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via ferrata Dolomites: hiking Mount Grappa

Climb the via ferrata on Mont Grappa in the Dolomites. Part hiking, part climbing you will make your way to see the remains of trenches and forts from the site of conflicts in WWI.

 

WHY DID WE LIKE THIS EXPERIENCE SO MUCH?

Dramatic mountain scenery

A climbing challenge

See the remains of WWI trenches and fortifications

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Dolomites hiking via ferrata


The grappa massif can not match the eastern Dolomites for its majesty and scenery. However, this experience dolomites hiking via ferrata, departing from Crespano del Grappa is something special because it will take you to discover a trail which was used in World War 1. Once you have reached the summit, you can actually enter some of the trenches, which were used in the Great War. This tour will take you to one of the main valleys of the Monte Grappa massif, the San Liberale Valley.

The Dolomites are about 250 millions years old and are composed mainly of sedimentary rocks and limestone. Today, we can hardly imagine that once the mighty mountains were an enormous coral reef, formed in the primordial ocean!

WWI history – the dolomites

The dolomites are rich in WWI history Between 1915 and 1918 the Great war was fought on the dolomites.  The Italian and Austro-hungarian army faced each other in the mountains fighting a bloody war. The frequent battles, sever winter temperatures and the risk of avalanches put the soldiers resilience to the test. During these years they built defensive trenches, posts, forts barracks and tunnels dug out of the rock.

 

The Grappa Massif

The Grappa’s Massif is surrounded by areas of stunning landscape and cultural interest. Its peaks were the theatre of great battles during the Great War, while they are now a fertile soil for a rich flora and fauna as well as a haven for holiday makers. In this relatively small area you can find small enclosed fortresses, large towns rich in history and culture, and native towns of some of the world’s most important artists. The tables of the houses and restaurants are laden with some of the most renowned and delicious cheeses and with local Made in Italy products..

What is a via ferrata?

Via ferrata are special routes through the dolomites this a very interesting outdoor experience, halfway between rock climbing and hiking in the mountains, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking landscapes of the Dolomite mountains, without giving up the adrenaline of a climb! They are ideal for spending a day with the family, as they can also be done with the children, even if we advise you to do it with an expert guide! This a geat outdoor excursion if you are coming to visit venice and its surrounding veneto region!
Technical information of the ferrata sass Brusai:
Total difference in height: 900 meters;
Difficulty: Medium. A good level of fitness is required.

 

Other practical information:
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Experience from a minimum of 1 person to a maximum of 4 people;
Experience suitable for children from 16 years (without parents’ support) and for adults.
Please advise the Mountain Guide of any health problems or allergies.
Mountain sports clothing and packed lunch required (boots, windproof / rain jacket, fleece or light down jacket, eating, drinking …);

But let’s find out some details of Ferrata Sass Brusai …

 

HOW TO GET THERE:

Reach the town of Crespano Grappa, cross the center and continue up to the village Fietta. Continue following the signs for S. Liberale. Then go along the stretch of asphalt road until you get to a parking lot at the bottom of the valley, near a restaurant bar. After leaving the car near a restaurant bar, meet your guide, start the climb!
Enter one of the main valleys of the massif: the Valle di San Liberale.
The first part, is a classic hiking path, you will start crossing a stretch of trail in the woods, until you reach the main vie ferrate. It’s time to get ready to climb a via ferrata!
1st section: It starts with a bang! You will face a short passage of medium difficulty that gives access to a ridge of rock interspersed with grassy patches and a few groves. This first section is not particularly simple, given the verticality of the wall! To help with the climb there are numerous supports here and there, to aid your ascent.
A metal cable will guarantee safety necessary throughout the journey. The itinerary continues among rocky crests interspersed with grassy patches. The second section, is much easier than the first, only high steps, not particularly tiring!
Before reaching the third section, you will begin to enjoy the beautiful landscapes that are visible from the ferrata in the dolomites.  The valley, Mount Grappa and Mount Boccaor.

 

The Ferrata Saas Brusai is about to reveal its main attraction – the Tibetan bridge!
We can pause here en route as long as you don’t suffer from vertigo! For the more adventurous, we continue to walk the via ferrata! The beauty starts now!
After crossing a typical suspension bridge, which connects a rocky tower to the vertical west ridge, we will continue the way along the ferrata routes.
You enter the ferrata delle bocchette (a large fissure) and you can then reach the highest peak. This stretch has medium difficulty but there are regular supports to help you.Finally you will see something unexpected: some saddle dolomites (the sella group) which have a unique crystalline composition. It is time to do a few dozen meters of vertical climbing. This is the most challenging part of the whole ferrata sass brusai! Take a deep breath, you are nearly at the summit!

Continue on and you will get to the short final wall, the last difficult part, and then on to the sweet ridge fields. From the summit you will witness a beautiful panorama across the Veneto plain and towards the central dolomites. Remains of trenches and military caves characterize the landscape. On the way back we will head down the old mule track of the Great War. This path is now recorded as path CAI n 153, which you will see carved on walls going down into the valley of San Liberale, where we will begin the long descent to our cars.


DESCENT:
For the descent you have two options:
The first way is slightly more complicated, but it takes us back to the starting point in an hour and a half. From the top follow the signs leading to the junction. We advise you to be careful, there is a dangerous hole nearby that is sometimes covered by grass. We follow the signs for pian della bala.
The second way which we recommend, is simpler. After having found the signs of the paths, continue to the right, passing along the mule track. This actually passes exactly under the Tibetan bridge we crossed before. In just 30 minutes you will reach the Bala plains. From there, it is well signposted to the roda de San Liberale.

 

The Mountain Guide has the right to cancel the trip if the weather conditions are poor and postpone it until a later date.

 

If this ferrata has thrilled you, discover all our proposals for via ferrata around Veneto:
The route to the Vajont dam, remembering the disaster
ferrata course: learn to climb
ferrata della marmolada, on the top of the Dolomites
ferrata delle trincee: in the footsteps of the great war!

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