Alps / Dolomites / Italy
Dolomites Via Ferrata Hut Trek through the spectacular “Rose Garden” / Catanaccio
6 days trails and via ferrata hut to hut in the Western Dolomites
Rosengarten Dolomites Via Ferrata Hut Trek Highlights
- Most panoramic via ferrata of the Dolomites
- Fully catered huts, most w/ showers
- High level traverse with not much up and down
- Daily Option: Via ferrata or trail hike possible
- Lots of culture between Tirol, Ladin and Italy
- Long season early July to mid October
Dolomites – a name that stands for unsurpassed scenic contrasts: Stunning limestone towers above quaint mountain villages and green valleys. Although part of Italy, this region is where Austrian (Tyrolian), Ladinian and Italian cultures overlap, which makes for a riches in history and culture.
Since all the huts chosen for this traverse offer excellent and authentic food as well as wool blankets or duvets for sleeping, your backpack will remain very manageable. All huts feature running water, some of them even warm showers and double or 4-bed rooms.
Our base town will be Wolkenstein / Selva in the Gardena Valley, from where we will start with a day trip to a via ferrata south of town to warm up and get familiarized with the technical details of traveling on via ferrata trails. On the second day, we will start our via ferrata hut trek high up at the Sella Pass and will traverse in 5 days through the entire Rosengarten range, the Western most and for some the prettiest range of the Dolomites.
The itinerary also leaves a lot of room to adjust the program on a daily basis, should the preferences of the group change or the weather and mountain conditions not comply. Most days offer the option to substitute via ferratas with non or less technical hiking trails or some via ferrata are optional for those wishing easier days.
Each of the huts used can be reached from the road within 1-2.5 hrs hikes. The area is suitable for early and late season trips, as the huts tend to open earlier and stay open longer in the fall than in all other areas in the Dolomites.
Due to the lack of a generally accepted grading system for via ferrata (every via ferrata guide book has their own grading system) we describe the via ferrata used in this itinerary with general terms for difficulty and duration as well as indicate the time commonly required. Judging how long a via ferrata takes by merely the vertical and horizontal distance that is being travelled can be hugely deceiving as it may take several hours to travel a kilometer on a via ferrata while on a good hiking trail it usually takes 15 minutes, not to mention if conditions are adverse. We describe some but not all of the trip options available depending on the participants abilities and preferences as well as weather and mountain conditions at the time.
Please keep in mind that the following program may have to be adjusted to group abilities and preferences, weather and mountain conditions at the time at the discretion of the guide.
Day 1 Travel and Arrival Day
Arrive in Wolkenstein / Selva by public transportation or rental car. We recommend to fly either into Munich, Venice or Verona, from where there are excellent train connections to the town of Brixen / Bressanone. An hourly bus departs at the train station for the scenic drive up the Gardena Valley. Settle into the Hotel and sightseeing in town.
Day 2 Via Ferrata Day trip in the Gardena Valley
Meet your guide for a trip briefing, distribution of rental gear. Via Ferrata day trip to warm up and review a few technical tips for safe and efficient travel on via ferrata trails. Options are 1) Traverse of the Sass Rigais in the Geisler Spitzen / Odles or 2) Via Ferrata Pisciadu in the Sella Range or 3) combination of the Larger and the smaller Cima Cir above the Passo Gardena. About 4 – 9 hrs depending on itinerary chosen.
Rosengarten / Catanaccio Hut to Hut Traverse
Day 3 Passo Sella – Oscar Schuster Klettersteig – Plattkofel Peak – Plattkofel Hut
Drive to the Sella Pass (2160m ) and gondola ride to the spectacular Langkofel / Sassolungo notch (2680m ). Via Ferrata Oscar Schuster to the summit of the Plattkofel / Sasso Piatto (2960m ), to enjoy one of the best views of the Western Dolomites. Descent to the Plattkofel Hut (2300m ) for the night. 6 hrs
In times of snow coverage during early or late season, the Col Rodella via ferrata offers a shorter but beautiful and usually dry via ferrata facing south followed by a panoramic high level trail (Friedrich August Weg) to the Plattkofel Hut. 5 hrs.
