Review of the challenging Ferrata Bolver Lugli allo Spallone del Cimon della Pala. The climb is a medium difficulty via ferrata with some challenging passages. The context is of high mountain with long approach and long, challenging return including at the end a descent by cable car. It is an trip to be planned with attention to the weather.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Col Verde cable car station which leaves from San Martino di Castrozza in the province of Trento. San Martino di Castrozza is generally reachable from the Val di Fiemme and then reaching the Passo Rolle or from the Strada Statale 50 which connects Bassano del Grappa to Passo Rolle. Once in the village on the slope of Passo Rolle, just before leaving the village near a bend there are the ski lifts. We park the car in the square. Directions for Google Maps available here.
If the lifts were closed or you did not want to go up with the lifts, you can park your car near a subsequent bend where the path starts, which goes up first to Malga Pala and then to the top station of the cable car. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Given the long climb and return itinerary, we recommend taking the lifts and arriving at the Col Verde cable car station, saving about 500 m in altitude. From the top station of the cable car we continue uphill for a few minutes until we reach a small pole where we meet the first indication for the via ferrata. Keep the left uphill following the signpost 706. The hike begins pleasant in the woods, where we meet a singular sign, and then quickly pass on scree that, being facing south, they will inevitably heat up quickly adding an additional element of effort to the trip. We continue in constant ascent until we cross the path 712. We ignore the crossroads, continuing north in the direction of the high southeast walls of the Cimon della Pala. We then reach the metal slab of the Ferrata Bolver Lugli (approx. 2300 m - 1h from the top station of the cable car) which, however, is the prelude to the real start which takes place over 300 meters in altitude.
From this stretch the approach path changes gear and, following the red marks, you start to climb up rocks (max II-grade), trail tracks on stones and aided sections. Continuing on steep climb on a detrital and sometimes treacherous background, we gain altitude with San Martino di Castrozza behind our backs and finally we meet theeasy start of the Bolver Lugi Ferrata (1h from the metal slab - 2h from the top station of the cable car).
Let's start the via ferrata moving in diagonal to the left on some rocks inside a small gully ascending to an edge that we go around and face other rocks and easy leaps uphill. We reach a chimney not particularly demanding and we go up again with the rope on the right side and excellent holds at the center of the chimney. We leave the chimney and after a short vertical wall we are a connecting stretch in the via ferrata. A look to our left and we see in the distance the final destination of our itinerary: the top station of the Col Rosetta cable car.
Once the connecting section marked with red signs is over, we reach the equipment again. We follow the cable that diagonally climb up to get around a couple of stones, first to the right and then to the left and we are under one beautiful vertical wall. The wall appears rich in handholds and you can easily climb taking advantage of the natural weaknesses of the rock, pleasantly gaining the end of this wall. Let's now face a exposed horizontal traverse full of comfortable feet supports. We reach one second vertical wall to go back more challenging than the previous one.
Let's now climb a varied trait where we initially bend to the right on some steps to then climb a vertical section and position ourselves in a panoramic pulpit. We climb a small slab placed on the left side of a spur and then we position ourselves under a wall where we meet the first bracket of the route before starting the ascent which continues zigzag uphill. The upper part of this section takes us to the left on a horizontal traverse from which we start again vertical in strong exposure to the left.
Let's go up now initially diagonally and therefore some short vertical sections until you reach a vertical wall that starts on the right side of a crack. Let's go up one series of solid metal brackets look at continue vertical with rock poorer than holds of other sections of the route. Let us now continue in a section that remains rather difficult. Let's face a dihedral with the rope on the right side and then we move into one narrow gully. The rope runs to the right and although the spaces are not many there are good holds and then come out of the groove without too much difficulty. We go around an edge airy and climb a rather challenging passage and slightly overhanging. Then we reach a leaning dihedral to be faced looking for the supports also on the opposite side to the rope. We continue uphill facing a supported slab.
We are inlast section of the route with the fatigue that inevitably begins to be felt also because of the altitude (ca 3000 m). To compensate for the fatigue the landscape that surrounds us and dominates us with the slender forms of the Beppine next to us who give us the energy to finish the last meters. We continue uphill on a stepped section in the direction of an obvious dropout that we reach by crossing it. On the opposite side the Fiamme Gialle Shelter appears and the landscape changes completely. Let's go through a brief aided ridge section towards left, then we turn to the right and follow theclear trace of a path until you reach the Fiamme Gialle ("Fiamme Gialle") Shelter (3005 m - 2h from the start - 4h total).
