The Ferrata of the Gelada Valley is part of a path that climbs the steep Val Gelada under the Corno di Flavona in the Northern Brenta Dolomites. The itinerary is steep and rises a high difference in level but the via ferrata sections do not present any particular technical difficulties. The severe environment of the Gelada Valley and the various exposed sections reserve this itinerary for trained and experienced hikers.
The proposed itinerary goes up the Gelada Valley facing two vertical aided stretches known as the Ferrata of the Val Gelada. Like so many itineraries in the Brenta Dolomites, they can be undertaken from many points and the itinerary proposed here is the shortest and the simplest to cover the via ferrata. The itinerary that we are going to describe starts from Lake Tovel going up the whole Val Gelada up to the homonymous pass it goes down to Bocchetta dei Tre Sassi and descends the Val delle Giare up to lose altitude and return to Lake Tovel.
To reach Lake Tovel you must reach Tuenno on the eastern side of the Brenta Dolomites. Once in Tuenno, pay attention to an intersection on the left side with indications for Lago di Tovel. We cover the paved municipal road for about 11 km. At the end of the road on the right side there is a first parking lot. Enter and continue on the dirt road that we find in front and follow the signs for the Chalet which we reach after about 2 km. Directions for Google Maps available here.
From Lake Tovel we continue on the western slope on the wide CAI 314 path ascending towards the mountains following the trail sign for Malga Tuenna. We continue on a comfortable climb up a cart track until we cross the Sentiero CAI 312 (Path of the Dena) which rises steeply to the west. We ignore the first saddle to the right and continue uphill always keeping the signs for Malga Tuenna first and Passo della Val Gelada then (CAI 380). We continue uphill facing a first aided stretch. Once out of the woods we reach a crossroads of the CAI 306 path (aided path of the Palete) which on the right would lead to Pra de Castron and to the left to Passo Grostè. We ignore this crossroads and continue straight westwards to the Passo della Val Gelada (2171 - 2h from the parking lot).
We take straight to us CAI 380 that goes up the Val Gelada that will lead us to the Passo di Val Gelada (2686 m). This part of the itinerary is decidedly strenuous and goes up almost 500 m in altitude. As we continue towards the inner part of the Gelada Valley we will notice straight to us one rocky bastion where some parts are aided with ropes inside a groove they allow us to go up it again without too much difficulty. We go up this part of the path surrounded by impressive vertical walls of Cima Paradiso, Cima Sassara and Sasso Alto on the right, while on the left the Gran de Formenton stands out. We face a last aided stretch and we are at the Passo di Val Gelada (2686 m -2h from Livezza Grande - 4h from the parking lot).
The Passo di Val Gelada it is a crossroads between the path we have traveled up the Val Gelada and the Costanzi Alpine Trail (CAI 336). At this junction we will keep the left towards the Bocchetta dei Tre Sassi (2613 m). This stretch is characterized by some vertical sections aided with rope and stairs. After traversing these stretches we are in a not particularly difficult stretch of trail, thus reaching the Bocchetta dei Tre Sassi (45 'from the Passo di Val Gelada - 4h 45' total).
Arrived at Bocchetta Tre Sassi we take the CAI path 334 which initially continues in a southerly direction towards the south and then starts to descend into the Val delle Giare going down a detrital valley until it crosses the CAI 306 (Aided path of the Palete) meeting a couple of aided sections and a ladder to go downhill. We ignore it and continue to descend until we cross the CAI 314 which we take to the left towards Rio Tresenga and along an easy path we are at Lake Tovel and then at the Parking (2h 30 'from Bocchetta Tre Sassi - 7h 30' total) .
Both the Val Gelada and the Val delle Giare can have snowy stretches even in late season so it is advisable to have crampons and ice axes with you to avoid difficult and dangerous situations. Moreover the trip is very long and with a high gap so the hiking sticks are very recommended.
Val Gelada is certainly a wild area and is not frequented by many tourists as it is the case for the most popular areas of the Brenta Dolomites. It is certainly one of the wildest routes that can be taken in the Brenta Dolomites and the few aided sections must not let the guard down on the alpine character of the trip. The two via ferrata sections do not present particular technical difficulties and help to go up the sections that exceed the first degree. There are a couple of other first-degree, unprotected climbing sections.
As mentioned in the above paragraphs, the route of the Ferrada Val Gelada could be covered in several other ring routes. It is often used in combination with the Palete Aided path or the Costanzi Monteaineering Path, perhaps continuing later towards the Aided path Vidi. In the case of the Aided path of the Palete and of the Costanzi we talk about two very difficult itineraries for very experienced hikers where the greatest difficulties are not due to the aided sections.
If you decide to go to the Grosté Pass to stay overnight and then continue south you could continue towards the Via Ferrata Benini that could lead us to Ferrata delle Bocchette Alte. In this case then there would be a wide choice of aided routes to travel with the need, however, to stay overnight in the hut.
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