An Iron Path To The Top Of Col Dei Bos In The Italian Dolomites

This relatively new via ferrata provides a great experience to those who don’t want to spend too much energy on the initial approach.

Located only a few hundred meters from the nearest road yet still very impressive with its views, Via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos is nothing to be sniffed at. 

Via Ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos: Map & Stats

  • Distance: 3.5 km / 2.2 mi
  • Elevation gain: 470 m / 1540 ft
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Route difficulty: intermediate (B/C)

Where to start via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos

Climbing at sunrise along the via ferrata Degli Alpini al Col Dei Bos
Climbing at sunrise

The ferrata starts directly behind  “Da Strobel” Restaurant, halfway between the Falzarego mountain pass and the Cinque Torri chairlift. The nearest town is Cortina D’Ampezzo (17 kilometres/ca. 30 minutes away).

This is probably the only time I will say it, but you won’t need a map on this route. I still like to carry one because I am always curious about what peaks surround me once I reach the top.

Tabacco map nr 03 is the one you can use along this route and it can be purchased in many local stores around Cortina or online beforehand. 

In the summer season, there are frequent public buses you can hop on and google maps will tell you the schedule. If you are traveling by car, there is an ample parking area on the opposite side of the restaurant, right next to the road and near the rifugio Col Gallina. 

Via ferrata Degli Alpini is quite popular with guided groups, so if you want to avoid waiting around, my advice would be to start early. 

via ferrata Degli Alpini al Col Dei Bos
Focused on the path. Directly on the field behind me are the old hospital ruins from World War I. In the far distance Marmolada and its glaciers.

What to expect along the route

From the start, the path is marked with signs for “Col Dei Bos”. It takes around half an hour to get to the first section equipped with cables. En route you will pass old military ruins dating back to the First World War, one of many war remnants located in this part of the Italian Dolomites.

via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos near Cortina D'Ampezzo
“Da Strobel” restaurant is visible in the top right corner.

Once you get to the cables, prepare yourself for a challenge. The first bit goes up vertically for about 100 meters. Good strength in your legs and arms will come in handy.

As long as you stay clipped into the cables and watch where you place your feet you will be fine. Although the whole route to the top is quite steep and exposed, it is always very well protected. 

Taking a break on the climb along the via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos
Taking a little brake along the way. Cinque Torri and pyramid-shaped Mount Antelao are visible in the distance.

There are a few sections along the way where you can give your legs a rest and admire the surrounding views. There is a lot to look at! The prominent peaks of Cinque Torri, one of the iconic photography spots in the Dolomites will be behind you every step of the way. 

head spinning exposure along the path
Trying to look relaxed while holding onto cables for my dear life

Other distinguishable peaks are the pyramid-shaped Mount Antelao – the second-highest mountain in the Dolomites, nicknamed by the locals – the King of the Dolomites.

What would be a King without its Queen? Marmolada – the Dolomiti Queen and the highest peak can be seen to the South West. You can recognize it from the glaciers covering one of its faces.  

In the gully to your left, you can spot the zig-zag path, this will be your way down. 

Mount Averau as seen from the via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos
Looking toward Mount Averau

The whole climb shouldn’t take longer than 2 hours. Add to it the 30 minutes of the initial approach and in 2,5 hours you should be standing on the top of Cima Bois (2559 meters). Right below the summit, there is an ample grass plateau, where you can take a rest and the obligatory photos. 

On the plateau right below the summit of Col dei Bos
views on the descent
views on the descent

You can descend the same way but I’d advise against it. Due to the popularity of this via ferrata it will only create unnecessary traffic. Instead, walk down along the scree path which you could see on the ascent. 

Although not as exciting, it is certainly a lot faster and within 45 minutes to an hour you should be back down at the restaurant, where you can reward yourself with an apple strudel. A staple of all via ferrata celebrations if you ask me! 

Cinque Torre, Croda Del Lago and Mount Antelao visible in the distance
Cinque Torre, Croda Del Lago and Mount Antelao visible in the distance

If you are looking to extend your day and shoot two birds with one stone, instead of descending, you can head over to Rifugio Lagazuoi, visible from Cima Col Dei Bos, along path nr 401. This famous mountain hut provides access to the Lagazuoi tunnels – a famous and very popular day hike in the Dolomites. 

Croda del Lago seen from Col dei Bos
Croda Del Lago in the background

The area around Passo Falzarego has endless hiking possibilities. After completing via ferrata Degli Alpini in the morning, you can take a break in the restaurant, and providing the weather stays good throughout the day, you can ride the Cinque Torri gondola and tick off another via ferrata nearby to the summit of Mount Averau. 

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 down the mountain. If it hits you on the head, it could have serious consequences. A helmet on your head (not inside your backpack) is necessary.

Shop on: Amazon (Worldwide) / Backcountry (US)

71gKk4U+f2S. AC SL1500

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. Try it before your trip to ensure it fits snugly without limiting your movements. Aim for a lightweight harness that will be comfortable to wear between the cable-protected sections when hiking.

edelrid basis cable kit special via ferrata set

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.

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91P0f6XnFML. AC SL1500

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. I prefer full-fingered gloves for extra protection against blisters.

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salewa womens wildfire edge approach shoes detail 6

Salewa Wildfire Edge Approach Shoes

My go-to pair of hiking shoes for easier trails or via ferrata, where I don’t need extra ankle support. They provide excellent grip on the rock and are very durable.

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Reeloq Smartphone Securing System

If you want to take great photos on a via ferrata without worrying about losing your phone, Reeloq is the best tool for it. It’s a smartphone-securing system that allows you to use your phone on any adventure. This has been a great addition to my tool arsenal.

Shop on: REELOQ

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Hi! I am the photographer and creator of I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.


  1. This post is super helpful, thanks for all the info.

    Do you think it’s safe for me to do it alone? I have beginner level experience with easy climbs.

    Do you recommend any guides there? Thank you!

    • Hi Gabriela. There are plenty of guiding companies in Cortina D’Ampezzo that often take their clients to this via ferrata. Whether it is safe to do it alone, is something you can only answer yourself. I am always a big advocate of venturing into the mountains with a partner.

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