The recent Ferrata Anelli delle Anguane (literally "Rings of the Anguane") is composed of a tangle of vertical via ferratas, aided ledges and steep aided paths that develop along about 300 meters of rocky bastion overlooking the Val d'Astico. There are three vertical sections of which one of medium difficulty, one very difficult and one rather athletic although the many brackets present. There are also a beautiful suspension bridge and two ledges aided for connecting the vertical sections.
The starting point of the itinerary is located in the village of San Pietro Valdastico on the eastern side of the Val d'Astico. To reach San Pietro, travel along the entire Valdastico highway to the north and continue northwards in the direction of Trento. After about 10 minutes from Piovene Rocchette we will have to cross a narrow bridge on the Astico to the right. After a few kilometers follow the signs for San Pietro on the left. Once in the village, go past the church (left) and look for parking in two open spaces, one on the left with a notice board for the via ferrata and one on the right. A white and red sign is clearly visible which will then indicate the approach path. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Leave the car in the village and follow the path that goes eastwards in the direction of obvious rocky bastions. Looking up, the suspension bridge is already visible. You reach a bulletin board with a useful visual of the aided routes and the connection paths between them.
Our review follows a logical linking of itineraries, however it is possible to walk only in part of the via ferrata or combine them following another route order.
At the showcase we will follow path S1 to the right on a slight slope. We continue gradually gaining altitude until we reach a first crossroads of marked paths where we will keep the left with a climb that now becomes steeper. We meet a new crossroads between S2 and S4. We keep the left on the S2 and soon we are atstart of the Via Ferrata (20-25' from the parking lot).
THE first meters of ferrata are on one narrow grassy ledge to the left after which the first vertical sections begin. The beginning of the route gives us a glimpse of what this climb will be like: vertical, good rock with discreet presence of holds and supports to proceed climbing where there are no brackets and handles. We climb by combining some vertical leaps with short sections across to a grassy section. We turn to the right and climb a wall that quickly gains meters up to the exit on the slabau from where the Suspended Bridge is visible on the right.
The suspended bridge it is a 4-string, about 25 meters long, very stable with ropes that maintain a stable distance of about 1 meter bridge which passes an aided path about 20 meters below us. Once we reach the end of the bridge we could go down to the left on an escape route. We continue in diagonal to the left with nice vertical climb and excellent grips both natural and artificial. We earn quickly altitude and exposure until reaching a connecting stretch to the right. Here is another escape route. We continue vertical on a short and not difficult overhang aided. We go up thelast wall and we finish the first ascent (about 1h from the start of the route - about 1h 30 'from the parking lot).
At this point, we suggest moving to the right by intercepting the rocky aided gully with which we will descend. We cover this beautiful downhill stretch and at its end we must be careful not to follow the trail that goes down straight (leads to the escape route) but keep to the left which, with a wide path, goes around the wall where we climbed. We follow the track of the path that leads us to the first saddle encountered during the approach. We retrace the path followed in the approach to the second junction where we follow the indications for the Suspended Bridge (not for the Ferrata as done in the approach). We climb into the woods until we reach the base of a steep terraced gully. We go back up and we are under the suspension bridge (30 'from the end of the first ascent - about 2h total).
We could end our trip at this point by going down along an aided path that runs along the wall. Continuing the trip we follow the cable that comes off to the right. We travel one long rocky ledge aided. This ledge is free of difficulty although at times it shrinks and requires some steps exposed. Some trees are wandering around narrow passage where it may be necessary to sit for the tallest and reach the start of the second vertical section of the route (about 30 'from the beginning of the aided ledge - about 2h 30' total). Along this rocky ledge it is now possible to start a new vertical route of greater difficulty (Very Difficult) with the start approximately in the middle of the ledge. Below the report of this recent initiative.
