looking for new adventures - alta via 2 (Italy)

Malte8900

Posted: Sun, Nov 9, 2014, 10:18

Hi.
Completed the gr20 over a year ago with my brother and now we are looking for a new trek to complete maybe next summer. We both loved the gr20 and the demanding terrain and are looking for something similar. Found a trek in the dolomites - Alta Via 2 which looks really interesting. Does anybody have experience with this trek? How is it compared to the gr20?
Kind regards
Malte, Denmark.



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Mon, Nov 10, 2014, 13:22

Malte
That's on my list to do next as well. From the research I've done so far, there are a lot of refuges on the route, which should make it easy to tailor something to match your fitness levels or time available. I reckon 7 or 8 days would be enough but quite long days. Access on and off at each end look good via buses & trains that connect to Bergamo or Treviso Airports. There look to be some really good clusters of Via Ferrata along the route to add to the interest (and days). With so many big refuges available, you probably don't need a tent. There's always the option of transferring to the AV1 and doing a longer round trip as well.

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 18:14

Thanks for your reply Alan.
I have done some research on the internet as well but my biggest concern is route finding and whether you have to do via ferrata sections on the main route? Seems like there are many options for different routes and we are not really experienced in navigating with compass. We don't mind scrambling but are not used to technical climbing or via ferrata. Found some videos on youtube and some of it looked pretty extreme. Long stages and hard physical terrain is not an issue however. Most days on the gr20 we were about to hours a head of the estimated times in Paddy Dillon's guide and some of the days on the gr20 felt really short. Have never walked in the alps so we are not really familiar with the weather conditions. On the gr20 we had thunder almost every afternoon which was a big stress factor and meant that we couldn't double up some stages. Is the weather in the alps similar?

Malte



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 8:25

Malte
Two hours ahead! You must have been going for it!
All the paths in the Alps are well marked and similar to the GR20, usually with white and red paint splashes, but there are a lot of tracks going in all directions. The paths are well defined and well signposted with destinations and approximate times, nevertheless, you will need maps. An ability to navigate using a compass is a really useful skill but a GPS receiver to give you your location is better. You probably wouldn't need that unless you were in the cloud.
I've been to the Dolomites a few times and the weather is usually pretty stable. I went in June one year and it was really cold with a lot of old snow lying about and we got caught in a thunder storm. I've also been in July and August and had perfect conditions throughout. I was in southern Switzerland in July this year and the weather was pretty poor. I understand it had been bad all over the Alps, including the Dolomites, for the entire summer. We had a weather window when we were doing our big climb on the Piz Badile but the rest of the trip was a wash out.
The AV1 and AV2 are hiking routes so shouldn't include Via Ferrata. These are off-route options. If you haven't done any before, you must give them a try. They're fantastic fun and safe. You can do them in hiking boots but you do need a helmet, harness, leather gloves (sailors rigging gloves or gardening gloves with the fingers cut off!) and a proper via ferrata lanyard. Start with an easy grade route and see how you get on.

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Thu, Nov 13, 2014, 10:19

Well, took the title "europe's toughest trek" very seriously so trained a lot before the trek. And yes I know it's not about finishing as fast as possible but we don't like to go slow when we trek. And we still enjoy the scenery ;) Sounds good with the waymarking. Guess the weather is always very unpredictable in the mountains... Maybe we schould try some via ferrata as well. Think I'm gonna look a little more into it. At least some of the easier routes. Sounds like the dolomites offers a lot of great trekking in different kind of levels.

Malte



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, Nov 14, 2014, 11:28

Malte

I had a look at my guide book. There are 3 or 4 sections of via ferrata on the AV2 route. I'll see if I can find out what grade they are.

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Sun, Nov 16, 2014, 14:53

thank you Alan. That would be a great help! :)



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Mon, Nov 17, 2014, 20:19

Malte

This blog will give you an idea of the terrain and the via ferrata en-route but don't take too much notice of the itinerary as they seem to be incredibly slow. I'd certainly try to combine the first two days from the start at Brixen to Rifugio Genova. One section (Day 4 Rif Puez to Capanna Fassa on Piz Boe) they say took them 12 hours (leaving 07:30 and arriving at 17:30). The guide book time for this is only 3 hours 20 minutes...
http://thirstforadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/alta-via-2-day-1-bressa...

