/ Via Ferrata in Colfosco / Corvara - tips/advice?

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Rich Preston 14 Jul 2019

Hi everyone!

After several years of wanting to try it, I've finally booked myself a Via Ferrata trip for four days this August.

I'm going to be staying in the Colfosco / Corvara area.

I know hiring a car is an essential, but I'm looking for some help with a couple of other bits of beginner info.  Can anyone help?

Is there somewhere you'd recommend for hiring gear in the area?  I just plan on using my regular climbing harness and helmet (this is ok, right?).  And I actually have a lanyard that was a gift for me - but I still need one for my financee.  What other gear would you recommend?

Is there a good route book or route guide for this area that you found useful and easy to understand for beginners?

Do you have any favourite routes in the area?

I was hoping to do most of it myself - but if anyone has recommendations for a fantastic guide they've used in the past then I'd be open to suggestions.  Perhaps even just for the first day to get us started.

Thank you in advance for any tips or advice!  Can't wait to get out there and try it!!

Martin Bennett 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

Any shop in any village or town will hire out gear. Plenty of local guide books available when you get there but the Cicerone "Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites Volume 1" will provide more than enough routes, info and advice for your trip and can be had for £12 on-line. 

If you're both happy on steep ground with exposure and long descents don't miss the uber-classic VF Brigata Tridentina (Grade 3). For a quick half day to get used to it all you could do worse than VF Cir V (Grade 2)

Plenty plenty more in easy reach.

This website would seem to be of help: https://www.sentres.com/en/corvaracolfosco/via-ferrata-routes.

Tips? Start early to avoid crowds and, more, much more importantly, lightening! Don't fall; the consequences don't bear thinking about.

mbh 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

We went there four years ago. I loved it. We did the VF Brigata Tridentina mentioned above, plus the VF Piz de Lech and Via delle Trincee from Arabba nearby. All were fantastic. We had never done VF before, and my wife had hardly climbed anything before. They were all fantastic fun. 

The Tridentina starts from the roadside and has a lovely descent walk (see my profile photo), the other two start and end with a cable car ride, and the Trincee is a ridge traverse, ending with a tunnel (take a good head torch!) and has interesting WW1 features. The walk back to the beginning is an easy stroll through delightful alpine meadows.

The start of the Trincee is quite hard, and later there are a few moves of descent, but overall, if you have ever done trad climbing, VF just feels massively more secure (with the caveat of best not fall!).

The Tridentina gets very crowded, so start very early. There is another VF at the top of the pass, going upwards from the Tridentina. I forget its name but it was an easy one. We did it on the way out but I found it so crowded as to be a drag. There were traffic jams and a lot of  standing still.

Sometimes the routes are referred to by their German names, sometimes by their Italian names. You can hire kit from the shops in town.


hang_about 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

Definitely agree with wearing a helmet. Gardening gloves with the fingers cut out should be fine. Plenty of water/sunscreen/sunglasses and start early to avoid the crowds (and afternoon thunderstorms).

Drink Grappa at Peter's Bar in Colfosco (and the food is very good there as well!)

There's so many classics locally.

hpil 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

We're in colfosco at the moment. Sport Posch (!) on the main drag in colfosco (just up from the ski piste bridge) hires out lanyards for 5 euros per day. 

LittleRob 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

We stayed in Corvara a couple of years ago. We hired from the 'Sport Kostner' shop, though afterwards we bought kit as they sold sets reasonably cheaply.

I'd echo what others have said. We started with Piz du Lech. This was quite quiet, and a reasonable starting point, though we did have snow at the top (in August!).

Later we did Brigata Tridentina. This is much busier and, even with an early start, it was busy. I think this is partially because of the views, partially because its a much easier start (short walk from a car-park rather than 2 chairlifts and a longer walk) and also has the advantage of a Refugio at the top for a hot chocolate ;-)

We had great time, and loved Corvara.

dunnyg 16 Jul 2019
In reply to LittleRob:

you can buy via ferrata kits from decathlon. might work out cheaper than hiring a second kit, and you can always sell it afterwards. About 40 quid i think and saves time hiring etc.. 

JLS 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

Just did VF Cir V (mentioned above) today with my Mrs who’s not climbed in a while. Seemed like it would offer you a gentle intro into VF-ing. Assuming you have a good understanding of the kit, its use and limitations, I’d expect you’d get yourself up and down it without a guide. If you don’t have much of a hillwalking back ground I dare say the descent gully could be a bit of a challenge as it’s a bit loose (in the normal sort of way) but it’s pretty short and if you take your time you’ll manage to pick your way down in 15-20min. Place each foot carefully with the aim of not dislodging a single stone.

It’s got pretty much all the standard stuff you’ll find on a VF, condensed into a short outing so if you get on ok you’ll know you’ll be ok on something longer.

PS. We got the lift up from Colfosco to Jimmy Hut which cut out a wee bit of the vertical hike up to the start. The lift was a bit price-y at 18EUR a head return but as well as a bit of the hike i guess it saved a bit of a bun fight for parking up at the pass. The route took 2hr from Jimmy Hut to Jimmy Hut even with some queuing on the VF.

Post edited at 16:27
Toerag 18 Jul 2019
In reply to Rich Preston:

You can combine Piz da Lech with Brigadata Tridentina adn VF Vallon for a big day out but you'll have to work out how to get your car back.

Mike-W-99 18 Jul 2019
In reply to Toerag:

For tridentina you need to get out of bed early it really attracts the hoards.

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