Review of the difficult Alpine Aided Path to Forcella Jau Tana in the Marmarole Group. Challenging itinerary with high elevation gain and a wild and little beaten environment. Aided stretches of medium-low difficulty but long stretches not protected difficult and to avoid absolutely with bad weather.
The starting point of the itinerary is the locality Stua near Calalzo di Cadore. Once in Calalzo di Cadore follow the signs for Pian dei Buoi. Continue on a narrow but paved road going into the woods following the signs for Val dìOten up to a junction 2.5 km from the center of Calalzo where we take the right and continue for another 2.5 km into the woods to where we park the car. Directions for Google Maps available here.
Parked the car in the locality of Stua (1555 m) we will have to follow the path 261 that steeply goes up in the wood between hairpin bends to reach the Rifugio Chiggiato. We climb quickly into the woods, we pass Costapiana area (1337 m - 30 'from the parking lot) and we continue to reach Località La Serra which we will recognize thanks to a stone which shows the passage of Pope John Paul II on the path. Continue along the path, now less pending, until you reach the Chiggiato Rifugio (1911 m - 2h from the parking lot).
We leave the hut in a northerly direction following the alta via 5 following the path 260/262 up to the Forcella Sacu where we meet a first easy aided passage (1914 m - 15 'from the hut - 2h 15' total). The path, so far not too tiring or exposed, definitely changes its character and starts to climb towards the northeast by cutting diagonally across the south walls of Cimon della Froppa. The trail climbs steadily with a succession of narrow, rather exposed ledges in an increasingly impressive environment. Looking up, we will notice a notch on the ridge above our heads to the north-east. That is our goal at the end of the climb, the Forcella Jau Tana. We continue reaching a detrital valley where, once crossed, we meet the first metal equipment (1h from Forcella Sacu - 3h 15 'total).
We climb a series of rocks (about 20 meters) that do not present particular difficulties and we proceed to meet one first leaning metal ladder. We continue with ropes that help us go up the canyon going into the gorge which will lead us to the Jau Tana saddle. We continue the climb and meet one second metal ladder beyond which we go around an edge and continue uphill towards the saddle. These generally easy-to-use sections alternate with rather exposed, unprotected sections of the path that must be approached with caution. We are now in the upper part of the valley and we go up without crossing the valley on the right side. There are few facilities and we reach the saddle after one long and constant climb (1h from the start - 4h 15 'total).
The environment in which we find ourselves is wild and impressive. To our right the Cimon della Froppa stands out. Our itinerary continues bending to the right in the direction of Forcella delle Marmarole where we will begin the descent. We begin this section of connection at high altitude by cutting the summit scree on the hillside, paying attention to the bottom, which is not always stable. We reach Forcella delle Foppe (2790 m) starting from a downhill stretch, at times aided, to come to Marmarole saddle (2661 m - 1h 15 'from Forcella Jau Tana) with straight to us the continuation of Crest of the Invalids.
Be careful not to be misled, the difficulties are not over. The descent takes place along the Vallon del Froppa, a steep gully with unstable ground and strong steepness in the first section. We begin a stretch of steep descent and aided in the first meters followed by a stretch of about 20 'where it is necessary to proceed with caution for the unstable and treacherous bottom as well as to a certain exposure. We go down with a certain care, paying a lot of attention until the end of the scree where it is absolutely necessary to turn around to observe the difficult stretch just traveled. At the end of the scree we join the path 262 where the difficulties end and with them the Aided path Jau Tana (1h from Forcella Marmarole - 6h 30 'total).
We follow the path 262 downhill to the south (right) until we reach Forcella Sacu and then back along the approach path to the Rifugio Chiggiato and then to the parking lot (1h 45 'from the graft with the 262 - 8h 15' total).
It is necessary to specify in this report that the aided sections do not present significant technical difficulties. The main difficulties of the route are the various unprotected sections of the itinerary. The first exposed stretches we meet already before starting with the aided sections although the real difficulties are in the stretch of connection between Forcella Jau Tana and Forcella delle Marmarole where more stretches turn out to be difficult and exposed and require attention and caution. Finally the scree on the Vallon del Froppa is very unstable and it is necessary to proceed even with caution. Telescopic poles for the lower part of the canyon are very useful. The area is wild and once reached Forcella Jau della Tana you are quite far from any support points, except for the Tiziano Shelter on the opposite side.
The Jau Tana Aided path extends in the Marmarole group, a less beaten environment of the surrounding groups but definitely interesting and wild. If you decide to proceed with a second itinerary aided in the group, get off the Vallon del Froppa, at the junction on the path 262 keep the left and reach the Baion Boni Rifugio (1828 m) where you can take the Aided path from Pra to Ciareido.
Continuing eastwards from Calalzo di Cadore we meet the Ferrata to the Antelao Glacier which can be reached from the Val d'Oten or the Ferrata Berti and Vandelli at Sorapiss. From Calalzo continuing north we also meet the Ferrate of the Sesto Dolomites: the Ferrata Cengia Gabriella, Strada degli Alpini, mallet, Croda Rossa di Sesto and Zandonella.
Approach: 3:15 h
Ferrata: 3:15 h
Itinerary: 8:15 h
Ferrata height difference: 200 m
Route difference: 1498 m
Max altitude: 2790 m
Length: 17 Km
Mountain Group: Dolomiti Cadorine