On a nice afternoon we decided to rent bikes and cycle to Dro and do the via ferrata Rio Sallagoni which goes through a canyon not far away from the Lake Garda. After we cycled for about half an hour we realized that we forgot to take our map with us! That was not good, because the beginning of the via ferrata was not so easy to find. Nevertheless after cycling around for a while we found it! But it was already quite late, because we had to bring the bikes back at 6pm. Therefore we quickly changed our clothes and started the via ferrata. This was quite different from what we had done before! Not on a mountain, instead it goes through a canyon. After the canyon the landscape felt a bit like rainforest. There was another ropeway and from there we went up to the Castle Dro. We had a quick view at the castle and went quickly down again, back to the bikes. Then we cycled back to Torbole where we arrived just in time to hand back the bikes! An existing afternoon where we had lots of fun!
The Cima S.A.T. (1246m) is a summit very close to the Lake Garda. The fixed rope route "Via dell'' Amicizia" lead directly to the summit. Actually, 1246m doesn''t sound so much but since one start in Riva del Garda which is just 80m above sea level there is still a difference of 1166m left. The fixed rope route is known for quite long ladders (up to 70m) and the great view on the Lake Garda.
Today, we start in Torbole which is the neighbouring place of Riva del Garda. We rent mountain bikes the day before at Scott. It''s just 5am. We pack our bags and unlock the bikes. It is still dark outside and nobody is on the streets. It takes approximately 30 minutes until we reach Riva Del Garda. We lock our bikes and walk to the information board.
We follow the path up the hill. Our first stop will be "Il Bastione" - a fortress which was built approximately 1500 AD. Before we arrive at the Bastione we already have a great view on Riva Del Garda.
A sign shows us the right way. Finally we arrive at the Bastione. Nobody else is there. It is possible to go inside the Bastione - for free.
Directly beside the Bastione there is a little cafe which is of course closed that early. However, we borrowed two chairs and had our breakast - probably the breakfast with the best view ever 🙂
After breakfast we continue the ascent. The path turned into a mixture of stones and roots. Frome here one already has a great view on the Lake Garda.
After some time (or some more time....) we arrive at Capanna Santa Barbara - which is also closed. And also here we are completely alone. We take a short break and then follow the signs to the beginning of the fixed rope route. There is a sign saying "Ferrata Centenario S.A.T - Via Dell'' Amicizia".
The first part of the fixed rope route is more like a small path. Only some parts are secured by rope. Also a helmet does not really seem to be necessary.
However, after some time we come to a small plateau. From here a long ladder goes right to the sky. From the ladder the view to the Lake Garda even gets better 🙂 At the end of the first ladder one might look back... 🙂 From now on one ladder is followed by another.
On our way up we pass a board with an Italian song text. From here the next ladder starts. To the right one can see far to the north.
A few ladders later we finally arrive at the Cima S.A.T. The flag which is made of metal creaks in the wind. At the top we write our names down to the summit log 🙂 Also on our way back to Riva Del Garda we still have a nice view to the Lake Garda.
Looking back we can see some other people at the end of the fixed rope route.
We pass a sign telling us that there is water available just a few hundered meters away. It has become quite warm, now. Actually we are quite glad that we have started so early in the morning and that we took enough water with us.
After the last ladder down we arrive at the Santa Barbara chapel. Here, we meet other people the first time. On our way down we meet several people which are just on their way up to the fixed rope route. Now, with approximately 28 degrees celsius in the shadow we think that''s not such a good idea. Instead we are looking forward to the swimming pool, now 😀
We took the train to Bolzano and stayed in a very nice youth hostel close to the train station. The next morning we take the bus from Bolzano to Canazei. From there we walk up to the Contrin Hut.
We arrive at the Contrin Hut quite early. So we have a soup and decide to walk up to the Passo Ombretta. There we see a bivouac, we open the door and find someone sleeping :O
We enjoy the weather and walk back down to the hut where we have a huge dinner. The weather forecast was really good for the next day, so we decided to do the Marmolada summit the next morning. The Marmolada is with 3343m the highest mountain of the Dolomites. We get up at around 5:40 am the next morning and walk in the direction of Passo Ombretta. After around one hour we stop and have some breakfast. We walk up a way with many many pebbles. Then we arrive at the beginning of the via ferrata. The via ferrata is not so difficult, but you can feel that the air is a bit thinner. The view from above 3000m is fantastic! The weather is great and we can really enjoy the tour. We know that many people will take the railway from the other side and come up later. But we are the first today! We walk along the glacier and can see the hut at the Punta Penia! Great! We have some food and drink and talk to the owner of the hut and sit in the sunshine. And we use the toilet - very funny 😛
Because there might be a thunderstorm later in the afternoon we decide to go town soon. We take back the way via the via ferrata and meet many people - people who are very exhausted and without a via ferrata set.
After around 10 hours we are back at the Contrin Hut and enjoy another huge dinner!
The next morning we walk up to the Nicolo Hut and go to the beginning of the very difficult Kaiserjägersteig. At the beginning we meet a crazy man who has done around 50 via ferratas already. He starts in front of us, but is quite exhausted after a few minutes. So we go in front and reach the summit after around one hour. A great and difficult via ferrata with a great view down! At the summit we meet the man again - who starts to dance at the summit. He tells us that this is his via ferrata dance - he does it everytime after a finished one. On our way down we can hear thunder, so we hurry up. Just in time we reach the Contrin Hut, where we sit down, have something to drink and watch the weather.
The weather is changing now - clouds and rain. So we stay one more night at the hut and decide to go back to the valley the next morning.