The Ferrata Roda di Vael is a pleasant ferrata that allows you to climb the impressive summit of the homonymous peak with a route of medium difficulty. The climb from the Vajolon Pass is easy while the Torre Window descent is more difficult in single steps. The itinerary can be combined with the Ferrar Masarè that continues the ridge and allows you to complete a satisfying round loop in the Catinaccio Group.
The starting point of the itinerary is the Paolina Hut (2125 m) which can be reached via the Paolina Cableway from the village of Carezza near the Costalunga Pass in the province of Bolzano. Once you reach Carezza, you can park in the large parking lot available near the skilifts.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the Rifugio Paolina we will continue in a northerly direction to the left from the exit of the top station of the cable car following the CAI 552 which slightly uphill guides us towards the impressive bastion of the west face of Roda di Vael. We continue uphill following the signs for the CAI 549 and the Vajolon Pass. We continue uphill - paying attention to any traces of snow present even in late season - reaching a first stretch aided with rope and ladder. Continuing along the debris track we reach the Passo del Vajolon (2565 m - 1h from Rifugio Paolina).
It is also possible to take the route from Val di Fassa. In this case one could start from Vigo (indications here), going up with the cableway to the Ciampedie Hut and via path CAI 541 first and 551 then reach Passo Vaiolon (2h from the top station of the Vigo-Catinaccio cable car).
From the pass we will go back online straight and logical the ridge edge of the Roda di Vael edge following the metal equipment present. The climb does not present particular difficulties and alternates aided section medium-easy level with stretches not aided with rocks. Turning around we will have a beautiful view of the detritus valley behind the Catinaccio. We continue uphill on easy stretches of ridge path aided and some easy rocky jumps. We climb the last few meters and we are at the top of Roda di Vael (2806 m) with the characteristic metal cross (45 'from the Passo del Vajolon - 1h 45' total).
At this point we descend on the opposite side of the Roda di Vael following the wide path that is aided in the steepest stretches. We walk down some rocks and a ladder in the direction of the Forcella the Rode where - we ignore the ropes that go down steeply in the groove - and we continue the trip at high altitude. Once we reach the saddle we go through the key passage of the route. We will have to go up one vertical wall and very exposed with a few natural holds diagonally to the left. This environmental difficulty is counterbalanced by the good number of brackets present that support the progression and lead us to exit at Pian del Diaol (2625 m - 1h 15 'from the start - 2h 15' total).
We continue passing under the Finestra Tower characterized by the fissure with a cross in the center until reaching, after a stretch of path without difficulty, a saddle:
In both options we go down to the Rifugio Roda da Vael (2283 m) where our aided trip ends.
The return from Roda di Vael hut at the Paolina Hut it takes the easy CAI 549 first half-hill path and then 539. We will pass by the Monument to Christomannos and we will reach the top station of the cable car (1h from Rifugio Roda di Vael - if not covered the Ferrar Masarè 4h 15 'total - if traveled the Ferrar Masarè 6h 15' total).
The point of greatest difficulty is the diagonal wall to be traced back to Pian del Diaol. The point is exposed and may create some hesitation for non-experts. However, there are no significant technical difficulties given the excellent equipment.
Pay attention to the detrital material that can be moved in the downhill section.
As anticipated in the report, the natural continuation of the Ferrata alla Roda di Vael is the Ferrata Masarè. If you decide to stay at high altitude in one of the many mountain huts in the Catinaccio, you could opt to walk the easy way Via Ferrata Santner or from the Gardeccia hut go up the Via Ferrata Bepo de Medil or the Aided path of the Scalette. Continuing towards the north we will initially meet the Ferrata to the Catinaccio of Antermoia to Passo Principe. Descending towards the Lake of Antermoia we meet the Ferrata Laurenzi while in the northern part of the Group is the exposure Ferrata Maximilian.