The Dolomites, Italy

Bocchette Way Via Ferrata

Millions of years of steady erosion have created narrow natural ledges unique to these mountains. The use of these ledges as routes for non-climbers to journey through the mountains goes back to the 1930s when groups of local climbers and enthusiasts first started to install the ladders, rails, bridges and ropes thus creating a path through the needles, spires and gorges through these wonderful mountains.

This fantastic route is an exciting yet safe journey for which no prevous alpine experience is required. The via ferratas used are never technically difficult but they are long and of alpine proportions and there is considerable exposure on some sections. Reasonable fitness, a head for heights and good balance and mobility on rocky, uneven terrain are the only pre-requisites.

Our price includes all guiding fees and expenses, 5 nights half-board accommodation in high mountain Rifugi and 2 nights B&B in a hotel in MdC at the start and finish of the trip. The price does not include flights, airport transfers, lunches, beverages, personal insurance, via ferrate equipment hire, local transfers and uplift.

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Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
Registered in England No. 2099115. VAT No. GB 461 5692 34

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This list gives you an idea of the equipment you will need for our Via Ferrate holidays in the Dolomites. 

During the summer months the weather in the mountains is usually sunny with warm temperatures and you will find that often t-shirts and shorts can be worn throughout the day.

However the weather changes quickly and you always need to be prepared for cold and wet weather – we recommend that you bring 2-3 thin layers that you are able to put on/take off as the conditions change. Thin layers also allow better movement as opposed to one layer of bulky clothing.

On the Dolomites trips you will need to carry a pack with most of the gear that you require for the trip as you will be spending nights high in the mountains in one of the rifugios (alpine huts).

Try to limit the amount of gear you carry. Once you’re in the mountains you’ll quickly realise the benefit of ‘travelling light”.

If you are uncertain or need further information, please contact us.

    • 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.

  • Essential items: 

    • VF shock absorbers

    • Harness - sit harness with adjustable leg loops and large enough to be worn over all clothing layers

    • Helmet

    • Slings and karabiners

     

    The following items may be required depending on the conditions: 

     

    • Ice Axe - general mountaineering axe – 55-70cms long depending on your height

    • Boot crampons with anti-balling plates

     

    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
    • Penknife
    • 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
    • Passport
    • 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
Dolomites Ski Touring 1.JPG

The Dolomites

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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:

  • Stunning mountain scenery combined with friendly Italian ambience
  • Skiing or climbing with Guido Candolini, our charismatic local Mountain Guide who leads many of our Dolomite adventures
  • Enjoying the sunset at the Rifugio Fanes or Rifugio Lagazuoi - mountain huts with a difference!
  • Excellent ski touring amongst the limestone towers
  • The Via Ferrate trails - 'iron ways' that are a relic of the wars between Austria and Italy and enable hikers to scale the steep exposed mountains in safety
  • 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 UK residents Ski Club Travel Insurance may be a suitable option.

    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 closest airports are Verona, Venice, Brescia and Milan. We generally recommend travel to Venice or Milan-Bergamo. The transfer from either airport to Madonna di Campiglio requires a combination of train and bus travel and takes at least 3-4 hours. For groups of 3-4 people car hire is often the best option.

    For train schedules click on http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en 

    There are some links on this page to bus timetables from Trento and Brescia http://www.campiglio.it/orari/ 

  • Our Bocchette Way Via Ferrata trips are usually led by Guido Candolini or one of his team of IFMGA Mountain Guides from Inmont Guides. We have worked with them for several years and they are extremely professional and popular guides.  They all speak good English and will ensure your week is fun and rewarding and totally safe.

    The maximum guide-client ratio for the Via Ferrata is 1:5.

     

  • In Madonna di Campiglio our preferred hotel is the Hotel Cima D'Oro a comfortable 3* hotel, they offer spacious rooms with great views of the mountains, a comfortable lounge and breakfast area with WIFI, games room, sauna, jacuzzi, steam bath and free car parking.  You can see more information on the hotel here: http://www.hotelcimedorocampiglio.it/en/ 

    Throughout the week we stay in mountain lodges, known as rifugi. The rifugi in the Dolomites are like little guesthouses: very cosy and comfortable when compared to the rifugi in the Western Alps. However they are not hotels and the lack of privacy make this experience suitable for flexible and group oriented people! In some rifugi hot showers are available for a small extra charge.

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