Sandro Pertini : Why it is my favourite Via Ferrata

Wait wait wait. Why it is my favourite Via Ferrata… of the season. I probably should have specified this in the title but it got your attention, didn’t it?

 

Sassolungo and the Valunga Valley

 

Just look at that view. To turn around on the wire, face your back to the rock and look out to that has to be one of the best views in the entire Dolomite region (in my opinion). That alone would make this my number one.. but that is not all it has to offer!

Parking in the Valley is cheap and a relatively flat 15 minute walk in meant we were on the wire nice and quickly. Graded at a 4B I expected this easily accessible Via Ferrata to have a few tricks up its sleeve, and it didn’t let me down.

The climbing throughout is nice, with good hand holds and firm foot placings, but this doesn’t mean it is easy. The exposure at points induced a few frightened gasps and it was sometimes a puzzle to find the easiest climbing route. As the wire wound its way around the rock, creating airy traverses and narrow ledges, the view behind was ever changing in the light – I just couldn’t help but stop often to take it all in.

 

Will and the view of the Puez Odle Massif behind
How’s that for exposure?

 

Oh and did I mention the completely awesome yet pretty terrifying ladder bridge you have to cross?! You might have spotted it on the featured image, but here’s another one to get your legs wobbling…

 

He joked about hanging off it. I didn’t stick around long enough to watch.

 

A little walk halfway up the Via Ferrata provided a perfect spot for lunch without too much exposure. The rocks created a lovely little sun-trap too which made it quite difficult to get going again.

After around 3hrs on the wire, it was time to pick up the path to walk off the mountain and back to the van. In my experience, a lot of VF walk-outs are not very pleasant; usually consisting of scree slopes and hard-on-the-knee descents. This one however, was very enjoyable. The first part takes you to the front door of a quaint Rifugio (perfect for a beer stop) before making its way through fields (full of cute sheep), across meadows and through some woodland. Once again the views are spectacular and the path is nicely laid out.
It’s impossible for me to choose my favourite Via Ferrata, but this one is definitely high up on my list: Winner of Summer 2014.

 

Heading back down toward Selva

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