:36 EST 2010

 

Hi Graham and Andrew:
 
I’m just writing to extend a long overdue “thank you” to you both. I had a successful and very enjoyable trip, back in September. (Even though it rained the first few days…). I’ve been bitten by the via ferrata “bug” and hope to return soon.
 
You were both a great help and wealth of knowledge on the region. You definitely made my trip planning easier, and I thank you immensely for that.
 
Keep up the great work!
 
Thanks again,
Lou Christen
Portland, Maine. USA
#536 re: Lou's trip next week (in reply-to message #535) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Feb 14, 16:42 EST 2010

Hi, Lou

Glad to hear that everything went well, and glad that the site was of use (and I myself am grateful that Graham chooses to post his wisdom here).

Maybe we'll bump into each other someday on a trail in Maine -- I'm working to complete my NE 111er list and most of the ones I have left are 4000-footers in Maine.

...Andrew

#537 Multi-day Route Recommendations? Posted by Eric on
Thu Mar 04, 00:26 EST 2010

Andrew,

Your website is awesome!  The only problem is that I'm having a hard time deciding which routes to do for a 2 week trip to the Cortina area this summer.

What might you recommend if we wanted to break it into several 4-5 day "tours" going hut-to-hut by via farreta?

We're happy having a night here or there in the middle in a town and perhaps taking lifts to get back up high again the next morning.  We're comfortable on harder routs and going trad and can have a light rack if needed.  I'm also interested in the old WWI tunnels etc.

Any suggestions appreciated.

#538 re: Multi-day Route Recommendations? (in reply-to message #537) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Mar 04, 08:01 EST 2010

Hi, Eric

While I'm no far-ranging expert, I can say that the area in the Sesto dolomites somewhat east of Cortina offers good multi-day outings with huts and World-war I tunnels and artifacts (e.g. ferrata De Luca / Innerkofler, strada degli alpini, etc).

Somewhat west and south of Cortina is the ferrata delle Trincee (good wartime stuff there including tunnels), although this one is not as well position for hut-to-hut stuff.

A little ways west of Cortina, the Lagazuoi galleries is a very interesting extensive set of tunnels and rooms and such, but is very easy climbing-wise.  However, nearby I hear that there are some excellent and challenging ferrate (I believe it is called the ferrata Tomaselli -- one that I have not yet done) and some good mountain huts, so perhaps both can be combined together.

My answer is a bit thin... perhaps others will have extra to suggest.

...Andrew

 

#539 Eric's trip to the Cortina area Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Mar 06, 09:49 EST 2010

 Hi Eric

I’ve seen Andrew’s advice that the Sesto Dolomites would be worth including in your itinerary. It certainly seems to fit the bill, offering hut to hut tours, and lots of wartime stuff, although most of the routes are easy to mid-grade.

The other area I would suggest you consider for one of your trips is the Arabba/Corvara area, where the climbing is more challenging. Andrew mentioned one of the classic routes in the area (VF delle Trincee). The other routes here that you really should climb are Piazzetta, Piz da Lech, and Brigata Tridentina. There’s a good network of huts in the area, but they don’t lend themselves to a hutting tour quite so much as the Sesto area (unless you have a car available?).

For the rest of your trip, I reckon you should consider staying in Cortina itself. Accommodation isn’t cheap here, but the routes accessible from town are too good to ignore. Have a look at Lipella, Tomaselli (mentioned by Andrew), Col dei Bos and, if you have a spell of poor weather, the lower altitude routes at Fiames (Bovero and Strobel).

Incidentally, if you’re only climbing  VFs, then don’t bother to carry  rack. One of the great things about VFs is that you don’t need to lug tons of gear around!

Graham

#540 re: Lou's trip next week (in reply-to message #536) Posted by Lou Christen on
Thu Mar 25, 12:34 EDT 2010

Hil Andrew,

If I can be of any assistance for your hikes in Maine or the White Mountains in New Hampshire, please feel free to contact me. I'm more that happy to return the favor. FYI - If you want to hike Mt Katahdin in BaxterState Park, they start taking reservations 4 months in advance. And it's highly advisable to reserve if you plan to visit in the summer months.

Thanks again,

Lou

Louischristen@yahoo.com

 

 

#541 re: Lou's trip next week (in reply-to message #540) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Mar 25, 13:07 EDT 2010

Thanks, Lou

I've actually already hiked Katahdin a couple of times.   What do you mean by a 4 month reservation, though?   As far as I know, you only need to show up super early at the gate to get to hike up the mountain on that day.  Perhaps you mean for backcountry camping? 

#542 Hut Booking Posted by Eric on
Sat Mar 27, 00:02 EDT 2010

I've read that August is the most crowded time to do the via farreta in the Dolomites.

How far in advance should huts be booked?

#543 re: Hut Booking (in reply-to message #542) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Mar 28, 08:42 EDT 2010

I'd say three or four days in advance.

It depends on how nice of a room you wish to get, really.  Even if you call at the last minute (or even show up), they'll probably have space for you - typically in some common shared dorm area, though.   When you call ahead early, you can often get a custom-sized room for yourself (and your companions).

That's been my experience.

...Andrew

Eric wrote:

I've read that August is the most crowded time to do the via farreta in the Dolomites.

How far in advance should huts be booked?

 

#544 re: Lou's trip next week (in reply-to message #541) Posted by Lou on
Mon Apr 05, 15:23 EDT 2010

No worries, Andrew.

I guess if you want to just want to hike for the day, you can show up very early, but if you want to camp in the park, it's best to plan in advance. (It's a rolling reservation system. 4 months is the earliest allowed.) As I'm sure you know, they limit the amount of people in the park on any given day. That goes for day hikers and overnight campers. But it is possible to show up the get in if they are not “sold out” per say. New this year: They are allowing you to reserve a day pass for a specific trail head. The link went live just the other day. I just filled out my reservation form for August. :o)

Cheers!

#545 First-timers in Trento Region Posted by John on
Sun Apr 25, 10:42 EDT 2010

Hello Andrew,

My wife and I are new to Via Ferrata climbing and will be spending four days around Trento in late May.  We've bought the Smith & Fletcher guidebooks and are looking to doing some climbing in the southern Dolomite region.  We have two questions that we're having difficulty finding the answers to and would appreciate any help you can offer.

1.  We're not at a point yet of owning our own equipment.  Is this something we can rent while over there, or do we need to invest in our own equipment before leaving the U.S.?

2.  We're in our late 20s and athletic (hiking, running, rock walls, etc), but since we've never climbed the Via Ferrata before, do you recommend taking a climbing course (at least for the first day) or do you believe that we can manage it on our own?

Sorry if these are novice questions, but thanks so much for any help you can offer.  You're website has really helped us plan our trip.

Best,

John

#546 re: First-timers in Trento Region (in reply-to message #545) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Apr 25, 11:16 EDT 2010

Hi, John

1. I know you can rent this sort of kit, but I've never done it myself, so I don't know how easy it is to pop into a sports store and do this (as in, I don't know if they have a lot of stock for rental, or are they often out, or do they have an off-season where they don't rent the gear, etc).   It's possible Graham (i.e. Fletcher) may be able to give you a better answer on this - look for a possible post here from him.

2. My feeling is that as long as you are reasonably nimble and have a good head for heights (which I'm getting the sense you do based on what you wrote), then you'll be fine.  You don't need to take a rock climbing course.  If you get to spots where climbing on the rock alone is too difficult, you can just switch to hauling on the protection cable.  Of course, you may want to start off on the easier grades and work your way up (instead of starting off with a '5', say).

3. You may already know this, but in late May the higher ferrate are likely to be snowed in.   You're close to the lower stuff in Trento (i.e. Riva area, etc), so I'm guessing that's where you are headed.

 

#547 First-timers in Trento Region Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun Apr 25, 11:51 EDT 2010

 Hi John

I think you’d have trouble finding somewhere to hire gear in the area you’re considering. It’s relatively easy to rent everything you need in the core of the Dolomites, but I can’t think of anywhere in the Trento area which could equip you. You could either buy what you need before you leave home, but if you prefer, you could wait till you get to Italy, where you’d find a good many gear shops selling VF sets. This would enable you to compare things like the karabiners incorporated, since these are probably the piece of kit where personal preference is most important. You’ll be fairly close to Arco (north of Lake Garda), where you’ll find the best selection of gear shops in the area.

Incidentally, I agree with Andrew’s advice about not needing to take a course before you tackle a VF, as long as you’re not too ambitious with your choice of routes on your first couple of outings. Andrew’s also right to add that, in late May, the higher altitude routes are out of the question.

Graham

#548 Ferrata report Posted by AJ on
Mon Apr 26, 03:41 EDT 2010

I just went out to Gaetano Falcipieri yesterday, April 25, 1010.  Towards the top between the Big Ladder and the first summit, a winter avalance has knocked loose some of the cabling, the area is still passable but I wouldn't put too much weight on the cable.  Also just before the summit, the trail was covered in snow and ice.  It was a tricky area so we ended up turning around.  I was upset since we were so close to the first summit.  Other than that, it was a nice hike.  I think we were the first hikers for the season out there since the snow still looked untouched except for our footprints.  Maybe if I had brought a small shovel we could have proceeded on, but I didn't want to risk getting the the summit and having more ice and snow on the granite slabs.

#549 Arco Posted by AJ on
Mon Apr 26, 03:44 EDT 2010

I agree with Graham, Arco has a large supply of VF gear, relatively inexpensive.  If you have your own harness, that would save you some money, but the VF "lobster claws" generally cost between 30 and 65 euros.  You might want to grab a set of somewhat heavy duty gloves since the metal strands from the cable sometimes fray and you probably want to avoid getting them in your hands.

#550 last snow in Dolimites Posted by Aruges on
Mon Apr 26, 07:31 EDT 2010

Hello,

This winter has been very long in Europe, so all the Alps are still covered snow about 1500m ( 5ooo feet).Many Dolomits vias ferratas will be unpracticable as usual until a long time. So before a dolomit trip this summer it will be necessary to take informations from dolomits refuges.

#551 Via ferrata material shops Posted by Aruges on
Mon Apr 26, 07:56 EDT 2010

I see that users often are looking for material .Trento and Cortina are often indicated . You have also Canazei , at the Sella moutain base with many ferratas around : Finanzieri on Collac moutain, Oskar Schuster on Sasso Lungo, Piz Cir V and Grande Cir on Puez, Brigata Tridentina, etc...

#552 Weather Posted by Peter on
Tue Apr 27, 15:08 EDT 2010

Hi - Great Website!

I have been on 2 Via Ferrata Trips over the past few years. Anyhow - I am planning a trip at the end of May this year (only time I can escape work!) - do you have any experience of Via Ferrate at that time of year?

 

I would imagine some of the higher routes will be iced up - so I was planning to stay a bit lower....

 

Pete

#553 re: Weather (in reply-to message #552) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Apr 27, 17:43 EDT 2010

Hi, Peter

Yep, you got it right - higher up will be snowed up at the end of May.   The lower routes around the Lake Garda area are your best bet for this time of year.   Aruges (a periodic poster to this forum) says that there's still snow right now down to 1500m - so I imagine that there's a good chance that anything over 2000m is still going to be quite snowy come May.

...Andrew


 

#554 re: First-timers in Trento Region (in reply-to message #547) Posted by John on
Wed Apr 28, 10:39 EDT 2010

Thanks to everyone for the information and encouragement.  I'm hoping to make the ferratas a lifelong hobby.  

It took me a moment to associate Graham with the guidebooks.  The books are very helpful!  Graham: when you mention that equipment rental is easier to find in "the core of the Dolomites", what area were you referring to?  My wife and I are less fixed on the location (Trento/Garda), and more interested in making it a successful and fun first time climbing in the Dolomites.  I would appreciate your insight into taking full advantage of the region from a beginners point of view.  I don't mean to take up any more space on the message board, but please email me at johnpaul.kuehne@gmail.com with any suggestions you may have.

Again, my appreciation to everyone.

#555 2-3 day routes around cortina Posted by Andrew Mellington on
Wed Apr 28, 11:15 EDT 2010

Andrew,

Fantastic website. It really gives a good inisght into the via ferrata in the dolomites.

A friend and I are planning to go to Cortina for 1 week in mid july and were looking for some advice on 2-3 day routes staying high in the rifugios.. We have reasonable climbing experience.

We have been looking at the Tofana and Cristallo groups around Cortina and would like to organise a circular route of 2 -3 daysof via ferrata and high traverses. Can you recommend any suitable rifugios or routes that would link the best via ferrata with rifugios. We have the Vol 1 Cicerone guide but are finding it tricky to plan a route. Also do you have any advice on how to book rifugios?

My e mail is andymellington@gmail.com.

Many thanks,

Andrew

#556 Via ferrata in May Posted by Thomo on
Thu Apr 29, 07:53 EDT 2010

 Hi - Just after a bit of advice.  I am coming over from New Zealand and hope to be in the Dolomites late May.  Need advice on which area would be best considering late snow for VF.   Have only done 2 VF's before from Arabba - I think one was called Piazetta which was great -   So am after that sort of thing -  However I  fear Arabba area might be snowed up.   Can anyone advise.  Have mountaineering background but am after some VF's that are not in the snow - I sort of like flitting around in ballet shoes these days.

Many thanks

#557 re: 2-3 day routes around cortina (in reply-to message #555) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Apr 29, 09:42 EDT 2010

 

Hi.

The only two areas close to Cortina that might be suitable are in the southern Tofane (there are several really good ferrate there on the Tofana de Rozes, Punta Anna, Tofana di Dentro, etc), and there are a few rifugios scattered around them.   I'm not sure if an actual loop can be constructed out of this, but it may work for you. (I personally have not stayed in any of these rifugios, so I can't really comment on them).

The other possible loop in the area is in the Sorapis group.  I recall reading about a circular outing, complete with rifugios, in the Fletcher/Smith guidebook.  The overall challenge of the ferrate here are not as high as those in the Tofane, though, as I recall.   (I have not actually done this loop myself).

As for booking, I usually call the rifugio a few days in advance.  In the high season this sometimes means you don't get  a nice private room to yourself, but I like the flexibility of deciding later.

 

#558 re: Via ferrata in May (in reply-to message #556) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Apr 29, 09:45 EDT 2010

 

Thomo wrote:

 Hi - Just after a bit of advice.  I am coming over from New Zealand and hope to be in the Dolomites late May.  Need advice on which area would be best considering late snow for VF.   Have only done 2 VF's before from Arabba - I think one was called Piazetta which was great -   So am after that sort of thing -  However I  fear Arabba area might be snowed up.   Can anyone advise.  Have mountaineering background but am after some VF's that are not in the snow - I sort of like flitting around in ballet shoes these days.

Many thanks

 Hi.

As has been mentioned recently in other posts, late May = snowed-in at the higher elevations (including the ferrata around Arabba that you've referred to).  You want something in the lower areas, like around Riva.  If you want challenging, steep routes, I know there are a couple of hard sporty routes in that area.  I haven't done them, but I've read about them in the Fletcher/Smith guidebook (Although I might give them a go when I'm in the area in late June this year)

 

#559 V.F. in lower areas Posted by Aruges on
Thu Apr 29, 15:21 EDT 2010

Around Around Riva Del Garda/ Trento : V.F. Ottorino Marangoni or V.F. Di Mori ( village) , scale difficulties D -----

V.F. Rino Pisetta at Sarche , level D ;

V.F. Dei Colodri , level B ;

V.F.  Di Dro castello ( Dro castle) short ferrata into a small canyon called Rio Salagoni.Level C;

That's all V.F I know at low altitude .

#560 Posted by Thomo on
Thu Apr 29, 18:32 EDT 2010

 Hey many thanks for the guys - much appreciated and gives me something to work on.

 

Cheers

#561 re: Weather (in reply-to message #553) Posted by Peter on
Mon May 10, 02:31 EDT 2010

Andrew,

 

Thanks for the information. I will check out the Rive Del Garda area instead.

 

Many thanks once again.

Andrew wrote:

Hi, Peter

Yep, you got it right - higher up will be snowed up at the end of May.   The lower routes around the Lake Garda area are your best bet for this time of year.   Aruges (a periodic poster to this forum) says that there's still snow right now down to 1500m - so I imagine that there's a good chance that anything over 2000m is still going to be quite snowy come May.

...Andrew


 

 

 

#562 Going out in the morning! Posted by AJ on
Sat May 15, 12:16 EDT 2010

Wish me luck of no snow and rain, I'm going to the "Pasubio" via ferrata in the morning.  I hope the snow has cleared from it since last month. 

#563 re: Going out in the morning! (in reply-to message #562) Posted by AJ on
Mon May 17, 14:38 EDT 2010

You know, the Pasubio Via Ferrata is considered "Easy"  Either I'm very out of shape, or not in as good of shape as I thought!  I made it to just before the 4th summit after you do the sharp decent.  It took us about 3 hours to get to that point.  It probably would have gone a little bit better but the wind was blowing pretty hard up on the ridge, luckily almost all of the snow was clear from the top except we ended up using one of the side trails to get on the lower 52 Gallerie's trail and the snow was about chest deep along the area we went through.  Overall it was amazing, I wish I wasn't afraid of heights!  The cable placement was a little odd, some of the places definitely didnt need cables, other places I wish there was cable.  I would have definitely felt uncomfortable back tracking there.

#564 re: Going out in the morning! (in reply-to message #563) Posted by Andrew on
Mon May 17, 14:51 EDT 2010

Thanks for the update on the snow conditions.

...Andrew 

#565 Brenta Posted by Steve on
Tue May 18, 08:54 EDT 2010

I hope to visit the Bocchette Centrale at the start of June, however the refugio Brentei and Alimonti are both closed until the 20th June.

Does anyone know if there are any open 'winter rooms' to these huts? or if there are any bivi huts up there that we can stay at?

Thanks

Steve

#566 Posted by Clarence on
Tue May 18, 10:47 EDT 2010

Hi:  Just love your website on climbing in the Dolomites.  My wife and I are planning a trip in September for a week in the Dolomites.  Our trip will be entirely travelled by rail or bus.  We are looking for information on the best locations with easy access to numerous routes on the Via Ferrata as well as whether a good pair of approach shoes would be sufficient.  Any information you could provide us would be greatly appreciated as your photos have inspired us.  We are avid outdoor people with lots of hiking experience but limited climbing.

 

Clarence

#567 re: (in reply-to message #566) Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 18, 11:00 EDT 2010

Hi.

If you are doing things entirely by rail / bus, then I'd suggest one of the larger centers.  How about Cortina D'Ampezzo?   There are many good ferrata routes of all types in this area, and I think you can reach many decent ferrata start points by bus from there (e.g. Punta Fiammes, stuff in the Cristallo Group, etc).

