Alps / Dolomites / Italy
5 Day Challenging Via Ferrata Hut Trek Loop through the Maze of the Rock Towers of the Brenta Dolomites.
Brenta Dolomites Via Ferrata Bocchette Trail Highlights:
- Best Via Ferrata Hut Trip!
- Lots of Ledges & Ladders
- Fully catered Rifugios
- Via Bochette – the super classic!
- Excellent food and wines
- Madonna di Campiglio
The Brenta Dolomites host the most amazing network of challenging Via Ferratas (Italian for iron or cable trail) anywhere in the Dolomites. Center piece is the Bochette Trail that follows a system of ledges with tremendous exposure. Long ladders with sustained climbing connect the ledges and offer exciting cruxes that should only be tackled by those with prior via ferrata or rock climbing experience.
While the Brenta Dolomites are geographically not really part of the Dolomites, they sure look like they should be! An amazing maze of huge rock towers eye to eye with the glaciated peaks of the nearby Adamello and Presanella ranges.
Comfortable mountain huts allow us to connect all via ferratas in a 5 day loop with only relatively short approach hikes. Small glaciers have to be negotiated and crampons come in handy, especially in late season and early morning. This is a very popular trip for good reason and a “must” for every Via Ferrata Aficionado! An ideal follow up after our Cortina Dolomites Via Ferrata Trek.
Arrive at our hotel in Madonna di Campiglio.
Meet our guide after breakfast at hotel for 8AM. Trip briefing and distribution of rental gear.
Short drive and a gondola ride to the Groste Pass. Via Ferrata Benini – Cima Falkner – Tuckett Hut. 850 m up, 900m down. 7 hrs. Good day to warm up with lots of larger ledges to wander along, but also some longer ladders to descend.
Steep trail into the Tuckett Saddle (sometimes the use of crampons necessary). Via Ferrata Bochette Alta to the Alimonta Hut (Showers available). 850 m up, 600 m down, 7 hrs. great day – maybe the best of the trip with lots of exposure, ladders and narrow ledges. In adverse weather or with weaker participants we have the option to reach the Alimonta Hut via the easier and lower level SOSAT trail.
Steep climb into the Bochetta delle Armi (small glacier, sometimes crampons necessary. Giro del Brenta – Via Ferrata Bochette Centrale to the Tosa Hut. 250m up, 370 down, 5-6 hrs. Lots of hand-railing along narrow and exposed ledges and amazing views, including the narrow pinnacle of the Campanile Basso. This is also a good spot to interrupt the trip, should you prefer a shorter trip duration.
Via Ferrata Brentari to the Augostini Hut (Showers available, our favorite of the Brenta Huts). 360m up, 440 m down, 4-5 hrs. This day includes some glacier travel on the Ambiez Glacier, which usually requires the use of crampons.
Two options: For an easier day: “Via Ferrata Castiglioni to the 12 Apostels Hut for Lunch. Descent to Madonna di Campiglio in the afternoon for lodging and dinner in our hotel or “Sentiero dell’ Ideale” into the Bocca del Ambiez and down the Sentiero Martinazzi with an awesome view of the gigantic rock wall of the Crozzon for lunch at the Brentei Hut. Descent back to Valesinella and on to Madonna di Campiglio for lodging in our hotel. Arrival time in Madonna usually around 3PM and departures directly to your next destination can be organized on a custom basis, should you prefer to not spend another night in our hotel in Madonna di Campiglio.
Departure after breakfast.
Detail and Logistics
Meet your guide on the first hiking day at 8AM after breakfast at our preferred Hotel in Madonna di Campiglio.
Climate, Weather, Temperatures
The Dolomites, being on the “sunny side of the Alps” are usually blessed with lasting high pressure systems in September. However, there is also a chance to see some snow, if a storm hits. Hence, day time temperatures can range from -5C (23F) to 25C (77F).
