The Ferrata Sci Club 18 is a difficult via ferrata that from Cortina d'Ampezzo leads us to steep and athletic climb to Monte Faloria. The via ferrata is vertical, exposed and with difficult passages therefore to be reserved for trained hikers with good experience. Return possible by cable car.
The starting point of the trip is located in Sompiei above Cortina d'Ampezzo. From the center of Cortina take the Regional Road of the Dolomites in the direction of Misurina and Auronzo di Cadore. After less than a kilometer on the right before the sign "Alverà" a road comes off that we take and follow until we see the cable car. Shortly before a dirt road branches off to the left. We take it and park the car, paying attention to the private parking lots present. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From the car park, go eastwards following the path towards the top station of the cable car. We reach the intermediate station of Mandres where, following the clear indications, we take the path 206 in slight climb until the exit of the wood where it turns to the right and climbs steeply towards the rocky wall of Monte Faloria. We follow the abundant signs along the road that leads us to the point where we leave path 206 and keep to the right to reach the start of the Ferrata Sci Club 18 where there is a metal slab to indicate the date of construction (1h from the parking lot).
TO right of the metal slab there is the start of the via ferrata is immediately vertical and the long wall above our heads gives us the idea of the climb we are about to face. The first meters they are vertical and will need a first traction to win the first two meters beyond which we find some supports for the feet. We climb this first decisive leap and we find ourselves under a new smooth wall with a rocky roof to block the climb. Climb to the right to bypass the rocky roof using some solid metal brackets. We go around the roof and continue to quickly gain altitude by going up alternating brackets and discreet supports going up a slightly overhanging stretch, not excessively demanding. We bend to the right into a ledge and there we place under an edge.
Go around the edge and go up one long rocky wall again alternating sections with brackets with challenging passages where it will be very difficult to climb given the rather smooth rock and you will climb by pulling on the cable. Having climbed these 20 meters of slab we reach a small terrace where it is possible to stop before continuing. Climb up a short distance before facing a rising traverse to the right. The rock is smooth but it is not excessively difficult to cross the traverse reaching a new edge after one slender ledge. We climb up, not without difficulty, the first jump and then climb the vertical wall. At the top, the wire rope bends to the right to take us along a traverse where some metal brackets support us in the exposed passage. We move to the right in the direction of a new corner that we go around and we find a useful ledge to catch your breath, enjoy the view and notice that right above our heads rises the cable car to the Faloria Rifugio.
Having walked the ledge uphill to the right, we now face a new vertical section which, compared to the previous ones, is more appealing and climbing. The cable is vertical and later a detour to the left, then to the right starts again vertically. Some brackets are present in the less cluttered sections but, overall, it is less demanding than the previous ones. Back up the vertical section we bend to the left going down towards a gully with an unstable ground. We cross the gully and with one ledge we reach the point where the cable goes up a corner. We climb the first meters not too demanding but vertical to then reach a decidedly challenging vertical slab. Brackets are present but the distance between them and the particularly smooth rock make these passages very athletic. The slab in question is long and it is advisable to seek every foothold in order not to run out of energy. Climb up to reach a rocky roof that we climb with the help of a short ladder. We reach a short terrace followed by a few meters of ledge before starting again vertically for a few meters still decidedly challenging and difficult to climb. We finish these steps and reach the top of the slab which is more climbing and less demanding. We reach a chimney that can be reached from the left on a traverse and is pleasantly climbing, finding good grips on both sides and climbing back up into a split.
We now reach a ledge that descends slightly to the right until we reach a traverse. The traverse rises diagonally initially with limited difficulty and good brackets for the feet and then ends in a slightly overhanging 3-meter passage in near an exposed edge. Go around the edge and follow a non-demanding horizontal traverse to go up some rocks to the right in the direction of a crack. We enter the slot with the cable that initially it is on the right side and then rises to the left. We will have to climb the crack in the split finding the holds on both sides, mainly on the right one. Let's get out of the crack on a large balcony where it is possible to stall and enjoy the view over the Tofane before continuing along the road.
We begin the last section of the route by going through one ledge in climb to the left which leads us to get around an edge seeing straight to us the goal of our trip, or the mountain station of the cable car. Although at first glance the arrival seems next, just to the right we notice a impressive edge with many and showy brackets along both sides. We climb the first vertical meters and the edge takes the form of a dihedral with brackets on both sides which, together with good natural grips, makes progression not difficult. We leave the dihedral continuing on the right side vertically in increasing and strong exposure following the numerous brackets. The cable now bends to the right around the corner and rising on the inner side of the corner. The relative ease of the passages is interrupted by a more athletic rocky roof which we climb with the aid of a bracket and continue to finish the vertical slab.
We finish the vertical section and begin a ledge that is momentarily interrupted by a vertical jump aided with some brackets. We go back up and continue initially in slight descent towards a gully with a detrital and unprotected bottom, then climbing towards a saddle that we reach by a path. We are in the last part of the route. From the dropout we go up a vertical section aided with brackets that leads us on ridge that without particular difficulties we tackle climbing the various aided sections. We cover a ledge that leads us to an aided vertical leap followed by a traverse with which we go around a corner and going up a ramp we are at end of the Ferrata Sci Club 18 (2h from the start - 3h total).
At the end of the via ferrata we are in sight of the Faloria Rifugio where the cableway from Cortina d'Ampezzo arrives. At this point we will have two return options:
The Ferrata Sci Club 18 is a ferrata in some respects not typically dolomitic. Do not climb on a real peak. The equipment is very recent, the cable is very well pulled and the brackets are abundant but not exaggerated. From the safety point of view there are cones on the nailsos that increase safety, certainly a very good factor in such a vertical via ferrata where the possible fall factor can have serious consequences in the event of a fall. The via ferrata is sometimes criticized for the search for ascent difficulties by frequently urging the arms forcing the traction on the cable. Ferrata very exposed along the entire route. As indicated at the end of the route, the Ferrata Sci Club 18 is not passable downhill.
The Ferrata Sci Club 18 is a challenging and athletic itinerary that, even if passable in a morning, may not leave us much energy to undertake a second itinerary aided in the day. However, many aided routes depart from Cortina and its surroundings. Continuing in the direction of Auronzo di Cadore we meet the Via Ferrata Bianchi at Cristallo and the Dibona Ferrata at Cristallo. Continuing instead in the direction of Dobbiaco we meet in rapid succession the Ferrata to the Third Cengia del Pomagagnon, the Via Ferrata Bovero at Col Rosà, the Ferrata Strobel at Punta Fiames, the Aided path to the Fanes waterfalls and finally the Ferrata Renè de Pol. Finally going up towards Passo Falzarego we meet all the ferratas of Tofane and Civetta.