Review of the difficult Ferrata to the Tower of Clampil. Recent, very athletic itinerary that climbs the north face of the Clampil Tower in strong exposure.
The starting point of the itinerary is located a few hundred meters before the Passo di Pramollo which separates the province of Udine from Austria. The parking lot is located next to a white barracks now disused near the penultimate bend before reaching the pass. To reach the parking lot from the Italian side, exit the A23 motorway at Pontebba and, following the obvious indications in the town, we climb between hairpin bends for about 12 km (20 minutes) to the parking lot. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The Ferrata of Friendship at the Clampil Tower shares with the nearby Ferrata Contin much of the approach that winds along the valley generated by the Rio Winkel. The Ferrata Contin, much less difficult than the via alla Torre Clampil fits well possibly to be traveled downhill as a return option.
Parked the car (1568 m) we follow the marker 433 that along a dirt road continues in the wood between up and down for about a kilometer until you see the colorful Winkel hut (1470 m) over a bridge over the Rio Winkel. We always continue on path 433, ignoring the junction for the Alta Via Cai Pontebba left towards the Sella della Pridola. This route is a return option for this trip. We remain on the 433 which alternates stretches in the wood with stretches in the scrub gradually rising towards the walls at the end of the valley. We pass the crossroads where to the left the Schiavi Alpinistic Trail comes off and we continue straight ahead going up the valley until you meet a second and important crossroads with signaling both on a stone and with CAI sign:
Visible at the crossroads Winkel Tower and Clampil Tower goal of our aided climb. Keeping the right at the saddle we begin to cut diagonally the rubble of a valley following some obvious orange marks present. In short we reach the Torre Clampil rocky bastion where thestart of the via ferrata also indicated by aimage depicting the route with the different sectors and difficulty of ascent that we will meet (1h 30 'from the parking lot).
A few meters to the right of the ferrata sign, following the orange signs, we meet the metal cable. The via ferrata is divided into 3 sectors with increasing difficulty, both technical and physical. The first section is rather supported and consists of a diagonal ramp followed by some steps that will gradually lead us to the right under the vertical line that descends from the Clampil Tower. We face a first vertical slab which, however, offers discreet natural grips and some metal frames. Considering the continuation of the route, we advise you to proceed by searching as much as possible for climbing and saving arm strength for the rest. This stretch appears immediately vertical but with a medium difficulty level. The vertical sections are separated with detrital terraces where you can comfortably stop.
Thus ends the first section which, despite the contained difficulties, showed us the type of rock and climb that await us in the most demanding continuation. We bend to the right in a more decisive manner by initially climbing one slab in strong display with which we reach a new terrace. We go up a rather smooth wall with then a diagonal right side crossbar which begins to stress the arms significantly. Looking up is obvious the last part of the route in our eyes. We resume after this traverse and we find ourselves under a smooth slab aided with brackets that we walk before completing the second section of the route, ready to travel thelast, very difficult part.
Already from the start the section shows some features: smooth slab in many stretches overhanging with brackets, handles and pegs along the way. We start climbing a very challenging stretch: the cable, initially to our left, goes up vertical on an overhanging passage where some change, handles and nails (positioned however not optimally) help to climb it. The cable moves to the right and we go up a bulge of the rock, not without a certain effort. We are now under one long series of metal bracketa positioned in a row rising to strong exposure. Attention during the climb a do not flaunt because of the slope of the rock. We continue the athletic climb just a meter too far from a crack on our left which would undoubtedly offer some useful natural footholds. Instead we use the pegs and continue to gain altitude by gradually bending to the left. Let's face another difficult overhanging passage where we recommend to study carefully arrangement of metal frames before proceeding. We find ourselves at the end inside a gully also abundantly aided come out of which we finish the binding Climb to the Clampil Tower (1h from the start - 2h 30 'total).
Finished the via ferrata, the summit cross of Torre Clampil it is visible straight to us. We follow the track and the we reach in a few minutes. from summit (2078 m - 1h 15 'from the start - 2h 45' total) you can enjoy an excellent view of the nearby peaks, among which the west stand out Creta di Aip and to the south the Monte Cavallo.
We continue our trip following the signs towards the saddle which separates the Clampil Tower from the Winkel Tower. From this saddle (reachable even with the easiest Ferrata Contin) we go up 3 short however challenging aided sections that lead us to the summit marked with one spartan colored stone and a metal slab (2041 m - 15 'from the summit of Torre del Clampil - 1h 30' from the start - 3h total).
Let's start the re-entry. Although it is also possible to return for the Ferrata Contin on the Italian side, in this report we present the descent descending the Winkelturn via ferrata which descends on the Austrian side to the lake below that accompanied us along some sections of the climb. From the top of the Winkel Tower we follow the steel cable that descends towards the northwest. This via ferrata is definitely less demanding than the previous e goes down alternating some easy stretches on rock to tracts on grass and earth. We lose quickly and without excessive problems the approx 200 meters in altitude whichj are aided. We reach the lake (45 'from Torre Winkel) and we skirt it on the right reaching the Passo di Madrizze (1919 m). We follow the signs and the path to the right that gently descends between woods and mountain pines until we reach path 433 near Baita Winkel (1h from the lake - 1h 45 'from Torre Winkel). We follow the approach path backwards reaching the parking lot (2h 15 'from Torre Winkel - about 6 h total).
Climbing the Torre Clampil is a very demanding, athletic and exposed ferrata. Although not particularly long, the route is a crescendo of athletic and exposed passages. We would advise against it to hikers who are not well trained and familiar with via ferratas, accustomed to exposure and athletic passages. Surely the tracing of this route has not considered the search for the natural weaknesses of the mountain, but has tried to accentuate the exposure and the difficulty of the climb by looking for the most exposed slabs. Definitely recommended a ribbon with snap hooks to stop in case of tiredness.
A note on the equipment along the way. As already indicated there are abundant cambras and handles along the way. The taproots along which the thick metal cable runs are however quite far apart and this could worsen the effects of a fall. Therefore pay further attention.
Depending on the season it is easy to find snow in the gully we cross to reach the start. Consider if it makes sense to have crampons with you.
As indicated in the report, a possible combination is with the nearby Ferrata Contin downhill. Staying in the high province of Udine near the border with Austria, we meet the two ferratas on the Creta di Aip (Crete Rosse and Uiberlachersteig), the Aided path Cuestalta, the Ferrata Senza Confini and the Steinbergerweg. Moving further south towards the Julian Alps we meet the Ferrata Amalia, the Ferrata della Vita and the Ferrata delle Balze del Mangart.
Approach: 1:30 h
Ferrata: 1:30 h
Itinerary: 6:00 h
Ferrata height difference: 200 m
Route difference: 700 m
Max altitude: 2079 m
Length: 7 Km
Mountain Group: Carnic Alps