The via ferrata Masare and the via ferrata Rotwand are more-or-less continuations of one another. I like to look at the two as two separate sections in a single longer ferrata, so I've grouped them together. They can, of course, be done separately. However, done together, these two ferrate form an interesting and varied outing. They have excellent scenic views, lots of fun climbing, and fun exciting exposure at times. The climbing sections are broken up, mostly not very sustained, and excellent protection is always in place where it is needed. There are a couple of awkward moves here and there.
Locator Map for Masare and Rotwand Ferrate
Annotated Topographic Map
Ferrata Masare and Rotwand
The via ferrata masare runs along the crest of a jagged spine of crags, and climbs up/down/up/down many times. It is quite fun just guessing where the ferrata goes next. The via ferrata Rotwand climbs to the highest point in the part of the Rosengarten group (which is, you guessed it, the Rotwand). Where the Ferrata Masare ends, the Ferrata Rotwand starts. The whole thing can be done as a long loop hike that takes about the whole day.
On the way up, above treeline
You can start either by taking the chairlift up to the Rifugio Paolina, or you can hoof it from the height of the Karer pass. The trails on the Tabacco topo map are in some places horribly inaccurate (if you look at the topo, my GPS tracklog is overlain on the map in yellow. You can see just how badly this is in certain cases.
We chose to hike from the Karer pass up along trail 548, then up through some open pastureland up to the Christomannos memorial. Beautiful views everywhere, including over to the Latemar group across the valley (see for the documentation of the ferrata there). From the memorial, a nice easy flat pathway (#549) leads to the Rifugio Roda de Vael, which has beds, hot food, etc.. From there, signage indicates the way to the Masare ferrata. The trail leads west, up into a big boulder field and then veers south angling upslope and turning back west, eventually reaching the southern tip of the masare ridge. It is here that the ferrata Masare starts.
Start of the Masare Ferrata
Up and down, with a few tricky sections, but always well protected. Very fun, neat, entertaining; in places there is big exposure. Because of the up-and-down nature of traversing the ridge, there is as much downclimbing as upclimbing. Eventually the ferrata veers onto the east face of the ridge and makes a big-wall descent down to a grassy slope where it ends, joining up with the start of the Rotwand ferrata. There is a route down back to the Rifugio Roda de Vael from here, although it is a ferrata descent. We did not take this route down, but rather continued on to the Rotwand ferrata.
Interesting head on the Madonna
Climbing on the Masare Ferrata