Creta di Aip
While in Italy the alpine clubs are discussing if is the case to stop building new vie ferrate ( especially in the Dolomites ), in Austria they have a different point of view, and every year new modern ferrate are opened. The new trend is to build extreme and very challenging routes, sometimes whitout much sense, that have to be climbed just for fun.
This via ferrata is certainly extreme, adrenalinic and without doubt only for expert and well fit people. Maybe is too much "forced" to overhanging slabs, where they had to put a lot of rungs and handles. It's not long but being extremely demanding both physically and psycologically it can be considered one of the hardest of the Eastern Alps.
This ferrata must be climbed only with good weather, because there is no possibility to interrupt it and in case of rain the slabs can become too slippery to be climbed. The quality of the limestone rock of the tower is generally very good.
The route follows a vertical line on the north face of Torre Clampil ( 2078 m )
in the beautiful group of Monte Cavallo di Pontebba/Rosskofel
, in the border between Italy
. The name of the via ferrata ( amicizia means friendship ) has been chosen to celebrate the friendship of this two countries that have been enemies for long time.
Park your car at Passo Pramollo/Nassfeld Pass
on the austrian side of the lake, in front of the Krieber restaurant. Take the path n°403 that will take you trough beautiful alpine pastures to Madritsche ( 1818 m )
. You can reach it by cableway too ( from Tropolach ) but for me is a waste of money because it's a lovely and very short hike ( 1 hour ) and if you're lucky like me you can enjoy the view of a lot of marmots play. From the cableway station go towards south-west following the indications for the ferrata ( kletterstieg ) until the base of the tower where you'll see the tag that explains well how the route is.
the final part
The first part probably has been tracked just to test you, if you're good enough for a challenge like this. Not too difficult, but with some tricky passages. If you have problems here it's better to give up. After a small grassy slope the hard part begins: there are some overhanging slabs above you and the ascent requires all your strenth and concentration. I must remember that falling from a via ferrata like this can be much more dangerous that falling from a climbing route, because there are a lot of handles and spits of steel on the way. Unlike other similar routes the most difficult passages are in the last part, when you're already quite tired and the muscles of your arms start to hurt. The final overhanging chimney is the "key" passage of the route, and you will need all your energies to climb it. From here the view it's fantastic: there'a a wonderful emeraldine little lake below you and the great Hochalmspitze
that shines far in the west…
the little lake from the tower
An easy path will take you in few minutes to the top of the tower, where the view opens wide to all the Monte Cavallo di Pontebba group
, to the Coglians group
and to the rocky Creta di Aip/Trogkofel
( 1 hour 15 minutes from the base of the tower ).
Colians/Hohe Warte group
Monte Cavallo di Pontebba
going back to Madritsche
For the descent follow the path that goes down towards Monte Cavallo until Forcella Contin
( one short and not difficult secured section to climb ). From here if you are not tired it could be nice to climb the very easy ferrata Contin and go to the panoramic summit of Monte Cavallo di Pontebba
. Otherwise take the easy parly secured path on the right that will take you back to Madritsche
in an hour or so. You can stop for a while by the romantic lake to rest and enjoy the beautiful view. From the lake follow the same path of the ascent to Passo Pramollo
|Creta di Aip |
Complete via ferrata set