World War history is plentiful in the region, the Via Ferrate routes and tunnels in the mountainside here are like nowhere else in the world.
perfectly suited to families with kids aged 10 years and up. The climbing is very safe but thrilling at the same time, with outstanding hut accommodation all along the route.
Taking advantage of the great network of mountain huts, Via Ferrate routes and easy access into the mountains this is a great trip for anyone wanting to start their alpine career. No previous climbing experience is needed but you do need to have a good level of fitness and endurance, a head for heights is useful and good mobility on rocky, uneven terrain are the only pre-requisites.
We start with a taxi ride to the Strobel Restaurant not far from the Falzarego Pass. From here we walk a nice approach to the 'Via Ferrata Degli Alpini' on the Col Dei Bos summit. Using the 'Iron Way' we proceed towards the Lagazuoi mountain and visit some of the World War 1 trenches.
Tonight we stay in the Lagazuoi mountain hut. The hut is positioned high in the mountains giving a stunning 360-degree bird's eye view of the area. This fantastic night in mountains is an experience you will never forget. If the Lagazuoi is full we will take the last cable car down and stay in the nearby Rifugio Col Gallina.
From the Dibona Hut, we head up to the Pomedes hut for a good Italian coffee. We start climbing on the nice and technical 'Ferrata Punta Anna'. From here we have lots of options and places to stop. The guide will choose today's route based on the group's skill and stamina. We finish by returning to Cortina via the lift or by trek.
You can depart Cortina this afternoon or stay in one of the many hotels in the town.
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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Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
Registered in England No. 2099115. VAT No. GB 461 5692 34
We accept the following payment methods
Price includes 3 guided days, 2 nights half board hotel accommodation in Cortina (twin room sharing), 2 nights mountain hut accommodation with half board in either small rooms or dormitories, local transfers by taxi or bus.
The price does not include travel to and from Cortina (flights & transfers), lunches and drinks, any cost of lift passes, equipment hire and personal insurance.
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 a 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 pair of trousers with zip-off legs
Weather Layer Top - Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable jacket
Shirts - Long sleeved and short sleeved cotton or synthetic shirts
Lightweight over-trousers with long side zips
Sun hat and warm hat
Gloves - its important to have a pair of gloves for Via Ferrata which are durable and robust, half-finger gloves are a good option e.g. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Gloves 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
The Dolomites are a part of the Italian Alps. They are located in equal parts in the provinces of South Tyrol, Belluno and Trentino (all in northern Italy) and extend from the Adige river in the west to the Pieve valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Pustertal (valley of the Rienz) and the Valsugana.
The region is commonly divided into the Western and Eastern Dolomites, separated by a line following the Badia valley - Campolongo pass - Cordevole valley (Agordino) axis. The range includes more than forty glaciers.
The Dolomites are particularly renowned for climbing and the main centres include Auronzo, Cortina d'Ampezzo and San Martino di Castrozza.
The name "Dolomites" is derived from the famous French mineralogist Deodat de Dolomieu (1750 -1801) who was the first to describe the rock, Dolomite, a form of limestone which is responsible for the characteristic shapes of these great mountains.
Our top reasons for visiting the Dolomites:
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 can provide harness and Via Ferrate kit and helmet if you require them, there is a small hire fee for the week.
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.
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 1:5. 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 do not need to have any previous climbing experience to join this trip but you do need to be an outdoors type of person. The week requires good fitness so you can walk up and downhill for 6-8 hours per day, the emphasis should be on stamina and endurance. It's useful to be a keen hill walker and be comfortable moving on varied terrain of alpine paths and rocky terrain.
A head for heights is a good idea as some sections of the Ferrate will be exposed with a large drop on one or both sides.
You need to have some upper-body strength so you can pull yourself up on the fixed cables and ladders. You also need to be able to carry a 30-35 liter rucksack with all your kit in it for the week.
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.