The off-track Ferrata Gadotti extends on the coast that connects Sass delle Dodici with Punta Vallaccia in Val San Nicolò, near the Val di Fassa in the province of Trento. The itinerary is of medium technical difficulty, however, it is long and with a high gap. The environment is wild and isolated so to travel if well trained, with good mountain experience and certainty of stable weather.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Pension Soldanella in the Val San Nicolò, valley perpendicular to the Val di Fassa at Pozza di Fassa. The itinerary starts just before the bridge. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the Pension Soldanella we cross the road and go up the right side of the road before the bridge. We follow the wide path 635 that rises steeply in the woods before and going out into a wide valley - the Vallaccia - which looks like a large amphitheater straight ahead of us is Punta Vallaccia. From here begins the Ferrata Gadotti, even if the actual slab is in the second aided section (1h 30 'total).
A first aided section is attached, which climbs up some metal parts before and one diagonal ramp theoretically without difficulty but potentially slippery if wet. We go around a rocky shoulder and see in front of us the Zeni Shelter (2100 m - 15 'from the start - 1h 45' total). From the shelter we have a crossroads: proceed southwards towards the Punta della Vallaccia or keep the right to start the Ferrata Gadotti and meet the commemorative slab of the mountaineer who died in the Pale di San Martino in 1976. The via ferrata begins with a sloping ledge with the cable to our left. Let's continue on this ledge, sometimes exposed but not difficult, going up towards the Sasso delle Dodici. In some places the ledge it loses these characteristics and places us some rocks both to climb and to go down as well as gods easy traverses. We continue on trail which cuts to slope uphill towards Cima Dodici. This section at the beginning of the season presents a snowfield on which it is necessary to pay due attention. The trail leads us on one saddle (2390 m - 1h 30 'from the start - 3h total) where on the right the uphill path to Cima Dodici continues. Continuing uphill to the right on Cima Dodici (2443 m - 10 'from the saddle) you can have a wonderful view of the Val di Fassa - in particular Vigo e Pozza - and on the Catinaccio Group, the Dirupi del Larsec, the Sassopiatto and Sassolungo.
From the saddle continue south towards the Sas Aut. We ignore the junction of the CAI 630 that goes down to the Val di Fassa. We continue on the rocky ridge remaining on its left side up to go up a rocky gully with good metal equipment which lead on the meadows of the top of Sas Aut (2551 m - 45 'from the saddle - 3h 45' total). We continue on the summit meadows in a southerly direction until we meet a detrital gully that we will have to go downhill. This step requires attention and a firm footing despite the metal protections. Go down keeping the left along the gully until you reach the highest point iconographic of the itinerary. Go down in one narrow rocky crevice aided with brackets. We are in Bus of the Diaol ("Devil hole"). This stretch is from go downhill and it is slightly overhanging.
Leaving the Bus de Diaol we continue in southbound between latch on debris bottom in the direction of Forcella di Baranchie (2550 m -) beyond which we turn to the left in an easterly direction to reach Punta Vallaccia (2637 m - 1h30 'from Sas Aut - 4h from the start - 5h 15' total) where the Ferrata Gadotti ends.
From Punta Vallaccia we descend in an easterly direction up to a crossroads where on the right we would reach Forcella de la Costela (starting point of theAlta Via Bruno Federspiel) or on the left we can reach Forcella Valacia. It is possible before reaching Forcella Valacia to take a short detour to the right to reach the characteristic Rifugio Valacia (2275 m).
From the Forcella Valacia we hold the CAI 615 downhill which will take you back to the Zeni Shelter and then back along the approach path to the car park (2h 30 'from Punta Valaccia - 7h 45' total).
The Gadotti Ferrata is of an easy level with the exception of two or three points of greater difficulty: at the beginning immediately after the Zeni shelter, the landslide before the Sas Aut and the Bus del Diaol. These points require more attention. The trip is long and, to the detriment of the area with a high impact on tourism, generally little traveled and wild. From the shelter to Forcella Vallaccia in case of bad weather it could be difficult orientation therefore it is absolutely necessary to go with stable weather.
The Ferrata Gadotti extends starting from Val San Nicolò. This valley has 2 other very interesting and difficult ferratas: the Ferrata Kajserjager and the Ferrata Magnifici 4. The latter is extremely challenging and to be covered only if well trained and with good experience.
If you decide to stay more days in the valley, the natural continuation of the Ferrata Gadotti is theAlta via Bruno Federspiel which starts from Forcela de la Costela, which in turn can be combined withAlta Via Bepi Zac which continues up to Forcella Uomo.
Moving instead to the Catinaccio you can walk some magnificent via ferratas too in a majestic context. Among the various, we point out the Via Ferrata Santner, the Ferrata to the Catinaccio of Antermoia, the Via Ferrata Masarè and the Via Ferrata Roda di Vael.