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Ferrata West Crest to Marmolada

Hans Seyffert Weg or West Ridge to Punta Penia (3343m), the highest point of the Marmolada Group in Italian Dolomites.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 4.039 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  This is one of the most popular via ferratas in Dolomites. The Italians call the ferrata also Cresta Ovest. It contains two parts... more »

Tips:  Wait for perfect weather before setting on to Marmolada. Ice crampons, an ice axe and a rope are essential together with a helmet and ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking and Gondola Lift

Parking place is just between the bottom lift station and the lake Lago di Fedaia. The parking is free and the lift starts operating at 9 o’clock, sometimes they start few minutes earlier.
The gondola lift is unusual. The cabin is designed only for two persons and the cabin is constructed only from a rail, there are no walls. Do not expect the ... More

2. Approaching to The Glacier I.

From the top lift station at Rif. Fiaconni you surprisingly go down along the way no. 606 to the west. You will lose about 100 high meters. There is a remarkable orientation point, a big rock making a shape of almost a human profile, like a stone face. When you reach the bottom of this rock, you will start to go up to the south towards the first... More

3. Ferrata Start

On the same place where you put off your ice crampon, the ferrata starts and you will use your harness and carabineers.

4. Forcella della Marmolada

Soon you will reach the saddle between Punta Penia and Picol Vernel, where you find the old Forcella della Marmolada. In the World War I. the saddle has some of military importance, which is difficult to understand today (we are in 2896m). It is a crossing point and you may see climbers comming from Rif. Contrin. The trip via Rif. Contin is much ... More

5. The West Crest

The ferrata is not very difficult, no overhangs or so. The steal rope is attached regularly and often the way is equipped with pegs for feet. Still, you will feel excited as there are no chimneys, no corners and the route is very exposing with a lot of air around you on the polished slab.
Now you are on the most famous climbing route in the... More

6. The Top Part

Later, all the climbing difficulties (if any) are over. You may admire astonishing 800 m south face, everything build from the limestone. You still follow the only possible direction up to the east.
Sometimes the way is almost horizontal, still often upward. Due to the lack of oxygen you may need to stay and have a rest. Take the opportunity... More

7. The Summit

Sooner or later you will reach the summit plateau, often covered by snow. There is a pub on it which is surrounded by tables and benches. All visitors are advised that eating own food on the benches are charged at 3 EUR.
About 100 meters on the east from the Rif. Penia there is the highest point with a massive cross. Sit down somewhere close to... More

8. Descent over the Glacier II.

Theoretically you may descend along the ascent, but this is rarely used.
Most people are crossing the glacier on the north of the mountain, called Ghiacciaio della Marmolada. There are two parts of the glacier; the top section is interrupted by a short ferrata in rock and than the main glacier leads to the Rif Fiacconi.
You may meet tourists... More

9. Security on the Glacier

Ideally you should be three on the rope. If something wrong happens to one of you, another one is holding the rope and the third one can threw the rope to the climber somewhere in the crack.
If you go in a couple, rope up to the third of the length of the rope and both climbers keep third of the rope over shoulders. This gives at least... More

10. Descent Ferrata

The ferrata between the two glaciers about 400 meters from the Rif Penia goes to the east and it is short. Somebody keeps the crampons on, somebody not. I prefer to put them off.

11. Glacier Cracks

You are entering the biggest glacier in the Dolomites at this point and you have to notice the dangerous cracks. At first take the traverse above the biggest crack towards the east. After that the way goes directly down.
Notice the knots made on the rope if the blue climber fell into the crack, he hopes the knots will slice into the snow and... More

12. End of Glacier

You should put your crampons to the rucksack somewhere around this point, depending on the weather and snow conditions.
Admire perfect view to surrounding mountains, especially Piz Boe (3152), the highest peak of Sella Group. You will recognize it by the shape of almost perfect triangle above of the Sella Plateau. Another famous and a very... More

13. Approaching to Rif. Fiacconi

There are more ways at the end of the glacier and everybody takes a different one. You will notice large limestone moguls smoothed by the glacier movement. Before reaching the chalet you will also meet tourists who came just to touch the glacier.
The last lift depart down is at 16:45!

Hey, you! Would you provide some feedback using “review... More