Day 4 Maximilans Klettersteig / Via Ferrata – Tierser Alpl Hut
A beautiful panoramic trail with prime views of the highest and most glaciated peak of the Dolomites, the Marmolada, leads us to the Tirser Alpl Hut (2440m) in about 2.5 hrs, more of a mountain lodge than a hut with warm showers. With a light pack we set off to traverse the “Rosszaehne” (horse teeth) and Roterdspitze (2690m) on the relatively easy but wildly exposed Maximilan Klettersteig / Via Ferrata and return in a loop back to the Tierser Alpl Hut for the night. 6 hrs.total walking time.
Day 5 Laurenzi Via Ferrata – Kesselkogel Via Ferrata – Vajolet Hut
We start out the day by a relatively easy scramble to the Molignon Pass. From there starts the Laurenzi Via Ferrata, probably the most challenging section of the trip – largely following an airy crest all the way to the Molignon Peak (2850m) and then down to the Antermoia Hut (2600m) for late lunch (closes mid-September!). Depending on timing and energy level, we can add the via ferrata traverse of the Kesselkogel / Catanaccio D’Anermoia (3020 m ) to the program before descending for lodging at the Vajolet Hut (2240m).
Alternatively, for an easier day, we can also skip the Laurenzi Via Ferrata and take one of two largely non-technical trails to the Vajolet Hut while still maintaining the option of climbing the Kesselkogel / Catanaccio D’Anermoia. Depending on routing 5 – 10 hrs.
Day 6 Vajolet Hut – Santner Pass – Santner Pass Klettersteig – Hirzelsteig – Rotwand / Rode da Vael Hut
With a few cables to hand rail along we will climb past the famous Vajolet Towers and the Gartl Hut to the Santerpass (2740m) which offers excellent views to the South west to the glaciated peaks of the Ortler and Presanella / Adamello ranges. Descent on the relatively easy Santerpass Klettersteig / Via Ferrata to the Koelner Hut (2340m) or the Paolina Hut for late lunch. From there it’s an easy panoramic trail to the Rotwand / Roda da Vael Hut (2280m).
Day 7 Masaree Via Ferrata – Rotwand Via Ferrata traverse – Campedie Gondola
Option to leave our packs at the hut: A short walk takes us to the Maseree via ferrata – a beautiful ridge traverse with many exciting sections, possibly one of the best via ferratas in the Dolomites. Optionally we can continue with a via ferrata traverse of the Rotwand / Roda Da Vael (2806m) and loop around to descend back to the hut. In the afternoon, we can pick one of two panoramic hiking trails to Campedie, where a gondola takes us into the Village of Vigo di Fassa for a taxi pick up and transport back to Wolkenstein for lodging in our B&B.
Day 8 Departure Day
Leaving the Gardena Valley after breakfast.
Detail and Logistics
Meet on the first hiking day at 8.00AM at our Hotel in Wolkenstein / Selva in the Gardena Valley (lodging and breakfast included in trip price) for a trip briefing, distribution of rental gear followed by a taxi ride to the first trailhead.
Transport Options/Closest Airport
The trip will be based in Selva / Wolkenstein which is about 1.5 hrs drive from Cortina.
For the Western Dolomites – Gardena Valley the closest airports are in sequence:
Bozen / Bolzano: 51 km = 50 min (small airport, not many connections)
Innsbruck – Austria: 120 km = 1.45 hrs (small airport, not many connections)
Verona: 190 km = 2.10 hrs
Venice Marco Polo: 200km = 3.20 hrs (via Cortina and Val Badia)
Munich: 320 km = 3.5 hrs (large airport, fast highway and train connections via Innsbruck)
Milan: 360 km = 3.45 hrs (large airport, fast highway and train connections)
Please inquire for pricing should you be interested in a private shuttle transfer. We also gladly assist you with your public transport logistics
If you are traveling by public transport, the Gardena Valley is best reached from the Eisack / Isarco Valley to the west, which hosts the Brenner Pass highway and the main train line connecting Germany and Austria with Italy. Best you make your way by train to either Brixen / Bressanone (from the north) or Bozen / Bolzano (from the south) from where buses leave almost hourly to the Val Gardena and take about 1.2 hrs to Wolkenstein. Total travel time by train from Venice – Bozen for example is around 2.5 hrs, to Brixen from Munich about 3.5 hrs.
