ApproachThis via ferrata follows an old war route from the Austrian Kaiserjäger troups. It runs from the Passo di San Nicolo (rifugio Passo di San Nicolo) up to the summit of the Col Ombert (2670m). The ascent is quite short, 330 vertical meters, but very steep and at times exposed. (The via ferrata should not be confused with the sceneric route on the Lagazuoi)
As you might have noted, I do not have much pictures of this ferrata. When you have more, please feel free to add them!
Several approaches are possible for this via ferrata. The most common way is to park your car in the Val San Nicolo, and walk up to the pass. An other possibility is to start from the other side, from Alba. There is a possibility of a two-stage cable car or you can combine the Kaiserjägersteig with the Via Ferrata delle Trincee if you want a full-day activity.
Route DescriptionFrom the refuge it is a short scramble to the start of the ferrata. From the hut you can see a white plaque at the start of the route. At the beginning of the route an old ladder of the original ferrata is kept as a monument.
The ferrata starts quite heavy immediately. After a steep section of about 10 meters, you arrive at the first hard passage. (In fact, it is sort of the hardest passage of the route) When you are able to manage that, the climb gets less steep for a short time, but there is much loose rock. After some other steep and hard passages you are almost halfway and the angle falls back again to a slabby rock.
Then the second half of the climb is again very steep. You have to overcome two steep wall sections before reaching an exposed traverse to the right of the peak. After some last steep climbing sections you arrive at the base of the summit. A small scramble, with again much loose rock, brings you to the summit cross, where you can enjoy your magnificent sights. Climbing from the refuge to the summit should take about an hour.
Descending can be done by the same route (takes about half an hour, when I was there I was completely alone on the ferrata, so it posed no problem), or you can descend at the southern side of the mountain. Taking the shortest route back to refuge Passo di San Nicolo should take about an hour.
Essential GearNormal via ferrata gear (don't forget your helmet, there are a lot of loose rocks)
Extra informationYou can find information in:
Hüslers Klettersteigführer Dolomiten
Cicerone Guide Via Ferratas Italian Dolomites: Vol 1
Click the link and scroll down to third route Fassa 15.
Maps: Kompass #54 Bozen/Bolzano (1:50000)
Tabacco #015 or #06 (1:25000)
Since I was alone on the route, I could not make very nice climbing pictures. But at this site you can find some fine ones.