INTRODUCTION TO VIA FERRATA (Dolomites)

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Hanging off the cable on Punta Anna with the Marmolada glaciers in the background and the misty morning fog clinging to the mountains below.  This trip allows you to reach places and sights that you may not have considered before adn to perhaps go outside your comfort zone a little bit :-) - we had a great time and will be going back to explore some of the other routes in the future.

What did you think of your group leader?

The guides from Globo-Alpin (Hubbert and Paolo) were professional, friendly (insiting on buying drinks and bringing sweets to the top of the peaks) and knowledgeable.  They were always happy to answer questions and to provide guidance on possible future walks (and ones that are too difficult!).

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

A bit of practice on a climbing wall would be useful before you go if you have not done any climbing before.  Also work on building up your arm and upper body strength which is very useful to pull yourself up the cables. Via Ferrata gloves or an equivalent are a must! Some kind of backpack hydration system is also very helpful - there are limited places on the Via Ferratas where it is safe or convenient to take off your rucksack. Normal walking boots were absolutely fine although the type that have a rubber covering over the toe area are better (most newer models have this) - and make sure that your soles are in good shape as good grip is important.  Conditions can be variable - a warm hat and thermal protection is necessary for the high altitude routes (you can reach 3300m), and waterproofs a must.  The thin fleec ear warmers that go under your helmet are good. There is a good English book on the Via Ferrata of the Dolomites by Fletcher and Smith which is interesting if you like to read around a route but by no means required.  Maps can be bought easily locally in the supermarket in Dobbiaco, in one of the climbing shops or in refuges.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Arranging your own flights via Verona and a visit to the Opera in this ancient Roman town is a worthy addition to the trip.  Trains go regularly from Verona to Dobbiaco taking around 4 hours and costing only 20Euros (change at Fortezza).