Italy

Via Ferrata Sass Rigais

Ascent to the top of the Odle mountains

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Via Ferrata Sass Rigais
Inserted: 06.02.2018
© gigaplaces.com
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I first got to the Italian Dolomites with a group of Brno students in 2015, where we spent a week on mountain hikes and ferratas. These mountains enchanted me so much that I felt a great need to look there again as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I didn't succeed in 2016 due to an accident, but the next year I returned here, this time with my girlfriend and parents. The first of the ferrat we tried was the ferrata leading to the top of ** Sass Rigais **.

Preparations

Again, we had the whole week available, and because all the planning fell on my shoulders, I chose the ** Odle ** mountain as the first area. The first day after arrival we went on the half-day warm-up „Adolf Munkel Trail“: [http://www.gigaplaces.com/…lfa-munkela/] and on the second day I planned a full day hike to the top ** Sass Rigais ** with ferrata of the same name. The ferrata itself is not very demanding, it has only B difficulty, so I chose it as a warm-up to find out how the rest of the team, who had not been to any ferrata before, was doing. During the day, however, it turned out that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong, and even detailed planning does not necessarily mean a guaranteed victory.

Camping Seiser Alm

... and the first problems ...

As the first campsite of our trip we chose the camp ** Seiser Alm **, located under the beautiful mountain ** Sciliar / Schlern **. We had the alarm clock set at 6 o'clock and after waking up everything indicated that it would be a beautiful sunny day. While the other three members of the expedition were preparing breakfast or packing tents, I began to pull the necessary ferrata equipment out of the car and stack it, one for each. But no matter how I count, something is missing – the seat. And just mine. // „Ferrata of difficulty B is no problem after all – it's a walker“ //, I tell myself that I will climb this ferrata without protection and the heavier ones that I plan for the next few days, everyone won't go anyway and then they will I will borrow a seat from someone. Breakfast is ready – goulash. During the meal, I carefully said that I had forgotten my seat at home. // „Hahaha“ // my girlfriend laughed in disbelief. After a while, however, she realized that I wasn't kidding, and convincing her that everything would be fine was a superhuman feat. It only helped that we found an old rope from Lídl in the car and I made an improvised seat out of it. That calmed her down a bit and we could go out. Unfortunately, half an hour later than we planned.

Ortisei - Seceda cable car

We drove to the cable car station in the town of ** Ortisei **, from where my girlfriend and I went to see the city center to see if they happened to rent or sell seats. After seeing the exorbitant prices, we returned empty-handed. It was already 9:30 (the cable car opened an hour ago), but even with an hour's delay it was enough to return, as the last one goes back at 17:00. So we buy return tickets, get in the cabin and go. The cable car took us to the top of ** Seceda **, where there were a lot of marmots on the local meadows.

Ortisei - Seceda cable car
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Jagged cliffs

From there we continued on foot towards the beautiful cliffs of the ** Odle ** mountains, which we admired so much the day before from the valley below them – from the „Adolf Munkel Trail“: [http://www.gigaplaces.com/…tezka-adolfa- munkela /]. The weather slowly began to change and the originally blue sky was covered with clouds within minutes. The densest were anywhere else than right around the peaks.

Jagged cliffs
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Exit through the rubble

The path behind the southern side of the canines Odle leads us after 4 km through a beautiful landscape full of distant views. We get to the signpost, which points to the ferrata ** Sass Rigais ** in two directions. We choose the way to the right to the exit and we will return to the second one. After a while we get to the foot of the rocks, where we take a short break for a snack. The whole sky has already been covered with thick clouds and we are heading up the rubble. Before the trip, I repeated to everyone several times to take small or medium-sized backpacks (20–30 liters) for the ferrata, but not everyone listened to me – the man in the picture at the back is my dad and at half speed he moves behind us with a 75 liter backpack on back. At least I have more time to take photos.

Exit through the rubble
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Between the peaks

As we get more and more late, we transfer some things from my dad's backpack to my backpack and continue to the saddle between the peaks ** Furchetta ** (3025m) and ** Sass Rigais ** (also 3025m). Despite the cloudy sky, there are beautiful views, but the higher we climb, the more we begin to suspect that it will be the last for some time.

Between the peaks
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com
The beginning of the ferrata
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

The beginning of the ferrata

We get to the beginning of the secured journey, where we put on our seats (at least those who have them). I commit my improvised seat – // „neuter“ // (don't really try this).

