The Alta Via Bruno Federspiel (literally "High route Bruno Federspiel") is a challenging ridge itinerary that connects Forcella de la Costela with Passo delle Selle along the Monzoni Group in the province of Trento. The itinerary does not have aided sections of high difficulty but it extends in a challenging and exposed environment with many ups and downs. The itinerary is interesting from a historical point of view as it traverses the Austrian artillery barricades during the Great War.
The starting point is Malga Crocefisso in Val San Nicolò, valley perpendicular to the Val di Fassa at Pozza di Fassa, province of Trento. If the road is not closed you can proceed in Val Monzoni and park near the first bend, otherwise you can park at Malga Crocefisso. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking lot of Malga Crocefisso we go up the Val Monzoni road which coincides with the path CAI 603. We reach the Baita Monzoni (1792 m - 45' from Malga Crocefisso) and we continue uphill always on CAI 603 up to a junction where we will leave this path to take CAI 624 on the right towards Punta Valacia and the hut of the same name (2275 m - 1h 30') Total). Shortly after reaching the hut we continue on the steep path until we reach Forcella de la Costela (2529 m - 2h 30' total) where the Alta Via Bruno Federspiel starts on the left with the CAI 616 trail marker.
From Forcella de la Costela we see in front of us the long ridge that we will have to walk to complete our itinerary. We start along a stretch of path initially broad enough then going up near the ridge it narrows and requires a firm foot. We proceed on this stretch of the hillside near the ridge for a good period of time, maintaining a high degree of attention until we reach a saddle where we continue on a stretch of the ridge that leads us to the Spiz del Malinvern (2630 m - 1h 15' from the start - 3h 45' total) where we meet the first aided sections of the route begins route. At this point we could interrupt the alta via by taking the 624B path that goes down to Ronchi on the right.
By continuing on the alta via, you descend in an easterly direction along the grassy ridge that leads us to Ricoletta saddle (2431 m - 20 m from Spiz del Malinvern). We continue the itinerary in the direction of the Spiz de Tariciogn which is not reached by the path itself but along a detour so being optional. We continue downhill reaching a saddle where the aided path begin again. We face a couple of exposed ledges with wooden walkways then a couple of aided sections not difficult near one edge. We reach a short dihedral to be faced downhill beyond which we reach a easy aided traverse. We now walk along a section of the path with plenty of military positions dating back to Great War and if you want you can take numerous detours to visit them. By continuing between ups and downs you reach the Passo delle Selle where the aided itinerary of this Alta Via ends (3h from the saddle de la Costela - 5h 30' total).
From Passo delle Selle (2528 m) we have two return options to Malga Crocefisso:
The Alta Via Bruno Federspiel is a demanding itinerary due to the considerable overall height difference that between the slopes and the descents along the ridge is much greater than the relative height difference between the start and the highest point. The itinerary is less beaten than its neighbor Bepi Zac because it is generally more exposed (compared in particular to the first part of Bepi Zac). If you wanted to save energy, you could take the path from Passo San Pellegrino in the opposite direction and using the ski lifts to reach Passo Selle.
The Alta Via Bruno Federspiel runs along a stretch of ridge that ends at Passo Selle and it is possible to continue the ridge to Forcella Uomo along the other Alta Via of the Great War, the Ferrata Bepi Zac. Alternatively the Federspiel could also be combined with Ferrata Gadotti reaching Sass Aut. In these cases it would be advisable to stay at high altitude. By going down into Val San Nicolò, you will find the difficult ones: Ferrata Magnifici 4 and the Ferrata Kajserjager at the Col Ombert.
Moving instead to the Catinaccio you can walk some magnificent via ferratas too in a majestic context. Among the various, we point out the Via Ferrata Santner, the Ferrata to the Catinaccio of Antermoia, the Via Ferrata Masarè and the Via Ferrata Roda di Vael.