As far as shoes go, I think you'll want something with a reasonably stiff sole to help you climb on the ferrate.  Going with outright rock-climbing shoes is overkill on ferrate, though - you want a hiking/mountaineering boot of some sort.

#568 Steve?s trip to the Bocchette Centrale Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Fri May 21, 09:16 EDT 2010

 Hi Steve

I really can’t remember whether the Brentei and Alimonti have emergency/winter accommodation, but I think the main point to make is that this is not a route which you should really be considering as early as the beginning of June. It’s a high altitude route, with a glacier crossing, and we’ve had a lot of late winter/early spring snow this year, so I suggest you rethink your plans. There’ve been several recent posts on this site, most recently from AJ just a few days ago, outlining the sort of conditions they’ve encountered, and I wouldn’t ignore their comments lightly.

Graham

#569 Feratta climbing Posted by Neil from Croydon on
Fri May 21, 09:51 EDT 2010

Hello, first of all can I say what a useful and interesting site you have created, I am giong to the Dolomites in Early July , and now I have seen some of the photos I am starting to get a bit nervous! I consider myself relatively fit , so I am not worried about stamina, but I am not sure how I am with heights, some of the images of ledge walking have definately left me wobbly... any advice??

#570 re: Feratta climbing (in reply-to message #569) Posted by Andrew on
Fri May 21, 09:56 EDT 2010

Hi there.

If you are unsure about heights, then I'd pick those routes which are more solidly and extensively protected.   Then you'll have the reassurance of something bomber to hold on to at all times.

Another suggestion is to pick a route with exposure but which is not too long, so that you can get a taste if you are ok with it. 

#571 Via Ferratta Eterna Brigata Cadore - Punta Serauta Posted by Jim on
Fri May 21, 14:05 EDT 2010

Anybody know if Via Ferratta Eterna Brigata Cadore - Punta Serauta is open?

#572 via ferrata michelli strobel Posted by Peter on
Sat May 29, 03:44 EDT 2010

Hi, I have just returned from 5 days Via Ferrata in the Dolomites. I just wanted to let you know that the snow level around Cortina D'ampezzo is still around 2300m. I did the via ferrata michelli strobel, which was in excellent condition on the way up - but did involve trekking through snow on the top!

#573 re: via ferrata michelli strobel (in reply-to message #572) Posted by Andrew on
Sat May 29, 08:12 EDT 2010

good to know - thanks!

#574 Love Italy! Posted by AJ on
Sun Jun 06, 12:39 EDT 2010

I took a whole bunch of friends out on a Ferrata today for their first time.  They loved it! They all went out to buy their own gear and we are planning on taking some trips.  I'm hoping to stay within a 2-3 hour radius of Vicenza.  I think Che Guevara or the 52 Galleria route might be good.  Today was a perfect day to be out!  The only problem I had was the crowd.  The entire route was lined with people.  Originally I wanted to go back down the same route we went up on, but with the amount of people on it, that wouldn't have worked out.

#575 Rif.Brentei Posted by Alena on
Tue Jun 08, 15:39 EDT 2010

HI everybody, I am planning visit Dolomites with my friends on August. We want to stay in hut Brentei. I cannot find any website of this hut. Can anybody send me some information... e-mail,phone numbers. I only find out that rif.Brentei is open from 20.6. and I am afraid that it will be too late make reservation if there is so crowded already. Please help me ..thank you ..Alena

#576 re: Rif.Brentei (in reply-to message #575) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jun 08, 22:11 EDT 2010

Rifugio Maria e Alberto al Brentei:

Telephone # +39 0465 441244

I think it is quite unlikely you will have a problem if you call on 20 of June to make reservations for August.   

I have made reservations in July only a few days before arriving, with no problem.

...Andrew

Alena wrote:

HI everybody, I am planning visit Dolomites with my friends on August. We want to stay in hut Brentei. I cannot find any website of this hut. Can anybody send me some information... e-mail,phone numbers. I only find out that rif.Brentei is open from 20.6. and I am afraid that it will be too late make reservation if there is so crowded already. Please help me ..thank you ..Alena

 

 

#577 ferrata Posted by Jo'ana on
Sun Jun 13, 10:37 EDT 2010

#578 ferrata Posted by Jo'ana on
Sun Jun 13, 10:50 EDT 2010

Hey, Hey !

On 29th June i'm going to dolomites and I need via ferrata  aquipment - lanyard .

Maybe someone want to sale it [cheaper than in the shop :P ] or rent it for 2 weeks ????

PleaseEE HEEELP mEEE :P good italian wine in return for it hihi ;)

And if you have any useful info about ferratas or  weather in first week of july  don't keep it to yourself !!

 

with tourist greetings , Ciao ciao !

Jo

 

 

#579 Tracks Posted by AJ on
Mon Jun 14, 00:10 EDT 2010

Graham,

   I have been reading about all the other Ferratas around the area, whats the slim chance you might have some GPS tracks for them?  I was hoping to have a great summer visiting a good portion of the northern Ferratas, but unfortunately the Army has some other plans for me.  I need to stick to the Vicenza area and am hoping to go to all the ones in the Vicenza region and maybe try a couple around Garda.

AJ

#580 GPS tracks in the Vicenza area Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jun 15, 07:25 EDT 2010

 Hi AJ

Sorry, but I have very few GPS tracks of VFs, none of which are round the Vicenza area. I usually don’t bother trying to record VF routes since, on rock faces, the signal is frequently lost and, even more often, distorted by false signals resulting from ‘echoes’ off the face. However, I really doubt whether you need the extra guidance of a GPS track to follow, since waymarking is generally perfectly adequate. The only exception amongst the five routes in the Vicenza section is the Vaio Scuro route (VICEN 4), but I tried to give as full and clear a description as possible of the line to take, so you probably won't have any problems. However, don’t be put off by my comments about the poor waymarking and difficult route finding: this is spectacular mountain terrain, and I’ve never seen anyone else on this route, so you can be guaranteed a memorable day.

Perhaps you’ll let us know how you get on with another post on Andrew’s site.

Graham

#581 re: GPS tracks in the Vicenza area (in reply-to message #580) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jun 15, 08:07 EDT 2010

Hi, AJ

As a further note on Graham's post - there's a very good chance that I will be doing some of the VICEN routes (1,2 and possibly even 3) sometime next week (probably the 21st and 22nd of June).   And as I always do, I'll be attempting to make detailed tracklogs of the routes.   You are more than welcome to have them when I'm done.

Or perhaps I'll even see you on the routes up there!

...Andrew

#582 re: Rif.Brentei (in reply-to message #576) Posted by Alena on
Tue Jun 15, 13:48 EDT 2010

Thank you Andrew ...

Alena

#583 Opinions on gear Posted by Graham Taylor on
Wed Jun 16, 06:21 EDT 2010

 At 61 I'm about to start my VF experience.  As I look at gear I see energy absorbing lanyards such as Petzl Scorpio Eashook, and what look like static lanyards, e.g Petzl Zyper Vertigo.  What are the differences.  As a beginning in VF what should I be looking for.  I should add I am quite fit, with over 40 years of New Zealand tramping experience but no alpine (snow / ice) skills.  In Sept 2010 I'll be spending 2 weeks in the Dolomites, tackling Grade 1 & 2 routes, and maybe 3 by the end of the trip, 

THanks

#584 Shoe Posted by Andras on
Wed Jun 16, 09:48 EDT 2010

 

 

Hello. Im organizing my very first via ferrata tour in the dolomites and I have some questions: I have got a pair of North Face Hedgehog XCR shoes. Are these suitable for via ferrata? Is it possible to do several via ferrata in one day?

Many thanks

#585 re: Shoe (in reply-to message #584) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jun 16, 12:15 EDT 2010

Hi.

Yes, you can definitely do a ferrata in those hiking boots - although they don't look like they would be very good for edging - which may make more difficult pitches a bit more difficult.

To answer your second question - yes, in some cases you can do more than one ferrata in a day - assuming the ferrate are not too long (which is definitely sometimes the case).

...Andrew

#586 re: Rif.Brentei (in reply-to message #576) Posted by Alena on
Wed Jun 16, 16:58 EDT 2010

Hi Andrew, I have more questions for you. How big  are there the rooms at Rif.Brentei. Our group is getting larger and maybe over 10 people want to go with us. We would like to stay all together so we want to know if there are bigger rooms, something like dormitory or hostel. And if you recommend us to order meal in advance (for larger group like us)or there it will not be a problem to buy it right at the place according to the actual situation? I would be glad for approximately prices if you know them or if you can refer me to some websites. Did you hear about membership in the moutain club? What does it supposed to be its member and get better prices? Thank you so much. Alena

#587 re: Rif.Brentei (in reply-to message #586) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jun 17, 01:52 EDT 2010

Rif. Brentei is quite a large rifugio.  they have dorm rooms that can easily accommodate 10 or more.   You don't need to order your meals in advance.  They are pretty much always ready to handle the food needs of many people every day.

#588 re: Rif.Brentei (in reply-to message #587) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Jun 17, 01:53 EDT 2010

Oh, and one more thing - yes, if you are a member of an alpine club associated with the UIAA (you will have to check for your own country to see if this is the case), then you get a 50% discount on the lodging portion of the costs.

...Andrew

#589 re: Rif.Brentei (in reply-to message #588) Posted by Alena on
Thu Jun 17, 03:48 EDT 2010

Thank you, Andrew! You do a realy great job on this pages!

Alena

#590 Climbing on the 21st?? Posted by AJ on
Fri Jun 18, 12:26 EDT 2010

Andrew, I might be up for a trip on the 21st.  I just got back with a group that attempted the 52 Gallerie trail.  They did great for about everybody in the group being afraid of heights.  We completed about 2/3 of it but because of time constraints, we had to head back.  We are going back out on Monday the 21st, but I don't know where.  We will be introducing some new people to the group and might go to the "ice breaker" north of Arco at Castelo Dro.  If you will be in the Vicenza area, maybe we could meet up to go get some tracks at one of the uncharted sites. 

Hope to hear from you soon!

AJ

#591 Digital maps of Dolomites Posted by Graham Taylor on
Sat Jun 19, 06:21 EDT 2010

 I'm looking for recommendations & sources for digital maps of the French Alps and  Dolomites, suitable for use on a laptop.  Preferred scale 25,000:1 - 50,000:1.   The mapping software I use is Oziexplorer, but I also can run Memorymap, running on Windows XP.  Don't mind purchasing commercial products, but if there are free ones around that's fine.  

Thanks, Graham, Perth - Australia

#592 Digital maps of the Dolomites Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Jun 19, 09:03 EDT 2010

 Hi Graham

Have a look at these links.

This one is a free download, which I’ve found to be pretty accurate, but not infallible:  http://xoomer.virgilio.it/hcgnar/eng.html#mappe

This one is a commercial product, now only available from Garmin, but originally produced by a local company here in the Dolomites. You’ll be able to find it on various file sharing sites (as long as you can lay your hands on a crack code, which shouldn’t be too difficult). This is a high quality product, but only covers about half the Dolomites so far:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=36358

Finally, there’s a product I’ve not used personally, but it’s worth a look:

http://www.mynav.com/home.asp?dlin=eng

Graham

#593 Maps Posted by AJ on
Sat Jun 19, 13:16 EDT 2010

The Garmin Trekmaps are pretty good, I have most of the maps and the coverage isn't bad at all, so far it has covered all the areas of the dolomites that I have been to.

#594 re: Climbing on the 21st?? (in reply-to message #590) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jun 20, 04:45 EDT 2010

Hi there.

We'll be heading off from Giazza tomorrow by roughly noon / 1pm-ish, heading up to to do the VICEN 1 route, and staying at the rifugio Fraccarol.  Then the next morning we'll head southwest along the Costa Media ridge, completing the VICEN 2 route (and perhaps the VICEN 3 route), if we feel like it.

Perhaps we'll see you.   Who or what should we look for?

...Andrew

AJ wrote:

Andrew, I might be up for a trip on the 21st.  I just got back with a group that attempted the 52 Gallerie trail.  They did great for about everybody in the group being afraid of heights.  We completed about 2/3 of it but because of time constraints, we had to head back.  We are going back out on Monday the 21st, but I don't know where.  We will be introducing some new people to the group and might go to the "ice breaker" north of Arco at Castelo Dro.  If you will be in the Vicenza area, maybe we could meet up to go get some tracks at one of the uncharted sites. 

Hope to hear from you soon!

AJ

 

 

#595 The 21st... Posted by AJ on
Sun Jun 20, 12:46 EDT 2010

We are going to be leaving Vicenza about 7 AM, due to the weather, we are taking our gear and just heading out north of Arco without much of a plan, we don't want to end up getting stuck on the top of one of the mountains and are going to hit up one of the easier routes, possibly Che Guevara.  Good luck with the weather!  I hope you get some good GPS tracks!

#596 Southern Dolomites Posted by AJ on
Sat Jun 26, 10:28 EDT 2010

We had a great day of climbing.  I have a big group of guys that are planning on going on a camping trip around the 10th of July.  Basically setting up a base camp at Arco and trying out some of the Ferrata's out there.  Hopefully it goes well and the weather holds up. 

Andrew, how was your trip?

#597 re: Southern Dolomites (in reply-to message #596) Posted by Andrew on
Sat Jun 26, 11:25 EDT 2010

Oh, pretty good.  We did the VICEN 1 route on the first day, stayed for a very nice evening at rifugio Fraccaroli, and descended VICEN 2 early on the second day.   Decent weather, too.

Probably will be doing another few ferrate next week -- probably this time in the higher dolomites.

...Andrew

AJ wrote:

We had a great day of climbing.  I have a big group of guys that are planning on going on a camping trip around the 10th of July.  Basically setting up a base camp at Arco and trying out some of the Ferrata's out there.  Hopefully it goes well and the weather holds up. 

Andrew, how was your trip?

 

 

#598 Bochette Alte? Posted by AJ on
Fri Jul 02, 01:58 EDT 2010

I am thinking about doing the Bochette Alte route next weekend.  What do you think is the best way to make it a loop route?  I would hate to complete the ferrata just to have to right back down the same way.  But, by the look of the tracks, the most direct route would be straight over the mountain which probably wouldn't work.  Is there parking somewhere close to the start and end point?  I am trying to make it a day trip if possible.

#599 insurance Posted by kmercer on
Sat Jul 03, 14:13 EDT 2010

Hope you can give me some tips!

Our travel ins. with Lloyds doesn't cover Via Ferrata so we have to buy some top-up ins. from somewhere else. Is there anyone you would recommend? We've looked at Snow card and SportsDirect which look fine if a little pricey.

Strangley Via ferrata is only rated at Class 2 of thier dangerous sports, where as white water Kayaking is rated calss 4, yet covered by bog standard lloyds cover! So i wondered if there were any cheap policies that name VF in its wording ?

 

advice would be much appreciated

Thanks

#600 Camping Posted by Roger505 on
Sun Jul 04, 15:50 EDT 2010

Hi - am driving to dolomites in July with family and two small tents to walk and via ferreta. Have had Corvara suggested. Any good campsites known - either at Corvara or elsewhere in the Dolomites. Prefer smaller basic sites.

Fantastic site for info.

#601 Camping at Corvara Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Jul 05, 06:06 EDT 2010

 Hi Roger

Yes; Corvara is an excellent base, especially if this is your first trip to the Dolomites. There's a good campsite a little way out of the village to the west, on the way to Colfosco. Here's the link to the website: http://campingcolfosco.org/start.php?page=home&lang=EN&preloading=close

As you'll see, it's not really a small, basic site, but there aren't too many opportunities for camping in the area!

Graham

#602 German guidebook for Italy Posted by KenR on
Tue Jul 06, 18:48 EDT 2010

I got into VF climbing by happily following the Fletcher+Smith guidebooks. So then I started wondering about routes around Como where I sometimes visit people. Couldn't make sense of the Italian-language websites for that area, so I ended up ordering a German-language book by Sasha Hoch for "Italien West" -- which was straightforward thru www.amazon.de.

Now that it's arrived I find there lots more VF routes scattered around northern Italy ranging to Aosta + Piedmont -- and there is a concentration of climbs by Lecco. Even though I have only a light reading knowledge of German, it has a very structured format with lots of numbers (inclu lat/long for GPS) and detailed diagrams + maps, so it looks like it will be helpful for me -- (at least perhaps now I'll have a better chance of using the Italian web pages or guidebooks).

The book takes a remarkably inclusive definition of the word "West" -- it includes complete coverage of the Brenta group and lake Garda. From a first skim, it seems to largely agree with the Fletcher-Smith guidebook for for the climbs I've done and some well-known ones I hope to try.  (e.g. Rio Sallagoni RIVA4 is sometimes disputed by English-speakers, but the Hoch guidebook agrees with Fletscher+Smith that it's the fourth level of difficulty -- and includes two photos to demonstrate the difficulty problem)

"Klettersteig-Atlas Italien, Bd.1 : Italien West (inkl. Gardaseeberge, Brenta, Lombardei, Piemont/Aosta, Riviera) -- author Sascha Hoch, et al (Schall-Verlag 2008)

I think there are competing German-language guidebooks for Italy, and I have no idea which is better.


I prefer Fletcher+Smith's overall style, demonstrated reliability -- and agreeable selection of language.

Ken

 

#603 VF in Austria Posted by KenR on
Tue Jul 06, 19:15 EDT 2010

How do VF climbs or "klettersteig" in Austria compare in quality and difficulty with the routes around the Dolomites and lake Garda?

I bought a German-language guidebook for Austria, and I was amazed at how many via ferrata routes there in Austria (with bordering mountains) -- looks like over 250. My previous "window" on Austria was the English translation of the small, old Werner guidebook, so this was a big revelation for me.

Highly structured format, lots of categories, detailed diagrams - (even before I've checked the DVD that comes with it) - so it feels like I can get helpful ideas from it even though my reading knowledge of German is a bit light.

Problem is I can see the system of categories for difficulty and protection-security -- but I don't know how to compare the levels with what I know from VF climbing in Italy using the Fletcher+Smith guidebook. From some of the photos, looks like some of the moves +situations on "D" rated climbs in this Austria guidebook are harder than the two "4" difficulty climbs I've done in Italy. But maybe that's just a clever selection of the angle of the photography?

And they have a 1 to 4 star rating of the quality/beauty of the route -- but are the top-quality VF in Austria really up to the level of the signature routes of the Dolomites?

There are competing German guidebooks. I bought

"Klettersteigführer Österreich: Alle lohnenden Klettersteige zwischen Bodensee und Wienerwald - mit Steigen in Bayern und Slowenien + DVD-ROM" -- author Axel Jentzsch-Rabl (AlpinVerlag.at 2010)

Note that it includes pretty complete coverage of the routes in southern Germany.

