The ascent to the Vittorio Veneto Hut under the Sasso Nero in Valle Aurina must take place by climbing one of the two via ferrata described in the report: the exposed Ferrata del Camino (from 2019 closed due to a landslide) or the Ferrata del Ghiacciaio. The itinerary is long and the environment is austere in its second part so it requires good preparation and attention to weather conditions.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Stallila Rifugio (1472 m) in San Giovanni in Val Aurina, Bolzano. To reach San Giovanni you leave the Val Pusteria in Brunico and then you reach San Giovanni where, past the town, we take the indication to the left for many hotels including Stallila. Climb a few bends and park to take the long hike. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From Stallila we continue in a northerly direction along one cart track with moderate slope leads us to a building where it will be possible to continue along the cart track or keeping to the left continue on a steeper path that leads us first to the Schollberg Alm (1740 m) then to Daimer Alm (1862 m - 1h from the parking lot), both refreshment points in the summer season. From the Daimeralm changes the type of trip that up to that point had been in the wood with moderate slope. Now get in gradually high mountain environment in the direction of the Black Sex.
Let's start one now long series of hairpin bends between stones and mughi with which we reach the right forcella for the Sasso della Croce. We ignore the crossroads and continue towards thenow evident Sasso Nero going into the glacial basin in constant ascent until you reach the Stabeler path coming from the left (signs 24A). We ignore this crossroads e we remain on the path 23 that rises towards the north on a morainic ground in the direction of the obvious Black Stone. We ignore a next one signposted junction with the normal route to the Grosse Tor to the right. Continuing in the valley we reach a crossroads (3h from departure) where indicated the street on the right for the Ferrata del Camino (literally "Ghimney Ferrata") and to the left for the Ferrata del Ghiacciaio (literally "Glacier Ferrata"). Both via ferratas lead to the Vittorio Veneto Rifugio, destination of the aided routes.
A clarification is necessary before proceeding to the reviewship of the two via ferratas. At present (2019) the Ferrata del Camino is unusable as a sign due to a rock discharge that has irreparably damaged a staircase. The chimney where the via ferrata develops is in fact under constant threat of rock discharge and stairs - in several damaged points - they testify. Pending the reopening of the Ferrata del Camino it is mandatory to proceed to the Ferrata del Ghiacciaio. The Rotbachkees Glacier of the Black Stone is inexorably retreating leaving behind some crevasses requiring attention. For updated route conditions, it is advisable to contact the Vittorio Veneto Rifugio.
Ferrata del Camino (currently closed, use the Ferrata del Ghiacciaio):
If you opt for the ascent with the Ferrata del Camino follow the signs to keep the right following a sign on rock. We climb towards the steep rock face following the abundant red and white signs that lead us in a short time to the start of the route.
Let's face one first lineup to the left followed by a stretch to the right that leads us to a second short ladder that leads us to the characteristic passage of the route. We will have to go up a long aided dihedral with two long stairs which added up make us earn aeighty meters. The first vertical rise while the second bends to the right more supported. At this point we see a variation of the path due to stone discharges. Originally it came up some stairs side by side but due to continuous discharges it continues with a traverse higher up which avoids them. At the end of the traverse we reach one short leaning ladder to which it follows immediately after a later that leaves us in a stretch of vertical wall to climb. After reaching a panoramic terrace we walk a long one traverse to the left with which the equipment ends (30' from the start).
Let's continue now going up a stony ground following the frequent red and white signs in the direction of the Vittorio Veneto Rifugio. We cross the road that goes up from the Ferrata del Ghiacciaio. The Rifugio has recently been renovated with one futuristic shape compared to the previous one traditional structure. (1h from the start - 4h total).
The Ferrata del Ghiacciaio is undertaken following the trail to the left of the saddle, initially bypassing a small lake of glacial origin. We climb in the direction of the glacier (or what remains) looking for the slender traces that develop in the center of it. At this point we will have to be able to locate the Rifugio in a north-eastern direction although we lack an appropriate signage. It is clear that this step can be problematic in case of fog or low clouds. Once identified the climb we will reach the first metal ropes will help us in the short aided sections (30 'from the junction - 4h 30' total).
The initially aided sections will help us to climb diagonally to the left (white-red signs) a slanted and very smooth slab from the glacier. After a few meters the cable bends to the right always uphill on a smooth ramp where some brackets help us find footholds. In this section the cable is very loose, almost useless. Go down a traverse and reach a sloping ledge to go without equipment. You go up one ladder beyond which there is a more vertical jump and then a subsequent inclined ramp. We are in the final stretch of the ferrata. We turn to the right and take a leap with the help of 3 metal brackets and we are at the end of the via ferrata (20 'from the start - about 5h total).
We now follow the traces and the white red signs on a long stony ground that leads us first to the graft with the Ferrata del Camino, then to Vittorio Veneto Rifugio (2922 m - 5h 30' total).
This report does not describe the ascent to the Sasso Nero (2h from the hut - 3h 30' a / r to the hut) which requires a minimum of mountaineering experience taking place on a ridge and on a stretch of glacier.
The return takes place backwards for the approach path that descends into Valle Aurina. Obviously you will have to opt for an aided itinerary taking into account the exposure of the Ferrata del Camino and the conditions of the Ferrata del Ghiacciaio (3h 30 'from the hut - about 8h total).
The excursion as a whole is a high mountain excursion that requires excellent physical preparation for the long itinerary and the high altitude difference. It is necessary to have crampons and glacier equipment with you in order to safely walk the glacier. The two via ferratas - both short - have no significant technical difficulties. La Ferrata del Camino - preferable if open, it is exposed and goes up a long dihedral with the help of stairs and metal frames. Attention should be paid to falling debris. The Ferrata del Ghiacciaio is shorter but in some places the state of the equipment is not optimal and the smooth rock eroded by the glacier requires attention.
In 2019 the new hut at the Sasso Nero was inaugurated. This structure is very different from the historic stone structure (opened over 120 years before). There is a metal slab which recalls where the old shelter stood before dismantling.
The long trip to the Sasso Nero extends in one of the most northern valleys of the province of Bolzano. To meet other aided routes we will necessarily have to go south facing the difficult first Via Ferrata Pursteinwand then after Brunico you can opt to descend along the Val Badia meeting the Ferrate at Sass Rigais and theAlta Via Gunther Messner or continue in the direction of Sesto meeting the Via Ferrata Valdaora then the Ferrata Severino Casara and the Ferrata Costoni by Croda Rossa.