Review of the Ferrata Contin to Monte Cavallo on the Italian-Austrian border near the Passo di Pramollo. Aided itinerary with modest difficulties which extends in a very beautiful environment of the Carnic Alps Two ring return options: from the normal Austrian route or from the Alta Via CAI Pontebbia.
The starting point of the itinerary is located a few hundred meters before the Passo di Pramollo which separates the province of Udine from Austria. The parking lot is located next to a white barracks now disused near the penultimate bend before reaching the pass. To reach the parking lot from the Italian side, exit the A23 motorway at Pontebba and, following the obvious indications in the town, we climb between hairpin bends for about 12 km (20 minutes) to the parking lot. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The Ferrata Contin shares with its neighbor Ferrata to the Clampil Tower much of the approach that winds along the valley generated by the Rio Winkel. The Ferrata Contin, much less difficult than the ferrata alla Torre Clampil goes well eventually to be traveled downhill as a return option if you wish to combine both routes.
Parked the car (1568 m) we follow the marker 433 that along a dirt road continues in the wood between up and down for about a kilometer until you see the colorful Winkel hut (1470 m) over a bridge over the Rio Winkel. We always continue on path 433, ignoring the junction for the Alta Via Cai Pontebba left towards the Sella della Pridola. This route is a return option for this trip. We remain on the 433 which alternates stretches in the wood with stretches in the scrub gradually rising towards the walls at the end of the valley. We pass the crossroads where to the left the Schiavi Alpinistic Trail comes off and we continue straight ahead going up the valley until you meet a second and important crossroads with signaling both on a stone and with CAI sign:
we will keep to the left with a clear view of Monte Cavallo, the goal of our ascent. We climb along the gravel bringing us under the Winkel Tower and still covering a short stretch of path on gravel we reach thestart of the Ferrata Contin (1h 30 'from the parking lot).
The Ferrata starts going up a steep but not difficult gully standing on the left side. At first very terraced rock and with modest slope gradually bend more decisively to the left and steeper jump between rocks and more marked short leaps, but never difficult. We reach a grassy saddle where the equipment ends momentarily. It is possible, if desired, to deviate to the right to reach the summit of Winkel Tower (3 challenging aided passages). In this report, however, we continue towards the Monte Cavallo. We continue on the path following the trail and the trail until you meet the equipment again. We alternate with path sections easy aided sections where the way it is more exposed or the slope is accentuated. With modest commitment we reach the summit meadows. We follow the red signs present on the various rocks that lead us on the summit of Monte Cavallo characterized by a cippus and a bell (2240 m - 1h from the start - 2h 30 'total).
Once on the summit of Monte Cavallo we have two options:
The Ferrata Contin at Monte Cavallo is a medium-easy via ferrata that has no particular problems or technically demanding sections. The rock is generally good and generally climbable. The mixed rock and grass stretches are potentially slippery and need to pay a little attention. The return along the Alta Via CAI Pontebbia requires a steady step and a minimum of climbing experience (max grade II).
As indicated in the report, it is possible to follow the itinerary proposed by the Ferrata Contin downhill after having climbed the challenging Ferrata to the Clampil Tower. If you want to follow other aided routes you can continue in the direction of the Crete of Aip where two via ferratas go up: on the Italian side the Via Ferrata delle Crete Rosse and on the Austrian side the Ferrata Uiberlacher. Moving further west we meet the Via Ferrata Senza Confini, the Steinbergerweg and Aided path Cuestalta. Moving towards the Julian Alps we meet the Via Ferrata Amalia at Jof Montasio, the Via Ferrata Vita and the Ferrata delle Balze del Mangart.
Approach: 1:30 h
Ferrata: 0:45 h
Itinerary: 5:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 123 m
Route difference: 694 m
Max altitude: 2240 m
Length: 7.4 Km