This guide covers 77 via ferrata routes in the Italian Dolomites. As part of a two-volume set of guides to the Dolomite via ferratas, this volume includes the southern Dolomite regions, in 10 areas including those of Belluno, Brenta, Trento, Lake Garda, the 'Piccole Dolomites' and San Martino di Castrozza. As well as the detailed route descriptions, the guide includes maps, advice on how to climb via ferratas, information on the local area's history and geology, how to travel to and around the Dolomites and and the best places to stay.
Many via ferratas were originally built to aid the movements of alpine military units during the First World War, and now they represent one of the major attractions in the Dolomites. They are a range of protected routes, with fixed cables, ladders and even gorge-spanning bridges, which aid ascent to places normally reserved for expert rock climbers. In recent years, old wartime routes have been restored and many new routes added to give a network of routes around the whole Dolomite region. Some of the new ferratas are 'sport routes', often technically quite hard, as you will see from our assessment of the grades. Routes are regularly checked, maintained and waymarked by the Italian Alpine Club, CAI (Club Alpino Italiano).
This the second of a two-volume set of guides to the via ferrata routes in the Italian Dolomites. Volume One focuses on the Northern, Central and Eastern Dolomites.
77 via ferrata routes grouped by 10 valley bases, with guidance on choosing the best base for attacking each of the routes
all graded according to the authors' own simple system that identifies both the 'difficulty' and 'seriousness' of a route
ranges include the Pala di San Martino, the Civetta, the Schiara near Belluno, the Alpi Vicentine, the Brenta Dolomites and the hills surrounding Lago di Garda
Via Ferrata, high cable and rope-work.
Mainly mid-June until the end of September in the higher mountains, avoiding August if you can! Lake Garda area can often be climbed year round.
Bolzano, Valle di Primiero and San Martino di Castrozza, Agordino, Belluno, Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Brenta, Trento, Riva, Lake Garda, Rovereto.
All grades of routes from straightforward short sections of 'protected walking' to serious and strenuous mountain expeditions involving high levels of exposure and commitment.
All the via ferratas described are great, but don't tackle something too hard too quickly.