Review of the short, athletic and demanding Ferrata Ezio Ferrari at the Gramolon. The Ferrata is the natural continuation of a longer trip that includes the Ferrata Viali previously and the climb to the Gramolon subsequently. The ferrata extends mainly on demanding diagonal crosses on smooth rock. It is a demanding but short itinerary.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Bepi Bertagnoli Hut (1225 m) point where the road that climbs the Campodalbero valley in the province of Vicenza. From the south follow to Arzignano and then towards Chiampo. We continue going up the valley paying attention after the Valletta locality at the right turn for Campodalbero (first indication for the Bertagnoli Hut). We follow the road, sometimes a little narrow, up to Campodalbero. We follow the various bends and we stay on the road, now narrower, even after Campodalbero up to the parking lot at the hut. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The Ferrata Ferrari is the natural continuation of the Ferrata Viali in an trip that includes the climb to the Gramolon. Although not strictly necessary, we strongly suggest that you first take the Via Ferrata and then follow the connecting section between the two via ferratas (10 ') and then take the Ferrata Ferrari. In this perspective we suggest to read the report of the Ferrata Viali (read report here). In this case consider about 2h 30 'from the parking lot including the ascent with the Ferrata Viali.
If you wanted to avoid the Ferrata Viali, the fastest approach starting from Bertagnoli Hut requires to follow i signpost 211 heading east from the hut. Before going uphill look at the start of theFerrata Viali. We ignore the start and continue on the path in a constant and never excessive climb. We meet a detour to the right for a shortcut, steeper but recommended. In this way we shorten the climb by 15 minutes. We reach the path 202 that cuts Monte Gramolon halfway up. We keep to the right and we cross a military tunnel (the torch is not necessary). We leave the gallery and soon we are at the bend where there is a bench and the directions of the path 211 for go up to Gramolon.
We follow this path which steep salt between rocks and pines and is aided in some short exposed sections. We reach a small saddle beyond which we see straight to us the wall where the Ferrata Ferrari rises. We follow the path up to a marked saddle where we keep the left. Attention to a single passage exposed now where we go around a boulder in fair exposure. We then reach thestart of the short ferrata (1h 15 'from the parking lot).
The via ferrata extends along a rather smooth slab where there are some artificial grips and small natural roughness, however it is a rather athletic climb that will require many steps in adherence. It might be a good idea to follow it with climbing shoes to increase grip and try as much as possible to climb despite the difficulties.
The first passage of the route is composed of about ten meters vertical on smooth rock with some handles to help us in the climb. The cable then begins a bend to the right about a 45 degrees in a long traverse which gradually increases the slope with the presence also of some useful handles until you reach one edge. Go around the edge and we find ourselves in a dihedral that we travel easily moving with a horizontal traverse from his left side to the right side. We move to the right side of the dihedral and continue with high exposure along the smooth diagonally across to the right for about 30 meters up to one abrupt deviation of the rope to the left. We climb this leap and continue to the left into a new sideways. The traverse ends and the cable continues vertically with a first single overhanging passage where with a bit of strength and agility you climb this rocking. We are at the end of the route. We travel one vertical slab free footholds and we are now out of the rocky wall on a steep aided path on earthy ground. We climb it for a few meters and finish the equipment and with them the Ferrata Ezio Ferrari at the Gramolon (20 'from the start - about 1h 40' from the parking lot - about 3h if you have also traveled the Ferrata Viali).
At the end of the ferrata we continue on the trail that joins the previously abandoned path and we continue uphill to the Gramolon. The climb is steep but pleasant and without excessive effort we reach the cross there summit of Gramolon (1814 m - 20 'from the end of the ferrata - about 2h from the car park - about 3h 20' if the Viali is also traveled).
The return takes place backwards along the ascent path to the Gramolon up to the junction with 202 (20 '). At this point, to take a ring route, we keep the left on thepath 202 along the hillside the wide path of military origin until it reaches the junction of the path 207 which goes down to the Bertagnoli Hut on the right and then to the car park (1 hour from the summit of Gramolon - about 3h total).
The Ferrari Ferrata is short and athletic. Certainly due to the type of rock, the line of ascent and the objective technical difficulties, little is combined with climbing and it will be quite frequent the extensive use of the wire rope to proceed. On the other hand, it is certainly a via ferrata different from the others present in the small Dolomites: it extends almost exclusively on a challenging traverse, is short, athletic and if it were longer maintaining this degree of commitment would be classified as "Very Difficult". Combined with the Viali, the trip to the Gramolon is extremely rewarding and varied. The trails in the area are well marked and this makes the arrival of the fog that regularly reaches the Little Dolomites in the afternoon hours less problematic.
As amply indicated in the report, the natural pairing is given by Ferrata Viali first and then the Ferrata Ferrari. For the fans you could stay in the Small Dolomites for multi-day itineraries and move in the direction of the Carega (about 2h 30 from the path from the path 202) to follow the other aided routes in the area: the Ferrata at the Vajo Scuro, the Ferrata Campalani al Carega, the Aided path Pojesi or the exposureed Ferrata Biasin. If instead you want to proceed towards the south you could opt to head towards Lessinia and then go down to walk the easy and scenic Aided path of Val Sorda. Moving instead in the Val d'Astico you can go along the recent one Ferrata Anelli delle Anguane.
Approach: 1:15 h
Ferrata: 0:20 h
Itinerary: 3:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 60 m
Route difference: 589 m
Max altitude: 1814 m
Length: 6 Km
Mountain Group: Vicentine Pre-Alps