/ First Dolomites Via Ferrata trip, suggestions?
Heading to the dolomites in September with the missus to have a play on some via ferrata. Both competent climbers but fancy something a bit different. Neither of us have been before so any suggestions for where to go, places to stay, routes to do, would be appreciated.
Only got 5 days there and want to make it count!
Base yourself and in corvara central for some class VFs enjoy !
> Base yourself and in corvara central for some class VFs enjoy !
Agreed. Including the famous Tridentina which is terrific. The upper section is very exposed but never desperate. https://www.alta-badia.org/en/leisure-activities/climbing-and-mountaineering/brigata-tridentina-route/
Corvara is a friendly village with some lovely walking in addition to the VFs
Thanks, any suggestions for cheap and cheerful accommdation?
Not done it myself I confess - not really a VF fan - but a good friend of mine has and raves about it. I have done routes in the area - it's a really nice area and not as overrun as the Sella/Cortina hotspots
Dolomites don't really have cheap accommodation. As it will be off season you can book double room in a proper hotel for 60 - 100 euros per night.
Alternative is to stay in huts and cook own food. Night for alpine members is about 10 - 20 euros.
There's lots to go at especially if you are competent climbers. Here's two of my favourites:
West ridge of Marmolada although it's useful to be adept at glacier travel for the descent although you can reverse the route if you like... http://www.casa-alfredino.co.uk/uncategorized/the-west-ridge-of-marmolada-vf4d-a-via-ferrata-not-to-be-missed/
Although there is lots up near Corvara it's not the only place you can go - Civetta has several huge routes which are fantastic, Marmolada also has the Eterna, there is the Stella Alpina on Monte Agner, several on Moiazza and quite a number in the mountains just south of Marmolada.
Airbnb is also worth a look.
> Thanks, any suggestions for cheap and cheerful accommodation?
Sorry don't have any recommendations for accommodation. We used Colletts https://www.colletts.co.uk/dolomites/
They do self guided holidays, which is what we did, but can arrange the accommodation and transfers from Venice airport if needed. Excellent catered accommodation, and you can do your own thing during the day or join one of their guided walks if you want to.
Not the cheapest, but very good accommodation, and hassle free.
Been VF-ing in the dolomites 4 or 5 times, fantastic holidays. Staying in Cortina or Corvara. Cortina has a big old campsite just outside it with a decent little bar. Corvara is a bit more of a mountain town. We either camp or get an airbnb (of which there are plenty)
My favourite is the punta anna (Punta Anna (VF) (VF5C))
Delle scalette (Delle Scalette (VF3B)) has one of the best walk in's of any climb I've ever done, stunning.
Of the other "hard" ones, Cesare Piazetta is great (Cesare Piazetta (VF) (VF5C)) but Ski Club 18 isn't worth it IMO. Marmolada west ridge has fantastic scenery and situation but the actual ferrata isn't super interesting.
There's loads of cracking routes which don't quite make the top 3, check my logbook!
Val di Fassa (Canazei / Campitello / Vigo di Fassa) is close to Corvara / Val Gardena.
There are a number of quality ferrata in the Cataniccio also M-4, Colac, Finazeri, Marmolada routes can be reached on foot or by public transport. Cablecars to Col Rodella & Oskar Schuster in the Sassolungo or buses to Sella for Piazetta & Possnecker. Covara is a great village but access is easier to a wider range of ferrata from Cortina or Canazei.
They are so good you should do them twice
Based in Corvara for a few days, a couple of years ago, we did the Brigata Tridentina, Piz da Lech and, driving over to Arabba, the Trincee. From Silva we also did the Sandro Pertini, but that is now sadly gone, I think. All were fantastic and dead easy if you have done any climbing at all.
We camped in the campsite in Colfosco, just outside Corvara. It was expensive but well run and very clean.
They are graded. If you are climbers. Try a grade 3 first to practice.
If not acclimatised to altitude go low level.
Rockfax Dolomites is good for VF.
> If not acclimatised to altitude go low level.
I've never found altitude to be an issue - there's virtually nothing in the dollies over 3000m, with most topping out at 2-2500m.
OP- Brigadata Tridentina gets very busy so start early or late. Accomodation - cheapest is valley camping. Huts are good just for the experience, I've never had a problem getting a small room in midweek. BMC do a hut discount card, but it only acts upon accomodation costs, not meals. I think it works out worthwhile for a week's worth of hut nights. I've never seen anyone taking their own food to cook though, it would just make for a weighty pack. A mate of mine has been looking for accomodation and can't beat Colletts prices for valley accomodation.
