The Via Ferrata starts from Rifugio Lorenzi (2932 metres)
(click on the image for a slideshow)
Wednesday 17 August - Via Ferrata Ivona
Dibona (by Martin)
The day dawned
bright and clear for our planned traverse of the Ivona Dibona via ferrata, one
of our favourite routes (CORT 6 - grade 2B, our 4th visit).
After the usual
tea, muesli and yoghurt, Sue and I set off with Ian and Caroline at 8:20 in the two
cars and dropped ours at 8:40 at L'Ospitale, where the parking spaces had
nearly all already been taken. Then in Ian and Caroline's Peugeot 206 we went
to the huge car park at Rio Gere, and after toilet stops etc, we got the chair
lift and then the bucket lift up to Rifugio Lorenzi at 2932 metres.
The suspension bridge that you can see high above the 'bucket' is the longest in the Dolomites
Ian, an experienced climber, helps the locals 'kit up'
delightfully cool as we joined a long queue to the bottom of the metal steps. After
getting to the top of the lift at 10 am, we set off at 10:30.
For the first two
hours we queued at length on this warm sunny day, behind hundreds of Italians
and their children. Some of the latter moved quicker than us all day, but the
move (stretch) needed to get onto the ladder, and the steep rocks below, caused
a major jam.
Free at last to move at my own pace
On the suspension bridge
The path to Cristallino d'Ampezzo (3008 m)
We nipped across
to the peak of Cristallino d'Ampezzo (3008 metres) for a break from the queue.
experience would have been miserable in poor weather but it was ok today. We
finally reached Forcella Grande after more than two hours, and, largely free
from the crowds, we continued quickly on to our lunch spot - on the raised
balcony of a bivouac hut at Forcella Padeon.
We got there by
the official route, involving an unlikely left turn steeply down then right,
avoiding the unprotected ridge route taken by others. (12:30)
We enjoyed a bit
of shade after lunch by way of high cloud. Our route continued on across the relentlessly
exposed ledges, sometimes aided, sometimes not, the aid usually being used as a
The sky was now
bright but overcast, affording some shade from the burning sun. We came across
a lone German from Heidelberg - Joachim, a GP
who had done a biochemistry degree at Princetown, and GP training in the
Gorbals in Glasgow.
He thought there was a route for him to get back to Rio Gere, but it had been
closed off. Nice chap.
Forcella Bassa (2433 m) at 3:30, and continued relentlessly along the ridge. By
5 pm we could see the car at L'Ospitale from the end of the ridge, where we
made a slight diversion to visit a high
On the steep descent to Forcella Bassa
Beers at L'Ospitale
were most welcome. We waited for a while for Joachim (shattered), buying him a beer when he
eventually turned up; then we took him back to his car at Rio Gere,
after calls to Julia and Megan had fixed rendezvous arrangements.
So we all got
back to camp, showered, etc, and were soon in Cortina at Pizzeria Porto Rotondo
for an excellent if relatively expensive meal for the seven of us, a fitting
climax to an excellent mountain day. Outside, the climbing wall still operated
for young children, and an Italian singer droned on.
A couple of Viewranger screen dumps show our route -
9 km with just 200 metres ascent, taking all of 7 hoursNext Day