Group picture before climb
Quickly returning back to the junction with the path to the ferrata, we started up it, and soon reached the first of the cables, where we geared up. From here, easy but protected scrambling (there's some exposure here) led up, interspersed with sections of path with no wire. Fewer trees and steeper terrain meant ever-increasing fantastic views.
Scrambling before ladders
Excellent views down to Riva
After a short but steep climb through a band of forest, we arrived at the first set of ladders. Long metal ladders are a defining feature of the Via Ferrata del Centenario.
We waited a bit for a party ahead of us to clear off the top of the first set of ladders (signs indicate that there is a max of 3 people per ladder, and the scope of what constitutes a single ladder is unclear), and then headed up. These first ladders weren't too vertical, and so therefore not very strenuous. Good exposure and views from them, though!
Top of first set of ladders
Above the ladders, the wire ended and there was a somewhat long section of steep path through a band of thick forest. This led to the base of the second and longest set of ladders, one of which seemed to stretch on forever. Furthermore, this long ladder starts off at a normal angle, but then continues to steepen as it climbs, and at its very top is vertical or perhaps even slightly overhanging, making for a somewhat strenuous finish. The views looking back down from near the top of this ladder are marvellous. Riva looks like a toy village very far below.
It was turning out to be quite a hot day, and the south-eastern aspect of the slope only magnified this effect. We were all going through our water supplies at a pretty fast clip.
Above the long ladder section, the route again reverts to some steep path through forest and scrubby brush. We could now clearly see the little pinnacle of Cima SAT growing close, and we could now spot the final sections of ladder climbing up it.
With a final flourish, the via ferrata del Centenario climbed a few airy ladders to the small crag that is Cima SAT. An Italian flag in metal marked the summit. All around is a grand panorama of the Sarca Valley, Riva del Garda directly below, and a huge swath of the northern end of Lake Garda. Quite a fantastic view.
Arriving on top of Cima SAT