Review of the athletic Ferrata Adventure Climb at the Clap Varmost above Forni Alti in the province of Udine. The modern and well-aided via ferrata is built in French style and can be divided into two sections: a first one of medium difficulty with an escape route at the end and a second one which is demanding and very exposed.
The starting point of the itinerary is the mountain station of the Varmost cable car which leaves from Forni di Sopra in the province of Udine. Forni di Sopra can be reached along the Strada Statale 52 Carnica that connects Tolmezzo with Lozzo di Cadore. Once in Forni di Sopra on the Cadore side we pass under a bridge that leads to the top station of the cable car. On the south side of the road there is ample parking to be able to easily walk to the valley station of the cable car. Directions for Google Maps available here.
If the cable car is not open, it is possible to reach the mountain station by walking path. In this case it is advisable to climb up the narrow Via Chianeit from Forni di Sopra, an asphalted road not in excellent condition. You reach a junction where the paved road ends where on the right there is an open space for 2-3 cars. Keep to the left the saddle that brings us with path 207 to the mountain station. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the top station of the cable car it is clearly visible on the right the Clap Varmost which stands out with a beautiful vertical wall right to us. Near the arrival there is also a showcase with the main information and details on the aided route. To reach the start we descend under the cable car arrival and we follow the present indications. The path goes into the woods and we follow the evident trace following the signs that clearly show us towards the right the start of the via ferrata. We walk under the walls of the Clap Varmost until we reach the left the first wire ropes. As indicated clearly from a sign these are the arrival of the escape route while the actual start of the via ferrata is 15 meters further to the right (15' from the top station of the cable car).
From the signpost of the beginning of the ferrata we go down on the track reaching the start that with an easy ledge slightly downhill leads us to reach the entrance of a crack in the rock. We enter the crack walking on a wooden walkway entering the rock ravine. At the end of the walkway we meet the metal equipment again. We climb diagonally to the right on some rocks. Looking up we see now over our heads both a suspension bridge and a staircase which, inclined and resting on the sides of the gorge, crosses it. We reach one vertical aided wall with pegs and brackets that leads us to the inclined staircase. Let's go up there solid ladder crossing the gorge e we reach a rocky spur. Let's go up now in strong exposure the spur wall helped by a series of metal brackets and we reach the suspended bridge.
We cross one at a time the suspension bridge that cross the gorge crossed earlier and we are on the wall of the Clap Varmost. Let's go up a couple of meters and let's start a traverse to the left with well positioned brackets for the feet. The travers develops initially diagonal uphill, then horizontal then slightly downhill leads us to the escape route marked on the left. If you opt for the escape route you will have to go down a non-trivial via ferrata down to the point encountered during the approach. By continuing the athletic and demanding part of the via ferrata, we proceed upwards.
The difficulty level of the route changes gear now. A demanding transition is waiting for us: a overhanging roof to be tackled with a mixture of agility and strength of arms. We approach the roof going up one long series of brackets close. Let's climb the leap trying to avoid unnecessary temporization that would only result in unnecessary fatigue. Climbed the overhanging passage, we continue vertically by concluding the exposed wall and moving us gradually to the left before and then to the right.
We move now to the left up an airy traverse on rungs that leads us to key passage of the route: a second and more challenging overhanging roof at the edge of an exposed corner. The passage is abundantly aided with brackets but this must not mislead, posing more difficulties than the average of the route. The passage in strong exposure, fold to right on a dihedral aided with the inevitable metal pegs, at the end of which we undertake a airaerial traverse to the right towards an edge. This is probably the more adrenaline-filled passage than the route. We go around the edge and follow a new diagonal traverse on the left with supports on metal pegs for the feet. We are at the end of the wall. The cable continues vertically on the wall always aided down to end of vertical passage.
Now we begin the last section of the via ferrata. Let's now walk a stretch of rocks and aided path with modest difficulties leading us up mixed soil of grass and rocks at the end of Ferrata Adventure Climb. We pass a wooden walkway and following the track we reach the cross at the top of Clap Varmost (1h 15' from the start - 1h 30' from the top station of the cable car).
We follow the track from the summit leading us slightly uphill to the station upstream of the second section of the cable car or go down the path along the ski slopes passing by an artificial lake, then returning to the station of the cableway used on approach (40' from the end of the via ferrata).
The Ferrata at the Clap Varmost is an athletic ferrata, French for both the type of ascent and the abundant use of metal equipment. The via ferrata is in itself not very climbable and metal brackets are used almost everywhere in excellent condition along the route. The cable is thick and gives security. The steps of the metal cable in the taproots I am French and this sometimes leads the cable to enter the trajectory of passage uphill. In overhanging passages, the cable is arranged rather difficult to pull and the passage must be climbed using the brackets. In this case it may be useful to have with you a tape or a return in order to stop in case of fatigue. In conclusion, the via ferrata will leave disappointed ferrate climbers, however, the exposure and the athletic nature of the route make it beautiful and demanding.
The Ferrata Adventure Climb at Clap Varmost has Forni di Sopra as a starting point, in the Carnic Prealps. Also from Forni di Sopra it is possible to reach the Mus Pass with a long approach and climb the challenging one Ferrata Cassiopea at the Comici Tower. From Forni di Sopra we can reach Cadore and then the Passo Rest, we can travel to the Ferrata Tramuntin at Monte Rest.
Moving towards Cadore we reach the first Aided path Olivato and continuing in the direction of the Marmarole la Ferrata Alpini at Jau Tana or the Da Prà Aided path. Remaining instead in the province of Udine but moving northwards we reach the Ferrata 50 of the Clap, the Ferrata to Monte Coglians, the Ferrata Sartor and Chiadenis.
Approach: 0:15 h
Ferrata: 1:15 h
Itinerary: 2:30 h
Ferrata height difference: 200 m
Route difference: 250 m
Max altitude: 2073 m
Length: 2.5 Km
Mountain Group: Carnic Prealps