After reading about it in a guidebook, it didn’t seem too exciting nor did it pose enough of a challenge in comparison to other ferratas, I already had under my belt.
But the little expectations I had from this summit, concluded in me taking some of the best photos in my portfolio to date!
Via Ferrata Averau: The Stats
Time required: 2 h from the Averau hut
Elevation gain: 230 m / 750 ft
Route difficulty: beginner
Where does the via ferrata Averau start?
The hiking paths in the Dolomites seem to be endless, and as it’s the case with many other mountain huts, rifugio Averau, where the via ferrata starts, can be reached from a few different directions:
From Falzarego mountain pass (2105 metres / 6900 feet) via path nr 441, over Forcella (saddle) Gallina (3 hours roundtrip)
From Rifugio Gallina (2050 metres / 6725 feet), around 1 kilometre east of Passo Falzarego, along path number 419. This route runs parallel to the previously mentioned path 441.
They eventually merge at Gallina Saddle. Path 419 also passes Lago Limides – one of the iconic photography spots in the Dolomites. (3 hours roundtrip)
By taking the Cinque Torri gondola. From the top of the Gondola (2255 metres / 7400 feet) follow path 439 to Rifugio Averau. You will be able to see the hut straight ahead of you. This is the fastest way to reach the start of the ferrata. (1-hour roundtrip)
I chose to hike from Passo Giau via path nr 452. Though slightly longer, this is perfect if you would like to connect the route with via ferrata Ra Gusela. You can plan an overnight stay in one of the many rifugios in the area, with Averau and Nuvolau being my top picks. (3 hours roundtrip)
Although the signs and markings along the routes are excellent 99% of the time, it’s always handy to have a map with you. It helps with visualising the routes and better planning. All paths mentioned above can be found on the Tabacco map nr 03.
Passo Giau and Passo Falzarego can be reached by public transport buses from Cortina D’Ampezzo, the nearest town. They operate seasonally (summer and winter).
If you are travelling by car, all the above-mentioned options offer great free parking possibilities. In July and August, they can fill up quickly though as the whole area is popular with hikers and climbers. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Via Ferrata Averau: Route Description
Once you reach rifugio Averau, scout for signs for via ferrata Averau. The scree path runs along the east side of the mountain, you should reach the cables in 15 minutes.
Though the wired section is very short, the vertical wall can test your nerves, especially if you are a beginner. Before you know it though, the climb will be over and you will come out onto another scree path. Follow it all the way to the summit for another 20-30 minutes.
Once you reach the summit you won’t believe your eyes! I sure couldn’t. The tear inducing 360 degrees view of the surrounding peaks is arguably one of my favorites in the Dolomites!
After traveling all over the World and hiking amongst mountain ranges in Patagonia, the Canadian Rockies, and the Southern Alps of New Zealand I am not easily impressed, but this was something else, I tell you.
Since photos can speak a thousand words, I think they will do much better job describing what I am trying to convey here.
Amongst some of the peaks you will be able to see are the jagged Croda del Lago, Mount Pelmo, Mount Civetta, and Tofane Group as well as Mount Antelao – the second highest peak in the Dolomites.
To descend just retrace your steps back to rifugio Averau via the same path. If you still have some energy left, I recommend checking out the war trenches around Cinque Torri or going up to rifugio Nuvolau for lunch, followed by another via ferrata – Ra Gusela.
Shop my via ferrata gear essentials
Black Diamond Helmet
Rockfall is a major concern on via ferrata routes. Unbeknownst to you, other climbing groups above you may accidentally dislodge a small rock and send it hurtling down the mountain. If it hits you on the head it could have serious consequences. A helmet placed on your head (not inside your backpack) is a must!
Black Diamond Momentum Harness
Another must-have on a via ferrata route is a climbing harness. A harness works as an anchor point for your via ferrata lanyard. Make sure to try it on first before your trip to ensure it fits snugly without limiting your movements. Aim for a lightweight harness, that will be comfy to wear between the cable-protected sections when you are hiking.
Edelrid, Camp or Black Diamond Via Ferrata Lanyard
A via ferrata lanyard connects the climber and their harness to the cables along the route. Its two arms and a hidden extra coil work as an energy absorption system in case of a fall, by reducing the stress on the climber. The two carabiners at the end of the lanyard are used to clip into the cable. Make sure the carabiners are equipped with the palm squeeze mechanism. It’s the safest and most comfortable.
Black Diamond Crag Gloves
The gloves are meant to protect your hands from any cuts and scratches you may otherwise get if you haul yourself on the cable without them. Personally, I prefer full-fingered gloves for extra protection against blisters.
Reeloq Smartphone Securing System
If you want to be able to take great photos on a via ferrata and not worry about losing your phone, Reeloq is the best tool for it. It’s a smartphone-securing system, that will allow you to use your phone on any of your adventures. This has been a great addition to my tool arsenal.
Shop on: REELOQ (Europe only)
Support my website!
Hi Reader! If you found any of my articles about the Dolomites useful please consider using the affiliate links below (at no extra cost to you) when booking your holiday, or “buy me a coffee” using the widget in the sidebar. Thank you
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!