Reached the Fiamme Gialle Shelter and, after enjoying the magnificent panorama that surrounds it, one must undertake the long return that will put us in front of some interesting options. First of all we will have to reach the Passo del Travignolo (2985 m). The pass divides the Cimon della Pala to the south and Cima Vezzana to the north. To reach the pass we cut downhill from the shelter. Attention to possible snow-covered sections depending on the season. Reached the pass (15 'from the shelter) we have a first choice in front of us: go up to Cima Vezzana or descent immediately for the Val dei Cantoni.
Choosing to go up to Cima Vezzana, continue on path 716 that from the pass takes us to the summit of Cima Vezzana and then continues to Val Strutt. We continue uphill towards the north taking us to the opposite side and starting to climb with moderate slope towards the saddle that separates Cima Vezzana from Cima Nuvovo. From the shelter at this point it is common to encounter snowy stretches. Now we begin a section on the ridge that leads us to a basin. We go up the basin, generally covered with snow even in late season, towards the antima before and then along a path not difficult up to summit of Cima Vezzana (3192 m - 1h from the Bivacco Fiamme Gialle).
At this point we can choose:
Both options are demanding and run down snowfields. The first option is shorter, the second longer also along the Sentiero delle Farangole which goes much further downstream than the Val Cantoni path. We continue the description of the descent with the first option. If you want to choose the second long option, we refer to the report of Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti, taking into account the length of the itinerary and the Brunner Shelter as a single point of support up to the cable car return station.
Returned to the Passo del Travignolo we begin the steep descent into the generally snow-covered valley. The situation of thesnow cover and crevasses varies from season to season although generally the crevasses are present in the lower part. After the first 20 minutes downhill on the snowfield we will have to pay attention to a large stone at the center of the valley where an arrow shows us to move on the right side of the snowfield towards the rock. In this section we leave the snowfield to avoid a particularly steep stretch and we meet some parts are aided with ropes. We continue along the descent of the valley and a couple of crossings on the snow on exposed steps are to be done carefully. Finished the stretch of descent along the valley (ca 1h from the shelter) we follow to the right the path 716 which cut half shore uphill towards Passo Bettega (2658 m). When we reach the pass, we ignore the trail that branches off to the left and we continue downhill from the pass to a saddle: on the right we descend steeply (rocks) towards Col Verde or to the left on path without difficulty to the Rifugio Pedrotti-Rosetta (2581 m) and then uphill to the mountain station of the cable car at the Rifugio Rosetta (2678 m - 2h from the end of the valley - 3h from the Fiamme Gialle shelter - 7h without ascent to Cima Vezzana - 9h including ascent to Cima Vezzana).
The trip that includes the Ferrata Bolver Lugli takes place on a long route with a high gap in a majestic alpine environment. The via ferrata is intended as a part of the trip and not necessarily the most demanding part of it. The long return certainly deserves to be taken into consideration as well as the approach. Be careful to follow the various red signs uphill and do not lose track, especially between the slab and the start of the via ferrata as well as along the climb to Cima Vezzana. To follow this itinerary, a good deal of mountain experience is required as well as via ferrata. We advise you to leave early to approach the shade and above all to have time to return to the cable car before closing or to have enough time to get off at San Martino on foot. At the beginning of the season there will be many snowfields to cross: a rather steep one just below the start, one before the shelter and a decidedly steep one between the shelter and the pass from which you can go up to Cima Vezzana or go down the Val Cantoni. Once at Passo Bettega we will meet other snowfields both downhill and towards the hut. For this reason we recommend to always carry crampons and (at least) hiking sticks. The actual use of the crampons will be evaluated on the spot based on the consistency of the snow.
As mentioned in the report, a classic opportunity is to combine the ascent of the Ferrata Bolver Lugli with the climb to Cima Vezzana and the descent with the Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti. For a longer itinerary in the Dolomites of the Pale di San Martino you can stop at the Rifugio Pedrotti from which you can eventually take the Aided path Gusella, the Via Ferrata of Porton and the Ferrata Velo as well as possibly the Via Ferrata Vecia downhill. Proceeding eastwards you can reach the Aided path del Cacciatore or the difficult one Via Ferrata Buzzati at Cimerlo.
The area of the Pale di San Martino also offers many aided routes on the eastern side, generally quite challenging: the Ferrata del Canalone and the Ferrata Fiamme Gialle on the Trentino side while the Ferrata Stella Alpina and the Via Ferrata Orsa on the Veneto side.
Un'altra interessante opzione se si abbina la Ferrata Bolver Lugli con la Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti è di proseguire verso il Passo delle Farangole e raggiungere il Rifugio Mulaz da cui poi eventualmente percorrere (in questo caso in discesa) la Via Ferrata of Mulaz.
Approach: 2:00 h
Ferrata: 2:00 h
Itinerary: 9:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 455 m
Route difference: 1222 m
Max altitude: 3192 m
Length: 8.4 Km
Dolomites of the Pale di San Martino