Review of the Ferrata Paolin Piccolin in Cima d'Auta Orientale in Marmolada group. The Ferrata is of medium difficulty and is part of a beautiful itinerary that will occupy the whole day with a good gap. The view from the summit is magnificent and the beaten track makes it an appreciable itinerary.
The starting point of the itinerary is the hamlet of Colmean near Caviola in the province of Belluno. You can reach Caviola either from Val di Fassa from Passo di San Pellegrino, or from Passo Rolle along the winding road that connects it to Falcade or from Cencenighe Agordino. We enter the center of Caviola and along the main road (via Patrioti) we will notice the signs for Colmean that with the Cima d'Auta road lead us to the hamlet. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Following the indications already present in the parking lot at Colmean (1274 m), we go up northwards in the woods along the cart track with trail marker 689 in direction of the Hunters' Cabin (1751 m) which we reach constantly but never too steeply. It is also possible to avoid reaching the hut e continue on CAI 689 in the direction of Giovanni Paolo I Cabin (1865 m - 1h 15 'from the parking lot).
Near the hut we will keep a track on the right that comes off uphill (wooden steps). The track soon comes out of the woods, leaving us under the south wall of Cima d'Auta Orientale and climbs steeply towards the Medil saddle, located in the center between the Eastern and Western Cima d'Auta. We meet a junction where to the right (CAI 696) the normal route that we will use for the return goes up. We keep to the left following the signs for the via ferrata. The trail is unstable but keeping to the left you go up towards the saddle and reach thestart of the Ferrata Paolin Piccolin (2h 30' from the parking lot).
The via ferrata starts climbing the first few meters before rocks then with a vertical leap where a bracket helps us reach the first vertical ladder of the route. We climb the ladder and complete this first vertical step by climbing the wall with the help of two other metal brackets. We fold to the left in a horizontal traverse with which we position ourselves inside a groove. We climb vertically with the help of 3 metal brackets after which we ascend others 3 brackets to the right coming out of the groove and, after another short one aided diagonal section, we position ourselves under a second metal ladder of 6-8 meters in length.
We leave the ladder and begin to climb a series of rocks supported beyond which we are in a detrital gully ascending towards the obvious saddle. After a few easy minutes on the path, another metal ladder and rocks with no substantial difficulties we reach the key passage of the route. We are inside a narrow chimney. We face the chimney remaining on the right side where some brackets help progression otherwise difficult. We climb inside the chimney looking for supports also in split and we approach the exit where some pegs present help in single passages on slightly clinging rock.
We leave the chimney and walk a short inclined ramp to the right before circumvent an edge with a traverse. We go around the edge and climb towards a vertical jump towards a saddle. This leap is well attached first on the left side then on the right side. We are in the final passages of this section of the route in view of the Forcella di Medil. We follow the rope with that easy passages on easily climbing rocks leads us to the momentary end of the equipment in the wide slabau of the saddle. To our left Cima d'Auta Occidentale and to the right Cima d'Auta Orientale from which it is possible to see the southern wall of the nearby Marmolada.
We follow the trail tracks to the right and meet a series of aided rocks and a path where the cable will act as a handrail. Continuing on the path in the direction of Cima Auta Orientale we meet a slab that we climb using a metal ladder and proceeding in adherence on a rock resting on the exit of the ladder. We continue following the equipment that bends to the right into a ledge before to face a new vertical wall, sometimes withdrawn. We go out and continue on rocks and then on a path up to a saddle where on the left the descent begins - also aided - while on the right we soon reach the summit cross of Cima d'Auta Orientale (2624 m - 1h 45 'from the start - 3h 45' total).
We descend from the peak to the junction where the descent initially aided with a couple of non-trivial steps begins. Let's go down a challenging stretch on slab and then a vertical section with metal ladder. After about ten minutes with aided passages the difficulties decrease and you go down on the path along the normal ascent route. We reach a saddle where we will keep the right (696) for the steep Aided path Bortoli that with aided sections (ledges and short vertical jumps) it descends below the south wall of the newly reached summit leads us back to the junction encountered on approach. From that stretch we descend backwards along the approach path to Baita Giovanni I and the Rifugio Baita dei Cacciatori then to the parking lot (2h 30 'from the summit - 6h 30' total).
This pleasant ferrata is inserted inside a rather long itinerary with a tiring and non-trivial approach and also aided return not to be underestimated. The uphill sections are generally devoid of substantial difficulties and the exposure is never excessive. A couple of steps (chimney, traverse, downhill slab) require more attention, but overall we do not consider the via ferrata difficult. From the top you can enjoy a magnificent view from the top over the Pale di San Martino, the Marmolada and its group. It is also common to see groups of ibex along the climb that remains rather solitary and little beaten even in the high season.
The Ferrata Paolin Piccolin added to its long itinerary is difficult to leave energies for a second itinerary aided on the same day with the exception of the Aided path Bortoli on the way back. However, the area in which the ferrata extends is rich in aided itineraries. Continuing towards the Passo San Pellegrino we meet theAlta Via Bepi Zac and Bruno Federspiel on one side and the Aided Path of the Gronton on the opposite side. In the direction of the Civetta we meet the difficult one Ferrata Fiamme Gialle, the Tissi and the Ferrata degli Alleghesi. In the direction of instead of Pale di San Martino we meet the Via Ferrata Orsa, the Ferrata Stella Alpina, the Bolver Lugli, the Gabitta d'Ignoti and Aided path Gusella.
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. If instead you went in the direction of Alleghe and Agordino you could take the Ferrate to the Civetta: the Ferrata degli Alleghesi, the Ferrata Tissi, the Ferrata Costantini at Moiazza to the Moiazza or the Via Ferrata Fiamme Gialle at the Palazza Alta.
Approach: 2:30 h
Ferrata: 1:45 h
Itinerary: 6:30 h
Via Ferrata gap: 344 m
Route difference: 1354 m
Max altitude: 2624 m
Length: 9.2 Km