Climate, Weather, Temperatures
The Dolomites, being on the “sunny side of the Alps” are usually blessed with favourable weather. However, as anywhere in the mountains, there is also a chance to see some snow, if a storm hits. This is rare in July and August but can happen in June and September. Day time temperatures can range from -5C (23F) to 25C (77F).
Services Included in the Total Price
- Guiding by a multi-lingual, internationally certified (IFMGA / UIAGM) mountain guide
- All trip organization, reservations as well as assistance with all pre- and post trip preparations.
- 4 nights in huts and mountain lodges in bunk bed rooms, at times with access to shared showers.
- 3 nights double rooms with ensuite bathroom in a 3 star hotel in Wolkenstein / Selva
- Dinners and breakfast in the huts / mountain lodges. Dinner consists usually of a three or four course meals (“mezza pensione”) starting out with pasta or soup, a meat entree and dessert or cheese. Vegetarian meal preferences can be accommodated. Breakfast usually includes a hot beverages, bread and jam, often also ham, cheese and muesli / cereal).
- Equipment use: harnesses, helmets and via ferrata clip-in sets
- Taxi shuttles from Wolkenstein / Selva to trailheads and back
Not Included in the Total Price Are (but can be quoted separately):
- Air Fares
- Lunch (lunches can be bought in huts and we usually bring pic-nic supplies from town)
- Dinners while lodging in the Valley
- Any cost of land transport in order to get to and from the Gardena Valley
- Any additional unforeseen cost due to changes in the itinerary, may they be caused by weather, mountain conditions or group preferences.
Can I Do It?
Our Rosengarten Western Dolomites Via Ferrata Trek is meant as an intermediate via ferrata trip suitable to introduce to multi-day hut treks in the Alps. Most days will see you on your feet for 6 – 8 hrs at a moderate pace and involve frequent scrambling on via ferratas, which is less strenuous in a cardio-vascular sense but requires good general fitness. Ideally, participants already have some experience on via ferrata trails or rock climbing.
However, the trip is also suitable for via ferrata beginners, who have good confidence and aren’t easily intimidated by exposure and drop-offs. One strength of the itinerary is the high level of flexibility to adjust the program to adverse weather or the group’s preferences. Most days offer multiple alternatives to arrive at the destination and / or we reach our destination by early afternoon and guests have the option between another via ferrata, a peak ascent or relaxing with a good book and a cappuccino on the hut terrace. This trip is ideal for adventurous hikers that don’t mind the exposure of steep, narrow trails. On a custom trip basis, our guests have a daily choice between via ferrata itinerary and non-technical hiking trail while still arriving at the same destination every day. It also gives couples the option to split up for part of the day and reunite in the afternoon upon arrival at our daily destination.
” With 10 being highest, probably 9…I had a great trip, and you guys did a great job from headquarters…scenery and itinerary were A++…guides were not a highlight of the trip, but they were authentic and competent…food was generally very good.
For someone thinking about a hiking trip to dolomites I would insist they check you guys out..
I would absolutely do another ON TOP trip! But a great experience and total success! Already miss my climbing buddies! ”
Stewart C., USA
1. Technical Equipment
- Sturdy, waterproof leather trekking / hiking boots (with vibram sole and suitable for crampons if having to walk on frozen snow).
- Backpack (35-45 liters)
Some have built-in rain covers (Deuter backpacks).
Rain covers can also be bought separately.
Otherwise bring a big plastic (garbage) bag as an inside liner for your backpack.
