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Friday, July 27
The Kaleidoscope Walk
A scenic and short little ferrata had caught my eye while flipping through the Fletcher/Smith ferrata guidebook. It was called the Sentiero Astaldi, and from the pictures it looked like an extremely scenic ferrata that traversed through some unusually colored rock strata (unusual for the Dolomites, that is). It was very short and very easy, and so we opted to do this as our 'climbing' for the day. The rest of the day would be spent driving westwards to the Brenta.

The location of the Sentiero Astaldi is directly underneath Punta Anna - the steep and extreme ridge we had climbed just two days before! As we approached the route, we could look up and see just how high, steep and dramatic the Punta Anna route looked - especially from down here, near the Rifugio Dibona, where we parked before starting out on our Sentiero Astaldi hike.
A tale of two routes
Path 421
Hiking up
Because the route grade was so easy, we elected not to take any ferrata gear at all. The guidebook described it more as a hike with a handrail, and we had become pretty proficient at harder ferrate, so we were fairly comfortable with this decision.

We hiked steeply up through pleasant meadows, switchbacking our way to the start of the route in about 20 minutes. We could see now see the colored strata that the route traversed - a series of titled, soft, slope forming rock, interspersed with harder layers. Above these soft layers, the thick, dolomitic bulk of the Punta Anna rested, it's hardness reflected in the sudden verticality of the cliff above. It was fascinating to think of the billions of tonnes of force of the Tofana Group resting on top of this gentle-looking soft, pretty rock.
We climbed way up there!
Junction
Colorful
We started off westward on the Sentiero, enjoying the easy, traversing ramble. The route sticks right up to the top of the soft layers, right up against where it makes contact with the vertical walls above. There are many excellent viewpoints, where the dark ochre-red slopes contrast with the green of the valley below and the pale color of the mountains all around.
The trail is a little airy in spots, but the footing is very good, and the handrail-like wire is always there for reassurance. In all, it took us less than 30 minutes to traverse the entire trail, which ends at a grassy ridge.
Rounding a corner
Exploring the rock
Cool ledge
After a quick break on the grassy ridge (from which we could see the dots of climbers on the much more difficult Punta Anna ridge far, far above), we strolled the easy twenty-minute walk back to the car. In all, this was a perfect little quarter-day jaunt through very pretty scenery.
End of the route
Punta anna ridge
What he loves best
Finishing up
Climbers on the ridge
Interactive Trackmap & Photo Points - The Sentiero Astaldi - Click link below to expand
Elevation over Distance and Time
Sentiero Astaldi Loop
Start Time: 10:13AM
End Time: 11:28AM
Duration: 1h15m
Distance: 2.26 km (1.41 mi)
Average Speed: 1.8 km/hr (1.1 mph)
Start Elevation: 6642ft (2024m) *
Max Elevation: 7347ft (2239m) *
Min Elevation: 6642ft (2024m) *
End Elevation: 6734ft (2052m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 640ft (195m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 566ft (173m) *
 
 
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
(If you'd like to read more about the Sentiero Astaldi, please click here to go to my dedicated Via Ferrata page's route description.)
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