This route is really two ferrate combined into one: the lower part is the Giuseppe Olivieri Ferrata (a.k.a. the Punta Anna ferrata), and the upper part is the Gianni Aglio Ferrata. Both are hard and strenuous as ferratas go; the lower part has the most continuous and difficult climbing, although the upper part makes up for its easier climbing with more unprotected sections, routefinding challenges, and high-altitude situations (the route climbs to the summit of Tofana di Mezzo - the 3rd highest peak in all of the dolomites).
Although the ferrate are rated a '5C' on the fletcher / smith scale, they aren't the very absolute hardest of ferrate - but they are still hard and challenging routes. The views, the climbing situations, and the fantastic exposure in spots make this a great outing, though!
Elevation profile over distance
It is possible to only do portions of this route (e.g. just the Punta Anna VF portion); the descent points are indicated in my description, but the details of following them back down are not. Also, this route description assumes that you'll take the cablecar from near the summit of Tofana di Mezzo back down. If you don't, you must tack on a whole whack of extra time for a long climbing descent (and also I don't describe that descent in this description).
Chairlift to Duca d'Aosta
To get to the start of the route, you can either drive up to the Rifugio Dibona, or you can take a two-stage chairlift from a spot called 'Pietofana'. Both are reached from small access roads off of highway S48 just west of Cortina D'ampezzo. The road to rifugio Dibona is gravel in its upper parts. Remember, if you start from Rifugio Dibona, you must plan on your own how to get from the summit back to here - the route I describe assumes you started at the bottom of the Pietofana lifts.
The objective in both cases is to arrive at a spot next to Rifugio Pomedes (the chairlift system goes right to this spot, and trails lead to here from Rifugio Dibona). The imposing jagged spine of ridge that arcs skyward above you to Punta Anna is going to be your climbing playground for the next little while!
Take a moment to study the four or five annotated pictures above and below this paragraph: they show the Punta Anna ridge from various angles - right underneath, from below near Rifugio Dibona, and from different sides. As you can see, the ridge is quite narrow, and the route mostly follows the very airy and very steep ridge. From the top of Punta Anna, a combination of mountain-walking, scrambling and climbing continues on to the point where the route transitions to the Gianni Aglio ferrata.
Punta anna from way down low.
It is only a fifteen-minute walk from the top of the chairlift station to the start of the wires, so you might as well put on your gear right away. The trail leads north, rising up below cliffs, and then switches back south, continuing to climb scree and steep ground until you reach the Guiseppe Olivieri memorial plaque and the start of the wires. When I was here, it was a beautiful week-day in July and there were a lot of climbers about.
The route starts off by climbing up and traversing left, angling over to catch the crest of the ridge. The rock is superb and the protection excellent, and quickly you realize that the exposure is superb, too.
In short order the route gains the crest of the ridge. From here, the route more-or-less stays on the crest of the ridge right up to Punta Anna. The ridgecrest itself is a few metres wide, but there are many vertical steps to be overcome. Between the vertical steps there are often little platforms where you can rest, take breaks, or pass / be-passed by other climbers.
There are few to no artificial aids on this portion of the climb (stemples, ladders, etc). The rock, however, is great, and if you are reasonably proficient, you can probably climb the whole section without cable-hauling. There are excellent views to neighbouring peaks, especially the nearby Tofana de Rozes and the more distant Marmolada. Behind you are the peaks around Passo Giau and further beyond, Civetta.
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