The via ferrata Pisetta is a challenging, technical and aerial via ferrata climbing up the steep walls of Cima Garzolet. Teh route is exposed and alternates vertical steps with traverses with some cracks and chimneys. The route has to be undertaken if in good physical shape and with a good experience in via ferrata. Pay attention to the heat in summer months.
The starting point of the itinerary is the village of Sarche in the province of Trento. Once you reach the village of Sarche, proceed in the direction of Madonna di Campiglio. We pass a roundabout and we will see a petrol station on the left. On the right rises a small road on which the parking for the Ferrata Rino Pisetta is indicated. We will park near the elementary school and the bowling club.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the parking lot we skirt the bowling alley and we take the building behind us where a white sign shows us the access path to the aided route. We continue on the path that enters the wood and at the first saddle to the right and the next to the left that climbs steeply into the woods until we come to a series of white-red signs indicating the via ferrata. We continue in a steep and strenuous climb until we reach the start of the via ferrata with the metal slab showing the year of creation of the via ferrata (45 'from the start).
Just below the slab we see above our heads the first wall of about twenty meters that awaits us. The beginning is certainly one of the most challenging steps of the route and makes us immediately understand both the type of rock and the effort required. It rises vertically with few holds for hands and feet and it will be necessary to pull up one's arms and find few handholds. Obviously the advice in a type of way like this is to proceed by going to look for those grips that may not be immediately visible but that, once identified, will help us reduce the use of the cable and save energy for the traits that we will face later. Climb up the wall, the cable bends to the left and we face a sideways exposed downhill beyond which the cable runs vertically and leads us inside a chimney beyond which we pass a tree and reach a ledge to the left where it is possible. It is recommended to take a breath before leaving. At this point there is also an escape route on the right.
After a few meters on the flat the via ferrata starts vertically again but with a stretch with quite jagged rock and therefore full of holds. We continue with a traverse to the left, followed by some rocky leaps to climb. The cable will take us in a vertical section with a characteristic slit that will be very useful as a support for the feet and hands in progression. At the end of the crack we begin a demanding, exposed and strenuous left-hand traverse where a couple of steps we will have to do in full adherence and it is important to get here with still a lot of strength in our arms. The traverse circumvents an exposed edge and partly diagonally ascending on the opposite side, leading us to a small balcony where we can pause for a moment. We are now in the most athletic part of the climb. We continue this upward traverse by taking advantage of a couple of artificial grips beyond which the cable starts up vertically in strong exposure and with a gradually increasing commitment. This section offers some handles and brackets as well as a new slot that runs on the left side of the cable. We go up the challenging stretch looking for the few natural holds (look also on the right side of the crack) and in some cases pulling on the cable to proceed going up. At the end of this slab the cable bends to the left on a rocky ledge where it is absolutely a good idea to rest and enjoy the view behind us.
We move to the left and soon the cable starts vertical. As in the previous section, a fissure runs near the cable which, together with some pegs, will help us in the progression and offer us some small stopping points. This second vertical wall is definitely exposed and area. As we go up the crack widens and takes the form of a not particularly deep chimney. We leave the chimney near a small tree in a stretch with good natural grips. We continue on a traverse to the left that after a few meters leads us to climb a challenging vertical part that after a few meters presents us with a low rocky roof not useful as a stopping point. We continue vertically in a stretch poor in holds where climbing becomes very difficult and we will proceed very hard by pulling on the cable. We reach a narrow balcony where we can catch our breath and rest our arms at this point definitely under stress. We set off vertically on rock that continues to be smooth. A short traverse to the right and we start again with a new crack on our right. We continue to climb in this exposed and vertical stretch that leads us to climb the last meters of the ferrata. This stretch becomes more climbing as we go up and for the feet it is possible to find good holds to gain the last spur beyond which there is the summit ridge (2h from the start - 2h 45 'from the parking lot).
From this stretch we will have to take the last stretch of the via ferrata, which is a not particularly difficult summit ridge but exposed and tiring for the legs. The ridge is aided with a metal cable mainly useful as a handrail. We will then reach a wooden bench with a view of the valley below. Here the demanding Ferrata Rino Pisetta (2h 15 'from the start - 3h total) ends.
From the Cima Garzolet (961 m) we continue in a westerly direction going down the path towards Ranzo. We will reach a picnic area beyond which we can continue to descend towards Ranzo and an underlying mule track. We go down the mule track completely until we reach, in sight of the town of Ranzo in front of us, at a crossroads:
The equipment is in excellent condition, the rope is very tight and this is certainly a positive aspect in a type of demanding and exposed climb like this. Climbing shoes can be very useful to have better grip on the climb as well as a pair of gloves to avoid cuts to the hands along the climb and possible throws on the rope.
The Ferrata Rino Pisetta is one of the most challenging via ferratas in Italy and certainly an itinerary to be reserved for experts in climbing and viable routes. Having said this, the itinerary is not particularly long and leaves time, if undertaken early in the morning, to be combined with another itinerary that may be less demanding afterwards. For example going down to Riva del Garda we will meet the easy Via Ferrata Rio Sallagoni and the Via Ferrata Colodri both with itineraries less than 2 hours including approach and return. The longer and more demanding are the Via Ferrata Che Guevara and the Via Ferrata Favogna. Moving towards Andalo we can travel the Via Ferrata Aquile. Going towards Madonna di Campiglio with limited difficulty there is the Ferrata di Ballino at the Rio Ruzza waterfalls or to Preore la Ferrata Artpinista at Preore.
Approach: 0:45 h
Ferrata: 2:15 h
Itinerary: 4:45 h
Via Ferrata gap: 406 m
Route difference: 713 m
Max altitude: 971 m
Length: 8 Km