This is good as well with decent stages but no text, only pictures:
http://www.david-noble.net/Europe08/AV2/AltaVia2.html

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 8:33

Thank you Alan! I'll take a look at this blog and see if it looks doable for me and my brother. Great help! :)

Malte



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 17:37

Malte

That's a coincidence. I'm hoping to do it with my brother as well. We'll have to report back on its similarities (or otherwise) with the GR20.

Happy trekking!

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 22:27

I actually also did the gr20 with my brother. It's great to have a reliable trekking partner not least when you can share it with your own brother! But I'll definitely do that if our plans of going next summer comes together. Its great to get some inspiration from other treks around the world even though this a gr20 forum. And Happy trekking to you too :)

Malte



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, Nov 21, 2014, 10:11

Malte

How do you fancy a coastal trek sometime in the future? This one is on my doorstep: The Pembrokeshire Coast Path. 187 miles in between 8 and 12 stages depending on fitness levels. Very undulating & rugged and the equivalent of climbing Everest in height gain. I can give you loads of information on that! http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/explore-pembrokeshire/coast-path/

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 17:57

definitely looks interesting but seems like the route stays close to civilization most of the way? Close to roads and small towns? but it could be fun though to do something different than all the high routes in the mountains at some point. Do you have a blog with reports and pictures from your treks? Sounds like you have done a lot of trekking! Could be interesting to see and get some inspiration :)

Malte



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 20:44

Malte

I've posted an Alta Via itinerary with times and other details on docstoc: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/173162257/Alta%20Via%202%20stages.xls

I only started my blog fairly recently and it's a general travel blog rather than a trekking blog. You're welcome to have a look though. I have posted some of my trekking & climbing trips on it as well.

https://tips4travellers.wordpress.com

I only really got into trekking when I tried the northern part of the GR20 back in 2010 and loved it (trekking and the GR20). Before that I was really into mixed Alpine & winter climbing.

--

Alan



Malte8900

Posted: Sun, Nov 30, 2014, 19:01

Alan.
Really like your trip report from the gr20, sleeping at the top of monte rotondo looks amazing!! Definitely plenty of reasons to go back and do some of the high-level variants one day. Especially the ones over mont d'oro and renosu. Looks really exiting!

Malte



dinny

Posted: Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 9:26

Hey Alan and Malte,
That's an interesting and useful discussion you're having. The GR20 sets the bar pretty high in terms of a follow-up hike, doesn't it? I took Michele's example ( and Vimeo video ) to heart and hiked Sardinia's Selvaggio Blu this spring, but where to go next..? I like your AV idea, and will look into it. I'm also interested in the Pembroke coast path for an early summer jaunt not far from home.
For an 'out of season' hike, Corsica's Tra Mare e Monti was a good one, which I hiked this October - about half of the refuges/hostels were shut which suited me fine as I'd rather hide myself away and camp anyway. As it turned out, the weather was fabulous, and judging by the number of hikers on the train to Calvi, the GR20 had a lot more hikers on it than the Mare e Monti (we only saw one other pair of hikers)
Thanks again for helpful suggestions,
Dinny



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 10:24

Dinny

I've been looking into the Alta Via 1 route as well. Alta Via 2 looks to be the better, more rugged one but still not on a par with the GR20 as it isn't as continuous. They go over mountain groups then drop down to passes quite frequently. The saving grace for both Alta Via routes are the Via Ferrata options, which should spice them up nicely.

Selvaggio Blu looks great but I'd need to get a group together for that I think. Tra Mare e Monti is on my list for the future too.

If you do decide to give the Pembrokeshire Coast Path a go, let me know. I've been walking it for the last 15 years and know it very well. That's where I train for trips like these.

