Dolomites Deluxe – Advanced Via Ferrata
An upgrade from the Dolomite Magic
You’ve done the introductory ferratas, and now you want steep walls. ‘Screw the A-B level stuff, show me action!’ – you think to yourself. What you get here is the juicier part of the Dolomites’ ferratas: screaming heights on notorious peaks, exhausting hikes and gorgeous scenery. This C-D-level stuff is the ultimate via ferrata you can get in 4 days.
After all the basic stuff, the via ferrata course and the introductory routes in the Dolomites, you’re longing for more. Perhaps, you even have some climbing experience and are crazy about rock faces that would take years to attempt with traditional climbing gear. This is your big adrenaline block for the summer, with scenery that competes with Patagonia.
To make the most of your via ferrata experience, check our tips on via ferrata equipment, safety, and route planning here.
Further InfoThis trip is perfect if you've had a taste of via ferratas and you want more. Or, you might have experience rock climbing and know that you long for heights and exposed ridges. The daily distances covered here are significant. If you don't feel you're up to the challenge, we'll be happy to take you on Dolomites Via Ferrata Light - which is also a bunch of fun but easier.
Is this trip for you?
Day 1: Meeting in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Meet your guide in Cortina, the heart of the Dolomites. Take your place in a friendly guesthouse and prepare for supper. Take a stroll in downtown Cortina in the evening: it’s fabulous!
Day 2: Ettore Bovero ferrata – Col Rosa (2,160m)
We start out with a short but quite technical ferrata. The route crosses the South-Eastern wall of Col Rosa, rising like a lonely giant in the valley between Tofana and Pomagagnon. From the summit, the extraordinary view rewards you for the climb that takes you on vertical walls, exposed ridges and steep ascents. From the summit, you take a quite steep trail back to the valley. This climb shouldn’t exhaust you, as it’s rather short and the vertical gain of the ferrata is only 200 meters. But it’s guaranteed to make you sweat.
Day 3: Albino Michielli Strobel ferrata – Punta Fiammes (2,240m)
Get ready for a 600-meter climb today! You tackle the Strobel ferrata, which is quite a popular one in the Cortina region. We won’t even attempt to describe the scenery that you get to experience, once you’re nearing the summit of Punta Fiammes.
The ferrata starts on a wide ledge where you put on your harness and set. You won’t need belay for the first few minutes on the ledge, but after that you hit a chimney and start ascending seriously. This ferrata is a fine mixture of all things rock; narrow ridges, vertical walls, long ladders interchange as you gain altitude and feel the air getting cooler.
Before summiting, there is a 15-minute walk, but once on top, seeing Cortina at your feet and the surrounding ranges will have you in ecstasy. The way down is a comfy walk on an easy trail. Well done, you deserve a big dinner tonight!
Day 4: Giuseppe Olivieri ferrata – Punta Anna (2,731m), Tofana di Mezzo (3,244m)
We’ve saved the best, biggest and baddest for last. What makes the Punta Anna climb fantastic is the majestic view on the south wall of Tofana di Roses. Weather and your stamina permitting, you will climb on to tackle Tofana di Mezzo (3,244 m) by linking the Gianni Aglio ferrata to your trip. If this is the case, you descend by a ski lift to the valley after summiting.
Day 5: Farewell
Some people prefer short mountain holidays, so we made the basic itinerary 4.5 days long. BUT if you’re one of the fortunate who can afford to stay longer in the Dolomites, let us know because there are countless other opportunities around Cortina that await you. It’s just as stunning as the Brenta Dolomites, so if you have a few extra days on your hand, your guide will be happy to chase you up on other big walls this summer.
Equipment and Info
Geography and Info
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy, and shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino. One national park and many other regional parks are located in the Dolomites. In 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Via ferratas are strongly associated with the First World War, when several were built in the Dolomite mountain region of Italy to aid the movement of troops. However, many more have been developed in recent years, as their popularity has grown and the tourism benefits have become recognised. Now over 1,000 via ferratas exist in the area. The majority are found in the Alps, most notable in Italy and Austria.
This is an introductory climb and everyone leading a sporty lifestyle (ie: exercising 3 times a week for at least an hour, working up a sweat) can manage the climb. However, it is important that you arrive well rested.
Via ferrata trips can vary in length from short routes taking less than an hour, to long, demanding alpine routes covering significant distance and altitude (1,000 metres or more of ascent), and taking eight or more hours to complete.
In difficulty, a via ferrata can range from routes that are little more than paths, albeit in dramatic and exposed situations, to very steep and strenuous routes, overhanging in parts, which demand the strength — if not the technique — of serious rock climbing. Generally, via ferrata are done in ascent, although it is possible to descend them.
The summer months (from mid-July through September) have warm temperatures and plenty of sun – perfect for hiking, climbing and via ferrata! The average maximum temperature may reach some 25°C on the valley floors, but it can be as cold as 0-5°C at the summit.
Above 2,000-3,000 metres, it’s hard to predict the temperatures even a few days ahead.
If meteorology predicts a big, Europe-wide cold front with storms (ie: no chance of being able to climb), then we cancel the trip and postpone it to a later date, agreed on by everyone. Even if good weather is predicted, we can still run into a snowstorm, rain and fog. For the sake of your safety and enjoyment, the guide will turn the group around on the summit bid. That means no summit. This is a decision you have to accept. There is no democracy on guided trips; the guide is responsible for the group’s safety, so (s)he makes the calls.
The price includes equimpent hire, so you need not worry about technical gear. Of course, you may bring your own gear if you prefer, but regrettably, we can’t discount the price of the trip should you bring your own stuff.
What you do need to bring is good climbing boots broken in, so they won’t hurt your feet. Check here what we recommend.
Here is a list that may be helpful to get yourself organised before the trip:
- trekking socks
- rucksack – 30-40 liters (here are some more specific tips on the ideal backpack)
- waterproof pants – make sure you treat them with water-repellent prior to your trip
- waterproof jacket/softshell – make sure you treat it with water-repellent prior to your trip
- two pairs of gloves
- warm hat
- bandana/cap against the sun
- sunscreen (min. factor 30) and lip balm
- 2 fleece sweaters/vest
- climbing boots
- sandals/running shoes for life in the valley
- trekking poles (recommended)
During your trip, you will stay in a nice guesthouse or B&B in Cortina (or around). Simple, but comfy 2-4 beded rooms, with shower and toilet will await you.
- you can buy warm food and drinks in the hostel/huts and there are heaps of great restaurants around Cortina
- you need to bring sandwiches/energy bars/candy bars for the climb
- bring a 1.5 litre bottle
In Cortina you will find many shops and restaurants. Cortina is not a cheap place, so if you plan to buy everything here, calculate with 20-50 euro for your daily meal.
Get some practical advice on Mountain Food so you maximize your performance – here.
You meet the team on the first day, at 6-7 PM in Cortina (or around) at your accommodation.
- Airport Bolzano (BZO), Italy – Approx. 140 km (2 hours driving) distance to Cortina
- Airport Venezia (VCE), Italy – Approx. 149 km (2 hours driving) distance to Cortina
No direct train connection. The nearest train station is Calalzo di Cadore, about 35 km away from Cortina. You can access Cortina comfortably from the Mestre train station in Venice, via the “Cortina Express” in about 2 hours.
If you need a hand with airplane tickets, let us know. We are happy to help you.