Ken

 

#604 austria and dolomites' ferrata Posted by Aruges on
Wed Jul 07, 16:16 EDT 2010

Hi Ken,

Hi Ken,

Austria is the first country where alpinists built the first world ferrata .

The ferrata name is Meisules in Sella moutain , ferrata old about more of one hundred years.

Before 1914 war , the dolomites north belonged at Austrians.

You are right when you said there are about 250 ferrata in Austria . They are unknowed by many ferratists climbers.

The  austrian ferrata level is higher than dolomites : short routes but athletic practices.

One of them , near Innsbruck is Kaiser Max : very difficult  like if you know these : ferrata Marangoni di Mori or Rino Pisetta di Sarche.

Generally dolomites ferrata are long treks to go up on any summit  with few athletics difficulties.

Out of dolomites all the strangers ferrata are athletics : Austria, Germany,Swisstzerland, spain, France.

 

 

#605 re: austria and dolomites' ferrata (in reply-to message #604) Posted by KenR on
Wed Jul 07, 17:34 EDT 2010

Interesting -- I hadn't thought about a route in the Dolomites being constructed by citizens of the Austrian empire.

Thanks for the warning that some of the hard routes in Austria might be very athletic. In the guidebook I just bought, Kaiser-Max is rated at difficulty E = "extrem schwierig".

But there are a few routes in the guidebook given top-rating for quality (e.g. the Mittenwalder H öhenweg not so far from Kaiser-Max) but difficulty rating is B = " mäßig schwierig", and many of the routes given the top quality rating by that guidebook have difficulty rating of C.

So perhaps the Austrian routes which are most famous outside Austria are very athletic.

Ken

#606 Mittenwald- Karwendel Posted by Aruges on
Thu Jul 08, 07:57 EDT 2010

If I think right   when you speak about Mittenwald ferrata near  Kaiser Max one , I have done it one year ago . It is in Bavaria ( Germany) and not Austria .

Time to do it is 6 hours but only if anyone decides to go up Karwendel summit (2372m) by feet from Mittenwald (912 m).

Cable car can up you at the ferrata beginning;

Difficulty level as you said is  right : 2,5 as B.

 

#607 athletic VF Austria Posted by KenR on
Thu Jul 08, 13:19 EDT 2010

Maybe this is what you mean by "athletic": 
video Ferrata Extreme

Looks much harder than anything I've ever climbed, in Italy or anywhere - (and not very interesting to me). Turns out the main climber is one of the authors of the guidebook I bought for Austria.

As I look at that guidebook more, I'm liking the detailed topos for many of the routes, because it helps me decide how hard a climb might be for Sharon following, and maybe how likely it is that I might be able to belay her on the most difficult sections.

I notice there's also a YouTube video for the Kaiser-Max climb, and several for the famous + athletic
Königsjodler klettersteig
in Austria.

Good reminder that the normal access to the Mittenwald klettersteig is from Germany, not Austria. But most of the climb itself is on the ridge of the Austria-Germany border -- so I could say it's a "half-Austrian" VF. It's about 15km from the Kaiser-Max VF and 20km from Innsbruck.

Ken

#608 atlethic via ferrata Posted by Aruges on
Fri Jul 09, 16:54 EDT 2010

Wow  I didn't know this very hard ferrata !  Kaiser Max isn't so hard ! Only Jakobswand5 weinheim- Germany), red section has a same level as that one on video but very short way . Very strong route but it would pleasant to do it  one time .   That level is rarely : in any european country we can't  meet  no ferrata as that.

Fortunately  anyone can find middle levels in austria as : Lehner wasserfall , Solden, Reinhardt Schiestl .

 Have a look on that very good ferrata site on all countries  : klettersteig.de

Perhaps  yet you know it ?

 

#609 re: atlethic via ferrata (in reply-to message #608) Posted by KenR on
Fri Jul 09, 21:15 EDT 2010

The "extreme" climb in that video is Bürgeralm in eastern Austria, lat/long = (N47.57170 E15.22727)

I'm not much impressed by looking at very hard climbing with grabbing on a steel cable. I'd rather watch a video of someone climbing pure rock.

Thanks for the suggestion of klettersteig.de

What I like about a whole big guidebook is that it gives context for each individual climb. Since I am only a visitor, I don't know where each mountain group is in Austria, and I don't want to visit a place a place with only one good climb -- so a guidebook helps me decide which mountain group to visit. One I have the context from the guidebook, then I can look up an individual climb on klettersteig.de or bergsteigen.at or summitpost.org for a "second opinion" or for more up-to-date information.

(also I guess the Königsjodler klettersteig is not so "athletic" compare to some others)

Ken


 

#610 Ferrate in Val di Fassa Posted by Miriam on
Sun Jul 11, 08:13 EDT 2010

Hi, I come from spain, and I've found your webpage really good!! I'm staying in Val di Fassa with my boyfriend in september, and we'd like to try some ferrata there or in de Marmolada zone, but we don't know which one to choose! we both have some mountain knowledge and we practise free climbing sometimes but we have done just one ferrata in our lives (Sorrosal, in Broto, Ordesa, Spain), so we don't want to start with very difficult ferratas. Which one do you recomend us? Thank you

#611 re: Ferrate in Val di Fassa (in reply-to message #610) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jul 11, 09:00 EDT 2010

Via ferrata Masare is an easy and scenic ferrata that you could start with.... after that, perhaps the Ferrata Finanzieri for a step up to something a bit longer and more challenging.   Both are in the Fassa area.

...Andrew

#612 re: Ferrate in Val di Fassa (in reply-to message #611) Posted by Miriam on
Sun Jul 11, 13:55 EDT 2010

Perfect! I'll take that into account. Thank you very much

#613 new VF Cortina Posted by KenR on
Tue Jul 13, 15:14 EDT 2010

called "Ferrata Sci Club 18"

http://www.bergsteigen.at/de/touren.aspx?ID=2063

near the Faloria ski lift

with a video

Ken

 

#614 re: new VF Cortina (in reply-to message #613) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Jul 13, 15:48 EDT 2010

 

KenR wrote:

called "Ferrata Sci Club 18"

http://www.bergsteigen.at/de/touren.aspx?ID=2063

near the Faloria ski lift

with a video

Ken

 

 I noticed this route was briefly mentioned in the new updated edition of Graham's guidebook.  He hasn't yet given it a grade, though.

...Andrew

 

#615 revised guidebook Posted by KenR on
Wed Jul 14, 19:31 EDT 2010

So there's now a new edition of volume 1 of the Fletcher + Smith guidebook.

I hadn't known until you mentioned it. Be good to hear some comments about it.

info sheet on the Cicerone website says the new edition has four new routes, improved diagrams, and other updates.

Interesting that it was published around the same time as the new German-language guidebook from the Austrian group -- which I'm still waiting to arrive in delivery. The other guidebook of there's had a very detailed and attractively drawn diagram ("topo") for each climb (not shown in the Web version of their climb descriptions). I guess I was not the only reader who was impressed.  Interesting to know how they compare with the new Fletcher + Smith diagrams.

Ken

 

#616 September partners Italy Posted by KenR on
Wed Jul 14, 19:56 EDT 2010

I'm  going to be hanging around the Dolomites and lake Garda about 14-22 September, mainly trying VF climbs in the 3, 4, (easier) 5 difficulty ratings - (and some road-cycling on my off days).

If you might be interested to get together to climb or just meet and swap stories, contact me with this info.

I'll have a rental car and mobile phone with Italy number. Here's some reports + photos from previous trips.

Possibly I might also go up to Austria to do some "klettersteigs" there too.

Slower? I have a strong preference for climbing with hands holding only on the rock, using the steel cable only for protection. Seems to make me a little slower than most other climbers. Not that much slower. On harder routes where grabbing the cable is required, I guess it won't matter. And I'm faster than most climbers on the approach hike.

Ken

#617 re: September partners Italy (in reply-to message #616) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jul 14, 22:10 EDT 2010

I will not be in the Dolomites in September... but perhaps others on this forum will.  Good luck!

...Andrew

#618 Ski club 18 al Faloria Posted by Aruges on
Fri Jul 16, 06:10 EDT 2010

For Myriam and perhaps the others: be careful, ski club 18 al faloria ferrata is  very difficult : grade D;

It is not for beginners or for discovering dolomites ferrata at once.

 

#619 new Dolmites VF guidebook Posted by KenR on
Thu Jul 22, 20:11 EDT 2010

Just received my copy of Klettersteigführer Dolomiten - Südtirol - Gardasee, by Jentzsch-Rabl, Jentzsch, Wissekal, (AlpinVerlag.at 2009).

Anyone else seen it?

Initial reaction from ten minutes leafing thru the book (not yet the DVD):

* It's great to have a "second opinion" on the difficulty of each VF climb. Very helpful for me is the "refinement" of the ratings of the harder climbs: instead of lumping them into a single "5" category, this guidebook has D, D/E, and E ratings..

* English-language description (much briefer than the main German descrip) for each climb.

* Quality numerical rating of the "goodness" of the route from 1 to 4 ("schlecte" to "sehr schön")

* Security protection rating from 1 to 4.

* rather nice-looking topo diagrams for each climb, including a separate difficulty rating for each subsection of the climb.

* GPS latitude / longitude for (1) parking + (2) start of the climbing for each VF (on the DVD).

Ken

 

 

 

#620 difficulty ratings - comparing guidebooks Posted by KenR on
Fri Jul 23, 14:22 EDT 2010

I put my newly-received guidebook from Jentzsch-Rabl + WIssekal (AlpinVerlag.at) alongside my Fletcher+Smith volumes (old version of vol 1), and compare ratings for lots of VF climbs. Here's what I found:

* on many climbs their ratings are rougly aligned, but for some the numbers look significantly different.

* they have different rating systems: one uses five numbers 1 to 5, the other uses a sequence of nine letter combinations: A, A/B, . . . D, D/E, E.

* I think they also mean something slightly different by the ratings: Seems that Smith+Fletcher intend theirs as a rating of the overall route. While the AlpinVerlag.at intends theirs for the difficulty of the climbing moves, with the most difficult climbing sub-section being given as the rating of the route.

* Some of the easier climbs in Smith+Fletcher get harder ratings from AlpinVerlag.at.

e.g. For one climb, Smith+Fletcher rated it a 2, while AlpinVerlag.at made it C/D. Looking at the detailed "topo" diagram in the AlpinVerlag.at book, it seemed that there were two short sections much harder than the rest, so those defined their rating. While Fletcher-Smith looked at those two sections in the larger context and said it's overall not real hard. (Having done the climb together with Sharon, I agree with both).

* Lots of the hard "5" climbs in Fletcher+Smith get only D from AlpinVerlag.at. (instead of a possible E).

Of all the climbs which appear in both guidebooks, there are about 10 rated "5" in Fletcher+Smith, but only one of those gets an "E" rating in AlpinVerlag.at, and only two get D/E. The rest get D (or less).

Partly I suspect this is because Fletcher+Smith are assigning higher difficulty to the overall route for reasons other than the technical climbing difficulty: e.g. security of protection (for which AlpinVerlag.at have a separate numerical rating, and perhaps other "alpine" hazards.

But more I think it's that AlpinVerlag.at is rating the routes from their home context of Austria, and with an eye to selling more books to German-speaking readers who climb hard VF routes more frequently. Their similar-format guidebook VF guidebook for Austria has multiple routes rated E, and even more rated D/E.

* I'm coming to suspect that lots of the famous harder routes in Austria really are harder than many routes in Italy (as someone recently warned here) -- so I better be careful around there.

Ken

 

#621 The Grading of Via Ferratas Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sat Jul 24, 09:58 EDT 2010

 Ken has posted several interesting comments about grading, most recently when he speculated about how John & I went about the task in our own guidebooks. Since this is something which seems to be of general interest, perhaps this is the time to clear up some of the confusion which surrounds the subject.

Let’s be clear, first of all, that John & I graded our routes without reference to what else is out there, in Austria, France or wherever. Our remit was to produce a series of guidebooks to VFs in the Dolomites, not to set them in a European context.

During our research, the issue of grading was inevitably at the forefront of our minds. We did consider using a system of multiple factors (eg. technical difficulty, strenuousness, degree of boldness required, quality of protection etc), instead of a single grade, but dismissed this as unnecessarily complicated. We did, however, feel that ‘any grading system should offer a view of the seriousness of a route as well as its difficulty’, hence our use of the suffix A, B or C. If anyone doubts the importance of this distinction, just consider a route like VF Ivano Dibona: technically without difficulty, but its seriousness is demonstrated by the fact that there are fatalities on this route virtually every year.

Another principle we adopted was that routes should be graded by reference to their hardest passage, not some notion of an overall average. To do otherwise would, in our view, be dangerously misleading.   

Needless to say, the concept of ‘difficulty’ is partly subjective. Some climbers find delicate routes difficult, whilst others find strenuous routes harder. That said, if a random group of ferratists was asked to list all 150 plus DolomiteVFs in order of perceived difficulty, then there would be a broad measure of agreement over how the list would look. The next stage of the process is to divide up this list into blocks, or grades. We decided that 5 grades was sufficient (some guidebooks use as few as 3). We felt that, to have more (eg the 9 of Ken’s Austrian guide) implies a spurious precision. Incidentally, it follows logically that, with a larger number of grades, there will be fewer routes falling into the highest grade. Conversely, the fewer the number of grades, then there will be more routes falling into the highest grade. In other words, if we’d opted for 9, rather than 5, grades, we’d probably have only about 3 top grade routes, rather than the 11 we have now. Thus you can’t draw the conclusion, as Ken does, that the routes in Austria are harder than those in the Dolomites.

In fact, my experience of climbing VFs in other parts of Italy, Austria, France and elsewhere, doesn’t lead me to the conclusion that they’re harder than Dolomite routes, but they are frequently very different. Many of the newly created routes across Europe seem to me to be exercises in gymnastics – they are to VFs, what indoor climbing walls are to ‘proper’ climbing. Many are simply exercises in promoting tourism, even with charges levied for admission in some cases.

Anyway, enough of this: it’s about time I got a life and went out climbing.

Graham

#622 additional rope Posted by Dez on
Sun Jul 25, 06:08 EDT 2010

Hi,

This is a brilliant site.

Such dedication! Thankyou.

Im planning on bring a friend & our 3 boys 15 - 16 year olds to Dolomites in August.

My mate and one lad have not had much climbing experience so I am looking for the low rated routes on the web site.

Im not sure how they will be with exposure yet so need to start easy and work our way up. I cant decide if i should carry a rope so i can top rope them on sections if they feel nervous or exposed? Its alot of weight!

What do others think?

Dez.oconnor@gmail.com

 

 

#623 re: additional rope (in reply-to message #622) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Jul 25, 08:34 EDT 2010

If you are on one of the low-rated routes, I personally would not worry very much about ropes.   Perhaps the only suggestion would be to carefully read the route descriptions and avoid ones that have extensive sections of unprotected exposed scrambling.

Pick a short route first, so that if the fear level is too high, you haven't made much of a commitment and you are off relatively quickly.   Then, if things go well, progress to something longer or harder.

...Andrew

Dez wrote:

Hi,

This is a brilliant site.

Such dedication! Thankyou.

Im planning on bring a friend & our 3 boys 15 - 16 year olds to Dolomites in August.

My mate and one lad have not had much climbing experience so I am looking for the low rated routes on the web site.

Im not sure how they will be with exposure yet so need to start easy and work our way up. I cant decide if i should carry a rope so i can top rope them on sections if they feel nervous or exposed? Its alot of weight!

What do others think?

Dez.oconnor@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

#624 re: The Grading of Via Ferratas (in reply-to message #621) Posted by KenR on
Mon Jul 26, 09:45 EDT 2010

Graham, thanks so much for the wonderful days in the mountains your guidebooks had led me to. I've ordered the new 2nd edition even though I already have more than enough to keep me busy in the first edition.

I agree that nine rating levels for a general audience is unhelpful -- so many people are trying VF climbing coming with so many different levels of strength + climbing technique + mountain experience.

And I agree that your separate rating of "seriousness" is important.

Graham Fletcher wrote:

"Another principle we adopted was that routes should be graded by reference to their hardest passage, not some notion of an overall average."

.
On the other hand, when I read pages 24-26 about "Route Grading" in the 2003 guidebook volume 2 by Graham Fletcher + John Smith, I do not found anything about "hardest passage" -- most of the talk is about overall "routes".

On page 164 of the (old 2002 edition) of volume 1, about the Marmolada West Ridge (FASSA13), difficulty grade 4. there's a sentence which starts "When conditions are good . . . " -- the continuation of which implies that the selection of route grade was substantially driven by concern for alpine hazards. Some readers might reasonably guess that the "dry rock" climbing difficutly of the "hardest passage" is significantly less than the difficult rock moves on other grade 4 climbs (such as the start of Trincee ARAB2). (and I might guess that the start of Trincee with snow + ice on it is significanly more difficult than Marmolada West Ridge in comparable conditions).

My reaction (without having attempted either Marmolada or Trincee): Seems like a good approach for a guidebook intended for a general audience.

But on at least grade 2 VF that I actually climbed with Sharon, my belief afterward (long before I saw any German or Austrian guidebooks) was that the Smith + Fletcher rating seemed to Sharon and me like it had been based more on overall climb (which we enjoyed greatly) than on rigorous application of an (unwritten) principle of "hardest passage".

My view is that wise insight is more important than rigor. All VF climbers will be helped by purchasing Fletcher + Smith's two guidebook volumes.

Ken

 

 

#625 re: additional rope (in reply-to message #622) Posted by KenR on
Mon Jul 26, 10:38 EDT 2010

"exposed" could have three different meanings with VF:
(a) section of the route with no cable.
(b) a section with cable, but lots of "air" underneath, so some people might be scared -- or worse -- even though cable anchors are placed so a fall would be short and safe.
(c) a section with cable, but with climbing moves far above the last cable anchor -- so that if the climber fell, even though they would be caught by the cable, they might experience substantial bruising (or worse) injuries from the sudden stop, or significant trauma from hitting protruding rocks before their fall reached the previous anchor.

Exposure of type (a) can be very difficult and slow to protect even with a rope. Unless you're a professional mountain guide who's learned special techniques for protecting with minimal (or no?) anchors and very quick at setting up anchors where there are opportunities, often you're just kidding yourself bringing a rope for that, at best slowing everybody down (perhaps at times when speed is critical), at worst adding to the hazard. And even a professional guide might hesitate to attempt roped protection with three or more clients at the same time.

The excellent Fletcher + Smith guidebooks are pretty careful about identifying which VF routes have this kind of exposure.

