The Ferrata Eterna (literally "The Ethernal Ferrata") dedicated to the Cadore Brigade (al Alpine miliray bataillon which fought in this area during WWI) rises from the Fedaia Pass and leads us to Piz Serauta after a long and demanding climb that alternates many different passages. The via ferrata extends in a high mountain environment and is reserved for hikers in good condition and with good experiences of via ferrata. Itinerary ending at the Great War Museum in the Sacred Zone of Piz Serauta. Possibility to return to the Marmolada Glacier.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Fedaia Pass which can be reached from Canazei (Trento) or Malga Ciapela (Belluno). Once at the Fedaia Pass, park near the Fedaia Hut on the Veneto side of Lago Fedaia. Directions for Google Maps available here.
It starts by following the signs at the hut that lead us in the direction of the ski slope towards the Marmolada. We go up and soon we identify a first sign then a sign on a stone which tells us to leave the wide path and walk towards one rocky ridge on which the first part of the via ferrata will develop. Proceed uphill on the scree following red marks and white-red signs of the CAI on a constant climb until you reach thestart of the via ferrata (2460 m - 1h from Passo Fedaia).
The Eternal Ferrata begins with a wall facing one another diagonal taking advantage of some good grips for the boot. Climb up this wall facing a exposed cross to the left bypassing an edge. At this point the cable part diagonally to the left considerably increasing the difficulty of the stretch also due to the sometimes wet rock which offers little adherence to the boot. In this section there are short alternatives vertical strokes with exposed horizontal and diagonal traverses that put the arms under heavy stress. We reach a short terrace where it is possible to breathe and turn to look at the view towards the Lake Fedaia aware that the most challenging section of the route has been exceeded.
At this point the cable starts again vertically making some zig-zags that we will follow in our climb alternating rocks with short vertical sections with rock richer in footholds than the beginning and decidedly more climbing. We leave this section and in fact complete the first section of the via ferrata (30 'from the start - about 1h 30' total). You can rest enjoy the panorama that behind us sweeps from Porta Vescovo - where the Ferrata delle Trincee - at the Sella Group where the Piz Boè stands out - the point of arrival of the difficult one Ferrata Piazzetta.
Now the second long intermediate section of the via ferrata begins. We must go up the monolithic slab of Punta Serauta. This stretch begins on a gravelly and moderate slope and then continues after a short rocky jump on one rocky slab free of technical difficulties. There slope gradually increases and finally a stretch is reached with a more pronounced leap, prelude to the end of the intermediate section and beginning of the last section of the via ferrata.
The third section begins with a short ledge to the right that slightly downhill leads us to a saddle from which we will ascend on the opposite side. This first step is adrenaline and prepares us for the continuation of the path. We continue now on a traverse in strong exposure followed by a vertical section with which we ascend one edge that takes us to the ridge. Start now a aerial ridge section with precipices on both sides. We continue without particular difficulties along the ridge which at times widens to become a more comfortable ledge that extends under the wire. Let's start one now series of ups and downs between short vertical jumps and traverses that affect the overall fatigue as we approach the goal of the trip - or the mountain station of the ski lifts that from Malga Ciapela reach the Serauta Hut.
Now let's continue on ridge thread up to meet a saddle where we will arrive following a beautiful stretch in exposed descent not to be underestimated. We go up the opposite slope on a well-aided rocky edge. We go up on the opposite side alternating short stretches on the eastern side with the continuation mainly on the western side alongside the Marmolada glacier and the ski lifts ascending to Pian dei Fiacconi. We continue close to the ridge thread initially narrow and sharp and subsequently wider and less exposed. We are approaching the end of the trip now in view of the mountain station of the cable car. Before reaching it, however, we will have to take some downhill sections.
It also causes the length of the itinerary traveled and the present exposure, the downhill section it is of sustained difficulty and must be followed with firm foot and attention. We start by descending some small rocks, followed by a chimney and a traverse. We lose further height with some rocks before having to climb back up a well-laid chimney momentarily. We continue uphill on a long inclined ramp bringing us back to the ridge. Let's go down now one steep inclined slab on which we will proceed mainly by exploiting the adherence of the boots on the rock and some new brackets alongside those of the old layout. Now let's go further down a short section of connection followed by a chimney aided with one series of brackets that considerably reduce the difficulties of this passage with which the difficulties end and we are preparing to walk the last meters before the end of the Eternal Ferrata.
Let's go now a few meters of ledge in direction of the so-called Serauta Sacred Area, area where during the Great War was present an Italian outpost strenuously defended until the defeat of Caporetto. You can visit some remains of the lookouts, galleries, trenches and walkways present with many testimonials of the presence of soldiers. It is also possible to visit a museum near the Rifugio Serauta where the ferrata ends (3h 15 'from the start - 4h 15' total).
For the descent to the Fedaia Pass you have two options:
There would also be an option to take the old Pontura via Ferrata which descends from the Serauta Hut to Malga Ciapela. However, at the moment it is not recommended to follow this via ferrata, given the poor state of the equipment. We are waiting for a renovation.
The Ferrata Eterna is - as its name implies - a long trip that extends in a majestic and high mountain environment. The itinerary consists of 3 rather different sections with their own characteristics and complexity that differentiate them from the others. The first section is the most technical and demanding from the point of view of the climb. The second is the most tiring one that goes up a high gap along a slab. The third is the most exposed and varied along a long ridge. The sum of the three stretches results in a very demanding via ferrata from a physical and mental point of view without presenting technical difficulties of a very high level. Fatigue is a factor that must be taken into great consideration and therefore must be traveled in good physical condition, lacking escape routes. For the same reason, it is absolutely not advisable to walk the road in case of uncertain weather.
From the Serauta Hut (2950 m) it is possible to go up to the Piz Serauta (3069 m) due to exposed but not difficult path at times aided.
The Eternal Ferrata is a long-term itinerary that takes us to the eastern side of the Marmolada. The western side hosts the Ferrata Ovest in Punta Penia - less challenging than the Eternal via ferrata which allows us to reach 3340 m in height. Still from the Fedaia Pass you can go up to Porta Vescovo and walk along the Ferrata delle Trincee. Going down instead towards the Val di Fassa in the direction of Canazei you can reach the Colac and follow the Ferrata dei Finanzieri at Colac or enter Val de Contrin and follow - with a long itinerary - the Via Ferrata Ombretta.
Approach: 1:00 h
Ferrata: 3:15 h
Itinerary: 6:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 462 m
Route difference: 894 m
Max altitude: 2951 m
Length: 7.6 Km