Review of the difficult Ferrata Zacchi at the Schiara. The Ferrata can be reached from the Hut VII Alpini at the foot of the Schiara and climbs the south-western wall in a succession of chimneys, traverses and very pleasant and sometimes challenging walls. Magnificent and strongly dolomitic panorama along the ascent route, surrounded by the looming walls of the Schiara. Long hike to travel if well trained.
The starting point of the itinerary is the village of Case Bortot in the province of Belluno. From Belluno we follow the regional road of Col di Lana and shortly after at a roundabout we follow on the right to Bolzano Bellunese and to the Parco delle Dolomiti Bellunesi. We keep the road past Bolzano Bellunesi, then Gioz and still on the same road we now meet the signs for the Case Bortot Hut. We continue on the road until we reach the town of Case Bortot where we pass the hut and after a few meters we meet an open space where it is possible to park with the road that ends. Directions for Google Maps available here.
The first goal of our approach from Case Bortot (695 m) is to reach Hut VII Alpini at the foot of the Schiara. Left the car in the parking, we cover the path with signpost 501 that will lead us to the shelter. The beginning is very pleasant on a wide path in the woods and clearly visible the Schiara and the Gusela del Vescovà on the left. We proceed along the path that descends to Ponte del Mariano (30 'from the parking lot) beyond which we meet a signposted junction: on the right rises the CAI 507 which rises, among other things, to the Pelf. We remain on the CAI 501 on the left towards the Hut. Now climb steadily and steadily in the woods and quickly gain altitude along the torrent Ardo. The climb takes place in large part in the sun and it is tiring although not difficult. We reach one series of hairpin bends where the valley opens. We go up this stretch and we are in the clearing where the VII Alpini Hut is located (1502 - 2h 45 'from the parking lot). The Rifugio VII Alpini is a crossroads of trails in the Schiara Group.
To reach the start of the Ferrata Zacchi we will have to follow the directions behind the hut ei CAI 503 trail sign that rises steeply towards the suggestive south walls of the Schiara. Let's move on to the characteristic Porton and we are atstart of the Ferrata Zacchi (45 'from the hut - 3h 30' total).
The first section of the Ferrata Zacchi is in common with the Ferrata Piero Rossi at the Forcella Marmol. THE'start it is immediately challenging and makes clear the kind of path ahead. We initially climb diagonally then into a first chimney for a couple of vertical meters to then undertake a traverse to the right. The rock is good and stepped and there are holds to reduce the effort in this first step. The rope goes around a flat section to enter inside one gully where we meet some ladders from ascend without difficulty. We leave this gorge going along a ledge to the left and a stretch of decidedly aerial horizontal traverse for finding us under a series of ladders in good exposure. We continue in the path entering into a groove to be traced alternating climbing sections with some brackets. The landscape becomes more and more impressive surrounded by the vertical walls of the Schiara and the Dolomiti Bellunesi. Equipment is now interrupted e we follow a stretch of connection on the path that leads us to crossroads between the Ferrata Piero Rossi and the Zacchi.
We hold the left and we follow the path that goes up among the pines and some easy steps after which the equipment starts again. We tackle a traverse section beyond which the cable rises vertically. You go up initially some rocks then we enter into a new chimney quite challenging to go up. We are now surrounded by high rocky ramparts and on the opposite side of the Schiara it is possible to identify the Bocco Zago Shelter which can be reached by the Ferrata Piero Rossi. We continue alternating some beautiful ledges with uphill stretches rocks, ladders and vertical leaps up to a exposed stretch of unaided path. We then we walk now meeting a stretch of climb diagonally to the left. We continue in the aided route where the equipment is interrupted again in a stretch of path that ends under a ladder that we ascend. Now you can see the red dot of the Sperti shelter on the western side.
We now walk along a stretch of flat path which soon becomes an aided ledge to the left with which we reach an edge that we bypass in view of the Gusela del Vescovà, end point of the climb with the Ferrata Zacchi. Let's follow a stretch of singularly aided ledge - the so-called "Cengia Zacchi" - is we end the ferrata shortly near the Ugo della Bernardina Shelter in front of the characteristic shape of the Gusela del Vescovà (2320 m - 2h from the start - 5h 30' total).
From the Bernardina shelter (2320 m) where the Zacchi Ferrata ends, it is possible to return with two routes:
In this report we consider the first option going uphill the Ferrata Berti (see report here) with which one reaches the summit of the Schiara (2565 m - 1h from the Bernardina Shelter - 6h 30 'total). from summit you will have to descend in an easterly direction towards Forcella Marmol and you will face a clearly exposed section of the itinerary. We must in fact follow the ridge that leads to of the east ridge. We follow the protected ridge only in some points and we go down to steep track in the direction of the recently renovated Bocco Zago Shelter. We reach the sign where on the left you reach Forcella Marmol, instead we keep to the right reaching after some aided sections the shelter. From the shelter is visible the Rifugio VII Alpini that we will reach as the next destination of the itinerary. We are in fact in Piero Rossi Ferrata and through this aided itinerary (read report here) we will return to crossroads with Zacchi following in this case the sign indicating the descent towards the hut. We walk down these 100 meters already uphill and then with the approach path we return to the Rifugio VII Alpini (3h 30 'from the summit - 10h total). The return to Case Bortot takes place on the backward approach path (2h from the Rifugio VII Alpini - 12h total).
The Ferrata Zacchi is a challenging via ferrata, never difficult and very varied as a type of pass. In fact, we alternate traits on traverses, chimneys, ledges, walls and slabs by combining sections where metal equipment is abundant with others where it is necessary to proceed by looking for natural grips. The result is a very pleasant ferrata with the right mix of verticality, exposure and technical difficulties. Attention obviously to the unprotected sections, one in particular, which require attention as well as the fog and low clouds that tend to be often present in this mountainous area. The factor to keep particularly in mind for this ride is the length and the altitude so we recommend good leg and training to complete the hike without too much difficulty. The trip is on the whole very demanding requiring a return via a (Sperti) or two (Berti and Piero Rossi) via ferrata. Definitely recommended to break the trip in at least two days.
The report clearly shows how the Schiara area is an ideal place to combine multiple aided itineraries which, it must be emphasized, are all of medium-difficult difficulty, included in long and demanding itineraries that should not be underestimated. The proposed itinerary (included in the version with return from Sperti) is recommended to divide it into two days for example by staying at the hut or in one of the shelters at high altitude. Another interesting option is not to go down the Marmol Ferrata but to reach Forcella Marmol and then undertake the challenging Aided path Marino Guardiano al Pelf and make a ring return to Case Bortot. Pay attention to the length of the itinerary in this case.
Approach: 3:30 h
Ferrata: 2:00 h
Itinerary: 12:00 h
Via Ferrata gap: 540 m
Route difference: 1865 m
Max altitude: 2565 m
Length: 20 Km
Mountain Group: Dolomites of Zoldo