Alps / Dolomites / Italy
Marmolada – Civetta – Moiazza
Hotel-based Via Ferrata to the highest peaks of the Dolomites with one hut stay
- The Dolomites’ peaks by via ferrata
- Based in a 4-star family run hotel
- Lots of WWI History
- Excellent Italian cuisine!
- Marmolada Glacier 3300m
- Quaint mountain towns
- 1 hut night high on the Civetta
This itinerary targets some of the longer and more challenging via ferratas in the Dolomites that lead to the highest summits of the area, including the Marmolada (3300m).
We will be based in family-owned 3 or 4-star hotels in the town of Alleghe or Caprile in the Aghordo Valley, which is centrally located in the Dolomites right at the base of the majestic rock wall of the Monte Civetta.
From here we will set out for day trips to the highest summits. Expect some of the longest via ferratas of the Dolomites, some of which involve glacier travel (Marmolada) or depending on the season, some snowy sections.
The program is very flexible and can be well adjusted to weather and the group’s preferences.
One of the highlights is the climb to the Civetta, where we are planning on spending the night in the small Torrani Hut just below the summit – stunning views guaranteed!
Generally, this trip is meant for mountaineers with good endurance. Some previous rock climbing or via ferrata experience comes in handy.
Day 1 (Travel Day)
Travel to Alleghe in the Agordo Valley, reachable by train and public bus from Venice via Belluno or from Munich / Innsbruck via Bruneck and Corvara. Lodging in our Hotel in Corvara with group dinner.
Day 2 – 7
Meet with the guide on Day 2 in the morning for breakfast and Trip briefing and distribution of rental gear. Afterwards, we will set off for our first day trip.
Here is only a small selection of Via Ferrata Day trip options that we have from our base in Alleghe.
Via Ferrata Trincee
25 min drive to trailhead at Fedaja Lake: Not too long of a trip. Very scenic ridge traverse along the Austrian WW1 position. After a relatively difficult start the route becomes easier. It is well suited in questionable weather due to good and frequent bail out possibilities.
Marmolada West Ridge Via Ferrata
Relatively long trip to the highest peak in the Dolomites. 25 min drive to a chair lift at the Fedaja Lake. Chair lift ride, then 1 hr approach hike, partly on a glacier. A long via ferrata leads us to the summit of the Punta Penia (3300m), where we can have a late lunch in the summit hut. Descent on the Marmolada glacier back to the chair lift. The via ferrata is not very technical but the length and the alpine ambiance of the mountain make it quite a serious outing. Crampons / ice axe necessary!
Via Ferrata Alleghesi to the Civetta
With help from a gondola that starts in Alleghe (5 min walk from our hotel) this ferrata can be approached with about 2.5 hours of walking. The route follows largely the North Ridge of the mountain and is one of the longest in the Dolomites. On the descent, we usually spend the night in the Torrani Hut, which is located about 20 mins below the summit. From there, we can either continue our descent by using the via ferrata Tissi (difficult) or quicker on the normal route, which has few cables but requires easy scrambling.
All in all a very impressive trip!
Via Ferrata Constantini – Traverse of the Moiazza
Another via ferrata superlative. Rated very difficult and very long!
30 min drive to trail head at the Passo Duran. 45 min approach hike and about 9 hrs on the via ferrata with one bail out option half way.
Very impressive and usually not very busy.
Via Ferrata Tomaselli / Cima Fanis
20 min of driving to the Falzarego Pass. From there relatively quick access by gondola. Somewhat shorter (4 hrs round trip) but very difficult via ferrata to a neighboring summit of the Tofana di Rozes.
The trip can be nicely combined with meeting the “hiking group” mid day for lunch at the Lagazuoi summit and then we could descend together through the WW1 tunnels back to the Falzarego Pass.
Alpini Via Ferrata Col di Bois
Drive to Falzarego Pass for parking. Short, downhill approach to a moderate via ferrata (with a hard start that can be avoided) with excellent equipment on a south face (good for cold days). We usually top out and climb to the summit of the Lagazuoi for a late lunch. Descent either by gondola, WW1 tunnels in the south face of the Lagazuoi or the Kaiserjaegersteig on the west face of the Lagazuoi.
