The Via delle Bocchette
This via ferrata crosses the entire Brenta Dolomites mountain range
We are in the Brenta Dolomites mountain group, which is renowned all over the world for its unique skyline created by its narrow, vertical spires. The Via delle Bocchette crosses the mountain group from north to south, connecting the area’s mountain huts and several valleys with an unparalleled route lasting several days, which passes among pinnacles, vertical walls and narrow cols, that is the so-called “bocche”, which give their name to this via ferrata.
You will wonder why you should choose this particular via ferrata. Undoubtedly, it encompasses one of the most scenic via ferratas in Trentino: the “bocchette centrali” (central cols). It is a must for mountain lovers who always have a via ferrata kit and a helmet in their backpack. It is a mostly horizontal climb and, by exploiting the weak points of the walls of these mountains, it allows you never to go below 2000 metres.
Haven’t we convinced you? To have a foretaste of some of the splendid views offered by this path just look for some photos on the web, which will surely captivate you.
But what is it that makes them so unique? Spending several days in the heart of the Dolomites, without ever having to go down to the valley, will allow you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy stunning views and landscapes!
First things first though.
The start point is a beautiful mountain town: Madonna di Campiglio, in particular, the passo del Grostè can be reached by cableway. The road leading there will compel you to make a few stops to take some fantastic photos of the Brenta skyline, which is clearly visible from the road. It will be exactly where you are looking that you will find yourself struggling with your two karabiners.
From Passo del Grostè you will set off on your hike lasting five or more days, passing among the many ledges of the Dolomites. It starts with the via ferrata Benini, a quiet start, but which will already make you relish the verticality and horizontal crossings that you will have to face repeatedly. It then continues with the Bocchette Alte, the heart of the route. From Rifugio Tuckett you reach Rifugio Alimonta, passing slightly lower than Cima Brenta and almost reaching an altitude of 3000 metres.
The following day, the Bocchette Centrali, the most famous via ferrata awaits you. After climbing up vertical ladders and across ledges suspended hundreds of metres, all of a sudden you will find yourself gaping at his majesty the Campanil Basso, the impressive monolith which thousands of mountaineers long to climb that has become the symbol of the Brenta Dolomites.
Once you arrive at Rifugio Pedrotti, from where, by the way, you can admire wonderful dawns, continue onto the ferrata Brentari that takes you to the small, picturesque Rifugio Agostini, whose red roof you will see from afar. From here you must tackle the most vertical of the vie ferrate: via Castiglioni, which through the extraordinary Bocca dei due Denti leads to Rifugio Dodici Apostoli.
Are you tired? Perhaps you are, but what you see in the next long stage will make you forget the strain: you will pass along a glacier, where you may have close encounters with many chamois, and then you will arrive at Rifugio Brentei, in front of the imposing wall of the Crozzon di Brenta. Finally, by following the Sosat via ferrata, you return down to the valley, after much excitement and wonderful memories of these long days, when you followed the rhythms of nature, relishing and experiencing special moments immersed in the Brenta Dolomites.
Try to imagine the king of Brenta, Bruno Detassis (a famous mountaineer of this area), who, together with other mountain climbers, ventured into the mountains to look for a natural passageway that would allow the high-altitude mountain huts to be connected to each other, without obliging climbers to descend down to the valleys to reach them. This was indeed an incredible feat and, thanks to these courageous mountaineers, today the via delle Bocchette is fondly remembered by many hikers who walk along it. It is an extremely gratifying experience, even for the most dauntless via ferrata lover.
Written by Linda Grossi, a mountain climber and low-altitude mountain guide