Via Ferrata are routes equipped with metal cables, ladders and other fixed features such as wooden walkways and suspended bridges that facilitate safe passage in exposed areas. Via ferrata equipment is essential.
The difficulty of a given ferrata depends on the sheerness of the rock faces and the amount of holds and supports. The easier ferrata routes are usually called Sentiero Ferrata, (Ferrata path), while the more difficult ones are called Via Ferrata (Ferrata route).
Even simple routes can become extremely difficult in adverse weather conditions. The length of the route can also influence the degree of difficulty of a ferrata excursion. This is why we always advise using a mountain guide.
Many of today’s Via Ferratas follow routes used by troops in World War I, such as the famous Ivano Dibona equipped route in the Cristallo massif.
There are at least 28 Via Ferratas around Cortina d’Ampezzo, with a variety of features and levels of difficulty. The easiest – such as the Averau ferrata or the Giovanni Barbara ferrata at the Fanes waterfall – are suitable for children, if accompanied by an Alpine Guide or expert trekkers. The more challenging, such as Ferrata 18 in Faloria, or the new variant on the Tofana di Mezzo are conceived for expert mountaineers.