The Ferrata to the Cengia Gabriella is a very scenic via ferrata that connects the Shelter Brigata di Cadore with the Carducci Hut in the Sesto Dolomites. The itinerary is technically of medium difficulty, however it is long and the high difference in height requires some experience as well as good training. Itinerary generally combined with other via ferratas and to be included in multi-day itineraries for the long approach and return.
La Ferrata Cengia Gabriella goes around the south face of Monte Giralba connecting the Carducci Hut (west) with the Shelter Battalion of Cadore (East). As in many other Dolomite itineraries, the starting point can vary and you can take the trip in different directions. We will have mainly 2 options:
The approach varies according to the itinerary we want to take:
The Ferrata report to the Cengia Gabriella refers to route 1 from east to west.
From the scree where on the left you go down to the Shelter of the Cadore Battalion, us continue along the hillside uphill towards the north east wall of Monte Giralba. We follow the tracks on the scree until we reach the first ropes which go up a rather vertical but well-positioned section. It will be the only vertical jump of the first part of the via ferrata. In fact, now a part of salts and downs begins which after a few meters leads us to the side of one very exposed ledge which results however ample enough so as not to create any problems in following it. We continue to travel the long ledge in south south-west direction alternating aided section with unprotected path sections. Despite the cliffs on the left side, the ledge is rather easy in this section and the unprotected sections are on sections of comfortable path.
After a difficult stretch we reach a descending aided ramp. We are going around the south wall and now we will gradually begin to walk the ledge eastwards. We are now preparing to pass below a rocky roof fairly exposed but protectedor then we start towards a rocky tower on a more marked ascent on a rocky path. We approach the rocky bastion and begin to walk a exposed ledge section however well protected. This trait is adrenaline and air. We reach a stretch where the ledge stops and the rope rises vertically to the right on some rocks first and then a rocky ramp.
We continue to the left in a traverse for then climb diagonally towards a narrow ledge that will bypass the southern corner of Monte Giralba near a saddle (2h from the start - about 6h from the parking lot) where the view opens onto the Val Giralba Alta, the Croda dei Toni and below the Carducci Hut. From the saddle we see a stretch of ledge descending on a slight slope. This stretch is quite relaxing and leads us to a later one protected vertical section. We will have to go down some rocky leaps vertical alternating with short horizontal sections. We follow the red signs and the ropes losing quickly share. This trait is aerial but rather steep making exposure unproblematic. We go down up to meet a carving in the rock which leads us into a steep gully. This gully it is probably the most challenging stretch of the entire Via Ferrata to the Cengia Gabriella. The first meters are very steep and unprotected while in the bottom we will find some mountaineering cords on the left side. These rides will help us to proceed downhill safely (45 'from the saddle - 2h 45' from the start).
The path now descends on screes towards the southern spur of Monte Giralba. We follow the downhill track until we cross path 103 that goes up from the Val Giralba. From the junction, proceed to the right uphill towards the Carducci Hut (45 'from the end of the ferrata - 3h 30' from the start).
Traveled along the Ferrata della Cengia Gabriella both from the Bivacco Cadore to the Rifugio Carducci which, in the opposite direction, reached about 6 hours. The problematic part of the Cengia Gabriella is that it hardly allows a quick return to the car. Let's assume here some return options:
The Ferrata alla Cengia Gabriella, as evidenced by the return options above, can only be covered by including it on a multi-day itinerary in the Sesto Dolomites, especially now that the path that goes up the Val Giralba is unusable.
The Ferrata della Cengia Gabriella is a long and demanding itinerary. The ferrata part can be divided into 3 sections: the intermediate section composed of long stretches of ledges, sometimes exposed, but never difficult. The initial and terminal sections are certainly more vertical but well-appropriated. The via ferrata itself does not present any particular technical difficulties but the length and the overall height difference of the itinerary require good preparation and experience. It should also be taken into account that from Rifugio Berti to Rifugio Carducci we are in a rather isolated and wild environment so it is necessary to plan the trip correctly, in particular with regard to the weather.
The Ferrata alla Cengia Gabriella is an itinerary that is often combined with the Ferrata Roghel and the Ferrata Strada degli Alpini as indicated in the report. If you wanted to continue in Sesto Dolomites for multi-day itineraries, some possible opportunities for aided routes are the Ferrata Severino Casara which, starting from the Carducci Hut, goes around the south face of the Croda dei Toni. Another interesting opportunity is to go up to the Croda Rossa di Sesto after having crossed the Strada degli Alpini. The ascent can take place for the Via Ferrata Zandonella or for the Ferrata dei Costoni. If you opt for itinerary 2, from Rifugio Berti you can proceed south on CAI 152 until you reach Forcella Anna (watch out for snow in late season) by descending to the Shelter Gera from which the Ferrata Mazzetta with which we can descend towards Padola.
On the Comelico valley, starting from the Lunelli mountain hut, you can climb the recent Ferrata Bepi Martini at Colle Colesei.