Services Included in the Total Price
5 days guiding by an internationally certified (UIAGM/IFMGA), multilingual, mountain guide. All guide expenses, 2 nights three star hotel in Madonna di Campiglio with 4 course dinner and breakfast, 4 nights double, multi-bed or dormitory lodging with half board in mountain lodges or huts. Dinner is usually a three to four course meal (“mezza pensione”), which consists of pasta or soup for first course, a meat entree, dessert and/or cheese and often a salad. Breakfast usually includes a hot beverage, bread and jam (sometimes also ham and cheese). Transport from Madonna to trail heads and back. Gondolas and chair lifts where necessary. Parking fees, road tolls. Equipment use: Harnesses, helmets, carabiner and shock absorber set for via ferratas
Air fares, lunches (we usually take pick-nick lunches), dinners during the 2 nights of lodging in Madonna di Campiglio, drinks, supplementary charges for single room in hotels and B&Bs. Airport shuttles can be arranged on request and will be quoted separately.
Brenta Via Ferrata Custom Trips / Private Group Pricing
Why not find some friends and put together your own group?
For private groups / couples, we can offer the following premiums or discounts on our advertised prices
2 participants: 50% premium
3 participants: 15% premium
4 participants: Our advertised per person price
5 participants: 8% discount of the advertised per person price
6 participants 15% discount
7 participants 18% discount
8 participants 21% discount
Brenta Private Group / Custom trips Itinerary Options
A great way to connect the Brenta Via Ferrata Hut Trek with mountaineering in glaciated terrain is to add a few days in either the Ortler or Adamello range both of which are located within a one hour drive.
Shorter trip duration
The itinerary can also be fit into 4 days with 3 hut nights or the center part of the Bocchette trail can be done as a 3 day trip with 2 hut nights.
Can I Do It?
This is a very challenging trip. We will mainly travel on via ferrata trails for up to 9 hrs on some days. Most via ferratas are rated at the expert level featuring long ladders and / or sections that require a good bit of upper body strength, stamina and head strength. We only recommend this trip for fit hikers who have previous via ferrata and / or rock climbing experience.
What are the Huts like? Double Rooms? Showers? Food Choices?
Most of the huts that we are using for this trek are rather like mountain lodges. Sleeping is mainly in 6 bed rooms with shared bathrooms with showers. The food is always delicious and plentiful with choices during the 4 course dinners. Special diets can usually be accommodated.
Is there a requirement for crampons on this route?
Yes – we have crampons available which our guide will hand out at the meeting point.
References of prior guests
We will gladly put potential clients in touch with previous participants of each trip in order for interested guests to get personalized references and their questions answered from a more objective point of view than what our office could provide.
“Martino was a very good guide, he was always very concerned about the safety of the group, he decided to do ferrata Sosat instead of Bocchette Alta, his reasons were far enough for me, our group was quite heterogeneous ( wide range of age, previous experience on ferratas, selfconfidence, etc). Trip organization/communication: Was very good from the very beginning starting with Jorg advises, Heather tips and Cathy schedules. The itinerary was ok for me, in spite of the change of Bocchette alta for Sosat, but some short days where we arrived to the Hut at lunch time I would have preferred to take a bit longer doing the trekking to be able to enjoy the landscape and have time to take good photos, in some moments I felt doing it in a rush ,the weather was fine, and not many people were doing the trails , so we could take longer on that. All the Huts were comfortable and the food very good in Q&Q also reasonable prices of the no included items. 10/10, I will recommend On Top anyway, Thank you for a great experience!!! ” Carla S., Chile
“The trip was great. Martino was excellent and we were lucky to have such an experienced guide. It was fantastic that we climbed Cime Tosa and did some rock climbing one afternoon as well as the VF hikes. The food was better than I expected (after being in Slovenian and Swiss huts in recent months!). Yes I would recommend OnTop to friends if they are looking for guided rather than independent trips. Thanks for an excellent trip. ” Elanie P., Australia
“Guide (Martino) performance: OUTSTANDING. PATIENT, LOW-KEY, COMPETENT, GENTLE HUMOR. ON TWO OCCASIONS HE SET UP TOP-ROPES AND LED CLIMBS WHEN WE ARRIVED AT TWO HUTS. OUR SON AND DAUGHTER IN LAW REALLY ENJOYED THAT UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY! WE COULD NOT HAVE ASKED FOR A BETTER GUIDE. SO THANKFUL FOR HIS EXPERTISE.
