The Ferrata dell'Amicizia (literally "The Friendship Ferrata") at Cima Sat is a long and tiring itinerary that goes back up from the lake to the obvious summit of Cima Sat. The via ferrata is characterized by a series of long stairs that go up the most challenging and overhanging sections of the road. Attention to the heat that can be encountered in summer, recommended in mid-seasons.
The starting point of the itinerary is Riva del Garda, Trento. We need to go in the direction of the western Garda road that from Riva leads to Limone. Near the Monte Oro Pay Parking we will see a CAI sign that goes up. We will have to find parking in that area and walk to the CAI pole.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
The signpost will show us the CAI 404 uphill path that after a few bends leads us to cross another path. Keep to the left and continue towards a small Venetian fortress. Shortly before the fortress on the right starts the CAI 404 path which soon leads us to a forest road which we take to the left. We continue on the forest road up to a new saddle that goes right to Capanna Santa Barbara (560 m). We continue south from Capanna Santa Barbara following the path until we find on the left a detour for CAI 404B which soon leads us to the start of the ferrata (1h 15 'from the parking lot).
The metal equipment that leads us diagonally to the left and then on an easy stepped wall uphill for a couple of meters to reach a rocky path begins just below the slab. We climb a couple of rocky jumps and then to the left we climb a leaning wall. They end the equipment again and walk along a path. We meet a new section similar to the previous one with well-set rocks. We reach a small terrace beyond which the ascent continues alternating rocks with some more vertical sections assisted by brackets. The ascent tends to proceed in zig zag with short ledges and sometimes climb to the right, others to the left. We continue on a new stretch of path reaching one of the most characteristic stretches of the road: a long metallic ladder of over 40 meters that will help us to climb a long and slightly overhanging wall. After ascending the long staircase, you make two meters horizontally on a metal bar and climb up a second metal staircase. After the aerial climb of the stairs we are on a rocky slabau with a wonderful view behind us.
The equipment ends for a short stretch of easy rocky steps and we reach a vertical slab. This rises towards the left with the help of some brackets and on the left side begins the third stairway that rises a dihedral. At the end of the staircase we cross to the right and resume the vertical ascent on well appurtenant rock. We follow an easy traverse to the right beyond which we ascend a short jump of 3 meters with the help of some brackets. We are now in a short stretch of aided path until we reach the fourth long staircase (70 m) that goes up a smooth wall. Although not difficult this stretch is definitely exposed. We conclude this stretch and we are on a panoramic terrace where we take a narrow ledge to the left. In short we come to an easy chimney to be climbed in agile climbing in the first part while the upper part is more difficult proceeding diagonally to the left. We go up this wall with the help of some brackets. We leave this wall and go around a stone on a ledge that leads us to a short stretch of exposed but not difficult descent. We are now on an aided ledge which, after a final rocky leap, takes us to the characteristic peak flag (1260 m - 1h 45 'from the start - 3h total).
At the end of the ferrata we will have to descend in a westerly direction until we reach a short aided stretch to a helicopter landing pad. We continue on the path to a crossroads where we can evaluate two descent options:
The Ferrata dell'Amicizia is a decidedly aerial ferrata with many exposed sections and whoever follows this itinerary must keep this aspect in mind. With this in mind the via ferrata does not present technically difficult sections with the only passage of medium difficulty in the last chimney before reaching the summit. At the beginning of 2018 the stairs are in a not perfect state of maintenance being fairly mobile and although not dangerous they give the impression of poor stability. Definitely an trip to do with good physical preparation given the high gap and the long return path.
Although the ascent route to Cima Sat with the Ferrata dell'Amicizia fills a high gap and probably will not opt for another aided itinerary, there are many Via Ferrata at Lake Garda. If you wanted the area is rich in other routes among which in the area of Cima Capi you can opt for the Ferrata Susatti at Cima Capi to which to match in descent the Aided path Foletti and then the path of the Laste. Near the Laste path there is the Ferrata at Cima Rocca. Moving to the Passo di Tremalzo we can follow the Aided path Mora Pellegrini to Monte Corno.
Not far from Riva del Garda going up towards Trento we could opt for the easy aided paths of the Cavre or Colodri or the Ferrata Castel Drena in the gorge of the Rio Sallagoni. For very experienced enthusiasts you can go up to the Val di Sarche to take the difficult route Via Ferrata Pisetta. Moving to the north we will be able to follow the Ferrata to the Rio Ruzza waterfall or the Ferrata Artpinistica in Preore.
Approach: 1:15 h
Ferrata: 1:45 h
Itinerary: 5:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 610 m
Route difference: 1150 m
Max altitude: 1246 m
Length: 9.5 Km