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

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

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

Via Ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos: The Stats

Time required: 3-4 h

Elevation gain: ca. 510 m / 1670 ft

Route difficulty: intermediate

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

Where to start via ferrata Degli Alpini Al Col Dei Bos

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

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

Via Ferrata Gear Essentials

Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

To protect your head from any potential rockfall set off by climbing groups above you, or any other head injuries. 

Black Diamond Momentum Harness 

Aim for a lightweight harness, which will be comfy to wear between the cable protected sections when you are hiking. 

Black Diamond Crag Gloves

When you haul yourself on a metal cable for half a day your hands will quickly become blistered. My advice is to go for full fingered gloves. 

Camp Kinetic Rewind Pro Via Ferrata Lanyard

Developed specifically for via ferrata scrambling, the lanyard provides shock absorption  in case of a fall.

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 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 metres. Good strength in your legs and arms will come in handy.

As long as you stay clipped in to 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 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 recognise 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 metres). 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 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 post 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. 

Have you got more questions? Post them in the comments below! I always answer! Plan your trip to the Dolomites with my personalised and independent Italian Dolomites Guide! 


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.

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