General trip organization / communication from our side: ALL FINE – NO PROBLEMS AT ALL. BTW – WE NEVER GOT ASKED FOR ANY IDENTIFICATION AT ANY OF THE HUTS, BUT WE HAD WITH US AS SUGGESTED.
Itinerary: THE 5-DAY VIA FERRATA WAS PERFECT FOR OUR GROUP OF 6. WE GOT A GREAT SAMPLING OF THE VARIOUS HUTS, THE DOLOMITES, THE MOUNTAIN CULTURE. ON THE 2ND DAY, I OPTED FOR THE “EASY ROUTE” AROUND TO THE 2ND HUT AS MY FEET HURT SO BADLY. THE TRIFECTA OF PACK WEIGHT, UNFORGIVING ROCK SURFACES AND DESCENDING JUST IS TOO MUCH FOR MY ANYMORE. AFTER THAT ONE DAY, WE WERE ALL TOGETHER FOR THE REMAINING TRIP. (too many years (40+) of chasing tennis balls on hard courts, running races on asphalt and backpack trips has caught up with my feet)
Lodging/Food quantity and quality: EXCELLENT ON ALL FRONTS. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE HOTEL ARISTON, ANDRE AND THE FAMILY-RUN ATMOSPHERE. IT WAS A GREAT PLACE TO START AND END THE TRIP. WISH WE HAD STAYED IN MADONNA ANOTHER DAY EITHER BEFORE OR AFTER.
“Based on your experiences on this trip, and on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend OnTop to your friends?”
10 – REALLY. WE WOULD HAPPILY RECOMMEND ONTOP TO ANY AND ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN TRIPS YOU OFFER. THAT SAID, THE ‘OLD GREY MARE’ TYPING THIS IS STEPPING BACK THESE MORE EXTREME ADVENTURES – although Martino told us he did the via ferrata with his Dad when there were no clip in set. I believe he was still in diapers too! – I’M GOING FOR THE TRIPS THAT ACTUALLY HAVE VEGETATION IN THE EQUATION! LIKE MEADOWS, FLOWERS AND TREES.” Trish & Tennis O., UT, USA
” We have had such a fantastic trip – so thank you firstly. Martino was a perfect guide. Very knowledgable and willing to go out of his way to help. For example he sorted out some rock climbing one afternoon when we arrived early which was a real highlight. He spoke good English and was fun to have around. Trip organisation was clear and communication was very prompt.
The lodging standard was far higher than we expected so perhaps it may be worth highlighting this on your marketing. We are five hungry guys and we were always full after big suppers. It was always great when the huts provided a towel. One point to mention was the short days were sometimes a little too short and anything extra to do in the afternoon would have been great. 10/10. We will certainly recommend (and have already done so) you guys.”
—James E., United Kingdom
” The brenta trip went really well and both Carter and I really liked Christjan. Great guide and nice guy. ”
—Trent and Carter M., Canada.
” Paul and Christjan were both very good. Both were professional, personable and nice to spend time with. I give them the highest marks. Lodging and food quality were excellent with exception of the Tuckett hut where the lodging was was not as good as the other three huts. Still, I enjoyed my stay at Tuckett and wouldn’t remove it for any reason.
