/ Finding a guide for Marmolada Glacier

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sarahlizzy - on 22 Jul 2012
I'm part of a party going to the Dolomites for the first half of August. Two of us have been looking to do VF Marmolada, followed by the descent down the glacier for some time. We are experienced ferrataists, but have no ice skills.

For a few months we have been looking for a guide for the glacier portion of the route without success. We have tried are Lake Garda guides, val de Fassa guides and XMountain. We've tried a couple of others, but have forgotten who.

I understand Collette's do this route with a guide, but we are not part of a Collette's tour, choosing to make our own arrangements.

These guides are all either busy, or have not answered the email. At this point we are more or less resigned to not summiting Marmolada, so you guys are our last hope. Any suggestions for someone who would be able to guide a pair of us up VF Marmolada and down across the glacier at 2 1/2 weeks notice, and who speaks English, would be very much appreciated.
Neil Adams - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy: I was up there last week. It really is a straight-forward walk down snow - we both just walked down in trainers. There's an obvious tracked ridge leading north-ish from the top station. Follow that and you'll be down on the path to the Fedaia pass in no time.

I know "inexperienced" can cover a whole range of ability levels but if you can walk downhill, and you do it in good weather, you'll be absolutely fine.

If you want any photos of the descent, send me a message.

Cheers,
Neil
RobbieT - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Neil Adams:
Not sure that's the best advice to give someone (talking about doing it in trainers). Generally if there's guides there to take people up it's for good reason. Being inexperienced on glacier walks could land you in trouble, however straight forward it looks.

The weather changes really quickly, you could stray off route and be in crevasse territory etc. etc.

That aside, if you know somebody who has some experience in alpine conditions there's no problem in heading up there without a "guide".

The guides that Colletts use need a minimum of 4 people signed up to do a walk. Keep on bugging them and see what you get back. I know the past few glacier and summit treks have been cancelled due to bad conditions though.
digby - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to RobbieT:

> The weather changes really quickly, you could stray off route and be in crevasse territory etc. etc.

On a settled day in high season and knowing the forecast I would say it's virtually impossible to stray off route. Just slot in to the procession and follow the beaten path.

Fiona Reid - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

If you're planning to follow the route as described in Cicerone book (i.e. descending via the glacier) then roping up and using a guide is a very good idea. We did the route 2 weeks back and stepped over at least 3 crevasses. There were parties descending unroped but personally I wouldn't have wanted to do that.

In terms of guides, have your the tourist office for where you'll be staying? Try phoning instead of emailing, they will speak English. In San Cristina the tourst office could book you a place with a guide and indeed on Monday evenings one of the guides was there so you could chat to them if you wanted.

These guys based in Selva do pretty much what you're after (min of 2 people for Marmolda), http://www.catores.com/cms/index.php?en_Climbing_Courses_for_kids The San Cristina guides do something similar but I can't find a link for them.

Fingers crossed you get a good day, the views are awesome.
Neil Adams - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to RobbieT:
> (In reply to Neil Adams)
> Not sure that's the best advice to give someone

Ordinarily I would agree with you, and I did hesitate before posting, but in this case it really is that easy
sarahlizzy - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

Thanks for the replies everyone. Definitely wouldn't do it by ourselves, but the tourist information office seems like a plan. We have big boots, and are planning on renting ice axes and crampons. Have played around on the base of the glacier a few times in trainers, once with a fresh layer of powder and gone comprehensively arse over tit!
Bellie - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy: These are the guys that Colletts use. They do the Marmolada weekly.

Info link below.

http://www.proguide.it/index.php/guida-alpina/attivita-estive/programma-settimanale/?lang=en

Hope this helps.
stevesmith - on 23 Jul 2012
Try the Corvara guides office at http://www.altabadiaguides.com/eng/WeeklyProgram/page_10_1021.html

I'm sure they would be happy to help
Michael Griffith - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy: The first time I came down across this glacier it was a trench, very easy, and I could have done it in carpet slippers. That was in early July. The second time was in early September, the glacier in places was hard bare ice and I was glad of my several years of experience.
What you could do is ASCEND the lower part of the glacier the day before to get a feel for conditions and have a bit of ptectice so you'll know what to expect when you come down off the Ferrata, which, by the way is fabulous, straightforward and not very hard.
android_lloyd - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy: I got in contact with Manfred stuffer of catores guides. We went up last Monday in perfect weather. We started from the car at half six and were first on the summit for the day. He speaks great English and is generally a top guy, so give him a shout. The glacier is pretty small but definitely has man eating holes to fall in...
whistler - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

I'm not sure how long the VF is but you could plan to get the cable car down? Last one is at 4:30pm. Of course you have to be able to get down anyway in case you miss it, so yes it probably is bad advice.

The ride down is 12 euros and it will be the best 12 euros you will have spent on your trip!
sarahlizzy - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

Got one! Thanks for your help and suggestions, everyone. You're all great!
Fiona Reid - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

No probs. Fingers crossed you get a good clear day. The views are really rather good.

Cheers,
Fiona
sarahlizzy - on 25 Jul 2012
In reply to Fiona Reid:

Have been to the top of the cable car before and looked across to Punta Penia. Just not stood on the roof of the Dolomites itself...
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Erstwhile on 25 Jul 2012
In reply to sarahlizzy:

My Italian mate is a guide and a great bloke:
roberto.pedrotti@gmail.com

Don't think the cablecar is realistic - as I recall it's harder to traverse the ridge than descend the glacier.

It's true that the glacier is quite easy, but people do die regularly on it, so not to be completely disregarded.

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