This is one of the harder via ferrata, similar in difficulty to Ski Club 18 (page 426 ). It has some excellent exposure, a memorable chimney squeeze, an exposed traverse and an interesting bridge, all of which make for a very entertaining route. The usual finish is the summit of Piz Boè (3152m) which also makes it particularly appealing to peak baggers. The option to take the Sass Pordoi cable car back down if desired makes the whole affair very civilised. Note - This is a high via ferrata reaching over 3000m and it is not possible to escape off the wire without down-climbing it. Make sure there is a stable weather forecast before committing yourself to this route.
Approach - This via ferrata starts just off the top of the Pordoi Pass which is easily accessible on the SS48 from Arabba or Canazei. From the top of the pass, follow a small road which runs behind some shops signed to 'Mausoleum Ossario del Pordoi'. The mausoleum should be clearly visible on the Arabba side of the pass. Park at the end of the road or along the verge if the mausoleum car park is full. From the mausoleum (which is well worth a look in) follow the path northwards steeply uphill, aiming for the rock walls directly under the summit of Piz Boè. The path finally takes you right across scree to the base of the route and the wire.
VF - The difficulty of the route quickly becomes apparent as the wire leads you up steeply with some great exposure and very photogenic sections. After the initial strenuous section you reach a good ledge and a well-deserved rest. At the end of the ledge climb a steep traditional chimney; great fun if wet and even more fun if the person behind you has a large rucksack. Continue on slightly easier ground with some excellent climbing to reach a characteristic bridge, then continue more easily to reach the final steep section. Climb this to reach the top of the wire at a path junction and a sign painted on the rock. To continue to the summit, continue straight on following the sign for 'Piz Boè' (40 minutes). Alternatively, to head straight for the descent turn left following signs for 'Forcella Pordoi' (30 minutes).
Descent - For those shunning the summit experience, follow the cairned path east across and through a large scree bowl to join the 638, then proceed as below.
From the summit of Piz Boè follow the crowds southwest on the 638 in the direction of the Sass Pordoi cable car, clearly visible in good weather. There is a small section of wire to assist with the initial descent. Join the 627 and continue down to Rifugio Forcella Pordoi. There are two options from here: either descend on foot or take the lift.
To take the cable car, turn right at the rifugio and follow the path gently uphill for 10 minutes (well-marked and signed) until you reach the cable car station.
To return on foot, turn left at the rifugio staying on the 627, and descend down the large scree gully (some good scree running practice). This leads back to the top of the pass. From here the mausoleum should be clearly visible again; walk along the road back to the car park. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
of ascent, 500m of VF. Allegedly the hardest VF in the region, it's certainly very strenous at the start, but slightly marred by the fact that you have to rely on the wires so much
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