With respect to everything else, I rate the trip a 10 out of ten and currently rates as the best trip I have ever done. I will recommend it to friends and plan to find another trip with your organization for next year. My thanks and very warm regards for everyone that helped to make this trip unbelievable. ”
—Charlie A., USA
1. Technical Equipment
- Sturdy, waterproof leather trekking / hiking boots (with vibram sole and suitable for crampons if having to walk on frozen snow).
- Boot crampons
- 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
Our Brenta Dolomites Via Ferrata Bocchette Trail begins from Madonna di Campiglio.
There is a choice between seven international airports in northern Italy, Austria and Germany that are suitable, listed below in sequence of proximity:
Bozen / Bolzano – 104 km / 1 hr 30 min but few international connections!
Verona – 173km / 2 hrs 5 min
Bergamo – 177 km and one hour shorter than Milano Malpensa but few international connections
Milano Malpensa – via country road: 260km / 3 hrs 45 min. Via highway A22 and Trento: 330km / 4hrs
Venice – 295km / 3 hrs 10 min
Innsbruck, Austria – 224km / 2 hrs 45 min
Munich, Germany – 421km / 4 hrs, 50 min
Driving to Madonna di Campiglio
Madonna di Campiglio can be reached using the Brenner Highway (A 22). Turn off at Trento (or exit Mezzolombardo if approaching from Austria) then it’s about 1 hr 20 min drive on slow local roads to Madonna di Campiglio for the 70km distance from Trento.
Getting to Madonna di Campiglio by Train / Bus
From Munich (via Innsbruck) you will need to catch a Train to any larger Italian city via German Rail. Click here for the AutoBahn website and schedules.
Then a Train with Trenitalia to Trento (depart twic hourly and fast train connections available). There is no need to pre-purchase tickets to Trento due to the abundance of services and try to avoid train travel on Sundays if possible.
The public bus leaves Trento train station almost hourly between 6.40 and 18.40 (depending on the season) and takes about 2 hrs to Madonna di Campiglio via Tione and Pinzolo.
Please click here for current bus schedule and bookings.
If you would like to avoid bus transfers,you can take a taxi from Trento to take you to the Hotel. You can pre-book if needed: Taxi Bacca (Marco): firstname.lastname@example.org
If you arrive at Verona Catullo airport best take the Airport Bus T2 in about 15 minutes to the Verona Porta Nueva Train Station. From there it takes about 1 hour to the main station in Trento (click here for the Trenitalia, make sure you choose the “Trento” option when choosing from the 3 Trento stations).
Madonna di Campiglio Taxi Services
Please inquire with us for a quote for your group size and timing with our driver from Madonna di Campiglio.
Driving time from Trento is about 1 hr 20 min. Or you can pre-book a taxi yourself: Taxi Bacca (Marco): email@example.com
We can gladly help you organize your transport logistics to Madonna di Campiglio.
Brenta Dolomites Via Ferrata Bocchette Trail
- Up to 8 hrs/day
- Difficult Via Ferrata
- Exposed sections
- Some Glacier Travel
- Light multi-day packs
Brenta Dolomites Via Ferrata Bocchette Trail
7 Day Trip,
5 Day Via Ferrata.
- June 9 – 15
- June 16 – June 22
- June 23 – 29
- June 30 – July 6
- July 7 – 13
- July 14 – 20*
- July 21 – 27*
- Aug. 4 – 10*
- Aug. 11 – 17*
- Aug. 18 – 24*
- Aug. 25 – 30
- Sept. 1 – 7
- Sept. 8 – 14
Custom Trips anytime!
*High season surcharge applies
Brenta Dolomites Via Ferrata Bocchette Trail
Guide & guide expenses, 2 x hotel*** in Madonna di Campiglio, 4 x hut or mountain lodge, 6 x dinner, 6 x breakfast, via ferrata equipment rental, 1 x gondola, local transfers
Extra: Transport to Madonna di Campiglio, drinks, lunches
US $65, CA $78
€ 53, £ 47
High season surcharge:
US $79, CA $94
€ 64, £ 57