It represents the Western access to the Vajolet towers but at the same time it can be part of a interesting hiking tour within the Catinaccio/Rosengarten area.
The ferrata runs along the old route connecting the Val di Tires and the Catinaccio/Rosengarten. Even if the route has been officially discovered by Johann Santner on 1878, the first climbers could have been two hunters, Stricker and Tschagerl (named Bockimandl), already died at the time of the fist ascent of Santner. The route allows, without significant difficulties, to be in contact with the wonderful rocky scenario of the Catinaccio/Rosengarten, having a look to the surrounding mountain group of Latemar and the green South-Tyrol valleys. The route is quite short (less then 400 meters, including about 150 meters of iron ropes and ladders), commonly considered easy, never exposed, nevertheless (I have to say) fatal accidents happened also in the recent past. The most recent was in 2006: two german hikers (father and son) died climbing the ferrata.
The route touches the Rifugio Re Alberto / Gartelhutte (2621 meters) and descending the Gola delle Torri arrives to the Refuge Vajolet and finally to the Refuge Gardeccia (1960 meters) by the Vajolet valley.
From Brenner Highway, coming both from North and South, exit at Bolzano Nord and get on the road of Val d’Ega/Eggental up to Costalunga Pass (1745 meters). On the way you meet the wonderful Lago di Carezza/Karer see with a wondeful view to the N side of the Latemar group. One about kilometer before the pass turn left to Tires and Passo Nigra / Niger Pass and stop at Frommer Alm / Malga Frommer (1743 meters) where is located the “Laurin 2” lift to Rosengartenhütte/Rifugio Aleardo Fronza alle Coronelle (2337 meters). You can reach the lift station even from the Valle di Fassa (Vigo di Fassa) overcoming the Costalunga Pass (1745 meters) and turning right to Malga Frommer. The starting point of the route to the Ferrata Santner is from the Rosengartenhütte/Rifugio Fronza.
If you don’t like to take the lift, follow the trail N°2C and by about 01:30 hours you arrive to the refuge. In summer the lift is open 8:00-12:15 / 13:30-18:00. For updtated information you can call the number +39-0471-612166.
Ascent (2:15 hours):
- 70 m from the Refuge Fronza to the ferrata
- 350 m from the attack of the ferrata to Passo Santner (150 meters of iron ropes and tacks and about 200 meters of scrambling)
Descent: (1:45 hours);
- 800 m from Passo Santner to Refuge Gardeccia
From the hut follow the marked trail N° 550, assisted by few metallic ropes, and then the trail n° 542. The trail goes up to a wide gravelly terrace having on your right side the rocky walls of Cresta Davoi.
The trail continues up-and-down to the base of West-Southwest wall of Rosengarten/Catinaccio (00:30 hours) (about 2400 meters).
Keep your Ferrata-kit and start ascending the marked route (red indications), characterised by big and/or flat stones, little channels, helped by a well fixed metallic ropes, iron steps and few ladders.
The passages are generally not obliged and in case of crowded route there is not any problem. Some sections require free scrambling.
Before the saddle
At the the little saddle under the Guglie di Schrofenegger (2680 meters) take a rest looking behind your shoulder the fantastic view of the Latemar.
From here descend for 20 about meters reaching the bottom of a gorge usually snowy even in summer. You are surrounded by rocky walls and pillars in a wonderful scenario. Caution is now requested approaching the couloir. A rope helps the climbers in passing the snowy and steep couloir from right to left (abouit 10 meters)towards the base of the steepest section of the Ferrata. Every year the conditions of the snow might be changed and in some cases the couloir could be icy. In early summer the rope might be covered by the snow: pay additonal attention. I suggest, even in summer, to contact the refuges Re Alberto (+39-0471-838115, ask for Valeria) in order to have recent information on the condition of the couloir.
on the wall
Passo Santner and the hut
A vertical and beautiful rocky wall is the last difficulty of the ferrata: you are helped in climbing by ropes and iron tacks. Continue up to the Passo Santner/Santner Pass (2760 meters). From the base of the ferrata to the pass about 1:45 hours. The homonymous refuge is placed only few meters far from the pass.
Getting out from Ferrata
Looking to N a wonderful chain of rocky walls appears: Croda di Re Laurino and the Southern Vajolet Towers. On your right side there is the majestic Rosengarten / Catinaccio. The South view is toward the green South Tyrol’s valleys. Hiking on a panoramic trail in front of the Southern Vajolet towers, with in background the summit of Marmolada, by at most 15 minutes you reach the Rifugio Re Alberto / Gartelhutte (2621 meters) .
The Towers Throat
The route continues having on your left the wonderful Southern Vajolet towers and descending the Towers Throat (Gola delle Torri), that connects Gartl to Porte Negre, to the Refuge Vajolet (2243 meters) (1:00 hour). Take the trail N°546 to Refuge Gardeccia (1960 meters) that is reached by 30 minutes. [img:229799:alignright:thumb:The Towers Throat]
From here a bus-shuttle connects the refuge with the village of Pera in Val di Fassa (paying an additional ticket it is possible, but not in August, to arrive up to Malga Frommer/Frommer Alm). Regular bus service runs from Pera along the Val di Fassa up to Passo di Costalunga; from here you shouldn't have any difficulties in finding auto-stop to the Frommer Alm / Malga Frommer.
Good shoes, helmet and equipment for self assuring (ferrata-kit). In early summer an ice-axe could be useful in passing the snowy couloir.