- Climbing helmet**
- Climbing harness**
- Via Ferrata clip-in set with shock-absorbing device**
- Collapsible trekking poles ( One pole is recommended)
All items marked ‘**’ can be provided by OnTop. Please bring your own equipment if you have it.
We suggest using the ‘layer system’: Light technical clothing that doesn’t take much space in your backpack and dries quickly if sweaty or wet.
Layers can be put on and taken off fast if weather conditions change during the day.
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore Tex or similar)
- Wind and waterproof over pants with side zippers (Gore Tex or similar)
- Mountaineering pants
- Light-weight hiking shorts
- Fleece or heavy jacket
- Medium weight fleece sweater
- Long underwear or running tights (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
- Undershirt – preferably long sleeves (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
- Warm socks for mountaineering boots (wool/synthetic outers)
- Warm hat, covering your ears
- Pair of warm gloves (warm finger gloves sufficient)
- Pair of thin leather gloves, bicycle or work gloves for via ferratas
- Light, “shorty” gaiters (for early and late season departures)
- Sun hat, with a wide brim if possible
- Bandana (optional)
3. Hut lodging
- Down vest or light insulated jacket (optional)
- Very light youth hostel sleeping bag or thin sleeping bag liner for the huts for sanitary reasons (lightest is silk, weighing less than ½ pound). Wool covers or duvets are provided by the huts
- Light hut slippers (optional). Some huts provide a limited selection of slippers.
- Light stuff sacs or zip lock bags to keep your backpack organized (optional)
- Small towel
- Alpine Club card (if you hold a membership)
- Ear plugs (optional but very useful)
4. Other Items
- Rain cover for backpack (unless already built into backpack) Otherwise bring a big plastic (garbage) bag as an inside liner for your backpack or pack everything that needs to stay dry in plastic zip-lock bags.
- Spare underwear, socks
- Clothing and shoes for hotels / B&B in the evening
- Sun glasses (with good UV protection)
- Sun screen and lip protection
- Water bottle, preferably insulated, minimum volume: 1 liter or Camelback
- Light head lamp or torch
- Blister kit (optional)
- Snacks (candy bars, dried fruit, sandwiches, nuts, etc.)
- Personal items (prescription medicine, extra contact lenses and maintenance equipment, extra pair of prescription glasses, etc.)
- Pocket knife or Leatherman (optional)
- (Health/Travel) insurance documents
- Zip-lock bag for wallet and other documents to keep them dry (recommended)
- Camera, batteries (optional)
- Compass, maps and GPS optional
Client / Guides
3-7 clients guide
TRIP INFO LINKS
Rosengarten Dolomites Via Ferrata Hut Trek
- Up to 9 hrs/day
- Moderate via ferrata
- Exposed trail sections
- Light multi-day packs
- Many itinerary options
Rosengarten Dolomites Via Ferrata Hut Trek
8 Days Trip,
6 Days Trekking
Custom trips any time!
Shorter trips possible at pro-rated pricing
June 4 – 11
June 11 – 18
June 18 – 25
June 25 – July 2
July 2 – 9
July 9 – 16
July 16 – 23*
July 23 – 30*
July 30 – Aug. 6*
Aug. 6 – 13*
Aug. 13 – 20*
Aug. 20 – 27*
Aug. 27 – Sept. 3
Sept. 3 – 10
Sept. 10 – 17
Sept. 17 – 24
Sept. 24 – Oct. 1
Oct 1 – 8
*High season surcharge applies
Rosengarten Dolomites Via Ferrata Hut Trek
Guide & guide expenses, 3 x hotel*** Wolkenstein / Selva in Val Gardena, 4 x hut or mountain lodge, 4 x dinners, 7 x breakfast, via ferrata equipment rental, 3 x taxi or bus Extra: air port shuttles (from Euro 50), 3 x dinner in Wolkenstein, drinks, lunches
US $96, CA $124
€ 84, £ 76
High season surcharge
US $144, CA $124
€ 126, £ 114