Review of the Via Ferrata reaching the Mangart peak in the Julian Alps. Itinerary departing from the Italian territory that initially rises the Italian ferrata and then the Slovenian ferrata. Descent by the normal route.
The starting point of the Italian Ferrata alle Balze del Mangart is the large parking lot near the Fusine Lakes in the province of Udine. To reach the lakes, you must reach Fusine Valromana, inhabited near Tarvisio. You reach Tarvisio with the A23 and the motorway exit of the same name. Once in Fusine Valromana, we will notice on the right the deviation for the Fusine lakes. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking lot we follow the road that leads to the Nogara shelter in the slight slope towards the south. We ignore the deviation to the right for the Zacchi Hut (signpost 512) and then for the Old Alpe (signpost 513). After about 45 minutes from the parking lot, we leave the dirt road and keep path 517A to the right with signs for the Nogara Shelter. The trail now climbs more decisively into the woods and we quickly gain altitude. We leave the forest and climb up a scree with the Mangart now clearly visible above our eyes up to then you reach the Nogara Shelter (1850 m - 2h 30 'from the parking lot). The wall on which the Italian Ferrata extends is clearly visible during the last stretch of the approach. Very steep and with reamrkable carvings and caves.
The proposed route climbs both the Italian Ferrata to the Piccolo Mangart and subsequently the Slovenian Ferrata. It is possible to go up to the Mangart also by the normal route (which we will use in the descent). In case you want to take only one of the two via ferrata, you can reach the peak with the normal route.
Following the directions with sign on the shelter on a written stone we set off towards the start of the via ferrata, located a few meters from the shelter. Here we approach the rocky bastion and we start to climb a series of diagonal rocks with some more pronounced leaps in the middle section. After a few meters we are preparing to enter a crack in the rock. Inside we will have to follow the metal cable which, remounting a couple of jumps, leads us to get out of a hole placed in the upper part of the cave.
We leave the carving in the rock and find ourselves climbing a rather vertical rock face but with good grips both natural and artificial. Gradually begin to increase the exposure, characteristic of this via ferrata. In the distance the Fusine lakes from which we started. We move to the left along an easy traverse stepped and then going up a first gully.
We go up the gully (pay attention to the slightly unstable ground), we cross a traverse in strong exposure with which we go around an edge. There are good holds but we are definitely exposed. We find ourselves in a second gully with a cable to our right that is well set, which we ascend using the excellent natural holds. We leave the gully and follow the cable between rocks to the left. We are now at the base of a chimney where it is possible to stop. Let's face the chimney climbing to the left side using the brackets present. We leave the chimney, go up a small gully with an unstable ground and in fact finish the first half of the route.
We now face a stretch of path connecting up to meet the metal equipment again that lead us to a small terrace. We are now at the base of a rather poor vertical wall where some solid metal brackets help us to climb the steepest sections. We climb this wall which gradually narrows becoming a dihedral in the upper part and we move on a narrow ledge to the left at the base of the more iconic passage of the route: we climb vertically 4 meters with a pair of brackets and we position ourselves under a rocky roof that we go around to the left reaching an exposed edge walking for a pair of steps on brackets suspended in a vacuum. We cross and go around the edge with the cable that starts steep vertically. The wall is well aided with plenty of brackets but theexposure is definitely present. We climb the vertical wall using the various pegs and we address ourselves towards a new rocky roof that we go around this time from the right even with the help of some brackets. We turn for a moment to look at the exposed stretch route and continue on a traverse to the right with which we bypass a rocky edge.
We are now under one new vertical wall similar to the previous one. The climb is vertical in the first meters and more supported in the following ones. The brackets present help to climb it gradually bending to the right. Let's now walk a easy traverse to the left with initially good grips for the feet. Abruptly the holds are interrupted and we proceed on a pair of pegs suspended in the void. We continue to climb diagonally and entered the last section of the Italian road.
We walk a short ramp to the left and find ourselves at the base of a new vertical wall. After the first few meters the road bends to the left and then to the right taking advantage of the weaknesses of the mountain. We gain meters and see to our right the hikers on the Slovenian side of the Mangart Saddle. We go down to the left a few meters and walk along a ledge. At the end of the ledge the cables cross and we go up diagonally on the edge of a crack. We go down a couple of meters and find ourselves at the base of a exposed dihedral. We go back up and again we go through a traverse exposure with which we go around an edge. The passage is similar to the previous one both in terms of type of passage and high exposure. We continue to traverse to the left on a series of passages now not difficult and rather supported. We climb a few more meters and then descend some rocks and finish the Italian Via Ferrata (1h 30 'from the start -4h total).
At this point we cut down diagonally to the right entering Slovenian territory. Arriving near Forcella Mangart we keep the left slightly downhill until we reach the start of the Slovenian via ferrata (2240 m -15 'from the end of the Italian ferrata). The Slovenian ferrata consists of two large sections. The first goes up a gorge where, initially standing on left side, we earn relatively easy and without excessive difficulties or climbing traits. We reach a stretch of path on a ledge and therefore we face some vertical strokes, ramps and of traverses until you reach some rocks and ledges not aided. The vertical strokes are to be considered of medium difficulty. We climb paying attention to the debris and reach the summit of the Mangart with its large wooden cross (2677 m - 1h from the start of the Slovenian via ferrata - about 3h from the start of the Italian via ferrata - about 5h 30' total).
From the summit we follow the trail that initially is directed towards the Mangart Ridge (east) and after a few minutes we meet a crossroads (2530 m): straight ahead along the ridge, on the left the normal route descends. We begin the descent on the left between rocks and gravel bypassing the north wall of the Mangart. The steepest and most exposed stretches are aided but not difficult. After about 1 hour from the peak we reach a saddle in the Slovenian territory: we continue straight ahead for the Mangart saddle. We ignore on the right the track for the Italian Ferrata (with the wall clearly visible along the path), cross the state border and, following the directions, we reach the path that, below Mangart saddle, steep descends into a valley mixed earth, stones and grass towards the Nogara Shelter. The trail, although steep, it does not present difficulties and we reach the shelter partially hidden by a big stone. At this point we go back along the approach path to the parking lot (3h from the summit).
The proposed itinerary is long and fills a good gap. Both fixed-rope routes do not present particular technical difficulties. They are very different, however. The Italian Ferrata climbs a decidedly vertical and exposed route that with the abundant use of brackets is to be considered of medium difficulty. The Slovenian Ferrata is generally more supported, salt for large sections a colander and is well climbed. Watch out for the smooth rock. Attention to the start of the Slovenian via ferrata which, depending on the season, can present a big snowy stretch.
The Mangart Ferrata is a long itinerary that hardly leaves energy and time to be linked to another itinerary on the same day. An option is to stay in the area of the Fusine Lakes and climb the neighboring and challenging one in a day Via Ferrata Vita. In the itinerary that we offer on the site, we reach the Mangart along the ridge route. Moving towards the Jof di Montasio, among the itineraries we suggest there is the ascent to the Via Ferrata Amalia at Jof Montasio, the Aided path Leva and Aided path Ceria Merlone. At Jof Fuart we meet the Ferrata Goitan and Aided path King of Saxony. On the opposite side of Sella Nevea, you can climb the Canin with the Ferrata Julia.
Approach: 2:30 h
Ferrata: 3:00 h
Itinerary: 8:30 h
Via Ferrata gap: 710 m
Route difference: 1540 m
Max altitude: 2677 m
Length: 10.5 Km