Via Ferrata Trip Activity Levels

Climbing a via ferrata is certainly an adrenaline rush! Not only can you reach the airy heights traditionally reserved for rock climbers and mountaineers, you can also follow the iron cables and metal ladders that legions of soldiers built and climbed on during WWI as they battled across these mountains. While most of the ferrata have been replaced with newer hardware, they follow the same routes the military used. Completely protected, attached to a system of anchored cables while you climb, you will be stopped in your tracks by the amazing vistas from seen from high above the valley floors!

Via ferrata (iron paths or metal ladders in English) are rated to denote difficulty. We follow the Fletcher/Smith Rating System, which uses a combined alpha numeric rating scale.

  • A number from 1-5 rates the technical difficulty, where grade one usually involves nothing more than an assisted walk and grade five demands serious climbing skills.  (The majority of routes found in the Dolomites are grades 1-3.)
  • A letter A, B, or C is used to indicate the overall alpine commitment (or “seriousness”) of the undertaking: A (least commitment), B, and C (greatest commitment).

The rating levels of individual via ferrata included in an itinerary are used to categorize the difficulty level of a trip, in addition to the fitness level required, route length, and obstacles or hazards you may encounter on the route.  For more information regarding via ferrata climbing and history, check out our article Via Ferrata: Climbing the Iron Paths of the Dolomites. 

Note: On every via ferrata trip, Dolomite Mountains provides all of the equipment you need, including a helmet for safety. And, of course, all of our climbing trips are always led by UIAGM/IFMGA Professional Mountain Guides.

 

EASY
Sorry! By definition, there are no “easy” via ferrata trips!

 

EASY TO MODERATE
Our easy to moderate trips are great for people who want to see the Dolomites at a relatively relaxed pace, yet still want to feel like they got some exercise, and for families with children. These include easy, short via ferrata (grade 1A and 1B), which involve more hiking than climbing.  Oftentimes on these routes you will encounter “sentiero di attrezzato,” cables that are not an actual via ferrata that you clip in to but are there more for your use as a handrail for your protection. 

 

MODERATE
Moderate trips are active, with full days of activities. These trips are perfect for people who want to be active, yet still have some time to explore the cultural aspects and opportunities for relaxation available in the Dolomites in the afternoon.  Moderate via ferrata trips include grade 1C, 2A, and 2B climbs – great for those who want to themselves a little yet stay within their comfort zone.

EXAMPLE:  Via Ferrata Quick Getaway in the Dolomites

 

MODERATE TO CHALLENGING
Our moderate to challenging trips are demanding, with a whole lot of fun along the way. There will be no question in your mind whether you accomplished something at the end of each day!  Moderate to challenging via ferrata trips include grade 2C and 3A-C climbs, with the option for some grade 4A routes. Trips may include longer hiking approaches to reach the start points of the ferrata.

  

CHALLENGING
Our challenging trips are exactly that – challenging!  These trips are designed for guests in excellent physical condition, who have a strong spirit of adventure. Challenging trips include grade 4A-C and 5A-C via ferrata, at times with significant exposure, and limited options to “bail out” on a climb.  Trips may include longer hiking approaches to reach the start points of the climbs. 

EXAMPLES: Via Ferrata Traverse in the Dolomites and Alta Via of World War I – Via Ferrata & Hiking Tour