Review of the short Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti linking Cima Vezzana with the Val di Strutt. The aided route is part of a long itinerary that requires good experience, training and stable weather conditions. The environment in which it extends is wild and magnificent with magnificent views from the highest peak of the Pale Group. Ascent and return by cable car.
The starting point of the itinerary for the Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti is the station of the Col Verde cable car which leaves from San Martino di Castrozza in the province of Trento. San Martino di Castrozza is generally reachable from the Val di Fiemme and then reaching the Passo Rolle or from the Strada Statale 50 which connects Bassano del Grappa to Passo Rolle. Once in the village on the slope of Passo Rolle, just before leaving the village near a bend there are the ski lifts. We park the car in the square. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti is often traversed as a return from the ascent to Cima Vezzana going up the slope of San Martino di Castrozza with the Ferrata Bolver Lugli. The itinerary proposed by the report is an alternative route to this and that runs up the Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti going up the Val Strutt and returning from the Val dei Cantoni. The itinerary is long and it may be a good idea to break it in two days by spending the night at the Rifugio Pedrotti or in one of the two shelters along the route: the Brunner Shelter or the Fiamme Gialle Shelter.
We first take the cable car to Col Verde and then to the Rosetta hut (2633 m) where we start the itinerary. We go down to close Vezzana Pedrotti Hut (2581 m - 15 ') and we follow the path 703 initially towards the east downhill following the signs for Val Strutt and Passo delle Farangole. We meet a first saddle where we ignore the path 707 towards the Forcella de Miel and we keep the left downhill. In short we meet a second saddle with path 756 that cuts the slabau. We remain on the 703 heading north downhill. We remain on the downhill path 703 going to engage on the Valle delle Comelle. The path is pleasant and never difficult in this section. We continue to a saddle in Pian dei Cantoni. We are now at base of a valley. To our left we will notice the Val dei Cantoni that we will go down in part to the return. We continue holding the signpost 703 towards Passo Farangole, ignoring the 704.
We are now in the Path of the Farangole. Let's go up a pleasant stretch of path up to meet a aided section a few meters beyond which the path increase in exposure while remaining decidedly pleasant and aided in the most exposed points. We continue on the path immersed in a exceptional environment up to reach Val Strutt. Near a crossroads marked with a signpost, we leave the path 703 that proceeds for the Passo delle Farangole and we keep the left for up along the 716 Val Strutt (2h 30 'from the top station of the cable car).
We now go up the steep Val Strutt, paying attention to the track and the not evident signs. Val Strutt is immersed in impressive walls and peaks all along its ascent. Continuing uphill we reach the Brunner shelter (2667 m - 30 'from the junction) under the overhanging walls of Le Ziroccole e then we continue uphill. Originally there was a glacier along the Val Strutt. Now there are two snowfields whose dimension depends from each season. Continuing uphill where there are no signs and one must try to follow the possible trace in the middle of the valley until you come to find a pole with which the Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti begins. In the last stretch of the climb, be careful not to reach the start of the old via ferrata (now almost dismantled). Going up from the scree, the correct path is on the left and after a while it shows a cord. The track that instead continues to the right leads to a wall then to the old road (3h 30 'from the mountain station).
Go to the left side of the valley and locate a small pole. Proceed to the left and go up a gully not in perfect condition where you have to be very careful until you meet the fixed ropes. The Ferrata is divided into two aided sections including a connecting section between the two.
The first section consists of a vertical section on jumps and rocks and then travels a traverse to the left. We go through a connecting stretch with a passage up ledge and on the path. We then meet the second aided stretch that rises diagonally on a slab and then up some aided rocks not difficult. We go up and finish the equipment. We follow the track and the faded red signs uphill towards Cima Vezzana. Before reaching Cima Vezzana, a glance at the Val Strutt just uphill and to the sharp peaks above it. You continue uphill until you get to Cima Vezzana (45 'from the start - 4h 15' total).
To complete the loop tour let's start now the downhill on the opposite side, or in the direction of the Travignolo Pass. let's begin the downhill from Cima Vezzana along a trail track (trail sign 716) after admiring the remains of the Travignolo glacier to our right. We continue downhill reaching a ridge stretch and then we reach a downhill stretch generally covered by a snowfield that we descend in a zigzag until the Passo di Travignolo (2985 m - 40 'from Cima Vezzana).
Now we begin the demanding descent along the snowfield of the Val dei Cantoni. The situation of thesnow cover and crevasses it varies from season to season although generally the crevasses are present in the lower part. meet some parts are aided with ropes along the descent of the valley and a couple of crossings on the snow on exposed steps. Finished the stretch of descent along the valley (ca 1h from the shelter) we follow the path 716 which cut the hillside to the right uphill towards the Passo Bettega (2658 m). Reached the pass we continue downhill from the pass to a saddle: on the right we descend steeply (rocks) towards Col Verde or to the right on path without difficulty to the Rifugio Pedrotti (2581 m) and then uphill to the mountain station of the cable car at the Rosetta hut (2678 m - 2h from the end of the valley - 2h 45 'from Cima Vezzana - 7h total).
The aided sections of the Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti are technically of medium-low difficulty. This aspect, however, must not be misleading about the commitment and experience required in this long itinerary that follows an absolute difference in height much greater than the relative difference considering the various ups and downs that we follow along the route. The exposed Sentiero delle Farangole, the ascent in Val di Strutt, the last stretch of approach before the start and the descent from Cima Vezzana are all sections of the itinerary that require a certain amount of mountain experience rather than aided routes and therefore require good preparation. The view from Cima Vezzana in the days of clear sky amply repays for all the hardships and is wonderful both on the Pale di San Martino group and on the other dolomitic groups that surround it to the north.
If the Ferrata is traveled downhill you should not encounter problems in identifying the start of the route. If, on the other hand, you follow it uphill from the Val di Strutt, be careful not to be attracted by the old track, now abandoned. The old route is the one signed in the recent maps.
The Ferrata Gabitta d'Ignoti is combined with an itinerary where you climb up the Via Ferrata Bolver Lugli going in the opposite direction most of the itinerary described in this report. Attention in that case to the duration of the itinerary and consider breaking it in two days. In this case could reach also the Passo delle Farangole and then reach the Mulaz Hut where we can undertake dowbhill the Via Ferrata of Mulaz.
If we would like to stat at the Rifugio Rosetta, we could then aim towards soutch reaching the Passo di Ball where we can undertake Aided path Gusella or follow the Via Ferrata of Porton and then downhill the Via Ferrata of Velo. In the east direction we also meet the Ferrata Dino Buzzatti and Aided path del Cacciatore.
If we move to the eastern area of the Pale di San Martino we meet 4 other very different and generally challenging itineraries: the Via Ferrata Orsa, the Stella Alpina via ferrata at Agner, the Ferrata Fiamme Gialle and the Via Ferrata del Canalone from the Treviso hut.