For exposure type (c) a rope handled by a leader who's a better climber and well-practiced in rope techniques, could make it much safer for  for a follower. Like I would never take Sharon on VF Piz da Lech (Boeseekopfel KS) without a rope to belay her. Not because she'd be scared -- she actually has a pretty good head exposure -- but because my opinion is that the placement of the cable anchors allows for dangerous falls from some the harder moves - (unlike the careful anchor placements on VF Brigata Tridentina / Piscadu). Indeed when I soloed Piz de Lech I saw several other parties roped.

Exposure type (b) -- Yes a rope can help, and lots of times I've seen an experienced parent taking a young child roped on VF climbs in the Dolomites, or mother + father taking two of their children, each on a separate rope. I have not ever seen 16 year olds doing that with their parents. I often carry a short rope when I climb with Sharon, and once I was glad to be able to use it to give her tension to get thru a short strenuous (but not "exposed') move.

To me the idea of managing one rope for three or four inexperienced people seems like just asking for trouble. Way more people on VF routes die of bad decision-making and lightning-strikes than from lack of a rope. Traveling in a group larger than four is close to a recipe for bad decisions, and confusion with rope management sounds like another way to still be out there attached to metal cable when the thunderstorm starts.

Some ideas: 

  • Stick to routes where you're confident you won't need a rope.
  • Purchase the Fletcher + Smith guidebook -- They have more available to advise people just starting out than most websites.
  • Hire a professional guide for your first climb(s).

Ken


 

#626 new VF protection method Posted by KenR on
Mon Jul 26, 16:39 EDT 2010

Just heard about a new protection device with a whole different approach: instead of allowing a falling climber to accelerate downward along the steel cable until the carabiner hits the next lower cable anchor point, it applies braking force immediately thru its attachment to the steel cable.

The special attachment piece is called the "Skyturn" and the overall VF kit that it's sold with is called the Skyrider . . .

some English-language info here (and videos)

I've been wanting to have something like this, so I brought rope "ascender" device with me on my last VF climbing trip -- but found that the device which designed for rope did not reliably grip steel cable, so I gave up on it.

But now looks like this Skylotec company is trying to do do better -- anybody have experience with how well it actually works?

Ken

 

 

#627 Need for an additional rope? Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Jul 27, 10:21 EDT 2010

 Dez’ query about the need for an additional rope has been answered by both Andrew and Ken (incidentally, many thanks, Ken, for your kind comments about the guidebooks), each taking a rather different view. My own approach is closer to that of Andrew - VF gear is heavy enough to carry around without adding to it unnecessarily!

The Cicerone guidebook identifies a number of routes where we felt a rope might be useful for inexperienced members of the party; for those routes where it’s not mentioned, then I really wouldn’t suggest it’s necessary. It’s better to introduce newcomers to a couple of unthreatening routes, both in terms of their difficulty and seriousness and, as Andrew suggests, their length. Several years ago, I spent a whole summer season accompanying newcomers to ferratas in the central Dolomites. With that experience in mind, I’d suggest that VF Piz da Cir V (CORV 2 in the Cicerone guidebook) is the perfect introductory route. On a couple of occasions, when accompanying someone who expressed real anxiety about their ability to cope with exposure, I introduced them to the nearby route, VF Gran Cir (CORV 1),  which is no more than a scrambly walk with stretches of cable. However, it proved useful as a confidence builder, and enabled the newcomer to master the art of using self belay equipment. Only Dez can judge whether his lads need easing in so gently.

Incidentally, one of the very few routes where I’ve needed to give someone the security of a top rope is VF Piz da Lech – some people find the topmost ladder quite unnerving! On the other hand, Meg & I once came across a German family, including two girls, 7 & 8 years old, on this route. They waltzed up it with no trouble (and no top rope)!

A final thought: if you do decide to take a rope along, then don’t carry a full length, full weight rope. I used to rely on 30m of half rope, a couple of slings, and a belay plate. I never found the need for anything more.

Graham

#628 re: Need for an additional rope? (in reply-to message #627) Posted by KenR on
Tue Jul 27, 17:08 EDT 2010

I carry about 15 meters of 8mm static rope if I think I might need one with Sharon. My thought is, No need for a dynamic free-climbing rope if I'm not going to take leader falls on it. Could abseil over a small overhang.

Weighs about 0.6 kg. As long as I've practice tying a Munter hitch recently, no need for a belay device. Slings are nice (like Graham said) -- so the total is not much than 1 kg.

I don't see how 1 kg more or less is an issue on VF routes at grade 3 or less.

Ken

 

#629 Posted by Wyn on
Wed Jul 28, 21:59 EDT 2010

Hiya all....been to the Dolomites last 2 seasons, thanks so much to Andy for his web pages, massive massive help, we went in June 2008 and stayed in Cortina, where we managed Michel Strobel (pardon the spelling) mainly as its south facing with no snow on its climb, then we drove to 20/30 mile to Andys mentioned route on Trincee.... it started snowing as we started the feratta so was quite uncomfy to be honest, we mananged around a third of it before the weather became a problem and we abandonded it and came down.... we then realised June is far far too early to go in the season. Mountain biking in Cortina (using the cable car) was awesome though...

In 2009 we stayed in Arabba in late Aug early Sept, and found it was superb, although the evenings were extremely quiet... cant explain how good it was, epic views and scary climbs,good weather made the trip all the better. Went to the caves at Lazagoui (sorry spelling again) and managed two good ferrata on the Sella Massif, both starting from Corvara.....

Trust me if you've never been before, this is one cool holiday, and as long as you dont mind the up and down and no hot sunny beach you will love it...    Wyn

#630 Posted by Wyn on
Wed Jul 28, 22:15 EDT 2010

Piz da Lech and Tridentina...sorry...  just a quick one, it was a Saturday and we were well high up on Tridentina, and the clouds were coming in. We weren't far off the suspesion bridge when a rather loud hooter sounded down the valley. It had already started to rain slightly so I thought the hooter was telling us a storm was on the way, after a quick chat we decided to leave the cable and use the walking path to the refuge, more luck than judgement. Then it lashed down for a few hours, few bolts of lightning in the distance. 

Later that night one of the guys from Colletts told us that they sound the hooter every Saturday at 12 noon for avalanche purposes, whilst his colleague said it was because of the storm, still not sure who was right. I was more than happy to leave the cable to be honest, even though we never finished the climb.

Cheers Wyn

#631 re: stories with weather (in reply-to message #629) Posted by KenR on
Thu Jul 29, 16:34 EDT 2010

Good short stories -- thanks for sharing. But where was the link to your photos?

it started snowing as we started the feratta so was quite uncomfy to be honest, we mananged around a third of it before the weather became a problem and we abandonded it and came down.... we then realised June is far far too early to go in the season.

Actually I've done some fine VF climbs in June: Vallon + Piz Boe, and Kleine Cirspitze (Piz da Cir V). The mountains are more spectacular with the extra contrast of bright white (like next to the waterfall in those Vallon photos), and in the Sella plateau background in this Piz da Cir summit photo.

If you want to go for high routes, then you have to be prepared to deal with snow (sometimes ice) on the ground (like in this photo of hiking to the top of the Piz Boe. Might need ice axe and/or crampons (though I didn't bring those).

Though if you don't go along with the assumption that "higher is better", then there's lots of exciting + spectacular VF routes down in the valleys -- Why you should also purchase Volume 2 of Fletcher + Smith's guidebook.

Mountain biking in Cortina (using the cable car) was awesome though... 

Lotsa people thing the road biking in the Dolomites is also pretty awesome -- also down in the valley.

Ken

 

#632 winter via ferrata Posted by michael on
Fri Jul 30, 17:08 EDT 2010

Dear Andrew

First of all , I'd like to tell you how much I enjoyed using your site and going through all the amazing routs and climbs you've been to.it's both informing and stunningly beautiful!
So stunning I'm now planning to go on a via ferrata in the 'cortina d'Ampezzo' region.
Being as this is my first via ferrata- there are several questions I'd like to ask:
I'm not familiar with the weather and climate in those regions. Is it possible to go on a 'via ferrata' in this region during the winter?
In addition, there's prerequired equipment which I plan to rent on the spot.
Apart from the basic 'via ferrata' kit, what else might I need?
Is it also possible to rent suitable clothing as well?
 
if there is anything else I should heed, please let me know (michrot@gmail.com). 
 
Thanks in advance, michael.
#633 Hotel, hostel Posted by andrey on
Sat Jul 31, 12:50 EDT 2010

Hello, I plan to visit dolomites this August, can somebody recommend me a inexpensive hotel.

#634 Hut Reservations Posted by Eric on
Sun Aug 01, 12:17 EDT 2010

I'm trying to book huts for a trip coming up in mid August.  I'm having trouble getting a hold of anyone for the huts Rif Ra Valles or Rif Col Druscie.

Does anyone know how to make reservations at these huts?

Any help appreciated.

-Eric

#635 re: winter via ferrata (in reply-to message #632) Posted by KenR on
Sun Aug 01, 14:29 EDT 2010

It doesn't make much sense for most people to try to climb VF routes around Cortina in the winter, because many sections of the routes have snow or ice on them. And the hiking access to the routes would be covered with snow, with the possibility of deadly avalanches. Only experts in winter climbing on steep snow + ice could even consider attempting VF routes around Cortina in the winter.

Instead what most visitors to Cortina do in the winter is: Skiing - (like these photos of several Via Ferrata areas).

If you get volume 2 of Fletcher + Smith's guiidebook, it has some ideas for VF routes near lake Garda which are sometimes do-able in winter. But sometimes it snows around there also. Even if it doesn't snow, it could still be cold around lake Garda in winter. The guidebook says which routes get the most sun, but still I would plan on climbing with gloves on, and also bring other warm clothing.
And have a strategy for what else to do on other days which are not warm + sunny.

michael wrote: 

I'm now planning to go on a via ferrata in the 'cortina d'Ampezzo' region.

Is it possible to go on a 'via ferrata' in this region during the winter?


 

#636 Eric's query about hut reservations Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Aug 02, 05:34 EDT 2010

 Hi Eric

You can contact these huts on the following numbers:

Rif. Ra Valles:0436-3461

Rif. Col Druscie: 0436-2605 or 0436-862372

For future reference, you can get information about CAI rifugios at: www.cai.it, although their database doesn't include privately owned facilities.

Graham

#637 new edition of English-language guidebook Posted by KenR on
Wed Aug 04, 07:38 EDT 2010

At last my copy of the second edition of the Smith + Graham Fletcher guidebook volume 1 arrived. Anybody else seen it? (I know Andrew has it)

Here's my impressions of the overall book and from comparing 10 to 20 route descriptions with the first edition . . .

It's an update, not a substantial revision. Here's the changes I've found so far:

* diagram maps now show basic altitude contours as colors in background.
. . . (Otherwise the the size and content of the maps is almost exactly the same on the routes I compared, but I think the altitude colors do help with understanding. Also the size of the map diagrams makes them a nice complement to the diagrams in the AlpinVerlag.at guidebook).

* roughly four new routes in grade 3-5, most look pretty inviting to me. Col Rodella has jumped high on my list of ones to do with Sharon.

* one change in route grade.

Otherwise the feature-set and structure are the same. Text is mostly cut-and-paste from the first edition. (It was already excellent) - except where some key fact has changed (e.g. status of FASSA14).
My impression is that it's a "colorized" version of a classic British mountain climbing or hiking guidebook from decades ago. Not a glimmer of the revolutions sweeping publishing and information-sharing and outdoor navigation. But the content is detailed, careful, accurate, well-explained -- indispensable for the English-speaking via ferrata climber. And the overall context it provides really helps planning.

So even though there's lots of info about VF on the web, it's still worth it to buy this book - (assuming that you think that doing things on mountains + cliffs can have really serious consequences if you get some key detail wrong -- and assuming that you're actually going to read the descriptions more carefully + thoughtfully than you would most web pages)

If already own the first edition, kinda depends on how badly you want careful English-language descriptions of four new good climbs. (One of them, VF Sci Club 18, they have not given a route grade, but if you do a site-specific google search on bergsteigen.at, you can see the PDF of the climb topo with specific difficulty for each subsection -- I recommend grab that quick before the site removes it from public view).

Ken

 

 

 

 

#638 German versus Italian names Posted by KenR on
Wed Aug 04, 08:08 EDT 2010

There's lots of useful info on German-language websites (and guidebooks) about VF routes in Italy. But often it's difficult to find it, because Germans use different names for places + routes in the German-speaking region of Italy. Often they just ignore the Italian names.

On the other hand the English-language guidebooks often just ignore the German names. So it's hard to match up info about the same climb in two different languates.

So I made this list of
Italian + German names of VF routes
for about 25 climbs in German-speakng area of Italy.
So on that page you can do a text search on the Italian name, find the corresponding German name next to it, then search for the same climb on German-speaking websites + guidebooks. Or if you find some climb that looks interesting on a German website, you can then more quickly find it in the Fletcher + Smith guidebook or on Andrew's website here.

I also put the name of the mountain group (in both German + Italian) next to each climb, since many guidebooks + websites are organized that way.
(Note that the Fletcher + Smith guidebooks have an index of routes sorted by mountain group in the back of each volume).

Ken

 

#639 re: German versus Italian names (in reply-to message #638) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Aug 04, 22:19 EDT 2010

Thanks for the translation list, Ken. 

...Andrew

#640 Dolomites Via Ferrata Posted by Lior on
Mon Aug 09, 01:36 EDT 2010

We are a (nice) young couple (age 24) :)), intending to arrive at Italy on September 9th and have a taste of the Alta Via 2, emphasizing Via Ferrata's :))

We will arrive on Passo di San Pallegrino on 13/9/10 afternoon.
We would like to ask how is it possible to arrive from San Pallegrino to Rotwand mountain (we intend to do the Massare and Rotwand Via Ferrata)


If you have any suggestions, we will be more than happy to listen :))



Thank you so much for your time,

Kindly Your :))

Lior & Asaf

hlior8@gmail.com :))

#641 Cortina d'Ampezzo Posted by AJ on
Mon Aug 09, 01:52 EDT 2010

First of all, I would love to do the Alta Via routes!! 

I have a long 4 day weekend coming up this weekend and am going to Cortina to camp out just north of Fiames.  Unfortunately I will be going alone, most of my friends are going sight seeing to other parts of Europe with their families.  Any recommendations for some good routes to try? 

Andrew, were you able to get any good tracks from the new southern Dolomite routes you did last month?

AJ

#642 transportation from San Pallegrino to Massare Via Ferrata Posted by Lior on
Tue Aug 10, 09:32 EDT 2010

We are a (nice) young couple (age 24) :)), intending to arrive at Italy on September 9th and have a taste of the Alta Via 2, emphasizing Via Ferrata's :))

We will arrive on Passo di San Pallegrino on 13/9/10 afternoon.
We would like to ask how is it possible to arrive from San Pallegrino to Massare Via Ferrata in Val di Fassa? (we intend to do the Massare and Rotwand Via Ferrata)


If you have any suggestions, we will be more than happy to listen :))



Thank you so much for your time,

Kindly Your :))

Lior & Asaf

hlior8@gmail.com :))

#643 re: Cortina d'Ampezzo (in reply-to message #641) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Aug 10, 09:49 EDT 2010

Yes, I have good tracks now for the Ferrata del Centenario, and for two ferrate on the flanks of Cima Carega (can't remember the names right now).   Also now have a good track for the Tomaselli ferrata (not really a 'southern' ferrata, I know).

All of this will be updated on my ferrata pages at some point in the hopefully not too distant future!

...Andrew

AJ wrote:

First of all, I would love to do the Alta Via routes!! 

I have a long 4 day weekend coming up this weekend and am going to Cortina to camp out just north of Fiames.  Unfortunately I will be going alone, most of my friends are going sight seeing to other parts of Europe with their families.  Any recommendations for some good routes to try? 

Andrew, were you able to get any good tracks from the new southern Dolomite routes you did last month?

AJ

 

 

#644 rock-contact VF in Switzerland Posted by KenR on
Fri Aug 20, 14:23 EDT 2010

Friend of mine did some VF routes in Switzerland, reported two that had lots of climbing directly on rock (with the steel cable available for protection) -- for those few VF climbers who enjoy that sort of thing.

(1) Jegihorn VF near Saas Fee + Wiessmies hut in the midst of snowy 4000m peaks, with lifts to reduce the approach hike. Also has some (difficult) artificial sections, but he prized it for the sections of beautiful moves directly on rock.  Said it was at least as good as any he's done in the Dolomites (including Brigata Tridentina and Cesare Piazzeta).

(2) Baltschieder VF -- nice rock moves when you finally get to it, but the approach hike was very long with much unfun.

found a website for France VF which says which VF routes have lots of rock-contact and which do not: rather few routes with rock-contact.

Ken

 

#645 Rino Pisetta + Giulio Segata Posted by KenR on
Wed Sep 15, 17:14 EDT 2010

These VF routes are between Lake Garda and Trento, both at technical difficulty 5 in the Fletcher + Smith volume 2 guidebook - (Rino Pisetta = RIVA1, Giulio Segata = TRENT7) - which was very helpful for me being able doing them.

Rino Pisetta: I liked it -- interesting climbing, good scenery. It was hard. I had the good fortune to join up with a couple visiting from Munich which made it even more fun.

Rino Pisetta has a new parking place: latitude/longitude = approx (N46.04750 E10.95127), south of the parking given in most guidebooks. If coming from the north on the SS45bis (from Trento), after passing by Castel Toblino and driving alongside the lake, enter the town of Sarche (go past the old parking spot) to the intersection with the SS237. The SS45bis goes left toward Riva del Garda and the SS237 goes right toward Tione and other places. Take the right, then immediately turn right into a driveway (sign for via ferrata parking) and go past some sort of school to some sort of indoor bocce place.

Of course the hiking approach to the VF climb has also changed. Here's how it worked for me: From the back of the parking, go right (northeast) a short ways flat, then turn left and go up + up. A little ways right find an obvious trail going up. This is _not_ the way to the VF (I think it goes instead to some famous free rock climb). Instead traverse roughly level northeast, trail goes down a little, gets more overgrown, then meet an obvious track going up. Soon red-paint arrows -- this led us to the VF climb.

Difficulty: Using the Fletcher + Smith scale of difficulty 1-5, I had recently done Punta Anna (on Tofana) and Cesare Piazzeta (on Piz Boe), both rated difficulty 5. By comparison, I'd say that Rino Pisetta is 6+, based on the technical difficulty of the moves. It has moves and sections significantly more difficult than those high-mountain climbs, and _more_ of those moves. Really I wouldn't recommend Rino Pisetta to anybody who doesn't have solid technical free rock-climbing experience.

Polished rock? Didn't seem like a significant factor in the difficulty of the route -- but both the Munich climbers and I used shoes with high-friction climbing rubber, and it was a dry sunny day.

