Via ferrata Vallon → Piz Boè – this hiking was part of a 2-week trip in Europe (July 2015).
On the second day spend in the stunning Dolomites mountains (Italy) we decided to buy 2 via ferrata kits. For testing them, we chose a short, but not easy via ferrata trail (Vallon) and combine it with a hike to Piz Boè (Cresta Strenta), the highest mountain of the Sella Group.
⚠️Prices for via ferrata kit: via ferrata set with carabiners and elasticated webbing lanyards ~100€, helmet ~45€, harness ~65€, via ferrata gloves ~65€.
Via ferrata Vallon consists of climbing a steep mountain side surrounded by a rocky amphitheater (highest peaks Sasso delle Nove and Sasso delle Dieci), passing by a waterfall and crossing a bridge in its proximity. The feeling of finding yourself in front of an exposed and steep rock wall and having to climb it is unbeatable. We were the only ones doing the via ferrata at that moment, so the scenery was entire for us and we could reconnect with the incredible nature in peace.
After approximately 1h of intense physical activity, we arrived on the ridge that led us to Piz Boè. The trail to the mountain peak was devoid of vegetation, but gave us the opportunity to take some unique photos of that rocky landscape. We met people of all ages, some accompanied by dogs. When descending, we chose another trail, longer, but panoramic and less crowded. It was a very long day, but the natural beauty of that place created everlasting memories for us.
⚠️Via ferrata (“iron path”) is a protected climbing route that consists of steel cable rails fixed to the rock and metal steps. It can also be built with ladders or suspension bridges. Via ferratas were first used during the World War I to get between mountains to avoid climbing an inaccessible ridge. They first appeared in the Dolomites, Italy.
⚠️When doing the outdoor activity called via ferrata, you have two carabiners clipped onto the steel cable and you climb the mountain in a safe way without necessarily being an expert in climbing. The carabiners are attached to a lanyard which is installed on a harness. A helmet is mandatory for protecting your head from falling rocks and gloves are optionally, but they will protect your hands from the friction with the steel cable and give you a better grip.
Hiking trail – technical details
- distance ~15km / 9.3mi;
- duration ~8h (without counting the breaks);
- difficulty moderate;
- from Corvara (1570m/5150ft) take the Boè cable car (Funivie del Boè), then the Vallon chairlift passing by Lago Boè (2250m/7381ft);
- walk 15mins from Pista Vallon/cable car station (2520m/8267ft) to Rifugio Franz Kostner al Vallon (2541m/8336ft);
- do the via ferrata Vallon – see below more information;
- hike for ~3h (3km/1.8mi) on Cresta Strenta (672-Lichtenfelser Weg) to Piz Boè/Rifugio Capanna Fassa (3152m/10341ft);
- descend for ~30mins from Piz Boè (3152m/10341ft) to Rifugio Boè (2873m/9425ft);
- descend for ~2h (3.7km/2.2mi) from Rifugio Boè (2873m/9425ft) to Lago Pisciadu/Rifugio Franco Cavazza al Pisciadù (2585m/8480ft);
- descend for ~2h30 (6.8km/4.2mi) from Lago Pisciadu/Rifugio Franco Cavazza al Pisciadù (2585m/8480ft) to Corvara (1570m/5150ft);
Via ferrata Vallon – technical details
- difficulty C;
- duration 30mins-1h;
- to get to the entrance of the via ferrata, from Rifugio Franz Kostner al Vallon follow the signs for via ferrata;
- the first part of the via ferrata (before arriving to the waterfall) is not difficult; after crossing the bridge along the bottom of the waterfall, the via ferrata trail continues with the most difficult part, a vertical, steep rock wall; the ferrata ends between Sasso delle Nove and Cima del Vallon;
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