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Bocchette Alte

Mountain(s) / Location:
Brenta Group
Maximum Height:
2998 m / 9836 ft
Fletcher/Smith Rating: 4C  
Hofler/Werner Rating:   E  
[ Show on Satellite Locator Map ]

Oliva Detassis

Mountain(s) / Location:
Brenta Group
Maximum Height:
2822 m / 9260 ft
Fletcher/Smith Rating: 4B  
Hofler/Werner Rating:   -  
[ Show on Satellite Locator Map ]
This is a combined description of two of the harder of the Brenta Ferrate: the Sentiero Oliva Detassis, and the Sentiero Bocchette Alte. The Sentiero Bocchette Alte is part of the famous high-level Brenta route collectively known as the 'Via delle Bocchette'.

Both of these routes climb high into the upper reaches of the Brenta Dolomites. There are (as you might expect) a lot of big, steep ladders and a lot of exposure. The actual technical climbing level is fairly low (because of the preponderance of ladders). A few sections along the Bochette Alte are airy and unprotected, mostly along some flat traversing spots. Both of these route are exceedingly beautiful, and if the weather is clear, you'll have fantastic views from along the spine of the Brenta. Also worthy of note is that the Bocchette Alte can be pretty busy, so 'traffic jams' do sometimes happen.

Note: The route is only described from the Detassis Approach trail to the end of the Bocchette Alte at Bocca del Tuckett. The approach trails from and back down to the valley below are not described. You can consult other Brenta route descriptions on my page for approach information (i.e. the Bocchette Centrale description and/or the Sentiero SOSAT description).
Regional Locator Map
Elevation Profiles over Distance
Junction to Detassis
On trail 323 between the Rifugio Brentei and the Rifugio Alimonta (closer to the Alimonta end), you will come across a junction with a big dark plaque and a red-and-white trail sign. This is the junction of trail 323 and the Oliva Detassis Approach trail.

Follow the Oliva Detassis approach trail, which leads up along the right side of the valley of the Vedrette dei Brentei (of which there isn't much glacier left at all).
Only for experts!
Beautiful clouds
Barren valley
As you approach the head of the valley, you may wonder where the ferrata starts. Look to the right edge of the prominent buttress in front of you. The ferrata ascends the right part of that buttress, and then curves around into the deep gully coming down from the Spallone dei Massodi. In any case, follow the faint path up the scree to the base of the buttress and look for big red-painted stars, stemples and ladders.
courtesy PChen
Approaching Bren 3
To the ferrata start
Start of route
The ferrata starts off steep. However, your boots don't touch too much rock, because there are lots of stemples and ladders. A few of the ladder sections are quite close to vertical, which is a bit strenuous.
Up, up, up
Memorial plaque
Old but sound
courtesy DBoyd
Steep, then steeper
Andrew nearing steep ladder
A long way down
As the route climbs higher, it curves around onto a wall facing into the deep gully coming down from the Spallone dei Massodi. Up and up it goes, climbing yet more ladders. The surrounding views are excellent.
Steep, old ice
Jenn on BREN 4
Curved ladder
After about 500 feet of mostly ladder climbing, you come to a junction of ferrate. The Sentiero Oliva Detassis ends here, and you've arrived at a point on the Sentiero Bocchette Alte a little ways from its southern terminus. On the right, the first little bit of the Sentiero Bocchette Alte comes down into the steep gap of the Bochetta Bassa di Massodi. (Note: this first little bit of the Sentiero Bocchette Alte is not described by this page).
courtesy DBoyd
Approaching the top
Bochetta Massodi
Now on Bochette Alte
Turning left (i.e. up), start following the Bocchette Alte. It climbs up ladders and along a few ledges, after which the ferrata ends for a bit, and the route winds along traversing and rising up with a few more (this time non-ladder) ferrata sections to the high plateau of the Spallone dei Massodi. A short walk across this flattish section brings you to a big ladder descent (the ladder is called the 'Scala degli Amici' - the 'ladder of friends'). If you look north, you can see the next part of your route, which follows the narrow spine of the main ridge.
A bit of trail walking
Spallone dei Massodi
Ladder of Friends
courtesy DBoyd
Knife-edged route
Down the ladder of friends
Ladder of friends
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