During this week we will visit the best areas around Cortina and Alleghe climbing on the massifs of Sorapiss, Fanes, Tofana di Rozes and Civetta. All the itineraries are spectacular ways to reach the top of the mountains following ridges, climbing exposed walls and narrow gullies. Some of them were historical itineraries used by the army during the First World War.
Taking advantage of the great network of mountain huts, Via Ferrata routes and easy access into the mountains, this is a great trip for advanced climbers that like exposure and have previous experience in Via Ferrata or rock climbing.
Travel to Cortina d'Ampezzo and meet your guides for the week. We deliver a detailed briefing on the week, safety, equipment and weather that evening in the hotel. Overnight in a hotel in the town.
From Cortina, we will take the lift that goes to the Mount Faloria (2123m). On the middle station we will jump out and in 20 minutes we will reach the Via Ferrata Sci18.
That is a new itinerary designed by the local Mountain Guide: climb the ridge and the face just in front of Cortina and we will transfer first by car (around 1 hour) to Passo Staulanza.
Overnight in Rifugio Staulanza.
We leave the hut in the morning and walk until the Rifugio Coldai, approximately 2h 30min. After a short rest with a good coffee, we will follow for 1 hour the Sentiero Tivan until the first cables of the Via Ferrata Alleghesi. That is one of the longer itineraries on the area and offer a technical and sometimes athletic climb. In 4 hours we will be on the top of the Civetta, the Queen of the Dolomiti. A short descent drives us until the small Torrani hut where we will spend the night.
After an incredible experience spending the night in the middle of the mountain in this fantastic cosy hut, we will descent the serious Via Ferrata Tissi. That is not as long as the one that we did the day before, but more exposed and spectacular. We will go down to Pecol Vecchio and travel by taxi to Passo Falzarego, around an hour drive.
We will stay in the Col Gallina hut overnight.
Depending on the skill and stamina we can climb two Via Ferrata in one day: Ferrata degli Alpini and Tomaselli.
The Via Ferrata degli Alpini is an itinerary in memory of the army that spent and lost their lives in this area. It is a famous Via Ferrata, easy to medium difficulty. In 3 hours we will be on the top and after another hour of ascent we will be ready for the second one: Via Ferrata Tomaselli on the Fanes group.
This is one of the most technical and physically demanding itineraries on the Dolomites. It is not long, but after the first Via Ferrata, it will definitely be an adventure.
At the end of the day, we will reach the Rifugio Lagazuoi at 2835m. The Rifugio is in a spectacular location where you can watch the sunset from a terrace. Guido & Alma, the guardians, will make you feel very welcome.
There is a lot of the First World War history surrounding the Rifugio. Accommodation is in dormitory style rooms with some basic facilities.
We head out from the hut and walk to the Col dei Bos, from here we climb the Via Ferrate Lipella, another long route with some technical steps.
Today we reach the top of the Tofana di Rozes with amazing views of the picturesque Cortina Valley and all of the Dolomiti area, all the way to Austrian mountains and Alpi Giulie, Slovenian border.
We will come down to the bottom of the Tofana until the Rifugio Dibona, which is located at the foot of the Tofana di Rozes at 2083m. This is a traditional Italian wood and stone building with dormitory style accommodation and wonderful Italian food. Do not miss out on their famous apple strudel!
Leaving the rifugio in the morning we make the climb to the Rifugio Pomedes overlooking the Cortina Valley at 2203m. The aim for today is the Via Ferrata Punta Anna, followed by the Olivieri until we reach the top of the Tofana di Mezzo. The Punta Anna is almost entirely equipt with cables and follows the setup southern arete up to the mountain.
The route is steep and exposed but offers a highly satisfying route and finishes at the top of the Tofana di Mezzo, which is the highest of the Tofanas at 3244m.
At the top, we take a cable car down to our hotel for the night.
A typical day would start around 6-7am with breakfast in the Rifugio then heading out to trek by 8-8.30am. Days vary in length but you can expect to be on your feet for 6-8 hours most days with stops for food and drink.
Packed lunches are taken from the hut each morning.
You would typically arrive at the Rigugio towards late afternoon where you can relax and enjoy the views. Dinner is usually served anytime from 6pm onwards. This is a 3-course evening meal of traditional Italian and SudTirol food. You can buy water, soft drinks, wine and beer in all the Refugio's.