Via Ferrata Beppi Zack
A beautiful trip taking us back to the days of WW1 – first through the Italian positions, then through the Austrian positions. Not difficult at all, often more of a ridge walk, but beautiful views and a nice hut to have coffee and Apfelstrudel / Strudel di Mele on the approach. Perfect for an easier or shaky weather day!
Via Ferrata Ra Gusella and Averau:
Drive to Passo Giau. Sequence of two easy via ferratas with excellent huts to have lunch in between. A Chairlift for the descent as an option. Perfect program for a bad weather or easier day in between the long high peaks via ferrata days!
Day 8 (Travel Day)
Departure after breakfast.
Detail and Logistics
Meet with your guide at 8AM on the first via ferrata day at our hotel in Alleghe for a briefing on the itinerary, weather forecast and conditions update. On some departures and for private trips, our guide may be present already for a meeting at dinner in the Hotel on the arrival day.
Climate, Weather, Temperatures
The Dolomites, being on the “sunny side of the Alps” are usually blessed with favorable weather during the summer season. However, as anywhere in the mountains, it can also snow any given day. This is rare in July and August but can happen in the early season (June and late September). Day time temperatures can range from -5C (23F) to 25C (77F).
Services Included in the Total Price
Guiding by an internationally certified (UIAGM / IFMGA), english speaking mountain guide, transport to trail heads (guides’ car or 8 passenger van depending on group size) during the trip, 6 nights lodging in double rooms in a four star hotel in Alleghe or a three star hotel Caprile for the early and late season departures, 1 night dormitory lodging with half board dinner in a mountain hut of the Italian Alpine Club, Excellent 5 course dinners (half board) in the hotel, breakfast buffet, Equipment use: Ropes, harnesses, helmets, and via ferrata clip-in set, glacier equipment if necessary, all guide expenses (lodging, food, transport), all trip organization.
Air Fares, Transport / Airport shuttles to and from Alleghe, Lunch, Drinks, Any supplement charges for single rooms. Any entrance fees for sightseeing, fees for gondolas, taxis or public transportation that are not part of the itinerary.
Can I Do It?
This is probably our most demanding via ferrata trip. In opposite to our Cortina Dolomites Via Ferrata Trek or our Brenta Dolomites Via Ferrata Bocchette Trail, this trip focuses more on peak ascents and challenging via ferrata with less trekking. Participants should have done via ferrata before and / or have rock climbing experience. Participants must be comfortable with exposure and easy scrambling at times without via ferrata cables. The longer days on the trip will keep you up to 10-11 hours on your feet. The Marmolada ascent requires glacier travel and experience with crampons will be very useful. We usually mix more strenuous days with shorter days, to make the pace sustainable over the 6 days of hiking and scrambling. The fact that we are for most part, valley-based, it does give participants the choice to sit out a day.
What are the huts like? Double rooms? Showers?
We will only be staying in one hut, which is one of the smallest and highest in the Dolomites. Great views, food and drinks catered by hut keeper Venturino. Sleeping is in one room with bunk beds, only cold water available, toilets somewhat primitive.
MULTIDAY-TREK with “VIA FERRATA”
1. Technical Equipment
- Sturdy, waterproof leather trekking / hiking boots
- Backpack (35-45 liters)
- 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 (if included in the program)
- 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 Camel-back
- 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 Leather-man (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
Closest Airport / Transport Options
Our Dolomites High Peaks Via Ferrata begins from Alleghe / Caprile which are most easily reached from Treviso (135 km = 1.45 hrs), Venice (145 km = 2 hrs), Munich (365 km = 4.45 hrs) or Milano Malpensa (385 km = 4.45 hrs) International Airports.
Public transport options from the South (Venice, Traviso, Milano):
Train to Belluno via Venice Mestre Train Station. Dolomiti Bus line 3 departs during the summer season (usually around June 10 – September 10 any year) almost hourly from 7AM to 7PM and takes 1.15 hrs.
Public Transport options from the North (Munich, Bozen / Bolzano, Innsbruck:
Train to Bruneck / Brunico, hourly SAD public bus departure line 460 to Corvara (1 hrs – departs year round), then Dolomiti Bus line 3 to Alleghe via Arabba (1 hr).
Often small rental cars are very economical, even if you end up not using them for most of your week.