----------------------------

Giulio Segata I found at least as hard as Rino Pisetta in technical difficulty of the moves, but didn't find the moves as interesting. But the views and setting make it a fine mountain outing - (and the same loop of the three Monte Bondone peaks can be done with a much easier via ferrata.)

Giulio Segata is on Monte Bondone. I parked near Viote around lat/long = (N46.01779 E11.04592), because that's where the access road was gated. I couldn't find signs for the 607 hiking trail, so I headed up on a trail a bit farther west, which met the 607 trail later.

Via Ferrata starts by climbing up thru a steep tube in the rock, then more steep to a broad ledge which permits an escape. What comes next is harder. I felt one section was harder than Rino Pisetta because I find it more difficult to find footholds. Then it finished up thru another rock tube, which oddly is equipped with lots of artificial pegs for footholds - (so then why didn't the designers put more pegs on the crux section?).

Then I finished by descending the 636 trail, nice views going along a ridge on some pink stone. But then steep down into the valley which I did not enjoy. Next time I might do the loop of the three peaks in reverse so I could make a gentler descent on the 607 (then further west on another trail) -- also does the three peaks from low to high, and by saving Monte Cornetto until after the VF climb (if I did the hard VF next time), allows me to know if I have time for Cornetto.

Ken

 

#646 France via ferrata report Posted by KenR on
Thu Sep 16, 10:15 EDT 2010

I did some VF routes around the northern French Alps in early September. The French design style really is different from northeast Italy. Here's
my detailed reports
. . . with some opinions about which ones I liked better, and some key latitude/longitude points for GPS navigation.

I think it's true that some of the routes with more interesting climbing moves tend to be more strenuous than some of the interesting-climbing-move  routes in Italy. But I did specifically for arm-strength on overhanging "ladders", so I was able to enjoy those.

One route with climbing not harder than (Torrente) Rio Sallagoni in Italy was a delightful mountain day with great variety and scenery (Roc du Vent).

Also there are mountain routes around the French Alps which do have short cable or fixed-rope sections which are not included in most Via Ferrata guidebooks or websites -- but I suspect are similar to many of the difficulty level 1 routes included in the Fletcher + Smith guidebooks for northeast Italy. Try Pascal Sombardier's (beautiful) books for the Vercors + Chartreuse (esp his recently updated book, Chartreuse Inédite). Funny I was struck while doing VF Giulio Segata how much the Tre Cimes di Bondone in Italy felt like the Chartreuse mountains in France.

And I even found one route which allowed lots of free direct rock-contact climbing (if ignore the artificial holds and use the cable only for protection): VF des Perrons. I'll gladly do that one again.

I still prefer the Italian style of VF route, and many of the actual great routes in northeast Italy -- but France has lots to offer too (and not just via ferrata).

Ken

 

#647 re: Rino Pisetta + Giulio Segata (in reply-to message #645) Posted by Andrew on
Thu Sep 16, 18:21 EDT 2010

Hi, Ken

Thanks for the detailed beta.  very useful, and generous of you to post.

...Andrew

#648 Punta Anna + Cesare Piazetta Posted by KenR on
Fri Sep 17, 02:40 EDT 2010

These are two routes on 3000-meter mountains at difficulty level 5 in the Smith - Fletcher guidebook volume 1 (very helpful to me as usual), Punta Anna (CORT11) on Tofana de Mezzo and Cesare Piazetta (ARAB1) on Piz Boe.

The routes had a completely different character: Punta Anna is about interesting moves directly on rock in a variety of interesting rock situations. Cesare Piazetta is a "sport" ferrata that somehow found its way into the high mountains, lots of cable-hauling in the hard part.

Punta Anna

Lots more good details + photos about this one already here on Andrew's website -- just click the link on the left side of this page. I much liked Andrew's idea of taking the cable-car down, but I only had just arrived in Italy in a rush, and had not checked some critical details ahead. A late-night reconnoiter suggested that the chairlift up to Rfg Pomedes might not be operating this late in September, so instead I parked at Rfg Dibona.

Some good news: The lower part of the road up to is now paved. The bad news is that there's often a sharp 15cm drop-off from the edge of the asphalt to the ground -- so need to be very careful negotiating for space with oncoming vehicles. (Also note that when coming up from Cortina on the SS48, it's a Right turn at km 113.8, not a left.)

Warned about the length of the route, I started before dawn. Straightforward hike on trail 421 up to Rfg Pomedes -- took a break there -- seemed nice, would have been glad to take the lift up the afternoon before and spent the night there.

Wonderful climbing free directly on the rock (though I did grab the cable for aid on a couple of the moves). Then after the top of Punta Anna I started encountering snow. Lost the route once because the red paint marks were buried. My feet started getting wet from walking in the snow. As I reached the Torri Gianni wind gap, I was knee-deep in snow and my fingers were freezing from freeing the cable from underneath the snow.
Crossing the gap looked a bit questionable with the loose slopes on both sides covered by fresh snow -- protection? by an old rope. And it was clear from watching for a couple of ours that the summit cable-car was not operating. Though I was eager to try the optional tower ascent and the exposed traverse just ahead, the thought of having to come back over the same gap just didn't work for me.

So I turned around and went back, found the "escape" trail marked toward Sentiero Olivieri, followed that down in mushy snow (hoping I would not slip and sprain an ankle) -- glad I wasn't doing it even later in the day. Then reached the actual VF Sentiero Olivieri mostly dry (though my feet were still plenty soaked) with some welcome cable sections, back to Rfg Pomedes, then 421 down to Rfg Dibona and my car.

A great route even without going to the summit. Hope to do it again -- though next time I'll first check what days the lifts are running. Though it's an advantage for my style of free climbing with hands on rock for there to be few people so I can work out the moves without feeling rushed.

(Warning: although it has difficulty level 5, do not think that success here means you are ready take on lower-altitude "sport" routes like Rino Pisetta or Giulio Segata: they are dramatically more strenuous, and Rino Pisetta has fewer "escapes")
----------------------------------------------------------

Cesare Piazetta

Starts at Passo Pordoi, on the road between Canazei and Arabba. South-facing, so I dared to hope I could do it despite the snow. Marmolada was plastered with bright white. On some north-facing slopes there was snow on the grass down to 2000m. Wonderful for the views that day.

My problem with this route is that the hard part is a "sport" climb, but most of the rest is easier, with lots of hiking below and above. If it's going to be a sport climb, then let's have lots of that (e.g. Rino Pisetta). If it's supposed to be a pretty mountain walk, then let's focus on that.

This was my first climb with lots of cable-hauling. I tried to find some hand-holds, but most were sloping -- not positive enough for my level of free rock-climbing ability on such a steep wall. The upside was that I discovered how fast I could climb by grabbing the cable. Which turned out to be important, since I made it it to the top-station of the lift with only 15 minutes to spare.

The idea of Smith + Fletcher of parking near the mausoleum was excellent -- though a bit tricky to find the road. There is now marked parking specifically for the via ferrata before reaching the mausoleum. Then it's a significant hike up to the start of the VF.

Funny thing was when I arrived at the base of the wall, there was a party of about ten English-speakers preparing to start climbing. So I had a full audience for my first try at steep cable-hauling. When I reached the bridge I looked down and there were three of them still waiting to start.

The hut at the top of the peak was nice, the hike down and across the plateau was spectacular with fresh snow -- fortunately only patches were starting to re-freeze after the heat of the day. Sections well-trodden by hikers were getting slick.

Great mountain outing -- not sure I need to do the strenuous climbing again.

(If you thought Cesare Piazetta was easy, then maybe you're ready for Rino Pisetta)

Ken

 

#649 re: Punta Anna + Cesare Piazetta (in reply-to message #648) Posted by KenR on
Fri Sep 17, 05:16 EDT 2010

Some (approximate) latitude/longitude waypoints for GPS navigation: 

Punta Anna

  • bottom station of chairlift up to Rfg Pomedes : (N46.54068 E12.09841)
  • turn-off from SS48 to road to bottom station : (N46.53698 E12.12372)
  • parking by Rfg Dibona : (N46.53254 E12.07058)
  • turn-off from SS48 to road to Rfg Dibona : (N46.52174 E12.08463)
  • Rifugio Pomedes : (N46.53628 E12.07694)

Cesare Piazetta

  • parking near Mausoleum for Via Ferrata : (N46.49121 E11.82777)
  • turn-off for parking from main road at Passo Pordoi : (N46.48746 E11.81269)

Sorry, I didn't have my GPS with my while actually climbing. I was so overawed by the thought that I was attempting my first high-mountain difficulty 5 routes that I wanted to save weight - (same for the lack of photos -- anyway Andrew has already done it so thoroughly for Punta Anna).

Ken

 

#650 Rodella -- new VF up in mountains Posted by KenR on
Sun Sep 19, 00:58 EDT 2010

Rodella is in the Dolomites near the Sella pass between Canazei + Selva (SELVA6 in the new edition of the Smith + Fletcher guidebook, rated 3A). Key advantages for us were easy access from the Campitello lift, great views, and well-protected climbing on sound rock. Downside is that it's short. Some photos here.

If they added a couple more metal holds in one or two places, it might be the best "starter" climb in the Dolomites - (It has roughly as much climbing as Cirspitze / Piz da Cir V nearby, but without the ugly descent gully).

There's one move that seemed a bit overhanging. We solved that by bringing a short rope and belay device, so I set up a belay off one of the anchor pegs and gave Sharon some tension on the rope to get thru that. There were a couple of other short steep sections, but for those she could substitute her climbing skill for strength, so she felt no need for a belay.

I found lots of places where I could climb "free" with my hands directly on the rock using the cable only for protection -- with some "slab" sections not yet polished.  But since we stayed roped together the whole time (it was Sharon's first difficulty level 3 climb), I was focused much more on managing the rope and coordinating closely with her moves.

We were staying down in the beautiful wide Adige valley / Etschtal, and we drove over Passo Costalunga / Karerpass -- but returned by the main Val di Fassa road SS48 and found that it had new tunnels to bypass more of the villages, so much faster + easier than it used to be. We parked at the Campitello di Fassa bottom station for the Col Rodella lift -- GPS lat/long = approx (N46.47491 E11.74536).

Followed the Smith + Fletcher directions -- correct and helpful, except now it's much easier since the access trail has become well-trodden, and there was a ribbon flag marking a good place to put on our via ferrata equipment, around (N46.49445 E11.74873), though perhaps the actual climbing starts more like (N46.4946 E11.7487).

Climb finishes (N46.49542 E11.74819) at a terrace restaurant with big views in all directions. Sharon wanted to celebrate with a snack, but service was so slow that we gave up and just walked back down the obvious trail (a bit steep, but mostly smooth) to Refuge des Alpes (N46.49656 E11.75123), then an obvious level walk to the Col Rodella lift top station (N46.49554 E11.75129).
(btw while I can understand why the lift company might want to name the climb "Col Rodella", I see no reason why we should go along with that, since neither the start nor finish nor middle of the climb are at any sort of col or pass. So I'm just calling "Rodella").

Then we had plenty of time for another via ferrata in the afternoon.

Ken

 

#651 Rio Sallagoni Posted by KenR on
Sun Sep 19, 01:59 EDT 2010

Andrew already has a fine description with lots of good photos -- click the link on right side of this page. We had a very fun time there, my second time, and I hope more times to come.  It's a special place -- popular with good reason -- still people starting out at 16:00 on a weekend afternoon.

Another advantage is that a nice wide asphalt road connects between the top and bottom, which offers creative possibilties for avoiding down-walking, which is hard on some people's knees + ankles. Andrew mentions using two cars. Another is a car and a bicycle. What we did is for Sharon to have a snack and read a book at a picnic table by the castle, while I ran down some trails back to the car, then drove up to retrieve her.

Note that it is not simple to follow the trails down -- don't count on making it without the careful description in the Fletcher + Smith guidebook (sorry I didn't have my GPS with me on the actual climb). Or you could walk/run down the road, but that would be much longer, unless with bicycle.

Difficulty of the climb is controversial: Fletcher + Smith vol 2 says its 4A, Andrew on this website says more like 2A. One of the German-language guidebooks says it's D (on a scale off A to E), another says it's only C.

My assessment from doing it twice and watching other people: It seemed like no problem to me. But soon after the start of the climb, Sharon and I were held up by a loud conversation in Italian. After five or ten minutes, a young woman appeared above and indicated she wanted to climb down in retreat (not so fun on the polished rock). So at least somebody thought there was some special difficulty in this route.

Since she had seen the photos and talked with me, Sharon had trained with special hanging exercises about twice a week for a month-and-a-half before our trip, so she was able to make it thru -- also figuring out some tricks for resting.
Warning: If you're not tall it can be difficult to make a "cows tail" sling reach the cable in some critical places, so might be good to arrange to bring a special slightly longer resting sling for this route.

2nd Warning: There isn't much that a stronger partner can do to help, even if bring a rope. And it's not clear how to "rescue" a weaker climber if they ran out of strength and fell and was left hanging down below the cable.

Our plan (other than special training in advance) was that if Sharon didn't feel confident seeing the first steep traverse section (where the Italian woman was stopped), we would immediately give up and go try VF Colodri instead.

btw Sharon also found a strenuous move on the upper gorge section -- to get up onto a first rung kinda high off the ground. In this case perhaps a stronger partner could help by giving a "boost" (while standing with both feet in the water).

Parking: Lots of people have been using a different parking area which is a little closer to the bottom of the climb: GPS lat/long approx (N45.97160 E10.93362) -- though there's some other parking areas nearby a little further up the hill. Parking by the castle near the top - approx (N45.97041 E10.94016).

Ken

 

#652 Rio Secco Posted by KenR on
Sun Sep 19, 02:47 EDT 2010

Another delightful gorge route, TRENT3 in the Fletcher + Smith vol 2 guidebook, difficulty 5B (difficulty rating D in the modern German guidebooks). Fun climb, seemed like everybody else out that Friday afternoon were locals enjoying it yet again (one of them without benefit of a via ferrata kit).

Lots of interesting "free" moves with hands + feet directly on the rock (if confident at 5b or 5c), using the cable only for protection, and avoiding many of the metal pegs. But also at least one substantial steep maybe overhanging section where I was surely hauling on the cable. Much of the rock is polished (I guess from the flow of water, if not the feet of climbers). But sometimes there are amazing holds in pockets or even "handles" in the rock. Fun to discover that on an overhanging traverse when at first sight it looked for sure like I would need to hang on the cable.

I'll gladly do it again. But next time I hope with some water flowing. Funny because the guidebooks rightly warn about the problem of too much water. But in early September there was no water (could it be that the Italian word "secco" means "dry"?) -- perhaps easier for free climbing, but would have magical with the sound of water flowing.

I recall the Fletcher + Smith guidebook warning about a couple of unprotected crossings of the creek -- so I brought a short rope. This time no issue for me, because no water. I guess with a substantial flow of water there would be the danger of slipping and getting swept downstream into a nasty collision with a rock or something. So perhaps in that case I could loop the rope around a cable anchor on one side of the creek, belay myself while crossing (with a belay device or Munter hitch), then after making it across safely, retrieve the rope by pulling on end.

The trail down is rather steep, and exposed in places. Some might want to keep their via ferrate kit on.

Parking: There's a big lot by the restaurant (N46.21754 E11.15276) across the road from the approach trail. I assume that's privately owned. Seemed like lots of people (though not me) parked there -- I don't know if they asked the restaurant managers first, since I only saw them depart. In the past some have suggested parking in a "layby" across the road from the restaurant -- but now that's become nicely-designed bus stop. So I suggest coming prepared to have a snack at the restaurant before the climb and having enough Italian or German to ask if it's OK to park there -- or get more creative about finding another legal place to park.

Ken

 

#653 VF Favogna / Fennberg klettersteig Posted by KenR on
Sun Sep 19, 03:14 EDT 2010

This one is TRENT2 in the Fletcher + Smith guidebook second volume, difficulty 2B.  In the AlpinVerlag.at guidebook it's C (on a scale of A to E).

I haven't actually done it. I mention it because it's another climb with the possibility of avoiding down-walking by means of a two-car shuttle or a car+bike shuttle. I did check out the top and bottom, and there's nice asphalt road (by way of Kurtatsch / Cortaccia), mostly wide, connecting pretty close to both ends.

GPS lat/long approx:

  • parking at bottom of route : (N46.25651 E11.20422)
     . . just N of the boundary between Sudtirol and Trentino.
  • bottom of (steep) asphalt road : (N46.31111 E11.22318)
  • top of climbing : (N46.27007 E11.19215)
  • parking near top of climbing : (N46.27275 E11.18176)
  • ? possible ? drink - snack (gasthof) near top of VF ? : (N46.27227 E11.18648)
    . . for some to wait while others come back with the car
  • more likely drink - snack (gasthof) like 2.5-3km N of top of VF : (N46.29327 E11.18321)
  • top of hiking trail back down to village Magre / Maigre : (N46.27247 E11.18908)
    . . but Magre is like 3.5km from parking by bottom of VF

Car+Bike shuttle: Note that the road overall is pretty steep, and some sections are very steep. Since the main bicycle for Sharon + me is a tandem, that road seems too long and steep for us to ride down comfortably. For a single bike, make sure your brakes are in good order, perhaps stop partway down and check how hot the rims are getting (unless you have disc brakes).

Another idea is for me to hike down the trail while Sharon waits at the top with a snack and a book. But then it's still a long ways from the bottom of the trail to the VF parking -- better if I had a bike spotted in Magre / Maigre?

Still another idea is for me to down-climb the via ferrata to retreive the car, then drive up the road to pick up Sharon -- save her knees + ankles from the impact of down-walking.

Ken

 

 

#654 Monte Albano Posted by AJ on
Mon Sep 20, 09:14 EDT 2010

   I consider myself a novice via ferrata climber.  I've only completed 2 different ferrata's multiple times.  I just tried out Monte Albano for the first time.  A buddy and I went out there not knowing what to expect, we just bought a topographic map of the area and saw a ferrata and decided to check it out. 

My buddy being the brave one trying to show off initially led the way, the first 12 feet are somewhat unprotected, he is not used to that type of climbing.  He made it up to the small initial traverse and realized he wasn't prepared to this type of "sport" climb.  I led the way to the escape route at which point, he didn't want to proceed any further.  Not what I expected to hear form him!!!  The shoes did make a difference, his had absolutely no grip and slid everywhere.  I had standard hiking boots and they did a decent job.  Hopefully he can work up the nerve to make this entirely vertical climb.  I need a buddy to go with me!  Does anybody know when the snow starts coming down in the southern mountains? 

#655 next wave in VF route design Posted by KenR on
Tue Sep 21, 14:45 EDT 2010

I've just done four of the new via ferrata ("kettersteig" in German) in Austria + southern Germany, and I'm seeing a different approach to route design than other places.