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*Single rooms are subject to availability and supplement.
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Base Layer Top and Bottoms - 1-2 thermal tops and 1 pair longjohns
2 midweight fleece tops or 1 fleece and 1 lightweight duvet jacket - More thin layers is preferable to fewer thick layers between your skin and the outer shell as it gives better heat retention and good flexibility
Lightweight trekking trousers
Walking shorts or a pair of trousers with zip-off legs
Weather Layer Top - Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable jackets
Shirts - Long-sleeved and short-sleeved cotton or synthetic shirts
Lightweight over-trousers with long side zips
Sun hat and warm hat
Gloves - it is important to have a pair of gloves for Via Ferrata which are durable and robust, half-finger gloves are a good option. Another option is to use some full or half fingered cycling gloves
A pair of warm waterproof gloves in the event of cold weather
Gaiters - Good fitting pair of ankle gaiters to keep socks and boots dry
3-4 pairs of good quality socks
You will need a good hiking or lightweight mountaineering boot that can take either a strap-on or clip-on crampon. Key features of a good hiking boot include vibram soles, reversed leather uppers (which protects the best site of the leather from scuffing and abrasion and improves durability and water resistance) and ankle flex and a higher cut which give control, mobility and support.
The following items may be required depending on the conditions:
All items can be hired from our guides.
A rucksack with the capacity of between 35 - 40 liters
Lightweight sleeping bag liner - now compulsory in all alpine mountain huts
Water bottle (at least 1 liter) or Thermos
Head torch spare with batteries
Personal medications and first aid kit for blisters, sunburn and headaches (Note: Guides will have comprehensive first aid kits and are qualified in mountain first aid)
Adjustable trekking pole(s)
Sun Glasses, minimum category 3 for high altitude
Sunscreen and Lip Protection
Snack food - we advise you take some of your favourite hill snacks with you for each day to supplement food you can buy for lunches in the huts
Duffel bag - for gear not required on the trip. Will be left at first hotel and collected on return
Money - You will need some cash for food and drinks. There are ATMs in the towns plus most hotels, shops and restaurants will accept credit cards. Huts are also increasingly able to accept credit cards but many still only take cash (Euros or Swiss Francs depending on the trip)
Small wash kit with quick drying towel
Alpine club card if you are a member of one
Book, diary, pen, playing cards - for afternoons/evenings in the hut
Renowned as one of the worlds most stunningly beautiful mountain ranges, the Dolomites offers dramatic ski touring to match. This tour includes many of the best descents in the area - long runs down remote valleys, dominated by the towering limestone cliffs that characterise the region.
This area is historically important as it was the front line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces during the First World War. Evidence of this conflict can be seen on our journey in the form of tunnels, trenches and fortifications.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is a beautiful old town in the heart of the Dolomites with plenty of history. It mixes traditional Italian charm with an Austrian influence from the SudTirol close by.
The town has hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and continues to host many international sporting events, such as the famous FIS Women's downhill on the Olympia delle Tofane piste.
The Dolomites offer wonderful alpine scenery with their stunning limestone towers and peaks, the valleys in the summer are lush and green and the mountainsides a wash with alpine flowers. The whole region is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has plenty of world war history as its located on the once fiercely contested Italian - Austro-Hungarian boarder.
Our guides will provide a harness and Via Ferrate kit and helmet if you require them. They are included in a holiday cost.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
The impending deadline for the UK to leave the EU may have you worried, especially if you have travel plans in the new year, however with a few steps you can make sure you are well prepared for any eventuality. As of January 1st 2021, there will be new rules for UK residence when travelling to the EU and other European countries.
The Ski Club of Great Britain has compiled some of that advice to help skiers and snowboarders understand the changes, and what they might need to do if they are travelling after the Brexit deadline.
At Border control, you may have to show your return ticket and money
At border control, you may need to:
Visas for short trips: you will not need one if you’re a tourist
If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total.
You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.
On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:
If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Most holiday companies have taken measures to ensure that there will be minimal impact to their guests’ experience.
