The Ferrata del Formenton at the Tofana di Dentro is a short ferrata that connects the Tofana di Mezzo with the Tofana di Dentro in the Ampezzo Dolomites. The via ferrata is relatively simple but extends at high altitude in a high mountain environment. Itinerary with immense landscapes on all the Dolomite Groups of the Conca Ampezzana, of the Dolomites of Fanes up to wander to the Dolomites of Sesto.
The starting point of the itinerary is the valley station of the Freccia nel Cielo cable car that from Cortina rises to the Tofana di Mezzo with two intermediate stations. From the center of Cortina d'Ampezzo continue in a northerly direction still identifying inside the village the indications for the cable car and for the Olympic Ice Stadium. Proceed in that direction and reach the cable car. Directions for Google Maps available here.
If you wish, you can go up to the first intermediate station by parking near the Baita Pie Tofana and then continuing on foot to the middle station at the Col Druscè. Directions for Google Maps available here.
As in other routes it is possible to link this route with other via ferratas. Among the most common options for highly trained people and starting early in the morning is the combination of the Via Ferrata Olivieri in Punta Anna, the Via Ferrata Aglio at Tofana di Mezzo to conclude the itinerary with the Ferrata Formenton. In this case it is best to start from the Baita Piè Tofana and go up by chairlift to the Pomedes Hut from which to take the route.
Although it is possible to take the Ferrata Formenton to the Tofana di Dentro also uphill towards the Tofana di Mezzo, this ferrata is generally traveled starting from the summit of the Tofana di Mezzo descending to the saddle that divides the Tofana di Mezzo with the Tofana di Dentro going up and then down . This review envisages the mountain station of the Freccia nel Cielo cable car as the starting point of the ferrata, which reaches just below the summit of the Tofana di Mezzo on the north side.
Once we reach the top station (3190 m) we must take the wide path that leads us to the top of the Tofana di Mezzo. Shortly before reaching the summit we meet a crossroads with a sign on the rock that points to the right the start of the Ferrata del Formenton (10 'from the top station of the cable car).
The Ferrata rises a short leap of 4 meters near the start beyond which we descend on the opposite side of the Tofana di Mezzo on the north-west side. It becomes evident to our eyes the ridge we're going to take downhill to reach the Forcella della Tofana from which we ascend in the opposite slope the impressive silhouette of the Tofana di Dentro. We start a steep descent up long stretches of ledge alternating with short leaps and easy horizontal traverses. We go down a few meters under the ridge which without particular technical difficulties but in continuous exposure leads us to Forcella the Tofana (3085 m - 30 'from the start). At the saddle we meet a saddle where on the left we descend along a valley that leads to the Rifugio Giussani (1h) and could possibly be used as an escape route. We at the saddle continue uphill with goal the Tofana di Dentro.
From the saddle we descend a few meters on the north-eastern slope and begin to climb alternating some more pronounced leaps with ledges and inclined ramps. Some sections of the climb are on a exposed ridge thread which is however well appealed and protected. After a long stretch of the ridge we go down on the eastern side being on the right side of the ridge climbing some parts of the trail without insurance but not exposed. We continue with the latest equipment now in view of the small summit cross that we reach without too much difficulty (3238 - 1h 15 'from the start - 1h 30' from the top station of the cable car).
Now let's start the long ringback. We go down along the gravelly slope of the north-eastern ridge of the Tofana di Dentro. The path is steep but the trail is clear and marked with cairns. We go down reaching the characteristic Shelter of the Alpini (2922 m) with 7 beds and possible support point in case of bad weather. Further down the north-eastern slope paying attention to stretches where the debris on the bottom make it clear that there are sometimes discharges. We reach a saddle where we turn to the right along a stretch in a south-south direction. This trait is rather exposed in some sections and without insurance. Then proceed with caution.
Yes goes down further until you meet one unique natural door with which we are in view of the Ra Vales Hut, goal of our return. We reach the ruins of one construction and shelters of the Great War. Now we continue downhill less marked until junction with the path 407 where we hold the right in the direction of the Ra Vales Hut (2470 m - 3 h from the end of the via ferrata - 4h 30 'total) where we end our trip with the possibility of taking the cable car used to go downhill.
The Ferrata Formenton alla Tofana di Dentro is a technically easy via ferrata with a few medium difficulty passages. Among the via ferratas of the Tofane it is the easiest. The via ferrata extends alternating a downhill section and an uphill section of similar difficulty where only a few exposed passages can create some problems for people without experience. It should be emphasized that the via ferrata extends all over the 3000 meters and therefore it is necessary to follow it with stable weather also taking into consideration the long re-entry. Finally, beware of the possible presence of snow and ice in some sections of the return at the beginning of the season.
The Ferrata del Formenton as indicated in the report can be combined with the Ferrata Olivieri and Aglio in a long and demanding itinerary of the Tofane. Among the various options for combining more aided routes you could go back to the Aided path Olivieri downhill from Rifugio Ra Vales to Rifugio Pomedes. Always from the Pomedes Hut you can take the Aided path Astaldi, the Via Ferrata Ra Pegna and the Ferrata Ra Bujela. In the direction of Passo Falzarego, we can instead take the Ferrata Tomaselli, the recent one Via Ferrata Fusetti at Sass de Stria, the Ferrata to the Col dei Bos and the Ferrata to the Averau.