--

Alan



dinny

Posted: Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 12:14

Alan,
It's not necessary to hike the Selvaggio Blu as a group. I went with just one companion. Navigation was the biggest problem, due to lack of way marks in some areas, and the fact that goats and pigs make so many false trails. I think that could easily be overcome by taking a GPS. The logistics of leaving water drops and food caches can be done by car, and walking to the trail to hide the goods up trees (away from animals and local saboteurs!). There's a UK couple running 'The Lemon House' B&B near the start of the trail who can provide this service. I found the route pretty hard core and immensely satisfying!
I reckon I will be hitting the Pembroke Coast Path next year, maybe in the spring if I've not come up with a Big Plan for an adventure abroad for that time! So thanks for your offer of local knowledge - I may well be in touch!
Dinny



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 13:31

Dinny

I've heard of The Lemon House. I'll keep that in mind.

May and June are good for the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. There's also a good string of Youth Hostels en-route. They aren't quite the same as GR20 refuges but definitely worth using. No bed bugs either. I'll work up an itinerary for you. What's your ideal daily distance? 20 miles is about my ideal. It starts to hurt after that!

--

Alan



dinny

Posted: Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 20:31

Hey Alan,
20 miles sounds reasonable. I'll be carrying shelter/sleeping gear for when the opportunity to stealthily camp is too good to miss (or if there's good camp sites en route) but Youth Hostels are great when the rain sets in. The only walking I've done round your way is 'walking in' to climb sea cliffs, and that was a while back.
Here's to a short winter and an early spring!
Dinny



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, Dec 9, 2014, 13:36

Dinny

I haven't sat down and worked this out before but I'm glad I did as it comes together very nicely. If I have some spare time, I might do it myself.

It's probably easiest coming down by train to Tenby and going out from Fishguard otherwise you have to get back to Amroth to collect a car and apart from parking alongside the road, I can't think of anywhere to safely leave it.

See http://www.docstoc.com/docs/173238538 for a chart of distances & suggested stops.
I've also added some pictures to my blog thanks to access to a big photo library from work: http://tips4travellers.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/10-day-itinerary-on-the-...

--

Alan



dinny

Posted: Tue, Dec 9, 2014, 22:17

That's fabulous information, Alan. Thank you so much for sharing it. I look forward to hiking the coast path come spring!
Regards,
Dinny



Mostrup

Posted: Tue, Jun 9, 2015, 21:56

Hi Malthe.
I am looking for a trek this summer and was searching the internet for the AV1 and 2 treks. I fell over this post of yours and wondered if you were still planning on doing the trek this summer?

Regards
Mostrup



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Wed, Jun 10, 2015, 7:12

Thank you guys so much for all the recommendations! Already have Pembrokeshire Coast Path and Selvaggio Blu on my to-do list. If someone knows any other good options - please share, cause I'm listening with my eyes wide open! ;)



Malte8900

Posted: Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 9:28

Hi Mostrup. Unfortanetly we are not going this summer anyways. Maybe/hopefully we will go next summer. Please note that there are two different alta via routes - the alta via 1 and the alta via 2. You mention the alta via 1? We we're planning on doing the alta via 2. Believe it's more exciting and more rugged than the alta via 1. Especially for one who have completed the gr20, the alta via 2 might be a better and more fun challenge ;)

Lawrence, you're welcome. I must definitely agree. So nice to get some inspiration on other hiking trips and places to go to! :)

- Kind regards
Malte



Mostrup

Posted: Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 20:53

Yeah, I read on other sites that the AV2 was the most exiting of the two. My only problem is that it is not allowed to pitch a tent at the huts. The trek sounds amazing, but the fact that you have to sleep inside the huts kind of ruins it for me. Both mood wise and economically. So I will look for other alternatives, where it is allowed to pitch a tent, just like for the GR20. :-)



Malte8900

Posted: Fri, Jun 12, 2015, 10:13

I did'nt even realize that! Completely agree with you. Pitching a tent is a lot more enjoyable than sleeping in overcrowded huts! Maybe I need to rethink this as well :p



Mostrup

Posted: Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 10:11

I have spoken to a guy who has finished the trek and it didnt seem problematic at all to pitch a tent in the wild. They even pitched a tent right next to the refugee at one occation, without any problems whatsoever. I will take my chances and wild camp, since this trek sounds absolutely amazing. I already bought the harness and lanyard for the via ferratas, since they should be way worth the trouble. I will give you some insight to the wild camping when I return, if it will yield any problems or whatsoever. Then you can take that into consideration for when you will do the trek. ;-)



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 9:56

How about weight becoming an issue when doing vias ferratas? I mean, when I went to GR20, I had more than 15kg on my back, which should be noticeable when going on the cables, and this is not like doing 1 day trip to go through via ferrata without any load on yourself (except for some water and snacks). Or is it an option in AV to leave your stuff at refuge and then go doing via ferrata?



