Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

August 12, 2012

Via Ferrata (Sandro Pertini): Dolomites

Our second Via Ferrata was near the town of Selva, again not far from our campground so an easy drive.  Listed in the guidebook (Via Ferratas of the Dolomites, Vol. 1) as SELVA 5, it was the most technically challenging routes we had selected.  This was also a newer route, having been installed less than 10 years ago. 
Again, the parking lot was filling up as we arrived, but the valley was also popular with hikers so the cables themselves weren't as crowded.  It was a short hike to the start of the climb, which went pretty much up the nose of a cliff face.  It was very steep, very sustained, and only had one real location to rest and eat on the way up.  We were more than ready for a break by the time we reached it! 
We had chosen this route because it was a fairly short approach and descent afterwards...we were trying to save our legs a little. After all, this would be the 6th day in a row that we had been hiking up hills with some serious elevation changes, and we were all feeling a little pooped. So to rest our legs, we tested our arms instead. Which turned out ok, as the route was really beautiful, and fun to climb. The knife-edged rock ridges across the valley were stunning, and the cumulous clouds just made the scenery more dramatic.
I particularily enjoyed the ladder/bridge, but we were all happy to rest our arms when we finally arrived at the top.   We took a few minutes to just lay in the grass and look at the gorgeous scenery.  The Dolomites will take your breath away, they really will.   Little did we know, though, that we were laying on top of a shallow, natural bridge of rock, which connected the flake of cliff we had climbed to the rest of the ridge!   Luckily we didn't find out about that until we had hiked up and around by the hut and back around onto another finger. 

The descent was fairly modest, with good trails and no scrambling (unlike previous days) so we did get a bit of a rest.   Not enough, though, unfortunately.  Rob and I set off to do a via ferrata the next day at Falzarego Pass, and I was so tired (after 35 hours of hiking in just 7 days, ouch!) that I barely made the hour's climb up the pass, and after arriving at the start of the via ferrata, could only look at it and shake my head.  I knew I was too tired to safely tackle the cliffs ahead of me.   So we'll save that one for a future trip, as it did look to be a cracking route for energetic legs!
View of the natural bridge from the descent route, the via ferrata comes up the other side.


  1. Stunning pictures, glorious views and really good weather. Might have to go there!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. A really gorgeous place for hiking as well, I hope you do get to go there. Nice trails and well sign-posted. It did tend to rain every evening we were there, but usually not until 7 pm so plenty of long hiking days were all sun and no rain!