Seems like a combination of the best of Italian and French.

The key French idea is that lots of people like to try moves on steeper rock, even overhanging: So why not give them nice handholds so they can succeed in doing it - (instead of forcing them to haul on the cable).

The Italian idea is to let the feet find holds directly on the rock as much as possible. Or if a foothold is necessary, then keep it small.
(The problem with many French climbs is that they provide many more and much bigger footholds than are necessary. They take the helpful idea of better handholds but get carried away with installing more holds of all kinds).

Most people can climb steeper (and longer) by using steel handles and horizontal bars than by holding onto a close-to-vertical steel cable. Using handles and horizontal feels more like pull-ups and chin-ups, feels more like a natural form of climbing. Yes it takes more arm strength to climb a steeper or overhanging section (not necessarily more technique), but most people that arm strength is a reasonable challenge to expect when climbing a steep rock -- a challenge they want to take on, in an approporiate "dose" for their current level. Artificial handles and horizontal bars deliver on that more than hauling up on a cable.

Now there has been some buzz around the "Arena variante" as the hardest VF climb in the world (find the YouTube video) -- which features climbing an overhanging section by cable-hauling, not handles. I'm saying I think that's a "dead end" -- not the future of hard VF climbs.

The future is more like the Nasenwand in Ginzling (which also has YouTube videos) -- radical overhang with holds. And three other new climbs I've tried in Austria also have (less radical, shorter) overhangs with nice hand-holds to grab. (Same in France.) Even the "family"-oriented climb I tried today near Mayrhofen Austria had an overhang move (or two).

Yes Italy had some vertical ladders on moderate climbs (not very interesting). And has some vertical stuff in the hardest climbs, but it's not as radical or not as "accessible" to as many people as in the newer Austria + many France climbs, because it's based on cable-hauling. But what exactly is so ennobling about pulling up an an artificial steep cable instead of artificial steel handles?

Seems to me it's easy enough for Italy to go in the same direction with new climbs (or new variations, or re-designs) of old ones. They just have to decide if they want to -- or jump past that to some other new style.

Ken

 

#656 via ferrata gloves Posted by KenR on
Tue Sep 21, 15:02 EDT 2010

Anybody got some creative ideas about wearing gloves for VF climbing?

Before my latest trip to Italy, I bought my first pair of special "via ferrata" gloves -- which leave the fingertips open. Exactly the same as pictured in the intro section of one of the German-language guidebooks.

Then I climbed three of the harder difficulty 5 "cable-hauling" climbs in Italy -- and I got pretty bad blisters on the second-link-in-from-the-tip of two fingers on my right hand -- actually tore some skin off.

(One of my German buddies said the same thing had happened to him.)

So I had to lay off steep Italian-style climbs for a few days just to let my skin start healing.

Today I tried full-finger gloves (light mountain-bike gloves but with no gel padding) on a couple of steep climbs, and that worked much better.

My interpretation: "via ferrata" gloves sorta look like they might protect the skin on that second link of the finger, but in the thick of real climbing on serious steeps, they don't do it well enough.

Looking at the video of the guy doing the toughest VF cable-hauling climb in the world ("Arena variant"), I noticed that he semed to be wearing full-finger gloves but with just a centimeter on each tip cut off. My finding was that the very tip sometimes gets caught in the gate of a carabiner. So maybe cutting it off avoids that -- but at the cost of making it more difficult to take the glove off after the climb is over.

Ken

#657 re: via ferrata gloves (in reply-to message #656) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Sep 22, 19:14 EDT 2010

Hi, Ken

I should incorporate a special section on my VF site for you - you are contributing a whole bunch of good stuff!

As far as gloves go, I use a set of  Metolius ones, which so far have not caused me any blisters.  Although quite frankly you're doing way more ferrate than I am, so perhaps there's an issue with the fact that I haven't used them continuously enough.

...Andrew

#658 re: via ferrata gloves (in reply-to message #657) Posted by KenR on
Thu Sep 23, 18:58 EDT 2010

Those do look like rather nice gloves. With finger protection that looks like mine.

Maybe you're on the right track that I just climbed too many tough cable-grabber style climbs in too short a time -- didn't give my skin time to build sppropriate callus protection in response.

But now there will be time for healing, since I'm going to be away from via ferrata climb regions for a while -- so there will also be a rest from my reports.

Ken

 

 

 

#659 Austria reports Posted by KenR on
Thu Sep 23, 19:15 EDT 2010

I put reports for some via ferratas I've done recently in Austria (with a couple in southern Germany) on this
Austria reports page
. (I'm pretty excited about the new VF routes in Austria, and do like that Sharon + I can get to it from the Munich airport without having to get thru the Brenner pass traffic.)

I also put my Italy reports (previously posted here), with some minor revisions + additions, on this
Italy reports page

Along that, a revised version of my report about road-cycling in the Adige river valley around Trento and Tramin/Termeno and Bozen / Bolzano -- sort of between the Dolomites and lake Garda. This valley has some nice VF climbs (already in the English + German guidebooks), and is in reasonable driving range of lots of nice VF climbs in both the western Dolomites, Brenta, and lake Garda area. But we first started going there before we knew about via ferrata climbs, for the fun + pretty road-cycling around the border between Trentino and Sudtirol. So here's this
cycling report around Trento + Tramin + Bozen

Ken

 


 

#660 Monte Albano Posted by AJ on
Sun Sep 26, 12:35 EDT 2010

WOOHOO!!!   6 blisters and a near death experience by my partner and we completed Monte Albano!

#661 Discussion forums Posted by kenr on
Thu Sep 30, 09:57 EDT 2010

Another place to talk about via ferrata, especially outside northest Italy: 

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/i.php?f=2

 . . ("Rock Destinations" forum on UKClimbing)

Active discussion going there right now.

I also tried posting about via ferrata on a USA-oriented climbing forum, but mostly it provoked (amusing) rejection of the unfamiliar.

(If Andrew wants to make this message board on alavigne.net into a major "destination" for VF discussion as it already is for route descriptions and photos, then I suggest: (a) add other forum sections for other countries; (b) get more heavy-duty forum-hosting software; (c) promote it somehow.)

Ken

 

#662 re: Help (in reply-to message #28) Posted by Toerag on
Fri Oct 01, 04:47 EDT 2010

Juan Carlos - have a look at the boltproducts website, they can sell you everything you need to build a ferrata. There are two ways to secure the cable - one is to clamp it directly to the anchor posts as in modern austrian ferrata, the other is to clamp the cable to itself at each anchor as in french ferrata. I would suggest making sure the cable is clamped at every single anchor instead of letting it run freely through some of them.

#663 re: Discussion forums (in reply-to message #661) Posted by Andrew on
Fri Oct 01, 15:52 EDT 2010

Curious... what was the name of this climbing forum?

Regarding your suggestions... thanks.   Increasing the profile of the via ferrata section of my web page is indeed something that would be nice, but first I've got other more general restructuring on these pages that I have to do.  And I may indeed expand the functionality of my self-written forum software at some point.

Maybe I should consider creating a special 'KenR'  VF content section somewhere.   After all, you've posted a huge amount in this forum; maybe it should be an actual sub-page somewhere here.

...Andrew

kenr wrote:

Another place to talk about via ferrata, especially outside northest Italy: 

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/i.php?f=2

 . . ("Rock Destinations" forum on UKClimbing)

Active discussion going there right now.

I also tried posting about via ferrata on a USA-oriented climbing forum, but mostly it provoked (amusing) rejection of the unfamiliar.

(If Andrew wants to make this message board on alavigne.net into a major "destination" for VF discussion as it already is for route descriptions and photos, then I suggest: (a) add other forum sections for other countries; (b) get more heavy-duty forum-hosting software; (c) promote it somehow.)

Ken

 

 

 

#664 New routes posted Posted by Andrew on
Sat Oct 02, 20:11 EDT 2010

Well, after several of KenR's route reports, it's time for me to post my own descriptions of ferrate that I've recently done (you'll also find all of this integrated into the main pages, but I thought I'd post the links here, too):

I've also got an entry for the most excellent grade-5 Tomaselli Ferrata, but that's not ready yet.  I'll post the link for that very soon.

...Andrew

 

#665 re: New routes posted (in reply-to message #664) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Oct 03, 10:48 EDT 2010

Two more new routes now posted:

...Andrew

#666 re: New routes posted (in reply-to message #665) Posted by AJ on
Wed Oct 06, 06:41 EDT 2010

Andrew, thanks for the new additions, they are definitely in my neck of the woods.  I am all about having GPS support, do you have tracks for the new routes that you are going to post up?  I'm heading out to Riva del Garda Sunday and looking forward to trying out that one.  Is there a loop route that you would recommend?

#667 re: New routes posted (in reply-to message #666) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Oct 06, 07:31 EDT 2010

Hi, AJ

I've put a .gpx track file for the VF Centenario route in my VF GPS Data Dropbox here.

As you know, that one is a traverse (over to Biacesa).   If you want a loop, then just follow the signs to path 404 and descend back down on path 404 (this itinerary is described in the Fletcher/Smith guidebook).

...Andrew

AJ wrote:

Andrew, thanks for the new additions, they are definitely in my neck of the woods.  I am all about having GPS support, do you have tracks for the new routes that you are going to post up?  I'm heading out to Riva del Garda Sunday and looking forward to trying out that one.  Is there a loop route that you would recommend?

 

 

#668 Via Ferrata & Skiing in April? in the Alps? Posted by Andrew on
Sat Oct 09, 09:08 EDT 2010

Hi,

We're planning to drive to the Alps next April for some Via Ferrata, White water raftin and Skiing/Snowboarding. I expect April isn't the best season for any of the above..

Can anyone recommened places that might be good that  time of year?

Any advice you be appreciated

#669 re: Via Ferrata & Skiing in April? in the Alps? (in reply-to message #668) Posted by Andrew on
Sat Oct 09, 21:44 EDT 2010

Well, as far as Via Ferrata-ing goes, in April you are basically looking at the Lake Garda region.   And not far away you'd be able to get skiing in, too, I'm sure.   As far as white water rafting... I'm no expert in that area, so I'm not sure.

...Andrew

#670 Centanario Posted by AJ on
Tue Oct 12, 01:55 EDT 2010

Andrew, just completed the VF Centanario above Riva D/G.  It was a pretty nice hike up, some guys in my group were a little disturbed with the ladders.  I personally would have liked there to have been more rock climbing, less ladders, but you can't please everyone. 

We ended up taking the trail back to Riva, that was a rough downhill hike!  I'll probably do it again.  The trail junction just past the summit was a little different than described.  I should have taken a picture of it, but at the time didn't think about it.  I'm hoping next weekend to try out the ferrata on the north western side of Garda that has the ski-lift bringing you back down.

#671 re: Centanario (in reply-to message #670) Posted by KenR on
Sun Oct 17, 21:21 EDT 2010

I'd love to know about a VF near Garda with a lift available for descent.

Any clue on the name or location?

AJ wrote:
I'm hoping next weekend to try out the ferrata on the north western side of Garda that has the ski-lift bringing you back down.

 

 

#672 re: Centanario (in reply-to message #671) Posted by AJ on
Tue Oct 19, 01:02 EDT 2010

 

It's called Via Ferrata delle Taccole, it's on the via-ferrata.de website, but doesn't give many details just pictures and it shows a picture of a route, but you can't zoom in or anything.  It's around the eastern side of the lake, it starts in the town of Assenza di Brenzone.  I've got to get in a couple more climbs before the snow gets too bad.  I wish I could of tried out some of the bigger ones in Cortina this summer but didn't make time.

 

 

KenR wrote:
 

I'd love to know about a VF near Garda with a lift available for descent.

Any clue on the name or location?

AJ wrote:
I'm hoping next weekend to try out the ferrata on the north western side of Garda that has the ski-lift bringing you back down.

 

 

 

 

#673 re: Taccole (in reply-to message #672) Posted by KenR on
Thu Oct 21, 23:55 EDT 2010

Taccole is in both the English-language guidebook by Fletcher + Smith (volume 2) as ROVER7.

There's a lift involved, which most climbers would take up as well as down. You have to hike + climb at least 700 meters from the lift to the top. Then at least 700 meters hiking + climbing back down.

Lots of VF routes in Italy are like that.
There are also a few special routes where you can do much less vertical with human muscle going down than climbing up: e.g. Cesare Piazetta, Sci Club 18, and if you plan it and time it right, on Tofana di Mezzo -- because there's a lift to take you down: a lift which you did not first take up.

Taccole is not one of the those special routes.

AJ wrote:

> It's called Via Ferrata delle Taccole, it's on the via-ferrata.de website,
> but doesn't give many details just pictures and it shows a picture of a
> route, but you can't zoom in or anything.

If you would purchase the English-language guidebook, you might be able to learn lots more helpful details about VF climbs.
(There's also a German-language guidebook with lots of helpful detail about Taccole).

Ken

 

 

#674 re: Taccole (in reply-to message #673) Posted by AJ on
Mon Oct 25, 03:41 EDT 2010

 

Thanks for the info.  I have the English guide books, unfortunatley I do most of my route finding here on the internet.  The books are a little harder to figure out. 

I just did Centanario this weekend with my wife.  It went well, it was her first bigger climb, unfortunately it was foggy the entire day.  There was snow on the other peaks, but luckily none on the area we climbed at. 

Do you think it would be possible to do a ferrata in snow and ice with the proper gear?  I'm moving back to the US next summer and will probably miss out on another climbing season here.

 

 

KenR wrote:
 

Taccole is in both the English-language guidebook by Fletcher + Smith (volume 2) as ROVER7.

There's a lift involved, which most climbers would take up as well as down. You have to hike + climb at least 700 meters from the lift to the top. Then at least 700 meters hiking + climbing back down.

Lots of VF routes in Italy are like that.
There are also a few special routes where you can do much less vertical with human muscle going down than climbing up: e.g. Cesare Piazetta, Sci Club 18, and if you plan it and time it right, on Tofana di Mezzo -- because there's a lift to take you down: a lift which you did not first take up.

Taccole is not one of the those special routes.

AJ wrote:

> It's called Via Ferrata delle Taccole, it's on the via-ferrata.de website,
> but doesn't give many details just pictures and it shows a picture of a
> route, but you can't zoom in or anything.

If you would purchase the English-language guidebook, you might be able to learn lots more helpful details about VF climbs.
(There's also a German-language guidebook with lots of helpful detail about Taccole).

Ken

 

 

 

 

#675 Via Ferratas in winter? Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Mon Oct 25, 10:09 EDT 2010

 Hi AJ

In a fairly mild winter, with limited snowfalls, then some of the routes in the Lake Garda area are certainly possible - if you manage to choose the right spell of weather. However, the last couple of winters have seen more snow than at any time in the last 20 years, and at a relatively low altitude. Also, don’t forget that it’s not just snow you need to consider, but the likelihood of coming across water ice. Crampons are sometimes invaluable, although if conditions are such that you have to consider taking an ice axe as well, then I suggest you think very hard before proceeding. Ferratas frequently follow natural drainage lines, and I’ve sometimes had to retreat from a route because the cables were encased in a thick layer of rock hard ice.

The Dolomite ferratas, on the other hand, are generally out of the question during the winter months. Having said that, the lines that they follow are sometimes climbed, but they have to be viewed as full-blown alpine winter climbing, and not ferrata climbing which, let’s face it, sits at the easier end of the climbing spectrum. With 3 metres of snow cover, you’re not going to be able to locate the cables on many routes, whilst the normal descent routes are often quite challenging ‘sci alpininismo’ lines.

Graham


#676 re: Via Ferratas in winter? (in reply-to message #675) Posted by AJ on
Mon Oct 25, 14:05 EDT 2010

Thanks Graham.  I picked up some snow shoes last winter and am buying some crampons in the next couple of days along with a set of mountaineering axes.  I'm not planning on going crazy, but want to try out some of the easier ferrata's if possible.  I remember last winter trying out Gaetano Falcipieri when it was covered in snow, that was definitely a NO-GO.  It was my first time trying to hike up a mountain in snow, and it was my first time trying out that ferrata.  I think I want to give it a try this winter when the snow is pretty bad...  Just to see how it goes.  Now that I have done it several times in the summer, I think I know it pretty well.

I was also thinking about the lower ones in Fiames north of Cortina, I've hiked that area, but had no clue where the ferrata's were covered in snow last year so I wasn't able to try them in the winter.  I wish I would have had time to get into climbing last year when I first moved here, but I made the most of this year.  I have 8 months left in Italy and want to make the best of it.

#677 Sent. G. Falcipieri in winter Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Tue Oct 26, 10:45 EDT 2010

 Hi AJ

I guess this route is quite a good choice, since it's at a relatively low altitude, and is quite easy. Two points occur to me though: there are several passages of unprotected scrambling on the route which are easy enough in summer but, depending on the conditions, might be more serious in winter. I assume you'll not be alone, so I suggest you take a rope, and make sure that your climbing partner knows how to set up a belay. The other point is about your return route. If, like most people, you return to your starting point along the Strada delle 52 Gallerie, then you might well find some of the tunnels blocked by snow. I recall doing this route early in June a few years ago, and having to dig my way through some very hard old snow in several of the tunnels. Having to make a diversion to avoid a major blockage might create a whole lot of new problems! 

Anyway, best of luck, and let us know how you get on. Graham

#678 Tunnels Posted by AJ on
Tue Oct 26, 13:42 EDT 2010

I attempted the tunnels earlier this year when they were blocked by the snow.  I would definitely take the back road route to the parking lot.  I took my kids to the tunnel route and had to dig trails through the snow to allow them to be able to pass.  I definitely won't do a ferrata alone in the winter.  I just need to find somebody with some common sense willing to join me!

#679 re: Via Ferratas in winter? (in reply-to message #676) Posted by KenR on
Tue Oct 26, 22:53 EDT 2010

The next couple of months are not just a dangerous time to try Via Ferratas in the mountains of northeast Italy -- also a dangerous time to do almost anything in the mountains, including hiking on snowshoes.

Because weak layers form under the snow, which make it easy to trigger avalanches. This year could be especially bad because the early winter is predicted to be unusually cold (which forms more + bigger weak layers in the snowpack).

Skiing -- The managers of ski areas have long experience in protecting the groomed marked ski runs (both downhill and cross-country) from avalanches triggered on or above -- so that's a less risky way to get out in the mountains. The skiing culture in Italy is different from USA, so could be a special experience before returning. (Some interesting cross-country ski trails at Monte Bondone - Viote near Trento, and Gallio - Campomulo - Enego on the Asiago plateau. Scenic famous downhill skiing trails around the Sella group and Cortina, and other places)

Climbing -- If you really need to do some "climbing" thing now, perhaps the least risky option is to get into "sport climbing". Arguably safer than via ferrata climbing, but takes lots more learning time and intelligence and discipline.