Malte8900

Posted: Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 10:18

Sounds great Mostrup! Could be really interesting to get a little report when you get back :-)
Good question Lawrence. Can't imagine via ferrata being that pleasant with 15 kg's on your back... also wonder how difficult the via ferrata sections are on the route...



Mostrup

Posted: Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 10:26

I think you can leave your stuff at the refugee, but I do not see how to acquire your stuff back, unless going all the way back again. I know there are services of getting the luggage carried, but is that really an option most of us would consider? It is not a necessity to take the Via Ferratas in order to complete the Alta Via 2, there are alternative routes. I have seen pictures of people doing it without any luggage on their backs. I do not know if they are daytrekkers or found a smart solution to this, but I have also seen people doing them with large backpacks and no harness or lanyard. I am therefore striving to do them with around 15 kg and harness and lanyard. I walked the GR20 with a 20 kg backpack which was fucking stupid but possible. I have gotten better equipment and knowledge, so I should be able to pack my backpack better this time. You really do not need any food except snacks, since there is supposedly a refugee within a 90 minutes distance everywhere on the trail.



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 10:56

Thanks for the feedback, Mostrup! I was carrying up to 20kg on GR20 myself, so yeah, knees were noticing the weight at the end of the stage ;)
Anyway, getting awfully off the topic of Corsica/GR20, how are refuges on AV2, comparing them to GR20? Because GR20 refuges were not acceptable for me in terms that people were usually packed in like piggies in the farm there, and I doubt I could be able to sleep hearing people snore, chat or whatever. Plus (possibility of) bedbugs. Hence, I carried my tent and really enjoyed it.
Is the situation better in AV regarding this, so to consider losing weight and not carrying a tent? Or, any good resource to read about that so not to bother all of you with questions of what where how and why :)
Cheers,
Lawrence



Mostrup

Posted: Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 11:28

You do not bother in any way with asking questions. This forum could use some activity, so go ahead and ask all you want. ;-)
I have read a lot of blogs from people have done the trek and, from what I can tell, the refugees are way better than those on the GR20. They should be like some hustles. Either bunkbeds (do know the conditions) or 4 man rooms. It costs around 45 euro for a bed, breakfast and dinner, which is actually not that bad. And since the trek is loaded with refugees, you can always just take the next refugee if one of them is not living up to the standards. So you should easily be able to ditch the tent and use the refugees instead. It just requires some extra cash of course :-) But again, I have not walked the trek yet so I cannot tell for sure. This is just my impression from what I have read. However, if you are not planning to do the AV2 this summer, I can give you my impression of the refugees after I have completed the trek.



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Mon, Jun 15, 2015, 12:02

Perfect, thanks again Mostrup! Will be waiting for your impressions here on forum after you completed it ;)



Claire Glavina

Posted: Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 15:13

My husband and I completed the GR20 last September and since then we've been researching other walks. Finally we decided on the AV2 and we've booked flights to Venice for mid-September. I'm sure it'll be different to the GR20, but it looks challenging all the same.

Our plans at the moment are to get the train to Bressanone from Venice airport via Verona, and then walk the route North to South. We'll probably double-up a couple of days and spend some time in Venice at the end. Currently looking at the possibility of fitting in some via ferrata, but the main issue would be buying the kit because it looks like it'll total about £200 for the two of us.

We're not planning to take a tent, unlike on the GR20 when we camped pretty much every night. Although it'll be a more expensive trip I'm quite looking forward to staying in the refugio because it sounds like the food and sleeping conditions are better than the GR20.

Does anyone know where we might be able to get the screw-type camping gaz in Bressanone?

