Review of the airy Ferrata della Memoria (literally "The Ferrata of Memory") al Vajont. The ferrata is recent, excellently aided, full of metallic brackets and demanding passages. The via ferrata rises vertically on the Vajont Gorge, the scene of a tragedy in the 60s that has indelibly marked the area. Very aerial via ferrata which requires good training due to the high number of vertical passages.
The starting point of the itinerary is located along the road that connects Longarone (Belluno) with Erto (Pordenone). Coming from the south along State Road 51, as soon as you arrive in Longarone we follow to the right the indications ascending to Erto. We cross the Piave, we follow the road that initially continues northwards and begins a series of switchbacks. At the sixth bend we will notice a small road that goes down to the right. We follow it and park after a couple of minutes in a large open space. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The approach is well marked with abundant signs that show us the way. We leave the showcase in the parking lot following the sign on the right. We follow the path in the woods up to get to a first gallery. It is advisable to wear the helmet and the via ferrata kit and it is necessary to have a torch with you. We travel the tunnel of about 100 meters and we go out into a ledge to the left. We cover it and reach a second, shorter (approx. 40 m) tunnel at the end of which the Ferrata della Memoria of the Vajont Dam (15' from the parking lot) officially begins.
The ferrata begins with a ledge to the left. The cable acts as a handrail e the ledge on bottom mixed earth and rock it is initially wide and easy. We continue along the ledge going around a corner and then reaching a new one side of the gorge and the space for the feet is getting thinner. We pass next to another gallery beyond which the space for the feet ceases and we must face a traverse airy on solid metal pegs. Finish the traverse e resumes the ledge, now definitely wide with trees to our right. Finish the ledge again and go around an edge with a new sideways always on brackets over which a short section of ledge and we reach one robust metallic ladder of a about ten meters where the actual via ferrata begins.
We leave the ladder and bend to the right on strong exposure. Let's start now difficulty of the route. Let us take advantage of some present and present changes we climb on a smooth wall looking for the few grips present until you reach a small balcony. The cable continues to the right up a short traverse before starting again decided vertically. The wall is rather smooth and also in this situation change first, brackets e handles then present they help the progression, otherwise very difficult. The rock is smooth and this first part of the ferrata is athletic and difficult to climb. We continue vertically with some vertical tears and narrow terraces where it is possible to stop before leaving and finally reach a larger terrace where it is possible to breathe before continuing on.
We walk a series of rocks and connecting sections without difficulty reaching a dihedral of about ten meters. The cable rises to the left running on a smooth wall with a total lack of supports, except for an artificial bracket. This is probably the most demanding step on the route and, although short (4 meters), it requires strength due to the almost non-existent possibility of climbing. After the difficult stretch, we meet more support on the right side where there are some natural grips and brackets that help to go up the second part of this demanding section of the route. We leave the dihedral and meet a new ledge to the left. The ledge is short and after a while the cable starts again vertically on a wall, however, easier than the previous ones. We climb without too much difficulty alternating rocks and leaps in this pleasant part of the route. However, pay attention to the unstable ground, especially when wet. We reach a very smooth slab where there is one long series of metal bracketa. We go up the wall and reach one ledge to the left. The ledge, initially wide then narrower, ends near a traverse.
We start with the diagonal traverse which is followed by a very exposed vertical section that leads us to a new earthy ledge. We continue to the left along the ledge. We reach one new rather long vertical wall that we go up again with the usual abundant presence of handles and brackets. This thirty-meter wall has a dirty bottom and prudence uphill to avoid losing grip. We continue in the climb reaching a traverse in strong exposure. We continue uphill again bending to the right near a groove in the rock. Now let's use the more indented rock as well as many handles along the line of ascent. We climb up to reach a new traverse aerial where we use some foot brackets before finishing it on a mixed rock-soil section. We conclude this section of the route with a new section of about twenty vertical meters with handles in abundance and good grips.
Let's face the sixth and last section of the route. We climb a long series of rocks and leaps more supported where it is largely possible to proceed by climbing and using less traction cable. We bend to the left, we face a diagonal traverse and resume at climb facing a succession of rocky leaps of medium-low difficulty. Let's now go on a lgrease and broad ledge to the right reaching the second ladder with which we ascend an otherwise extremely difficult rocky roof. Let's finish the ladder and we go back to the last meters with which the airy Ferrata della Memoria al Vajont ends (2h from the start - 2h 15 'from the parking lot).
The Ferrata della Memoria is a recent itinerary dedicated to tragedy that hit the countries underlying the dam in 1963. The equipment is recent and in excellent condition. A singular feature are some slabs present along the path they indicate altitude and gps coordinates in case of alert of rescue. Along the way we will find ourselves walking along ledges that inevitably run parallel to traits just traveled. It is important not to move stones and debris that could fall on the following hikers.
The ferrata generally polarizes opinions. Many hikers find it excessively physical with many difficult passages where it is necessary to pull excessively on the cable or do not touch the rock using the abundant pegs and handles present. Opposite opinion is an adrenaline-fueled, exposed, athletic track that requires strength and training. Both opinions can be shared at least in part. It is an itinerary that recalls some recent via ferratas (ex: Sci Club 18) for verticality and required commitment. Definitely an intense itinerary that must be followed if you are in good shape and have no problems with strong exposure. The difficulties decrease considerably in the second half of the itinerary.
The Ferrata della Memoria al Vajont extends in an area rich in other aided routes. Near Longarone we meet 2 short ferratas included in the itinerary with approach and short return: the Ferrata to the Falchi Wall and the Ferrata della Val Gallina.
Going down towards the valley on the east side of the valley we meet the Schiara group with 4 via ferratas: the Sperti, the Berti, the Mormol and the Zacchi. All rather challenging itineraries included within very long and tiring treks.
Moving towards Agordo, you can reach the starting point of the challenging route ascending to the Agner with the Ferrata Stella Alpina.
Approach: 0:15 h
Ferrata: 2:00 h
Itinerary: 3:15 h
Via Ferrata gap: 220 m
Route difference: 220 m
Max altitude: 800 m
Length: 4.7 Km
Mountain Group: Belluno Pre-Alps