Lots lots more sport-climbing routes in Italy + Europe + USA + the world than via ferrata -- so you have lots more choices of safer places to climb in early winter. Anyway can start learning it in an indoor climbing gym. Once you make the investment in learning, can transfer it to lots of other times + places.

One area world-famous for lots of great sport-climbing, including south-facing for warmth, is
Arco.

Ken

 

#680 VF kits: different types + different risks Posted by KenR on
Tue Oct 26, 23:29 EDT 2010

So far I know of two or three different kinds of Via Ferrata kits. There are two main ways the popular ones use to absorb the impact of a fall: (a) by the friction of rope going around a sharp bend; (b) by ripping out thread stitching. (Possible third new kind is Skylotec, friction against the steel cable, but not much experience with that yet.)

My new concern is about spinal injuries in VF climbing.

My understanding -- be glad if somebody corrects it -- is that the big advantage of type (a) is that it's somewhat re-usable. If you fall once on a route, you could configure it roughly back to its original state, and it might be (almost) as safe for a second fall as the first. Unlike thread stitching, where once you rip it out, you cannot easily restore it out there on a climb -- so if fall again that day, something might break with a serious result.

The big advantage of type (b) is reliable absorption of impact in a variety of different fall scenarios: because it works by hundreds of different stitches. So even if some don't perform correctly or are even defective, the overall result is roughly what is expected and helpful. The friction method of type (a) is normally used by serious climbers for actions with close active human control (belaying and rappeling) in order to quickly compensate for unexpected behaviors of the friction component.

When I got into VF climbing, I liked the idea of re-usability, so I purchased a VF kit of type (a). But now that I've done lots of VF routes, I think it's pretty unlikely that I would fall -- unless I was deliberately taking some extra risk (e.g. climbing free without grabbing the cable, or trying a route at the limit of my strength). Therefore if I switched to a type (b) device, and I did fall and rip out most of the stitching, then for the rest of that climb I could make sure not to any extra risk, and finish with no significant risk of failure.

Spinal injury: 
If I'm out in a city park, and I climb up a wall six feet high and jump off down to the ground, the impact comes first on my legs, then to my spine. My legs are strong, so excellent shock absorbers.
If I'm on a Via Ferrata climb, and I fall six feet to the last cable anchor, the impact comes directly to my spine - (less what the VF device absorbs.)
Think like "whiplash" in an automobile accident.
Probably won't kill me, but it might take me months or years to recover.

Serious rock climbers worry a lot about this kind of "high fall factor" impact: one reason is that it can break equipment, another is spinal injuries.

I was there when a guy fell on a well-protected VF climb with well-designed modern cable-anchor attachments (French style). No sign of blood or bruises, but he was not still OK. He and his partner had to retreat (fortunately it was near the start of the climb).

So now I'm thinking I want to switch to a system with the best possible shock absorption, never mind re-usability. Perhaps there is a way to insert a thread-stitch absorber into my type (a) kit, but more likely it's time for me to purchase a type (b) VF kit (? or Skylotec ?).

(Belayed VF?  I also think that this risk of spinal injury on "well-protected" VF routes is a good reason for less-capable VF climbers to be belayed while climbing any section where they might fall.)

Be glad for some corrections, additions, or suggestions.

Ken

 

#681 re: VF kits: different types + different risks (in reply-to message #680) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Oct 27, 09:15 EDT 2010

Hi, Ken

The only way to know for sure about what type is better, and about whether the type A or type B has better shock absorption, is to look at some hard data.   I would think that someone out there has done tests, so perhaps we could find some information.     We don't really know if the quality of the dynamic belay of the stitched type is better -- I'd like to see some data that proves or at least hints in that direction.

...Andrew


 

#682 re: VF kits: different types + different risks (in reply-to message #681) Posted by KenR on
Tue Nov 30, 11:46 EST 2010

Yes I'd like to see some serious test data. So I did a web search and didn't find much.

Unfortunately I suspect there isn't going to be any _truly_ specific test data. Because the threading-stitch systems used by rock climbers usually have significantly shorter length (because expected fall impact forces in technical rock climbing are expected to be smaller) -- and systems which run rope thru metal openings have serious comparison tests done for smaller fall impacts than we worry about in via ferrata (because they're usually done for technical rock climbing or for industrial applications -- where the whole system is set up first to avoid fall impacts as large as Via Ferrata). Also note that the rope-thru-metal-openings is usually studied for "belay" systems which are actively + closely managed by a human operator (called "the belayer"), unlike VF metal-hole systems which are unmanaged.

I found mention of an Italian study, but the links to it were broken. I found a discussion by rock climbers about threading-stitch shock absorption, which shows that some smart people who take falling very seriously do use the threading-stitch approach -- but are also aware that the rope-thru-metal-holes approach is valuable for reducing impact.

Most detailed I found is on Mammut website which gives graphs showing how the threading-stitch design (Bandbremse) spreads the impact force more smoothly over the time of the impact, compared with the rope-thru-hole (Seilbremse) which generates "a characteristic peak at the start of this curve". (Near as I can tell, Mammut no longer offers via ferrata kits).

Another approach is to look at some respected VF kit manufacturers.

Petzl -- manufacturers both kinds, and has very wide + long experience designing shock absorption equipment for industrial, rescue, and technical rock climbing, in addition to Via Ferrata: Petzl.com website says that their Zyper series VF kit (using rope thru metal holes) is "A more basic alternative to the Scorpio". The Scorpio series is their threading-stitch design.
Seems hard to believe that Petzl would call the Zyper "more basic" if they actually believed it offered shock absorption as reliable + sensitive as the threading-stitch design.

Black Diamond -- very respected USA designer/mfgr of technical climbing equipment: Offers

only

the threading-stitch design for its two VF kit models.


C.A.M.P. -- offers models with and without threading-stitch. The model (Rewind) that includes threading-stitch is described (on the USA website) as their "advanced" set.

Stubai -- long respected experience in mountaineering: Offers only the threading-stitch design.

Edelweiss -- long-time known for technical climbing ropes: Offers only the threading-stitch design.

And look at product-review websites: 

alpin.de (May 2010) : reviews 12 VF kits : Number using rope-thru-holes design = 0. Number using threading-stitch design = 12.

Ken

________________________________________

Andrew wrote:

The only way to know for sure about what type is better, and about whether the type A or type B has better shock absorption, is to look at some hard data.   I would think that someone out there has done tests, so perhaps we could find some information.

 

#683 re: Via Ferratas in winter? (in reply-to message #676) Posted by KenR on
Tue Nov 30, 12:07 EST 2010

Cautionary events:

http://pistehors.com/news/forums/viewthread/704/

 

#684 re: VF kits: different types + different risks (in reply-to message #682) Posted by KenR on
Tue Dec 07, 22:47 EST 2010

Maybe actually Mammut does still offer a via ferrata kit in 2010: 
http://www.mammut.ch/fr/productDetail/213000170_v_7005/Tec+Step+Via+Ferrata+Element.html

 . (but the navigation on their website makes it difficult to find it)

from the description: 
"energy absorption technology which ensures reliable low load-inducing braking values at all body weights thanks to the gradual increase in the brake force curve."

Looks like it does not use the "rope-thru-a-hole" method, and that Mammut is highlighting why they think the different method is better.

My new "thread-stitch" style VF kit just got delivered today.

Ken

 

#685 re: VF kits: different types + different risks (in reply-to message #684) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Dec 07, 23:31 EST 2010

All interesting data and observations.   Thanks for compiling the info.    I guess at some point I'll have to give consideration as to whether or not I want to switch to a stitched design.

...Andrew

#686 re: VF kits: different types + different risks (in reply-to message #684) Posted by KenR on
Wed Dec 08, 01:14 EST 2010

The clearest reference to the key difference between the two impact-absorption technologies is on this page of the Mammut website:
http://www.mammut.ch/images/Klettersteigfibel_D_.pdf

Unfortunately for most of us, the text is in German. But the two graphs on page 8 make the key point: much lower initial impact force in the thread-stitch design on the right. 

When it's my spine and internal organs on the line, that seems like a big difference.

My (possibly flawed) interpretation: 

Left graph: initial peak impact force around 6000 Newtons (Nt) 

12000 Nt is often cited as a force on a climber's harness that could be expected to cause death. Halfway to that is  closer than I need to go just for a nice via ferrata. There might also be  a concern for lighter-weight climbers that it's even closer to the edge, or that their impact is not "triggering" the device's braking operation as smoothly.

Right graph: For the first 0.55 meters of deployment, max force is only around 3500 Nt. Around 0.62 meters it rises to 5000 Nt -- I'm guessing that's after most of the stitching has torn out -- ? maybe the 5000 Nt is the "stretch" of the nylon(?) material in which the threads were embedded and the nylon(?) of the lanyard leash arms ?

Looks like an average of about 3000 Nt for the first 0.55 m, so the device absorbed roughly 1650 Joules of falling energy in that length. For a climber weighing 80 kg (including equipment + clothing), that's a vertical fall of 2.1 meters (or less), and the time for the device to stop the fall is about .17 second.  But since the device and lanyard leash  itself extend say 1.1 meters, you fall that far if you're only 1 meter above the last cable-anchor point. (A lighter climber could fall from a bit higher up and stay within the 3500 Nt "zone", but presumably 3500 Nt also feels harder for a lighter body).

So with the thread-stitch design at least you've got some hope of getting the luck of your fall coming close enough above the last cable anchor where your impact force might have a reasonable chance of staying within 3500 Newtons.

What about a longer fall? Suppose you have the bad luck to fall 2.9 meters vertically above the last cable anchor. Add the length of the lanyard leash, and the falling distance is about 4 meters. The energy of 3136 Joules is much more than the lower-force zone of the device can absorb, so your body would be expected to get hit with the higher force of around 5000 Newtons -- pretty near the impact of the older rope-thru-hole design.  It takes about 0.07 seconds to go thru the lower-force zone, so there's a little time for something better to happen. But since human reaction time typically takes longer than that, don't expect to improve the result very much.

So . . .
 * The newer thread-stitch design makes a difference only on shorter falls.
 * Don't fall on VF routes.

(or there's a mistake in my analysis)

Ken

 

 

#687 re: VF kits: different types + different risks (in reply-to message #686) Posted by KenR on
Wed Dec 08, 01:48 EST 2010

Further thoughts on applying the analysis . . .

(A) Much heavier climbers might get little benefit for the newer design. Say with body + clothing + equipment total 120 kg. Then any fall larger than 1.4 meter could be expected to "blow through" the lower-force zone. But with a lanyard-leash of 1.1 meter, this is only 0.3 meter above the last cable anchor. So you'd be only getting the benefit on a pretty small percentage of the climb.

(B) If you're sure you're going to climb well within your limit, so you really don't think you're going to fall, then maybe the fear of spinal injuries does not be have to be important in the selection decision. If the older design is sufficient to prevent death-magnitude impact force thru the harness, that might be felt to be sufficient benefit from continuing to use a VF kit with that design. (But then the supposed advantage of re-usability for the rope-thru-hole design shouldn't matter either).

My personal experience is that I know I do tend to push my limits a bit on VF climbs (and from reading some posts here, seems like I'm not the only one). So I've taken the step of replacing my current old-design kit with a new one.

For new purchase of a first VF kit, seems to me that either you don't think you're ever going to fall, so the re-usability feafure of the older design has no point; might as well purchase the new design.
Or if you do think you might possibly fall, then (except for heavier climbers) it makes sense to get better spinal protection in some percentage of each VF route by purchasing the new design.

Ken

 

#688 season? Posted by andy on
Mon Jan 10, 12:10 EST 2011

what would you say is the season for suitable weather conditions for the via ferrata. I am planning on going soon and would like to know how long to wait. I have done several routes beofre a few years ago in November and there was a lot of snow making it extremely difficult.

thanks

#689 re: season? (in reply-to message #688) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Jan 10, 19:46 EST 2011

For classic via ferrata climbing, you'll need to wait until at least late May for the routes in the higher Dolomites to be passable.  Even then in a snowy year the wires will be obscured or iced in on certain ferrate.

On the lower routes (e.g. in the Lake Garda area), you might be good much earlier in the season.

In the fall, September or October marks the end for the high routes.  Some years have the higher routes impassable by end of September, and on other years the routes will be open towards the end of October.  November is definitely pushing it (although in a dry year I suppose anything is possible).   Again, the lower routes will be open for quite a bit longer.

#690 re: season? (in reply-to message #688) Posted by KenR on
Wed Jan 12, 23:16 EST 2011

If want to do some VF "soon", perhaps try a region farther south and closer to warm water -- maybe Costa Blanca in Spain.

I've never been there for any purpose, but last week there was a mention on UKclimbing.com forum about seven VF routes around there. Maybe start with a google search on like "via ferrata costa blanca".

Ken

 

#691 Seasons... Posted by AJ on
Sun Jan 16, 13:54 EST 2011

I was just in the Cortina region this weekend and can say about 95% of the Via Ferrata's are unpassable now.My wife and I took the cable car to the top of the Lagazuoi tunnels and thought it might be ok to hike back down through the tunnels.  It would have been completely unsafe to try and reach the entrance to the topside of the tunnels from the Rifugio.  From the bottom to the top seemed passable, but we didnt see any trails going to them.  Monte Albano and the ones around the Verona area might still be passable now.

#692 winter ferratas Posted by Aruges on
Mon Jan 24, 12:42 EST 2011

Hi,

some visuals informations about Dolomites weather on:

webcam cinque torri  or others webcams like webcam lago di Misurina.

In Spain many and greats ferratas : in the North-east   : V.F. Teresina, Baumes corcades, gorges Salenys, Regina, Olmo Soler, Canal del Palomo, Mirador de los Buitres, Sacs, Espolon de la Virgen and so on

In the area of Valencia : V.F. El Cid, Roca Figueral, Ponoig, Las Majures, Villena and so on.

In the south area of Malaga : V.F. Torcal de Antequera.

All these V.F. can be done  very early : january  .

 

#693 Self Catering Accommodation Posted by Pete Armitage on
Tue Feb 15, 14:55 EST 2011

 Two of us are planning to do some VF in June/July of this year. Can anybody recommend good quality self catering accommodation in Arabba, Pedraces, Corvara or Cortina.  The accommodation ideally needs to have a proper bed rather than a sofa bed. We have stayed in Arabba before and really like this scenic village so this would be our first choice. 

 

 

#694 re: Self Catering Accommodation (in reply-to message #693) Posted by AJ on
Sun Feb 20, 10:07 EST 2011

 

Pete,

   I stayed at a hotel about 15-20kilometers south of Araba recently.  Inside the hotel, the owner had pictures of his via ferrata adventures.  I asked him about it and he says he does it all summer.  He offered to tour me around some of the nicer ones around the marmolada region if I go back there around the same time frame as you.  I don't have the hotel name off hand, my wife made the reservations, but I will post it up when I get the chance.  My plan is around mid summer, take a week off and try out 1-2 different ferrata's a day.

 

 

 

Pete Armitage wrote:
 

 Two of us are planning to do some VF in June/July of this year. Can anybody recommend good quality self catering accommodation in Arabba, Pedraces, Corvara or Cortina.  The accommodation ideally needs to have a proper bed rather than a sofa bed. We have stayed in Arabba before and really like this scenic village so this would be our first choice. 

 

 

 

 

#695 Camping Posted by Robin on
Sun Mar 13, 15:12 EDT 2011

 Hi 

Great site!

Do you have any references for camping in the dolomites?

#696 re: Camping (in reply-to message #695) Posted by Andrew on
Sun Mar 13, 16:26 EDT 2011

I can only talk about the places I've personally stayed at:

  • Camping Olympia, just north of Cortina
  • Camping Colfosco (www.campingcolfosco.org), near the Val di Fassa
  • Camping Eden in Falcade, south of the Marmolada

Plus I think I've stayed at another campground in the Val di Fassa area, and another one just south of the town of Alleghe but I can't remember the names.  They are all variants on the typical Italian campground -- fairly densly packed, lots of permanent trailer-cottage things around, and some with very ornate facilities.

#697 when does the season start Posted by Doug on
Fri Mar 18, 19:32 EDT 2011

Andrew, Awesome site!. Some friends and I will be in Italy for a couple days towardsthe end of May and I was wondering when the operations get started for the season. Also, do we need our own gear or are there places to rent. We are newbies to via feratta but two of us have climbed fairly extensively over the last 20 years. Finally, what routes would you reccomend for beginners. we will be travelling from the Milan area, most likely.

My email is ddreilley@aol.com

#698 re: when does the season start (in reply-to message #697) Posted by Andrew on
Tue Mar 22, 07:55 EDT 2011

Hi, Doug

End of May is still a bit early for the high-altitude vie ferrate.   Many will likely still have extensive sections that are snowed or iced-in.   If it's a low-snow year, you might get lucky, but you should check in advance.   Perhaps others reading this forum can comment on what kind of snow year it has been in 2010-2011.

If things are snowed in, there are many good ferrate routes of all levels of difficulty in the Riva del Garda area.  

As far as gear goes, I believe there are sports stores around where you can rent, although I have not personally done so. 

...Andrew

#699 easy access Posted by ryan on
Fri Apr 01, 01:21 EDT 2011

 I'll be looking to try some routes in early June.  I'm not so worried about the difficulty but will not be renting a car and am wondering what routes would be the easiest to access.  Any that can be accessed by bus, walking or a short hitchhike? Thanks for any help.

#700 re: easy access (in reply-to message #699) Posted by Andrew on
Fri Apr 01, 05:22 EDT 2011

I'd say yes, many can.   For example, in the Cortina area, there are a number of ferrate that start from along the major highways that run out of town (and which I believe are therefore reachable with Cortina's bus system).   Just to the north of town are the ferrate on Col Rosa and Punta Fiammes; just to the east of town are the upper routes on the Cristallo (accessible via a chairlift from the road).

In general, I'd say that any route that starts on any of the major connector highways between towns can probably be managed by a bus.   You could look at the routes presented here, and see if the start of the route is on a major connector highway.  If so, it's likely a good candidate for the sort of access you are looking for.

ryan wrote:

 I'll be looking to try some routes in early June.  I'm not so worried about the difficulty but will not be renting a car and am wondering what routes would be the easiest to access.  Any that can be accessed by bus, walking or a short hitchhike? Thanks for any help.

 

 

#701 Refuge - Do I need to book? Posted by Duncan on
Tue Apr 05, 15:02 EDT 2011

Great website.

I intend to go to the dolomites this summer, in July, and want to stay overnight for about 5 days.  Do I need to book a refuge for each night or can I just turn up?  Also, can you suggest a good tour for 5 days for a family.  We are experienced in the French Alps, but not the Dolomites.

