Review of the binding Ferrata Cassiopea at the Torrione Comici in the Friulian Dolomites. Long and demanding route with vertical, technical and exposed via ferrata as part of it. Descent of the tower with via ferrata not to be underestimated.
The starting point of the itinerary for the Ferrata Cassiopea to the Torrione Comici is Forni di Sopra in the province of Udine. Forni di Sopra can be reached along the Strada Statale 52 Carnica that connects Tolmezzo with Lozzo di Cadore. Once in the village, next to the Town Hall we take the one-way route to the south. We cover it all and cross the bridge over the Tagliamento where we find a large parking lot. Directions for Google Maps available here.
To reach the start of the via ferrata we must make a long approach that reaches the Flaiban Pacherini hut. Leave the car in the parking lot (880 m) we follow the clear signals that bring us in the wood to take a forest road closed to traffic. Forestry - signpost 362 - hikes the Val di Suola without excessive slope in the wood surrounded by stupendous peaks of the Friulian Dolomites. The trail gradually rises, narrowing, to Flaiban Pacherini Hut (1587 m - 1h 45 'from the parking lot).
Left the shelter follow the directions that lead us to the opposite side of the valley. We ignore the saddle to the right for Forcella Fantulina and we keep the left uphill rather decidedly in the direction of Passo del Mus (2063 m) leaving the hut behind us. After a few minutes of ascent we meet a new signposted junction: on the left follow the Passo di Suola on the path 263 while we will keep the right uphill for the Passo del Mus on trail marker 262. We reach up the pass which separates the Val di Suola (north) from the Val di Guerra (south) and therefore we see the indication for the Ferrata Cassiopea and the Comici Tower, among other things clearly visible straight to us already from the shelter. We travel the distance on track following some red markings and a little faded on stone We reach. Attention to the fund not really stable and with the possibility of a snowfield. You then reach thestart of the via ferrata (1h 30 'from the Pacherini Hut - 3h 30' from the parking lot).
Before starting the description of the climb, some notes. The Torrione Comici is a challenging rock spur. The climb is definitely demanding with a strong exposure. At the end of the ascent, it must be considered that the descent is via ferrata which, only partially, follows the ascent. Ascent and descent of the tower takes about 1h 15'/ 1h 30' and it is important to assess the weather conditions: it would be very dangerous to be caught by a thunderstorm at the top of the Tower with the obligation to go down a demanding via ferrata.
The ferrata begins with a horizontal traverse to the right with which we move under a rocky roof we walk to the left. We carry each other under an edge that we ascend in increasing exposure. Let's climb this vertical section however rich in holds until you reach a crossroads:
Keep the left starting the most challenging section of the route. We climb on a diagonal traverse to the left and then a vertical section on rock with no holds, followed by a new traverse. After traversing it, we are now in the fold of full exposure and a very adrenaline vertical wall awaits us right above our heads. We meet some metal pegs that help us in the progression which nevertheless remains very demanding and aerial. We bend with the cable decided to the left to cover a airy traverse in the direction of a exposed edge which circumvent. We climb a few meters in a steady exposure until you reach a pulpit where you can stop for a moment and take a breath. The route continues on difficult levels to the right on short traverse stretches that alternate with vertical walls until you cross the descent path again. We are now in the final section of the climb:
The climb section follows a gutter with the cable that cuts it in a zigzag. We climb this part, less demanding than the previous ones, until we reach the summit of Torrione Comici (2260 m - 45' from the start - 4h 15' from the parking lot). The surrounding landscape is remarkable from the summit: we see Val Suola with Distant ovens in the distance and the Friulian Dolomites that surround us.
As anticipated, we are in the middle of the aided itinerary. The demanding descent begins now. We start by traveling eastwards aided ridge section which takes us to the eastern side of the tower until it reaches one narrow ledge downhill which leads at the last junction faced uphill. We ignore the vertical cable e proceed downhill to the right. We pay attention along the ledge not to move stones that would inevitably risk falling on those who are ascending. Following the red signs, we reach the western side of the tower and therefore the first vertical section. The trait in descent is vertical with few artificial grips and therefore it is necessary to read the individual steps properly. We go down with caution reaching a pulpit where you can stop comfortably. The descent continues exposed and vertical until you reach one comforting sign "Exit" which indicates that we are near the crossroad we met uphill. We go down the well-gripped edge and the ledge traveled uphill and we are back to the start (30' from the summit - 1h 15' from the start of the via ferrata - 4h 45' total).
To complete a circular itinerary, we then return to the Mus Pass and follow the signs for Forcella dell'Inferno following the signpost 369. Reached the Forcella Fantolina Alta and after turning to see alast time the Comion Tower, we follow the path 369 which leads us to the nearby Forcella dell'Inferno (2175 m - 1h 15 'from the end of the ferrata). We continue on the path 369 up to Forcella Val Brica (2088 m) from where we begin the long descent to Forni di Sopra. We ignore the various deviations for shelters and continue downhill along the path until we reach Forni di Sopra where, on the right bank of the Tagliamento river, we reach the parking lot (3h from the end of the ferrata - about 8h total).
The ascent to the Torrione Comici with the Ferrata Cassiopea is a difficult and technical climb to all effects. For those who wish to climb fully the via ferrata, we recommend climbing shoes because some passages are on rock present little grimps. The climb is exposed and adrenaline requiring concentration both uphill and downhill. Along with the approach and the final stretch of the descent, this is a demanding trip.
Per i tratti molto difficili di questa via ferrata, può essere utile leggere l'articolo che abbiamo preparato su "Come sostare lungo una Via Ferrata".
La Ferrata Cassiopea risale e ridiscende questo torrione reso famoso dal grandissimo Emilio Comici, fortissimo arrampicatore della prima metà del XX secolo. Nel 1936 Comici infatti salì questo ardito torrione con una via sulla parete est che per l'epoca era particolarmente difficile: V grado sostenuto con un passo di VI. Con quella salita il nome del torrione cambiò da "Torrione di Cima Guerra" a "Torrione Comici".
The Ferrata Cassiopea is undertaken starting from Forni di Sopra. From the same town but heading north you can reach the Clap Varmost where you can climb the athletics Via Ferrata Adventure Climb otherwise towards Tolmezzo the recent Via Ferrata la Farina del Diavolo at Villa Santina. If staying in the Carnic Prealps, but continuing in the direction of Veneto you reach the pleasant Aided path Olivato. If from Forni di Sopra we reach Cadore and then the Passo Rest, we can travel along the Ferrata Tramuntin at Monte Rest.
The northern part of the province of Udine offers other interesting aided routes: the Via Ferrata 50 of the Clap, the Via Ferrata del Coglians, the Via Ferrata Senza Confini and the Steinbergerweg and Aided path Cuestalta.