My GR20 blog
www.yorkshirerunner.wordpress.com

Thanks
Claire



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Thu, Jul 16, 2015, 14:45

Hi Alan/Turnertactics,

After just having finished GR20 this year, I'm coming back to Pembrokeshire ;) How about:
* Path signaling? Is it easy to orient yourself on the track, find entry/exit when going through stages with cities in-between and/or bus transfers? I understand there are some of these.
* Good topo maps? If the above is not that good, are there maps on the Internet for the path? I like being situation-aware, always took printed stage maps to GR20, so would prefer to do the same on Pembrokeshire pathway, worst case scenario would be just printing material out of google ;)
* Best season to go? I already saw you say May-June is cool, but how about pros/cons of other months from July to September?
* What would be a hostel and food price range, dinner and breakfast options? Would it be typical english ;) breakfast, or something different?

Cheers,
Lawrence



Mostrup

Posted: Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 22:46

Alright. So I did the Alta Via 2 this summer and it was absolutely amazing.

Here is the video I made, if interested:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdYQ5xMefSA

The trek is planned with a LOT of scenery, going along the mountain ridges very often. Even though it is not near as tough as the GR20, it is definitely more enjoyable. If it is not challenging enough to do single stages (which it isn't for most I would recon), you can always take 1½ or 2 stages a day. Most of the stages are longer than those of the GR20, with about the same ascents and descents, they are just no way near as technical. Most of the trek you just follow a path, which will give you more time to enjoy the incredible views.

I went in mid-late July and I was really lucky with the weather. Those two weeks, Italy had the hottest summer in 10 years. It naturally made it harder, but the views with that weather, I tell you. I packed my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad etc. which I used for only 3 of the 10 days it took me. I camped right at the refugees all three times. I just went in and asked politely if they had problems with me doing it, that the refugees themselves doesn't really care. As long as you pitch late and start walking early, no worries. However, some refugees are without any grass areas nearby, which can make it difficult to find a place to pitch. And, for me at least, the weather turned bad at around 17-18 o'clock most days with rain, thunder and lightning. To put it simple: once I started using their bunkbeds, I simply became way too comfortable to not keep doing it.
This means I had a lot of deadweight. My suggestion is: use the beds in the refugees. Get an alpine membership and you can rent them for 10-15 euros a night. That is money well spent. But I can understand if you want to camp in the wild. I was just on my own, so I did not really feel like it.

The refugees are absolutely top class also. If the best GR20 refugees (like Piobbu and Carrozzu) are 2/5, these are 5/5. It is really misleading to call these refugees. Hotels suits better. Hot showers, menu cards, FRIENDLY personel and I can keep on going. Reservations can easily be made during the trek, just plan ahead for the weekends since there are a LOT of turists on most stages.

During my whole trek, I only met 1 couple who did the entire Alta Via 2 aswell. I met a handful who wanted to, but never did. During the day, it can be pretty crowded at the refugees, but people leave at some point during the day.

For guides, I used the Cicerone. This was my worst decision of the trek, even worse than carrying a tent I did not use. The guide is horribly outdated with poorly detailed maps and directions. I got lost so many times due to that stupid book. Buy the Tabacco maps of the area instead. Those have all the information you need. If you need any further information, just ask the guardians at the refugees. They will gladly help you out.

All in all, a trek definitely worth doing. The couple (mid 40's) who also did the whole trek were from Australia and have walked all around the world. They rated it better than any trek in Australia, New Zealand or anywhere else. They had some friends who have walked in South America and they too rated the Dolomites higher. So if you were in doubt whether or not to go there, you shouldn't be any longer. ;-)



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 11:26

Thanks for your very interesting report about the Alta via n2 Mostrup. Lots of useful info there. I also appreciated your video with all those beautiful views. Do you remember how much you spent all in all for your 10 days (leaving out travel expenses)? Is a bunkbed really 10-15 euros per night?

