|Mountain(s) / Location:
Pale di San Martino Group
Fletcher/Smith Rating: 2C
Hofler/Werner Rating: C
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The Via Ferrata Dino Buzzati (aka the Sentiero Attrezzato Dino Buzzati) is a relatively easy climbing traverse over one of the most southerly peaks of the Pale di San Martino, south of the town of San Martino di Castrozza and north of the town of Fiera di Primiero. The route as described is a one-way traverse, done either in a north-south or south-north direction. While the southern end of the route is located on the car-accessible slopes north of Fiera di Primiero, the northern end is at the Rifugio Velo della Madonna, reachable only by alpine trails and/or climbs. The total length of the route (trail plus actual ferrata sections) is somewhere between 5 and 6 kilometres.
Difficulty-wise, the VF Dino Buzzati is on the easy side. While there are a few exposed sections of climbing, the protection is solid and modern throughout, and any difficult climbing is aided by stemples and ladders. Note also that the route does not go over the actual top of Cimerlo, but rather a high shoulder. A short side trip with a bit of easy scrambling is required to reach the actual summit.
The description given here is from north-to-south.
Rifugio Velo della Madonna
From the Rifugio Velo della Madonna, locate trail 742, which heads south and east below the south face of Cima della Madonna, which towers vertically above. The trail climbs up somewhat indistinctly up and across a scree slope, eventually curving to the right underneath a jagged col. The trail then transitions from a scree path to light scrambling on solid rock, with red splotches marking the way here and there.
This easy (and unprotected) scrambling brings one to the top of the Cima della Stanga - a bare rocky ridgecrest which offers a bird's eye view of all of the surrounding terrain: off to your left are the impressive towers of the Cima della Madonna and Sass Maor; and to the south, connected to you by a narrow grassy ridgeline, is the toothy mass of Cimerlo, which marks the southern end of the Pale Group in this area.
Trail 742 crosses over the top of the Cima della Stanga and then steeply descends towards the aforementioned grassy ridgeline. Partway down, a trail junction is encountered. At this point you must depart 742 (which turns left and heads down into a valley) and start walking along trail 747, which continues straight ahead along the grassy ridgeline. The VF Dino Buzzati forms part of the course of trail 747.
The approach to the start of the wires on the VF (Sentiero Attrezzato) Dino Buzzati is quite exhilarating, as trail 747 runs very near to the crest of the narrow ridgeline. On the left, grassy slopes dip steeply away; On the right, the drop is much steeper, often a vertical cliff. The path itself is a fairly distinct grassy groove.
Walking along the narrow grassy ridgecrest brings you ever closer to the mass of Cimerlo, and soon one reaches the red metal VF start sign, with the wires starting a few metres beyond. What looked especially treacherous and exposed from a kilometre away is now much more reasonable-looking. The solidly-affixed wire climbs up and around towers and gullies, fairly devoid of any major exposure. Lots of interesting vantage points for pictures. Ladders and stemples are plentiful.
Traverse on VF Dino Buzzati
The wire continues around many little twists and turns as it climbs up steep gullies on Cimerlo's northern aspect. The rock is solid and blocky and it is easy to climb without touching the wire, if that is your sort of thing. Soon - after about twenty minutes of climbing, the wires end and you arrive at a high shoulder not far from Cimerlo's summit. The route of trail 747 is not completely obvious at this point, with few markers to assist. Generally, though, the route goes straight over the shoulder and immediately starts to descend a much more grassy slope, where the trail soon becomes obvious again.
If you are interested in visiting Cimerlo's summit, you must turn right at the high shoulder and follow the crest (with some easy scrambling) until you get to the summit cairn, located about 100 metres to the southwest.