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Ciampac Cablecar
Day 3 of our "Dolomites experience 2005" (well, Day 1 for Brian) was a climb up another 'new' mountain - this one had an interesting name - it was just called "Colac". Colac is not a particularly high mountain by the standards of its neighbours, but it offers a very good, long mid-grade (3) ferrata to its summit. The climbing portion of the route is almost a vertical kilometre - quite a lot by ferrata standards.

The climb up Colac involved using a working chairlift. This meant that our approach time to the ferrata was quite minimal. From the top of the chairlift to the start of the ferrata was an easy 20 minutes of mostly flat walking. Up above us, we good see the side of the Colac that we would be climbing - it looked impressive and difficult from this angle. But as anyone who has spent time in the mountains knows "it is often the case that what looks hard ends up being easy, and what looks easy ends up being hard".
Colac's West Face
Ferrata Start Plaque
Jenn on Ferrata
The start of the ferrata was marked by a high-quality plaque, announcing the route as the "via ferrata dei finanzieri" (or, "via ferrata of the financiers"). It was truly a very good route, challenging, long and with considerable exposure in places. But it was also well-built, and although there were actually quite a few other climbers on the route, it was very enjoyable. I think Jenn was also getting more comfortable with the whole via ferrata thing in general, and so seemed to be starting to relax and enjoy herself more.
Brian and Jenn on very steep terrain
High up on Colac
Jenn on another steep section
Up to the summit
Brian reaches north ridge
Jenn on summit ridge with Marmolada
The weather alternated between warm and sunny and cloudy and cool. The ferrata led almost right up to the antique-looking wrought-iron cross at the summit, where we had a much-need food break and took a few snaps. The way down was a different route, down the other side of the mountain. It was also a via ferrata route, but of a much easier grade (Grade "1", the easiest there is). The way down was, I think, actually more scenic than the ascent. After descending below the via ferrata portion, a trail wound around beautifully, traversing along the base of the mountain, until finally we completed a loop and arrived back at the cablecar station. We sat down at little bar located there and toasted ourselves with a round of drinks.
courtesy BConnell
courtesy BConnell
Jenn and summit cross, Colac
Andrew and Jenn on descent
Jenn and summit knob
Hiking with the Marmolada
Jenn hiking to lift station
Beers and Colac
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[ Italy 2005 trip home page | The main trip report | Family | Monte Cervialto | Herculaneum & Vesuvius | Palace of Caserta | Amalfi & Capri | Abruzzo & Monte Amaro | Rome | Tuscany | Venice | The Biennale | Via Ferrata-ing in the dolomites | Climbing in the Ortles | Gottfried's Adventures | Maps, Graphs & GPS Data ]

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