Secured path

Fog in front of me, fog behind me. With constant encouragement and courage, we climb step by step up the secured path and the fog thickens. After a while, it starts to rain and the wet rocks slide, which doesn't calm some team members much, and on a few unsecured sections they almost give up and refuse to continue. We are caught up in the back by a young family, and because they seem to be faster, we let them in front of us. We continue to follow the steel rope to the point where it disappears behind the rock. I look around the corner and see a deep hole in the ground disappearing into the fog. It rumbled in me to the feeling that I really didn't want to fall into my // „castrator-seat“ //. I'm not going to try this // „clean“ // and I'm grabbing a steel rope. I try to cross the hole, but the other side is too far, I don't want to jump on the wet rock. With my arms outstretched, I try to get as low as possible, where I finally managed to step wide enough and get to the other side. Here I have secured that I will help others with the transition of this treacherous place. However, her girlfriend easily split with her long legs and gracefully crossed the abyss almost without help. After everyone has reached the other side, the journey continues with lighter sections up to the top.

Secured path
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com
At the top in the clouds
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

At the top in the clouds

Finally we get to the top, where we meet an already departing family that overtook us. We open a beer, plum brandy and enjoy // „endless“ // views into the fog. I'll look at my watch and order a quick departure. If we want to catch the last cable car, we will have to hurry.

Descent

The secured path leading down is relatively easy, there are no surprises or more difficult unsecured sections, however, it does not go as fast on the sliding rock as we would need. It was already clear that we would not be able to catch the cable car and we would have a descent of more than 1000m extra. What's worse, a few minutes below the summit, we caught up with the family that was walking in front of us, which really didn't work out at all and for a long time it was impossible to prevent them anywhere. We only succeeded after almost two hours. After a while we finally got out of the clouds and below us the surrounding grassy landscape was visible again. The secured journey ended here (at least we thought so), so we took off our harnesses and descended on. A little lower then there were a few sections with rope, staples and wooden footbridges, but we all managed to do it without protection. Only her friend put on her ferrata gear again and made sure.

Descent
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Back at the signpost

We returned to the signpost leading to the ferrata with a delay of more than three hours until around 7 p.m. We were already quite tired, but the fight was far from over. In front of us was a few kilometers slightly uphill along the plain and then a challenging, more than a kilometer, descent.

Back at the signpost
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

View of Sassolungo / Langkofel

Maybe I was a little glad that we missed the cable car, because the evening views of the countryside were really beautiful. The picture shows a view of the mountain ** Sassolungo (Langkofel) **.

View of Sassolungo / Langkofel
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

View of the Sella mountain range

The sun was approaching the horizon and we were still on the plain. It must be added that our legs already hurt like hell. However, the view of the golden-lit mountain peaks was the best reward. The picture on the left shows the mountain group Sella.

View of the Sella mountain range
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

View of Puez-Odle (Puez-Geisler)

The peaks of the Puez-Odle National Park (Puez-Geisler) were moving away behind us. However, the subdued peak of Sass Rigais (pictured left) remained partially shrouded in clouds until the end of the day.

View of Puez-Odle (Puez-Geisler)
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

The end of the plain

We get to the place where the mountain plain ends and the last 6 km of steep way down (almost a kilometer of elevation gain) awaits us. We have all our feet trampled on, so we gather the last remnants of our strength and go down. At the same time, we try to save the knees as much as possible (those who took the wands now have a certain advantage).

The end of the plain
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Sunset

It's almost 9 o'clock in the evening and on the way down we watch the setting sun. On the east side, the mountain ** Sciliar / Schlern ** peeks at us, from where we left the campsite in the morning. After a few minutes, the path turns into the forest, where we descend at the fastest possible pace. However, we managed to get to the car standing in the parking lot by the ** Ortisei ** cable car only in complete darkness. After we took off our shoes, I was abruptly informed that they would never go on a ferrata with me again (but they went anyway). However, my dad (who is a sworn opponent of rolling on the beaches by the sea) gave the golden crown to the whole trip when he said with all his might: // „We are going to Bibione“ //. So the trip didn't go the way it was planned, but we got even more experience from it. The next day we really went to rest by the sea and made a trip to Venice, but then we returned to the mountains and managed other beautiful ferratas. However, we will remember this one best.

Sunset
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com
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