The second vertical section extends more on diagonal crosses and short vertical leaps with some overhanging passages. The abundance of brackets significantly reduces the difficulty but it must be said that the continuous passing of carabiners and some athletic sections require a minimum of preparation. The first 20 meters make us climb diagonally on rock very good and sticky where to proceed without using the rope to pull. You then reach a smoother, traverse on the left where to proceed in adherence. We climb some meters rather vertical with many brackets and we are under a large rocky roof that we bypass and reach the passage of greater commitment of the route: the next 6-8 meters are in slight overhang and some passages they require agility and strength especially when changing carabiners. Going around the roof we continue now more vertical reaching a new horizontal traverse to the left. We are at the base of the last stretch of the route. This trait looks like a chimney in light overhang. If it were not for theplenty of brackets both on the right and left side would be a very technical passage and should be read carefully. The brackets significantly reduce the difficulties. The chimney is climb upd and with last exposed meters on earthy ramp we finish thelast vertical stroke of the route (45 'from the beginning of the route - about 3h 15' total).
At this point it would be possible to continue to the left and run across another one exposed ledge aided reaching the end of the first vertical route. To avoid retracing the route already traveled, we suggest completing a round trip and continue left on a clear track. We will reach about the start of the second route after having descended two stretches of we feel rather vertical but of contained difficulty. A last aided stretch and, near the start of the second route, the aided sections of the Ferrata Anelli delle Anguane (about 30 'from the end of the second aided stretch - about 3h 45' total) end.
Via "Salto delle Anguane" built in spring 2019
In spring 2019 a new section of the route called "was inaugurated"Salto delle Anguane" that it goes back up starting from the connecting ledge between the first two sections of the route. The new route is "Very Difficult".
This route is more difficult than the previous two. The characteristic passage of the route is one mobile metal ladder without anchoring in the lower part. In some respects it resembles a climb in Aid Climbing and requires a significant effort of arms. Go up the ladder, the way continues with vertical characteristics similar to the challenging sections of the other routes although harder. A good placement of feet and arms is needed given the overhanging character of the wall. Once climbed this new route, you will find a ledge where it is possibile to begin the descend on both directions.
If we choose to proceed, we climb a metal ladder crossing the ledge and we face overhanging sections right away first a vertical wall then a traverse to the right. In this section we need strength and good technique. The route proceed for about 40 meters vertical to then reach a more lean wall untill we come under a yellow roof. We climb it in in good exposure. After the roof we follow a lean metal ladder above grass bringing us to the last section of the route.
We move to the left on a pulpit and after a couple of vertical meters, we traverse to the right towards a diehdral. We climb it and then traverse to the left reaching a new section of the route in rocky slab. The route leads us to the new metal latter. We then reach a suspended bridge. Passed it, we are at the end of the route.
We advise you to wait to remove the helmet because we will pass under sections of the aided paths and, personal experience, it is easy to see discharges of stones. We continue downhill on path S10 until we reach the base of a masonry dam. We go down on the path S17 up to the bulletin board encountered in the approach (15 'from the end of the ferrata). A few meters downhill and back to the village, then to the car park (about 4h total).
The equipment is in excellent condition. Sometimes brackets have been installed and changed in excess and this keeps the difficulty moderate despite the marked verticality of the climb. Beware of stones. Being a tangle of routes, the helmet is very obligatory since we can find hikers above us who cross sections with friable rock and possible discharges as indicated by the many signs. This situation can occur particularly along the aided ledge at the bottom and the return path S10. Attention to the new "Salto delle Anguane" route which is significantly more difficult than the other two routes.
Given the ferrata is made of many routes indipendent between eachother, it is hard to give a single difficulty level for the whole itinerary. Each route has different level. Here, however, our proposed level of difficulty:
The via ferratas closest to the Anguane Rings are the ferratas near the Grappa: la Sass Brusai, the Guzella and the Ferrata di Santa Felicita. If you start early in the morning you can combine at least two routes.
Staying in the province of Vicenza, we could move into Small Dolomites reaching for example the Ferrata Falcipieri in the Pasubio Group as well as the Cornetto Aided path and Baglioni. On the south side of the Carega Group we could also follow the Ferrata Campalani, the Biasin and the Pojesi.