The Ferrata dei Finanzieri al Colac is an interesting via ferrata that goes up the impressive massif above Alba di Canazei in the province of Trento. The via ferrata is difficult due to the presence of some challenging stretches, however it is well climbing and pleasant to climb. Possibility to go back to Ciampac with the ski lifts. Medium-length itinerary with the possibility of combining the trip to the Aided Lino Pederiva Path in one day.
The starting point of the itinerary is the top station of the Ciampac cable car. The cable car starts from Alba di Canazei in Val di Fassa, province of Trento. Once you reach Canazei follow the Fedaia Pass and park in the large square near the skilifts that bring us under the massif of Colac. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Alternatively it is possible to go up to the Ciampac hut from Alba di Canazei following the CAI path 644 which goes up a 600 m difference in height in about an hour and a half.
From the top station of the cable car we clearly see the destination of our itinerary: the peak of the Colac massif. We follow the clear signs that, making us lose altitude initially towards the south in the direction of a artificial lake, bring us under the massif. We go up a steep path on gravel ground until we reach the commemorative slab of the Ferrata dei Finanzieri and the the first wire ropes (2190 m - 20' from the top station of the cable car).
The Ferrata dei Finanzieri starts with one series of rocks which do not present difficulties and the cable can also be used only for self-insurance and proceed climbing. After a few minutes the equipment ends and we continue on a path on a gravelly ground that with some breathless hairpin bends leads us under the wall where the rest of the route extends.
We go up a short rocky slope and then walk along a exposed but easy to cross to the left. We go down towards a gully on a detrital surface - a common feature throughout the route - and then up the opposite side with some rocks. Let's go up one inclined ramp until you reach a rocky fissure that requires more effort. Climbed this leap we cross a narrow but easy ledge towards the left until we meet a series of metal brackets support us in climbing the leaning wall. This slab is often damp and the gravel in the bottom justifies the brackets otherwise not necessary.
We are moving towards the central part of the route and certainly the most demanding, moreover of medium level. The climb takes place on some exposed rocky cliffs that can be easily climbed without any particular difficulty. It then leads to a passage composed of a series of exposed dihedrals aided with brackets that, with some overhanging and slightly athletic sections, make us quickly gain share. The dihedrals are vertical and exposed but not technically difficult. The climb of the 3 dihedrals takes place alternating the brackets on the right side prima, left in the middle and right again. We go out on a sloping ramp - be careful not to move stones that could inevitably fall along the corners below where those who follow us may go. We now climb on a sloping ramp where the cable can help us to make adherence with the boots before reaching a panoramic terrace where you can catch your breath and enjoy the view: straight to us Sella Group, on the left the Sassolungo,
The most difficult passage of the itinerary has passed and now we continue a long stretch of aided path in altitude than between short leaps and rocks brings us into a gully from which we go out on a series of rocks. We go up a rocky cliff more evident but climbing up to reach a short chimney from go back up in split. Now we begin a series of traits composed of small canals and well-gripped walls that can be climbed making the climb very pleasant and not tiring. We reach one ledge where we attach a vertical section that rises diagonally to the left bringing us inside a gully. We are in the final stretch of the ferrata
In 2019 the final part of the via ferrata was modified, increasing its difficulties compared to the previous route. Now move to the left facing one rather vertical slab and without grips that will require strength in the arms and progression in adherence - at least in some passages - due to the lack of obvious support for the feet. After the first vertical meters you move to the left in good exposure and then start again vertically to win a slight overhang that will result in the most challenging passage of the via ferrata. Some brackets come in handy. Gradually the difficulties decrease and the final ridge is reached.
We are now on the ridge with beautiful view of the Marmolada and we reach the summit cross with magnificent view at 360 degrees on the major Dolomite groups of the Val di Fassa (2715 m - 2h from the start - 2h 20 'from the top station of the cable car).
The descent takes place briefly backwards for the last few meters before the summit walking down for the steep aided canal marked with writing on rock. We go down a first stretch aided up to a saddle beyond which a falls second steep gully with which we lose further altitude. We go down a steep wall and aided with brackets until we reach one ledge under the eastern wall of the Colac where - following the hillside path - we reach Forcia Negra (2509 m - 1h from the end of the ferrata - 3h 20 'total).
At this point we can opt for two return options:
The Ferrata of the Financiers at the Colac is a very pleasant via ferrata which can be largely climbed and without extreme difficulties. A couple of steps require more attention but without requiring strong climbing or strength. The greatest difficulty - as often indicated on the guides - is the large presence of unstable material that can be moved and fall downstream with potential risks for those who follow. The modification of the final part of the via ferrata in 2019 increases the difficulties of the route by requiring strength of arms and progression in adherence. Attention also to the steep descent, only partially aided, which at the beginning of the season may present some snowfields.
The Ferrata dei Finanzieri extends on the edge of the Val di Contrin from where it is possible to access two other climbing routes: the short one Ferrata Ombretta and the binding Ferrata Kajserjager. It is possible to combine these two via ferratas with the Financiers as long as you stay overnight in one of the valley's shelters. Going on towards the Fedaia Pass the two meet Ferratas of the Marmolada - the Ferrata of Punta Penia and the Ferrata Eterna. If instead you go up Porta Vescovo you can reach the Ferrata delle Trincee.
Approach: 0:20 h
Ferrata: 2:00 h
Itinerary: 5:15 h
Via Ferrata gap: 565 m
Route difference: 655 m
Max altitude: 2715 m
Length: 5 Km
Mountain Group: Dolomites of Fassa