Many thanks

Duncan

#702 Ratings Posted by Tammy on
Sun Apr 17, 11:26 EDT 2011

I stumbled across this site and so glad I did.  My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy and want to climb some Via Ferrata routes.  I can somewhat get a feel for the ratings.  What I'd like is to actually climb rock (not just a ladder, although some ladder is okay).  My husband is comfortable leading 5.10's and I'm comfortable top roping 10's.  What do you think our level would be?  Exposure doesn't really bother either of us as long as the protection is there.  I'm thinking 3B??  What are your thoughts?  Thanks in advance.  Great site!!

#703 re: Ratings (in reply-to message #702) Posted by Andrew on
Mon Apr 18, 07:48 EDT 2011

Hi, Tammy

If you are both comfortable with 5.10 then you are pretty much good to go with the level 4 and level 5 ferratas.   You can disregard the letter portion of the rating when it comes to technical difficulty - the letter rating is for other attributes of the outing (the 'seriousness', as Graham likes to call it): remoteness, length, sketchy or unprotected sections, etc.

Also, the 4 and especially level 5 ferratas tend to rely much less on ladders or other fixed aids (which is what you want).

Having said all of that, many of the lower level ferrate are pretty cool to do, so you might want to include a few of the good ones of those in there.

...Andrew

Tammy wrote:

I stumbled across this site and so glad I did.  My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy and want to climb some Via Ferrata routes.  I can somewhat get a feel for the ratings.  What I'd like is to actually climb rock (not just a ladder, although some ladder is okay).  My husband is comfortable leading 5.10's and I'm comfortable top roping 10's.  What do you think our level would be?  Exposure doesn't really bother either of us as long as the protection is there.  I'm thinking 3B??  What are your thoughts?  Thanks in advance.  Great site!!

 

 

#704 re: Ratings (in reply-to message #703) Posted by KenR on
Mon Apr 18, 18:57 EDT 2011

Like Andrew says, a 5.10 rock climber should be able to handle any of the VF routes in the Fletcher + Smith guidebooks. For a climber at that level, there's little interesting technical or strength challenge in most VF routes (provided they're willing to grab the cable for aid, and they bring a leash or daisy-chain to hang on to rest if needed) -- so might as well choose routes which get you into an interesting space or to a desired summit -- which might be one of the easier VF.

While it's true that the higher-level routes (in NE Italy, unlike France) are less likely to include ladders and rungs as aid, of course by rock-climbing standards grabbing the cable itself is a form of aid. And the overwhelming majority of VF climbers in Italy use frequently. But rock-climbers likely find it more interesting to try to do much of the climbing "free" without grabbing the cable for aid -- clipping it for protection only.

Note that the "protection" of the cable might be inferior to what rock-climbers expect -- because a fall on a VF cable can have a much higher "Fall Factor" than a fall in leading rock-climbing on a climbing rope. You really do not want to fall on a VF, even on supposedly "well-protected" routes.

Ken

 

#705 re: Ratings (in reply-to message #703) Posted by Tammy on
Sun Apr 24, 20:08 EDT 2011

Thanks Andrew...good to know.  We are looking so forward to trying some VF. 

#706 re: Ratings (in reply-to message #704) Posted by Tammy on
Sun Apr 24, 20:10 EDT 2011

Thanks Ken.  Really good info.  We are super excited to try it!

#707 Routes in Southern Corsica Posted by Andy on
Sun May 08, 14:01 EDT 2011

 Unfortunately my yearly pilgrimage to the Dolomites has had to be cancelled. Easy jet not playing with the routes this year. However I have got a week booked in Corsica with the family. Anyone know of any routes in the southern half of the island that might be a little taxing?

#708 Bochette ferratas in May Posted by Eva on
Tue May 10, 10:21 EDT 2011

Hi Andrew,

We are preparing a 1-week stay near Lake Garda. That's how we found your amazing homepage, and the description of the ferratas in the Brenta Group.

I have 2 questions.

Do you think that these high altitude (as per your notes, they climb up as high as almost 3000 metres) ferratas can be done in May?

How long does it take to climb the Alte Bochette and the Oliva altogether? I mean, how many hours to climb up and then going down?

(we are a team of quite experienced climbers)

Many thanks for your answers in advance,

Eva Szabo

szabo.evaborbala@gmail.com

#709 re: Bochette ferratas in May (in reply-to message #708) Posted by Andrew on
Tue May 10, 19:19 EDT 2011

Hi, Eva

There's a good chance there will still be a lot of snow at the 3000+ metre level during May, especially if it has been a snowy season in the Dolomites (although I'm not sure if it has been or not).   If you do go up there in May,  the cable and protection may in places be completely buried.   Therefore, if you do go up there in May, you should definitely bring an ice ax and crampons, and be prepared for sections that have 'mountaineering conditions' (technical in some way) without the benefit of the protecting cable.

...Andrew

 

#710 The Bocchette Alte in May. Posted by Graham Fletcher on
Sun May 15, 11:35 EDT 2011

 A belated response to Eva’s query about routes in the Brenta, and whether they can realistically be climbed in May: hopefully it’s not too late. Andrew’s right about the likelihood of snow on the higher Brenta routes – in fact, I’d be rather more emphatic, and say that you really shouldn’t consider tackling routes like the Bocchette Alte as early as May. Anybody who does want to follow these lines would have to be prepared for full-blown winter mountaineering routes, rather than VFs.

It’s worth making a general comment about snow conditions this year, as the subject crops up regularly. We had a lot of snow up to the New Year period, but very little during the rest of the winter season. We then had a spell of warm temperatures during March, which saw the snow receding quite rapidly. Consequently, there are quite a lot of VFs which are ‘open’ already, although at relatively lower altitudes. Having said that, we’re having snow down to as low as 1200m today, although the forecast is for temperatures to climb again in the next few days, so it’s going to be quite short lived.

Graham

#711 recall inspections of VF kit model after accident Posted by KenR on
Mon May 16, 09:03 EDT 2011

The Petzl manufacturing company has requested that users Petzl SCORPIO L60 and L60 CK via ferrata lanyards get them inspected -- after an accident on a via ferrata route in Grenoble, France.
http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/news/products-news-0/2011/05/13/product-safety-alert-request-inspection-scorpio-via-ferrata

Thanks a lot to davidof PisteHors.com for the report: 
http://pistehors.com/news/forums/viewthread/924/

#712 re: recall inspections of VF kit model after accident (in reply-to message #711) Posted by Andrew on
Mon May 16, 21:11 EDT 2011

Thank you, Ken, for the safety notice.

...Andrew

#713 4-5 day route Posted by Simon Beeton on
Sat May 21, 07:25 EDT 2011

Hi Andrew, Thanks for the great site.

I was lucky to walk up to Rifugi DODICI APOSTOLI from Molveno in July 2004 and stay 2 nights. While staying in the Refugi I met walkers doing the Via Ferrata and vowed to return. Now finally in September this year I am returning to Italy (with my wife) with the Dolomites in our sights.

We are interested in walking a route over about 4-5 days staying at Refugi along the way. Can you recommend a route that would link a series of refugi over a few days? (We are regular hikers here in Australia but with limited mountaineering skill) Also do you know if equipment for the via ferrata (harness and helmet) can be hired in the Dolomite area?

Thanks again, your site is a great resource.

Simon

simonbeeton@hotmail.com

#714 re: 4-5 day route (in reply-to message #713) Posted by Andrew on
Sat May 21, 21:30 EDT 2011

Hi, Simon

Well, the Brenta group (where the Dodici Apostoli rifugio is located) has a string of huts that you can link together with various via ferrata routes. In fact, you could start again at the Dodici Apostoli rifugio and do a number of ferrata from there north, staying at Rifugio Pedrotti, Alimonta, Tuckett, and Graffer along the way.   If you obtain a topo map of the Brenta, the general idea should be obvious.   I've only done some of the ferrata routes in the Brenta (Bocchette Centrale, Bocchette Alte, Ferrata Benini and Ferrata Detassis among them).   All of the ferrata in the area seem to be very scenic and reasonably easy from a technical standpoint (but, you need to like ladders, because there are a lot of them).

...Andrew

#715 re: 4-5 day route - Brenta (in reply-to message #714) Posted by KenR on
Wed May 25, 22:32 EDT 2011

If you get the very helpful English-language guidebook by Fletcher + Smith (volume 2), they have some suggestions about linking up the VF routes in the Brenta group.

Note that there is a lift between Madonna di Campiglio and one section of these routes -- so that could provide a big advantage in going up -- or down. (Myself I'm often more interested in the lift for assistance going down, to minimize pounding on my ankles + knees).

Andrew notes the ladders in the Brenta group. I haven't done them myself, but from some photos and videos . . . some of those ladders look very long. If your previous background is only hiking, might want to do some specific practice for that. Or get some guidance about which sections are more or less strenuous.

Ken

 

#718 Posted by Raz on
Tue May 31, 02:20 EDT 2011

Hi, thanks for this great website, it has really inspired me to try out some via ferrata.

I am thinking of doing the Bocchette Centrale, as well as SOSAT and/or Alfredo Benini.  Would this be possible to do in the last week of June (24-26th is the only time I can do them), or would the routes still be snowed in?

Also, would you reccommend booking rifugios (e.g. Rif. Brentei, Rif. Tuckett) in advance, or should be ok if I book a day before so I can be more flexible?  And would you recommend demi-pension or buying meals separately?

Hope you can help,

Best Regards, Raz

#719 accommodations Posted by Junhee on
Tue May 31, 11:28 EDT 2011
Hi, I'm planning to go climbing in the dolomites region during July this year; several routes in Tofana Di Rozes, Cinque Torri, and Cima Grande. Would you recommend making a reservaion in refugios in advance? And which refugio and how can I contact them? I'd appreciate your information! Thanks~
#720 re: (in reply-to message #718) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jun 01, 19:19 EDT 2011

 

Raz wrote:

Hi, thanks for this great website, it has really inspired me to try out some via ferrata.

I am thinking of doing the Bocchette Centrale, as well as SOSAT and/or Alfredo Benini.  Would this be possible to do in the last week of June (24-26th is the only time I can do them), or would the routes still be snowed in?

Also, would you reccommend booking rifugios (e.g. Rif. Brentei, Rif. Tuckett) in advance, or should be ok if I book a day before so I can be more flexible?  And would you recommend demi-pension or buying meals separately?

Hope you can help,

Best Regards, Raz

 Hi, Raz

In short, the answer I have is 'I don't know for sure'.   I don't know first-hand how much snow is left this year, although I recall seeing a post from Graham saying that the latter half of the winter had been less snow than normal.

I think there is a decent chance that most of the routes will be open, but you need to be prepared for the possibility of an occasional snow-filled gulley (with the wire disappearing within) and that sort of thing.

As far as accommodations go, you can reserve last minute, although your options for getting a private room might be limited if you do.  June is still early, so I imagine you'll have no problem reserving a day before or maybe even just showing up.

 

#721 re: accommodations (in reply-to message #719) Posted by Andrew on
Wed Jun 01, 19:22 EDT 2011

Hi, Junhee

 Personally, I don't make rifugio reservations far in advance;  I prefer to do them a day or two before, or even on the day of the outing.    However, there is a chance if you do this that you will not get a private room, and will have to sleep in the dorm area instead.   If you are ok with that, then you will probably not have a problem. 

I've never stayed in the rifugios in the vicinity of those ferrata, except for the one at the top of the Little Lagazuoi.    So, I can't comment on how good they are nor do I know their phone numbers.   A little searching through various Italian rifugio listing sites should work, though.

#722 string on leash / cows tail danger Posted by KenR on
Wed Jun 01, 23:30 EDT 2011

In addition to the two main lanyard "arms" each with a carabiner in my Via Ferrata kit, I like to have a third shorter leash with carabiner. I use this leash or "cows tail" mainly for clipping to anchor points to make it easy to rest on a steep VF route.

My leash was configured and sold to me by a distributor of VF equipment + guidebooks -- as a 60 cm climbing webbing loop with a carabiner, and with a little black rubber "string" thing to help hold the carabiner in a position convenient for clipping. And I did find the rubber string helper thing convenient.

The danger is with the combination of carabiner with rubber "string" attached to an open webbing loop -- because the carabiner can be came un-attached from the webbing loop without the climber noticing it -- because the rubber "string" thing is still attached. But the rubber string thing cannot hold much weight, so if the climber relies on the leash or cows tail for resting -- or security -- it can easily break. Then the climber falls -- until presumably one or both of the other lanyard arms the regular Via Ferrata kit attached to cable stops the falling.

This manufacturer's page warns that this is a mis-use of the rubber "string".
This UKClimbing.com video shows how the bad result can happen.

I don't like falling at all, even if I'm going to stopped by my VF kit - (or if I got very careless, not get stopped). So I just cut off the little rubber string thing from my shorter leash. I'm thinking about maybe replacing that whole shorter leash with a completely different design (but of roughly the same length).

Ken

P.S. I note that each of the two main lanyard arms of my Via Ferrata kit also have the rubber string things around the connection to its carabiner. My understanding is that this is not a safety issue, because the lanyard arms are not open loops -- their webbing has been sewn shut, so the scenario shown in the UKClimbing.com video cannot happen. So I have not cut off the rubber string things from those main lanyard arms.

 

#723 Dachstein Posted by AJ on
Sat Jun 18, 16:15 EDT 2011

I had an invitation to go do the Ferrata at Dachstein, has anybody here ever done it?  Does it compare to any of the Italian ones?  I can do Monte Albano and it's not too difficult, how does Dachstein compare to that?  Where can I find GPS tracks for it?  I need to venture farther north and try some new routes!

#724 re: Dachstein (in reply-to message #723) Posted by KenR on
Sun Jun 19, 16:48 EDT 2011

Last I heard, there were 10 or more different via ferrata (or "klettersteig") routes in the Dachstein area. Some are supposed to be harder than Monte Albano, some not.

#726 starting my season: Königsjodler Posted by KenR on
Wed Jun 22, 14:34 EDT 2011

Great to be out on the rock again protected by cable. Today I tried the Königsjodler in Austria (near Salzburg on the south side of Berchtesgaden, GPS latitude/longitude (N47.4117 E13.0536).

Seemed like more moves directly on rock, greater variety of moves in interesting settings, than any route I've done so far in the Dolomites. And a large quantity of climbing. (I like to do most of my climbing without grabbing the cable or using iron rungs -- just put my hands and feet directly on the rock -- so I don't know what this route would be like for people who climb the "normal" via ferrata way, mostly hauling on the cable.)

Drawback: getting back down -- a long ways carefully walking down steep rock -- over 900 vertical meters steep, then another 450 vertical meters less steep.

Snow -- I  was surprised by how much snow on the descent -- since it was generally south-facing. Fortunately it was a wam sunny day, so I could kick steps down into it with my approach shoes. This route is farther north than the Dolomites-- now I'll be interested (and careful) to see how much snow on high routes in the eastern Dolomites.

A big change for me since last season is that I got into technical rock climbing. What I found today is that I still like doing a good Via Ferrata route.

Ken

 

 

 

#727 Snow Posted by AJ on
Sun Jun 26, 10:50 EDT 2011

I just completed the Bolver Luigi fia ferrata.  The ascent was pretty straight forward, didn't look like there was much snow, the back side/decent was completely snow covered.  I had crampons in the car and figured I wouldn't need them, I was mistaken!  I learned to abseil for the first time with my ice axe.  I'm not a fan of hiking in the snow on a decent, that was the toughest part of the entire climb.  I wish I would have reserached the cable car cut-off time for the evening, my group missed it by about 30 minutes.  Overall, great climb, great views!

#728 non-snow: getting started in Dolomites Posted by KenR on
Sun Jun 26, 16:08 EDT 2011

Yes Bulver Lugli is great -- I liked it especially for how long it allowed me to climb directly on the rock without grabbing the cable for aid. Seems like getting surprised by snow can be kind of tricky. Now I'm wondering what the descent section of Tomaselli might be like.

Today I climbed VF Trincee / Mesola -- sort of between Arabba+Pordio and Lago Fedaia + Marmolada (lat/long N46.473 E11.874) -- with lots of time viewing from the ridge crest in both directions -- and no snow got in my way.

Lucky for me the lifts there will not start running until next weekend (like those on Tofana), so it was reasonably uncrowded so I could take my time working out the moves my own way.

Fortunately I checked the AlpinVerlag.at German-language guidebook, since they had a much better idea than the English-language guidebook for how to approach it without using the lift -- by hiking up from the south by the west end of Lago di Fedaia (GPS lat/long N46.464 E11.862): less vertical ascent and less horizontal distance. Seemed like everybody I met or saw had done it that way (so I guess some Italian guidebook must also recommend it).

One thing that surprised me was how much of the climbing was in the downward direction. The other was how much walking there was on a grassy ridge (with great views) -- and how many short steep-ish dirty downward sections there were on that also. At last I reached the second tunnel, which was indeed long and had branches to explore -- and be confused by (headlamp/torch really is necessary) -- but it's a long walk to get there.

So I finished by walking sough down to near the east end of Lago di Fedaia (N46.455 E11.886), then on the closed road along the south side of the lake back to the parking.

Overall a satisfying outing on a pretty sunny day.

Ken

 

#729 VF Tomaselli report Posted by KenR on
Tue Jun 28, 01:40 EDT 2011

I did VF Tomaselli (north of Passo Falzarego and the Lagazuoi lift), now before July, afraid of snow on the descent. It turned out that the descent was well-designed to have snow melt off, and it deposited me at the top of south-facing slope to continue my descent on a steep scree slope - which could have been rather exciting if had been covered with firm snow.

There was still a little snow-patch (hard in the morning) in a hollow just below the bottom of the ascent VF, but some careful steps got me over that. There was more snow on the slope just north of the Lagazuoi lift, but it turned out there was an alternate trail on its east side that avoided most of it. Since I did the loop of rather spectacular trail 20B in the clockwise direction, the snow was soft by the time I got there.

So though I brought ice axe + crampons, I didn't actually need to use them -- but the guidebooks were right to warn about being ready for hard snow in early season.

Great route, especially for those who like to climb the ascent "free" with hands + feet directly on the rock -- though I did feel the need to grab the cable, especially at the start.

Descent route -- Definitely I did that grabbing the cable the whole way down - "Batman" style.
(Climbing up the descent route "free" I would be doubtful of -- and going both up and down that steep scree slope twice in the same day seems to me like too much punishment.)

If out with non-VF companions, perhaps they could try hiking the 20B loop while the VF climbers do Tomaselli, then meet at Rfg Lagazuoi.

Ken

#730 VF Col dei Bos / Piramide / Alpini Posted by KenR on
Tue Jun 28, 02:58 EDT 20