Brenta is an option worth considering as it's closest to the bad weather alternative area of Arco.
Bear in mind most lifts stop running around 20th September.
Google my posts for more ideas, I like to enchain VFs and sleep in huts.
> I've never found altitude to be an issue -....... .
Lucky for some!
Always takes me about a week to fully acclimatise, with the first couple of days being pretty rough of I overdo it.
Yes lucky you.
This might be heresy, but actually I find VF pretty boring, and generally really busy.
The climbing there is.out of this world. Big easy routes much better.
> actually I find VF pretty boring
Have you tried climbing (most sections, if not all) of a Via Ferrata route "free"?
. . . that is . . .
Making your climbing moves with hands and feet directly on the rock, using the steel cable and other fixed hardware only for Protection (clipping you VF kit), and not for Aid (touching with your feet or hands).
Of course even with correctly clipping the cable for protection (in the usual way), actually falling could result in serious injury in several possible modes. So make sure you've got each move solid: VF with the usual equipment is not a situation for pushing your limits.
Ha ha. Yes, but it's not easy when the whole of the rest of the world is yarding the cables, and you are very aware that if you blow it you are going to take out a few others with you.
The VF that have few cables but get you dramatic places are the best for my money
> The VF that have few cables but get you dramatic places are the best for my money
Don't think I would like to follow you, 'skylock' quick?
Just to pick up the comments about huts - above someone said that huts are 10-20 euros - that is without food, and I don't think I have EVER stayed at one for 10 Euro. 20 yes, without food and with a reciprocal rights card, CAI, CAF OAV, DAV card... secondly as atleast half if not more of the huts in the Dolomites are privately owned, your reciprocal rights card woill not ve valid at these huts, only at CAI huts, i.e. no discount. The hut owner may take pity on you but most do not as its a tough enough game to make money at as it is. So in reality, if you are eating in, and not at a CAI hut or don't have a card it is more likely to be the best part of 40-50 euro a night per person. I am of course biased, being an accomodation provider, but unless you are going hut to hut I don't think they are that great value. Peak season, our 4 person apartments are 25 euro a head, you have your own cooking facilities, drying rooms and comfortable beds...
In reply to Ian Caton: yeah I agree - I used to love VF but am becoming more and more wary with the crowds of people, often not well prepared or that experienced climbing routes they have difficulites with, misusing their equipment because they haven't read the instruction etc. At least with the climbing you know where you are - most people will be good climbers and know whats what and bar rock fall it's safer I find!
The Brenta Traverse!
I really enjoyed the big vf on the Tofana de rozes. Lots of cables but lots of gaps to overtake and within the whole day not too much plus great views and spectacular country.
Also, can't remember its name but the one that goes along/through the ridge at the back of the Tre Cima. Much lighter day than the one above.
> I really enjoyed the big vf on the Tofana de rozes. Lots of cables but lots of gaps to overtake . . .
When I'm climbing a VF mostly "free" with hands and feet directly on the rock (to avoid the "boring" which someone complained about above), in many sections I can create my own "gap" simply by uncilpping my lanyard from the protection of the cable and climbing a ways free-solo to get past slower climbers. (e.g. on VF Brigata Tridentina).
Of course since so much of the rock in the pretty Dolomites is junk, I want to avoid climbing _above_ other climbers, or anyway need to be very careful to test holds since the consequence of a fall are more deadly (to myself) if my lanyard is not attached to the cable.
But those who say they prefer the long easy non-VF routes of the Dolomites already ought to be well-acquainted with the problems of abundant junk rock (and the dangers of other parties ahead above on it).
P.S. Nowadays there are hundreds of VF routes in Europe outside the Dolomites, many on sounder rock, many with superior modern design. It's no longer required to "follow the herd" to the Dolomites. Western Austria is now the superior region to spend 5 days focusing on VF, and with a shorter drive from MUC airport - (but don't count on the best routes being less crowded, since German-speaking mountain-lovers have already figured this out).
For those who prefer to slant their holiday "bet" toward sunny dry weather, the new VF routes within an hour's driving from Briancon make that region (including nearby Italy) a good competitor to the (often rainy) Dolomites.
If you need VF kit I've got two Petzl Zyper Vertigo kits for sale. Used once in the Dolomites and no falls taken on either.
Thank you Ian. I like the sound of those. I fancy the Possnecker too for our next trip, if we go again.
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