The Ferrata Magnifici 4 (literally "The Magnificient 4 Ferrata") is one of the most difficult and demanding via ferratas in the Dolomites. It is a recent, athletic and exposed via ferrata that requires a lot of physical preparation and experience to be covered. The itinerary extends in large part inside a gorge with environmental difficulties that are added to the technical difficulties present in many passages. The itinerary extends in Val San Nicolò in the province of Trento.
The starting point of the itinerary is in Val San Nicolò, a valley perpendicular to the Val di Fassa at Pozza di Fassa. Entering the San Nicolò valley, we ignore first the junction for Val Monzoni and go up the valley to Malga Crocefisso. We continue along the road until we find a clearing on the left where it is possible to park. We will identify this open space because near a small wooden bridge beyond which there is a building with a indication for the Ferrata dei Magnifici 4. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Beyond the bridge over the Rio San Nicolò (1600 m) we find a forest on the opposite side. We keep to the right and we set off on the wide path that runs along the stream. We come to a clear sign which tells us to go left into the woods. We follow the hairpin bends of the steep unmarked path until we enter into a large rocky ravine where we will notice one commemorative slab to the 4 mountain guides to whom the difficult via ferrata is dedicated (1810 m - 30 'from the parking lot).
Ascend the cavity on a sandy and slippery surface we approach the start that extends in a rather narrow stretch. Let's go up a challenging chimney in which, after the first vertical meters, we bend to the right on a more inclined section to the right. We meet a small terrace where to evaluate how to proceed by meeting the first, of a series, of supports for the feet constituted by a piece of rope that on one side offers us a hold on the other but is unstable and invites us not to stay too long. We leave the chimney with a growing effort given the lack of natural grips and we reach a traverse to the left which offers us some points where to stop alternating with smooth stretches.
Once around an edge, we start again vertically in a challenging stretch that extends into a new chimney to be crossed in a split. This trait will tend to make us unbalance towards the inside and we will have to make strength on the arms to go up again. After this stretch, we climb a stretch more resting on one diagonal ramp up to a large boulder where we climb a narrow crack. Leaving the crack we walk a series of rocky and treacherous traverses in the direction of theobvious rocky bastion. We now come to a rocky terrace where it is advisable to take a breath before one of the more difficult passages of the trip (45 'from the start).
We begin by going up first a boulder without holds but with some artificial bracket and then diagonally on a difficult chimney to be climbed for about ten meters. Some brackets support us in this climb although they are positioned on the right side of the chimney and this tends to flaunt outward, forcing us to use our arms to proceed. We leave the demanding chimney and face a diagonal right difficult to cross that can be covered on a double bridge. The feet rest on a fairly loose wire rope which, combined with the overhanging slope of the crosspiece, makes the passage very demanding and athletic. In this step it may be useful to use a sling or a quickdraw to stop if the force is missing. Finish the double bridge and the cable proceeds for a couple of meters horizontally and then continue briefly diagonally and then continue vertically in an exposed and demanding passage. It starts with a slightly overhanging passage and the vertical wall is faced beyond which one can rest. The first part of the via ferrata ends (1h from the start - 1h 30 'total) and we travel one grassy ledge which colleague on the second stretch where there is also an escape route. We walk some easy ledges with the possibility of looking at the panorama of the Val San Nicolò and approach to the big chimney in which extends the second part of the ferrata (15 'from the end of the first part of the ferrata - 1h 45' total).
Once inside the big gorge we climb some easy rocks and walk along a short ledge to the left before starting to climb vertically. This passage remains of sustained difficulty but the rock is more indented offering the possibility of finding some grips for hands and feet which is definitely positive given the fatigue accumulated in the first section of the via ferrata. We also find some pegs in the smoothest lines. We continue the vertical ascent going up a crack initially on the right and then on the left. We gain quota and exposure however the vertical section is pleasant allows us to proceed in large part using the cable as a balance avoiding excessive traction. We continue in vertical with a last stretch poorer in grips until you reach a small terrace where you can stop and observe the remarkable filled exposure. From the small terrace we go up a slab that leads us out of the gorge on a large terrace where you can stop before the last stretch.
We walk a short stretch of path and begin a bright stretch - contrary to the previous ones. We climb a slab that is poor in grips again but full of large metal brackets which significantly reduce the effort required in the climb. We reach one panoramic balcony from where we cross an ascending traverse to the left beyond which some brackets they make us jump on a smooth wall. We are in the last meters of the via ferrata. We climb some easy rocks and we are on the path that leads us to thebow which concludes the Magnata 4 Ferrata near the Cuz hut (2h from the start - 2h 30 'total)
Reached the hut, the council re-enters to the right in a south-south-easterly direction keeping the path that leads us with clear indications to Val San Nicolò. We ignore the path 613 on the left that leads to the Rifugio El Zedron and we continue on the path which, with a never excessive slope, descends to the valley. In 40 'from the shelter we reach the asphalted road of Val San Nicolò further upstream of our parking lot. We will therefore keep the right and along the asphalt road we will go down to the valley (20 'from the graft on the asphalt - 1h from the end of the via ferrata - 3h 30' total).
The Ferrata Magnifici 4 is a "modern" ferrata compared to many others in the Val di Fassa and neighboring areas. The via ferrata is athletic, demanding with modest opportunities to be climbing and without a particular landscape interest or destination or peak to reach. The first part inside the cavity has a very dirty bottom, covered by sand, and often wet, which will significantly reduce the adherence of the boot with the result of almost completely precluding any possibility of climbing during the ascent. With this in mind it will be necessary to measure out the energy well and look for surgically every hold to save strength and breath. The via ferrata is to be walked in good shape and with trained arms. Absolutely not recommended for beginners and beginners.
In order to overcome the hard sections of this via ferrata, we reccomend you to read out article "How to temporarily take a pause in a Via Ferrata".
The via ferrata is in a good state of maintenance with a tight and thick rope as well as brackets, racks and rungs in excellent condition and very stable. A peculiarity is given by the many of the taps that offer the possibility of being used as a stop with a webbing or quickdraw - something to be considered during the journey
Note a seguito della tempesta Vaia
Il sentiero di avvicinamento indicato in relazione è al momento difficile da percorre e decisamente rischioso a causa dei molti alberi abbattuti. La via di avvicinamento consigliata è la seguente:
A Malga Crocefisso proseguire tenendo la sinistra sulla strada asfaltata per circa 800 metri fino a incontrare sulla sinistra una strada sterrata che attraversa il torrente. Ponendo attenzione noteremo un cartello che indica "ferrata". Proseguire su questa strada per circa 200 metri fino a un sentiero che si stacca sulla sinistra prima degli alberi caduti. Seguire i bolli rossi fino all'attacco della via ferrata.
La ferrata dei Magnifici 4 è stata inaugurata nel 2010 ed è dedicata a 4 volontari del soccorso alpino - Alex, Diego, Erwin e Luca - morti in Val Lasties il 26 dicembre del 2009 travolti da una valanga nel tentativo di aiutare degli sci-alpinisti.
The Ferrata Magnifici 4 extends along the Val San Nicolò starting point of other interesting aided routes. Continuing upstream you can take the beautiful and challenging Ferrata Kajserjager at the Col Ombert. Going down to the valley, you can go up the Val Monzoni and walk along the Ferrata Gadotti or take theAlta Via Bruno Federspiel, possibly combined withAlta Via Bepi Zac o al Aided path Gino Badia.
If you wish to remain on the level of difficulty present in the Magnifico 4, the nearest ferrata with this level of difficulty is the Ferrata Piazzetta at the Piz Boè.
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.