Thanks

--Michele



Mostrup

Posted: Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 11:55

I was in Italy for two weeks in total. I arrived at Treviso airport in Venice late in the afternoon, took the train halfway to the starting point of the trek, slept at a hostel with some people I met and then took the train to the starting point and walked the first stage. I originally planned to stay in Venice the first day, but I made an impulse decision to just get towards the trek. I really wanted to get started walking :-)

Normally, it is between 20-25 euros a night for a bunkbed. You can rent a room as well for a bit more, if you are several people. If you are a member of an alpine club (French, German, they should all pretty much do it), you can get it half price. That is why you end up with 10-15 euros. I was not a member of any alpine club however so I had to pay full price unfortunately. Still worth it in my opinion.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 12:32

And what about the meals? You must have paid dinner and breakfast and also something for the midday break? I understand that meals can be expensive in those refuges. Am I wrong?



Mostrup

Posted: Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 12:58

Well, it depends on what you want to eat. There is a menu card at all the refugees. I believe the 3 course meal was between 15-20 euros, but I ate Pasta Bolognese most of the days for 7-8 euros. It just had the most meat and value for the money. Breakfast I believe was 7-8 euros as well, but I just ordered a panini the day before for 3-4 euros and ate it on the way. Same with lunch, a sandwich or omelette for 3-5 euros depending. So really, not that expensive actually. Most refugees had pretty easy access to get food supplies, whereas only a few needed helicopters to refill their stocks.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 13:14

Thank you and thumbs up!



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Sun, Oct 4, 2015, 15:45

Mostrup

I love the video. I even recognised a few places from previous Via Ferrata trips. It looks like a worthy trek and it's still on my list to do. I've been through the guidebook and maps and can see that there is scope to extend some of the normal stages as there seem to be lots of refuges on the route. Any suggestions where you can do that? There look to be some interesting detours on some Via Ferrata routes.

Have you looked at the John Muir trail in America?

--

Alan



Mostrup

Posted: Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 15:11

I only took the via Ferratas on the main route which is category 1/5 or something from what I have been told. I really wanted to take "real" via Ferratas, but my backpack was simply too heavy and I had no helmet with me, which is apparently a pretty good idea. I was with some French guys for a while and wanted to join them on one of the best via Ferratas in the area, but we asked some people about it and they would not recommend doing it with a heavy pack and no helmet so I just have to go back to the Dolomites and do them at a later time.

The first I heard was really nice is a variant from Passo Gardena to Rif Pisciadu.
Then there is one over the Marmolada, which should be spectacular as well. You may read somewhere that you need special shoes for doing it, but I heard and met many people doing it with regular hiking boots.
When I stayed at the Rif Pradidali, a lot of people where there for doing via Ferratas in the area. There is apparently a lot of really good routes in the area. I don't know exactly in which direction, but towards and around Rif Marmolada (west of Pradidali) is also heavily praised.

I just looked up the John Muir trail and it looks absolutely amazing. I haven't heard of it before, but it goes through Yosemite National Park which I have heard of. Definitely on my to-do list now! Unfortunately, I am still a student so I don't have the money yet for treks outside of Europe. However, as soon as I am done studying, I will take the first flight overseas. :-D



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 7:32

That’s a good point about heavy packs. Some of the higher grade Via Ferrata are quite strenuous even without a pack. Leaving the tent & sleeping bag behind might help, I suppose.

I’ve done the route up to the Pisccadu Refuge (Via Brigata Tridentia) which was middle grade but very busy. We had to wait quite a bit.

The Via Ferrata up to the top of Marmolada looks quite tough but I think you return the same way so you can stash packs at the bottom. There’s a bit of glacier to cross so crampons are probably needed, which adds more weight and you will need stiffer boots for those. It's a very small piece of glacier, however.

There seems to be quite a cluster of VF routes around Rifugio Pradidali. An extra night there might be a good idea to do some of those. There looks to be a figure of eight route taking in five different VF routes – all easier/middle grades.

I've only just found the John Muir trail myself. It looks really good and comparable to the GR20. I have a different problem in that I can't get enough time off work to do it.

--

Alan



Mostrup

Posted: Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 13:45

I met some German couples (50's) who took a via Ferrata near the Marmolada. Or maybe it was to the top and then the cable lift down to Malga Ciapela. They did not have any crampons with them and I heard of other people doing it without the crampons as well.

It will always be hard to plan those kind of trips. Now I am studying so I don't have the money, and when I finally do get the money, I don't have the money. It is never easy :-D