The Aided path Bonacossa is a long and beautiful itinerary partly aided that cuts the Cadini Group in a south-north direction. The itinerary climbs some saddles with an overall difference in height much greater than the absolute one. The aided sections are not difficult but the overall trip requires good training and a firm foot, especially in the section from Forcella de Rinbianco to the end of the itinerary. Beware of snowfields present even in late season.
The starting point of the itinerary is the mountain station of the Col de Varda ski lifts on the eastern side of Lake Misurina in the Sesto Dolomites. Parked near the southern side of the lake near the Alpenrose hotel we reach the ski lifts on the eastern side of the lake. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Going up with the chairlift there is no approach and you start immediately along the long Bonacossa Aided path. If you do not want to use the chairlift, you can go up a steep path in 45 '(signpost 120) from Lake Misurina (1756 m) to the Rifugio Col de Varda (2115 m).
From the top station of the cable car to the Col de Varda hut note the signs and the metal slab with which begins the Aided path Bonacossa which proceeds in a northerly direction. Following sporadic red signs, we initially walk along the hillside then up greater slope the climb towards the Forcella Misurina. The climb to the Forcella Misurina happens going up a groove debris standing on the right side, in sections, aided with wire rope. The climb is steep and tiring and there are some wooden brackets to keep the bottom of the path stable. We reach the Forcella Misurina (2395 m - 45 'from the mountain station of the chair lift).
Climbed to the Forcella Misurina we see straight to us the second of our itinerary: the steep climb to Forcella del Diavolo. To reach the Devil's Saddle we will have to go down to the bottom of the Ciadin della Neve valley. Let's start the steep descent from the narrow carving of the Forcella di Misurina descending into a groove on the detrital ground, exploiting the presence of some metal cords with which we descend a couple of rather vertical jumps and a traverse on the right. Let's move into a hole in the rock aided with a rope and a couple of artificial steps, continuing our descent towards the valley. We then reach Ciadin della Neve (2250 m - 45 'from Forcella Misurina - 1h 30' from the top station of the cable car) after a steep descent from Forcella Misurina. Here we cross the path 118 that rises from the northern slope of Lake Misurina towards the obvious Snow Saddle at the bottom of the valley. We remain on the Aided path Bonacossa (117) which starts now at go up towards the Forcella del Diavolo.
We start on a steep climb on the left side of the valley in a north-eastern direction. The uphill section is steep and soon they meet two metal ladders with sui we go up two more marked rocky jumps. After ladders we turn to the right and climb the highest part of the gully which in the last meters is rather unstable making the climb more difficult. Then we reach the Forcella del Diavolo (2380 m -40 'from the Ciadin de la Neve - about 2h 15' total). The saddle is wide and allows us to enjoy a moment of rest beyond magnificent panorama.
Now let's start the descent from Forcella Diavolo that will lead us to the Fonda Savio Hut. There down from the Devil Saddle it is quite steep and happens when standing on right of a steep scree which can present snow even in late season. We descend along the valley on a steep path up to reach the Fonda Savio Hut (2367 m - 40 'from the Forcella del Diavolo - about 3 h total), an important crossroads of trails in the Cadini subgroup. From the hut, in fact, the path leading to the start of the area starts in a southerly direction Ferrata Merlone.
Left the shelter, the Aided path Bonacossa continues in a northerly direction although it is possible to interrupt it by taking path 115 on the left that descends towards Lake Misurina. We continue on the path with signpost 117 immediately meeting a steep section with some aided passages. We go down an aided gully and then to the right on an aided ledge passing over one wooden walkway we head down to the Ciadin della Neve. We ignore the deviation to the right for the path 112 for Forcella Sabbiosa and we continue on the bottom of the valley which generally has snow until late in the season. Then we reach Forcella de Rinbianco (2176 m - 30 'from Rifugio Fonda Savio - 3h 30' total) where we will hold the right in the direction of the Auronzo Hut.
The next stretch of the path continues on one ledge at times a little exposed and aided but not difficult and very panoramic on the underlying Val de le Cianpedele and on Ciadini. We pass over a wooden footbridge and some remains of the Great War reaching a crossroads where on the right the Giovanni Durissini path continues while we remain on the 117 on the left in a marked ascent. We now face an uphill stretch that will lead us a few meters higher to get around the eastern wall of Ciadin delle Bisse. This section begins with a climb up rocks on a diagonal ramp with the cable to our left before going up one very leaning ladder. THE aided passages they are not difficult but the bottom is often humid so it is advisable to get in safety with the via ferrata equipment. We go up by altitude and we face a series of passages on ledges and short crumbling gullies that are always aided in the most exposed and less safe sections. We continue the climb on most adrenaline-filled trait of the route and we reach a saddle (2300 m - 1h from Forcella di Rimbianco - 4h 30 'total) with which we climb from the east to the west side with a continue the Alta Via much more comfortable and flat in front of us.
Straight ahead we have the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Auronzo Hut - half of the Aided path Bonacossa - is now visible. After having met the entrance to a tunnel, optional and bypassed by a path, we continue along an easy path that leads us to the meadows where the Auronzo Hut (2320 m - 45 'from the saddle - 5h 15' is).
The return to Lake Misurina generally takes place by bus or following the very touristic path 101 and in a constant, never excessive slope reaches Lake Misurina in 1h 30 'from Rifugio Auronzo (total 7h ca).
The unevenness of the route as well as of the fixed ropes can be misleading as there are many ups and downs. The itinerary is very tiring but overall pleasant and free of excessive difficulties. the stretch from Forcella di Rimbianco is exposed but very scenic and always well aided. The aided sections are free of technical difficulties and generally useful as handrails.
In 2017 the Forcella di Misurina was the subject of a landslide that made it impossible to cross it and the path is in that currently closed section. The path can be taken from the Ciadin de la Neve.
As mentioned in the report it is possible to combine the path of the Aided Path Bonacossa also with the Ferrata Merlone turning southwards from the Fonda Savio Hut. Alternatively, avoid climbing to the Forcella Diavolo and go up to the Forcella de la Neve to then descend along the valley and intercept the approach path to the Ferrata Merlone.
From Lake Misurina we can proceed along the routes of the Monte Cristallo including the Ferrata Renè de Pol, the Aided path Of Bona and the Ferrata Bianchi. Going up instead towards the north we meet the path that leads to Monte Piano to travel along the Via Ferrata Captain Bilgeri.
Approach: 0:05 h
Ferrata: 5:15 h
Itinerary: 7:00 h
Ferrata height difference: 100 m
Route difference: 624 m
Max altitude: 2495 m
Length: 17.5 Km
Mountain Group: Dolomites of Sesto