What is Via Ferrata Climbing?
Put simply, a via Ferrata is a protected climbing path. Via Ferrata, Italian for "iron way" originated in Italy during World War I to move troops through the mountains through the use of ladders, iron rungs, and cables. Today, you can still follow the paths set during WWI and explore bunkers and tunnels in the Dolomites.
Whether your family loves to climb or has never been climbing, there is a via Ferrata trip for you! One of the best things I liked about our via Ferrata adventure was having the whole group moving and working at the same time. No one had to "wait for their turn" on the rope. And, with the many routes to choose from for their variety, location, and exposure - there's sure to be a route that is a great match for your family or group.
You can enjoy a single day on a via Ferrata route or go for multiple days and enjoy the culture of the mountain huts, or refugios, in Italy. Each refugio has it's own character and it is exciting to stay up in the mountains! The beds are made comfortable with cozy duvets and pillows - just bring a light sleep sack or sleeping bag liner. And, you can't go hungry at the refugio! Your overnight stay includes a multi-course dinner and breakfast the next morning. But beware - sodas can be more expensive than beer!
And, bring a deck of cards to keep your group entertained in case afternoon thunderstorms keep you inside for a while.
For our 3-day, hut-to-hut, via Ferrata trip in the Dolomites, we had fun climbing ladders, traversing mountainsides, climbing iron pegs and cables, crossing snow patches, hiking in beautiful alpine forests, and having amazing views all the time! And, this was just around Cortina d'Ampezza. There are via Ferrata routes throughout the Dolomites! The best and most efficient way to experience the Dolomites is with a professional guide. Check back for a future post on, "Why Use a Professional Guide".
We knew we were going to be climbing in the Dolomites during our trip to Europe. We also knew that we didn't want to lug around extra gear before or after our time in the Dolomites. So, what did we bring, what did we need to bring?
Via Ferrata season in the Dolomites begins in early summer and on into the end of September. Of course, route access depends on the conditions and how big of a snow year the Dolomites had. Our Dolomites adventure was during the first week of July.