I recently found out about an exciting winter activity I’d not really heard of before taking place in Cortina d’Ampezzo: winter via ferrata. To find out more I spoke to Cortina Alpine guide, Paolo Tassi, about it. This Italian ski town has three routes suitable for winter climbing and is one of the few places in the Alps where you can experience winter via ferrata.
Whilst via ferrata routes are all around the Dolomites in Cortina there are more and most of them were built during the World War 1 to permit an easiest access to the top of the mountains where the soldiers had their front lines.
In the winter you can climb:
Via Ferrata Sci Club 18 – in Monte Faloria
Via Ferrata Degli Alpini – on Col Dei Bos
Via Ferrata Cristallino D’Ampezzo – On Monte Cristallo
In winter, via ferrata is more difficult, as the snow and ice cover the iron cable, so it takes twice as long and special equipment such as ice axes and crampons are needed. Snowshoes are also used to approach and return from the via ferrata.
Most people do via ferrata during the summer, in winter, only the brave dare and guides advise winter participants to be technically and physically prepared. One guide can take up to 2 people and the cost is 280 euro for both of them.