After completing many beginner via ferratas in the Italian Dolomites, it was only natural to me, to challenge myself a bit more with some harder routes.
Today I will be sharing with you my favourite via ferratas I have done, which are good for intermediate level adventurers.
Before I get to it though, just a quick reminder to you all. Plan well in advance and always carry proper equipment, if you are going to tackle an iron path.
Although undertaking a via ferrata doesn't require any prior climbing experience, don't underestimate the exposure you will face along these routes.
Almost on every via ferrata there is always at least one memorial plaque, with the names of the victims, who have fallen to their deaths. Too often I have seen daredevils with nothing else but running shoes on their feet. Don't be one of them please!
8 Intermediate Via Ferratas In The Dolomites For Adventure Seekers
1. Via ferrata Marino Bianchi
From the start all the way to the summit via ferrata Marino Bianchi is an extravaganza of jaw dropping vistas. It's actually one of my personal favorites! The route takes you to the top of Monte Cristallo di Mezzo, one of the dolomiti summits reaching over 3000 meters.
I had a pretty interesting experience along the via ferrata Marino Bianchi, as I decided to spend the night in the abandoned rifugio Lorenzi, built on the Staulanza saddle, a few hundred meters below the summit.
This used to be a very busy iron path thanks to the lift system that used to run all the way to the saddle. Since the lift closed in 2016, significantly prolonging the approach time, the traffic slowed down a lot.
Located nearby and slightly easier via ferrata Ivano Dibona, which can be done in conjunction with this one seems to attract more visitors, but believe me when I say this: Marino Bianchi should not be missed!
2. Via ferrata Giro Del Sorapiss
Giro in Italian means a loop and as the name suggests via ferrata Giro Del Sorapiss circuits around the Sorapiss mountains range. It's a true endurance test, both physically and mentally.
Proper preparation, some decent map reading skills and an adventurous spirit are a must have, if you want to tackle this route. Expect a long day - 8 hours minimum. The best is to plan an overnight stay in the Vandelli mountain refuge, from where the circuit begins, ideally before and after the completion.
The whole loop actually consist of three separate via ferratas. if you are not up for the challenge, you can only choose to do the first one along the route - via ferrata Alfonso Vandelli (pictured above).
For more details and photos from the via ferrata Giro del Sorapiss click the link.
3. Via ferrata Delle Scalette (aka Torre di Toblin)
My own ambition put me at the trailhead of this via ferrata within my first week in the Dolomites. Full of enthusiasm and a little bit too flippantly i decided to put myself against the challenge and chose via ferrata Torre Di Toblin as my first ever via ferrata I would do.
I can tell you now that my enthusiasm quickly curbed, even though you probably can't tell from my happy look on the photo above. The victorious smile came after getting to the top in one piece.
For anyone who climbs, this wouldn't have been scary, but for me, who has never spent a day of her life in a climbing gym before, it was a real challenge. Even though climbing experience isn't required to scramble along the via ferratas, in this case it would had definitely come in handy.
I go into more detail about this ferrata in my separate article. I hope what I said before has sparked your interest to check it out!
4. Via ferrata Merlone
Located on the border of the famous Tre Cime National Park, this via ferrata takes you to the summit of Cima Cadin from where you can get a glimpse of the southern faces of Tre Cime (Three Peaks).
The route starts near rifugio Fonda Savio, one of the most photogenic mountains huts in the Dolomites I have come across.
You will need a good head for heights and climbing on a ladder, mounted to a rock wall, a few hundred meters above a gully should sound to you as appealing as watching the most recent Netflix flick.
I have a whole article dedicated to via ferrata Merlone. If you are interested in tackling it, make sure to check it out!
5. Via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos
This is a great via ferrata if you want to get straight to business. The initial approach to the beginning of the cable section is very short (around 20 minutes). In comparison to the other via ferratas mentioned in this article, it's nothing.
Because of it however, this via ferrata is probably one of the busiest ones in the Dolomites. A lot of guided tour companies take their clients here.
There is however easy way to avoid the crowds! Just start early, and by early I mean right after sunrise. You will be treated to some incredible views when the first rays of sun hit the surrounding peaks!
For more information and photos from my sunrise excursion along this via ferrata go to my other article.
6. Via ferrata Oskar Schuster
Via ferrata Oskar Schuster takes you through the heart of Sassolungo and Sassopiato, two prominent peaks you can photograph from Alpi di Siusi - one of the most iconic photography spots in the Dolomites.
This is a really fun and exciting route and the views along the way with the many spires typical for this range, quite dramatic.
You can skip part of the initial approach by taking the Sassolungo gondola from the Sella mountain pass, where the route begins. Once you reach the summit of Sassopiato, where the cable section ends, and descent down the other side, you can pop into the rifugio Sassopiato for some well deserved beer!
For more details check out my article dedicated to via ferrata Oskar Schuster.
7. Via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano
If like me, you are a sucker for the beautiful views, you will love this via ferrata! Majority of it traverses along the ridgeline between two peaks: Dente Grande di Terrarossa and Cima di Terrarossa.
This is also one of the easier iron paths on this list. Its only downside is the long initial approach. The best way to tackle this via ferrata is to plan an overnight hut stay in the nearby rifugio Alpe di Tires.
Quite recently the hut went through renovations and today it's one of the nicer looking huts with cleanest facilities, which I have come across.
I have a whole article dedicated to via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano. Make sure to check it out along with the many photos I took. I guarantee that it will make you want to include this via ferrata into your dolomiti itinerary!
8. Via ferratas Masarè and Roda de Vaèl
Just like the previously mentioned via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano, these two routes are located in the lesser known Rosengarten Nature Park in the western part of the Italian Dolomites, but at its opposite end.
The path takes you to the summit of Roda de Vaèl, where you get an excellent view into the heart of the Rosengarten group.
For the most part these via ferratas stay at a beginner level, but there are a couple of sections, one including scaling a vertical wall equipped with stemples, that puts this route on par with other intermediate via ferratas on this list. Check out the link above for more photos and detailed route description.
If I have inspired you to take up on any of these via ferratas, make sure to share your experience with me later! If you have any questions about these iron paths or would like an advice on travelling around the Dolomites and you can't find answers in my Italian Dolomites Guide, make sure to leave a comment below.
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More Via Ferratas and Hikes in the Italian Dolomites
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.