The via ferrata on Col dei Bos is sometimes known as Ferrata degi Alpini, after the Italian military from Bolzano who constructed the route in 2007/8. It follows the line of a previous route that was used frequently by the army in the sixties. The route was also something of an experiment to create a 'safe' via ferrata, so is particularly well equipped with short run-outs and rubber caps between cables. It is a relatively long via ferrata but has a short walk in and easy descent. Apart from the initial section, it is considerably easier than its grade may suggest.
Note - Before heading out to do this ferrata, it is worth giving the tourist office or Ristorante Da Strobel a ring to check the route's status - the army usually reclaim the ferrata for two weeks during July, closing it to the general public.
Approach - From Cortina d'Ampezzo, take the SS48 to the west, following signs for the 'Falzarego Pass'. Continue for 8km up the pass until you reach Casa Cantoniera Ra Nona, a large red building on the right-hand side of the road. From here continue a further two hairpins up the road to Ristorante Da Strobel. There is ample parking on both sides of the road. Alternatively, and depending on your chosen descent, continue up to the top of the pass and park at the Lagazuoi cable car.
From Ristorante Da Strobel, Ascend the path behind the restaurant, following dry steam beds, to join path 423, just before the Falzarego Towers.
From the Lagazuoi car park, ascend path 402 and after 50m branch right following a white sign for Ferrata Col dei Bos. Follow the path through shrubs, contouring below the base of the rocks on the right. Shortly after crossing a small bridge, pass underneath the Falzarego Towers to reach the remains of an old military hospital. Continue past the hospital and branch left onto a small path leading up to the base of Col dei Bos.
VF - The first few moves of the via ferrata are by far the hardest, and the taut cable is appreciated on a strenuous and fairly technical vertical crack. Make a short traverse right then continue vertically in the corner before exiting onto a wide and open ramp. Follow the ramp then overcome a short steep wall to reach easier ground. From here you can relax in the knowledge that the worst is behind you. The wire acts as hardly more than a handrail as the route ascends straightfoward ground until reaching another more vertical section, followed by an exposed traverse. The route now continues, alternating between walking and short sections of climbing, with excellent protection throughout. Make a short descent to reach the third and final section of the via ferrata. This section can sometimes be wet but otherwise poses no problems as the holds are excellent. Top out from the wall at the end of the wire and continue walking easily for a few minutes to reach breathtaking views on the summit.
Descent - There are numerous possibilities from the summit. The most direct descent is to follow a path left to reach the saddle between Col dei Bos and the Falzarego Towers, then take the loose and rather unpleasant gully back to the remains of the military hospital. A more civilised option is to descend north from the summit to reach Forcella Col dei Bos, then turn right onto path 402. Follow this to reach a vehicle track then continue on path 412 to cut below the face and return to the start of the route. For those wishing to extend the day, other options are to descend northeast from the summit to reach Forcella Travenanzes, then either descend path 402 back to the Lagazuoi cable car or ascend up the ski piste to reach the top station, then descend the interesting Lagazuoi War Tunnels (headtorch required) © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
A new VF put up in 2008 by the Italian Military. Currently not marked on most maps. Starts on the arete to the right of the old WW1 field hospital.
It's worth considering the day to climb this VF as Saturdays and Sundays can result in queues of up to 50+ people at the base. The local Alpini (Special army branch) can also take over this VF on certain days stopping public access.
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