If you are taking a package deal that is covered by ABTA, ABTOT & ATOL you will have the same buyer protection as before. You should always purchase travel insurance to make sure you are covered in case of delays or cancellations. If in doubt about arrangements contact your tour operator to make sure there aren’t any changes. It is probably worth adding a little extra time before passport control just in case things aren’t running as smooth as normal.
Both Ski Club Freshtracks and Mountain Tracks holidays are covered by ATOL & ABTOT protection and are guaranteed to run regardless of the new Brexit rules. Take a look at our holidays here.
Most travel insurers will offer the same amount of coverage in EU countries as they did before if you already have a policy with them, in fact, many of them are underwritten by large EU corporations. It is possible that premiums might go up after December 31st as we leave the EHIC scheme and other shared healthcare and insurance organizations. If you aren’t sure whether your insurance still covers you, head to their website or give them a call.
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be valid up to 31 December 2020. It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.
Ski Club Insurance will continue to provide the same cover whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. For full Insurance, policy details go here.
A ‘green card’ is proof that you have motor insurance cover when driving abroad. You should plan to carry one for the vehicle you’re driving in the EU and EEA, including in Ireland, from 1 January 2021.
You will need to carry multiple green cards if:
Contact your vehicle insurance provider 6 weeks before you travel to get green cards for your vehicle, caravan or trailer. The green card can be emailed to you by your insurer for you to print. For more information head to gov.uk
From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway will end.
A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.
You can find all the latest information on gov.uk.
Our Via Ferrate trips are run by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides. In this region we work with our Italian guide team of Guido and Massimo Candolini, Gianni Dorigo and Andrea Fusari who have grown up in these mountains.
Trips are run on a maximum ratio of 1:4. Sometimes we run with 2 groups and 2 mountain guides.
In Cortina we usually stay in the Hotel da Beppe Sello http://www.beppesello.it/ a comfortable 3* hotel in a good location close to the centre of the town. They have comfortable ensuite bedrooms, bar and an excellent restaurant.
The mountain Refugio's are either dormitory or small room accommodation, all have shared bathroom and shower facilities.
The hotel in Cortina serves breakfast and dinner. The mountain Refugio's serve breakfast and a good 3-course evening meal. Cuisine is usually a mixture of SudTirol (Austrian influenced) and Italian food. Wine, beer and soft drinks and bottled water are available to buy in the Refugio's. They can also supple sandwiches/packed lunch each day.
You need to have previous climbing experience in Via Ferrata or rock climbing in general to join this trip and you need to be an outdoors type of person with a good head for heights and being comfortable with high exposure.
The week requires good fitness and stamina levels so you can walk up and down for 6-8 hours per day. It is useful to be a keen hill walker and be comfortable walking on a varied terrain of rocky, alpine paths. Head for heights is a must as some of the sections of the Via Ferrata will be exposed with a large drop on one or both sides.
You need to have a good upper body strength so you can pull yourself up on fixed cables and ladders. You also need to be able to carry a 35-40l rucksack with all your kit in it for the duration of the trip.
6 days guiding with IFMGA Mountain Guides
Enjoy the stunning Dolomite scenery
Great food and hospitality
Guided on a maximum 1:4 ratio
I have no previous mountaineering experience but I am keen to learn the basics of using crampons and an ice axe and rope work. I would enjoy ascending rocky scrambles and easy angled snow and ice. I am a regular hill walker summer and winter and used to long days out, I am happy to walk for 6-8hrs per day carrying all my gear in my rucksack. For Via Ferrata trips a head for heights and some upper body strength is useful.
I have undertaken some previous rocky scrambling and short rock climbs, ice or easy alpine climbing. I am comfortable moving on rocky and snowy ridges and slopes of up to 40 degrees. I enjoy the challenge of more remote technical terrain. I would like to learn more about alpine rope work. I can improve my crampon / ice axe technique and could scramble on rock with greater efficiency.
I have previous experience climbing alpine PD+ or harder. I am undeterred by scrambling and have done some pitched climbing on rock or ice. I have a firm grasp of the rope techniques necessary for pitched climbing and crossing glaciers. I am confident when using crampons and ice axe. I relish the thought of climbing steep rock and ice or traversing an exposed ridge covered in snow and ice. I can abseil, know how to use a prussic knot and make myself safe on basic belay stances.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.