Cost for Taxi rides depend on group size and pick up location but for a group of 2 and pick up at Venice airport you are looking at about Euro 270 for the 2 hrs ride.
We will gladly put potential clients in touch with previous participants of each trip in order for interested guests to get more personalized references and their questions answered from a more objective point of view than what our office could provide.
“Walter’s performance: Superb. You really pick excellent guides. As we were all climbers, he chose some harder routes which were greatly appreciated by all.
General trip organization / communication: Mostly ok, except there was a bit of a mess up (though that did not affect me). The Sporthotel Europe had me booked along with the other 4 clients, even though I was only paying for guiding as I had my own apartment nearby. I do appreciate your flexibility in letting me pay only for the guiding.
Itinerary: Great. Walter adjusted it based on the weather and our ability to provide the best experience possible.
I absolutely would recommend you. Overall rating of 9/10.” Kent B., TX, USA
“I am delighted to say that I had a fantastic time. Undoubtably helped by glorious weather with no rain on any route (last day had to be cut short due to predicted thunder).
(1) Walter was excellent. He gauged abilities and wishes of the group and was flexible in planning round our wishes. Equipment he provided (harnesses, arrest devices, crampons, Ice axes) were all good quality. Lovely pleasant manner alongside reassuring professionalism.
(2) Communication from yourselves was generally good – only issue that I had was rather vague advice about how to get from Marco Polo airport to Alleghe by public transport. In the end, I decided to hire a car at airport (which was surprisingly cheap). You had suggested the car-hire option in one of your later emails but perhaps it might have been better to flag it up as a viable option at an earlier stage.
(3) Itinerary was great
(4) Accommodation at Sports Hotel Europa was fine. Lovely location, good beer, nice wine. Limited choice for meals but a different menu every night kept us entertained and large helpings.
(5) I would happily give you a 9/10 (sorry, I hardly ever give 10/10 for anything!).
I had never done via ferrata before nor had I climbed outside Scotland. I am glad to say that, as you had suggested, my previous rock/ice climbing experience was perfectly adequate to allow me to enjoy the trip. A number of the routes featured, as you had advertised, unprotected scrambling or ridge-walking with areas of significant exposure. These were some of my favourite sections (eg VF Costantini). ” Ron W, Scotland
“We generally had a great time!!
1. Walter is the perfect mountain guide. His detailed knowledge of all the routes, of the anticipated weather, and the abilities of the participants led to considerable success. He is very flexible to change plans as needed. He’s very safety oriented. He’s a charming fellow with a small dash of the classic Italian prickliness.
2. Your office did a great job. Prices were very reasonable.
3. Itinerary for our group of all experienced mountaineers was perfect.
4. Lodging good; very friendly and accomodating staff. Good location. Food excellent but a bit too meat-oriented for us.
5. 10/10 but with the proviso that people need to fully understand the requirements of advanced via route (most were Class 5/C) with lots of strenuous moves, massive exposure, unprotected scrambling up to Class 3, snow and ice. We enjoyed it, but this is what we’ve been doing our whole lives.” Edward F., NV, USA
Dolomites High Peaks Via Ferrata
- Up to 11 hrs / day
- Difficult Via Ferratas
- Exposed Trails
- Some Glacier Travel
Dolomites High Peaks Via Ferrata
(6 Days Via Ferrata)
June 2 – 9
June 9 – 16
June 16 – 23
June 23 – 30
June 30 – July 7
July 7 – 14
July 14 – 21*
July 21 – 28*
July 28 – Aug. 4*
Aug. 4 – 11*
Aug. 11 – 18*
Aug. 18 – 25*
Aug. 25 – Sept. 1
Sept. 1 – 8
Sept. 8 – 15
Sept. 15 – 22
Custom trips any time and duration!
*High season surcharge applies
Dolomites High Peaks Via Ferrata
Guide & guide expenses, 6 x hotel**** Alleghe, 1 x hut, 7 x dinner, 7 x breakfast, via ferrata & glacier equipment rental, all local transfers
Extra:Transport to Alleghe, drinks, lunches, gondola and lifts
US $156, CA $188
€ 126, £ 113
High season surcharge:
US $195, CA $235
€ 157, £ 141