Via Ferrata Cesco Tomaselli

At first glance, this via ferrata appears to be manageable since it is so well equipped for climbers.  But the exposed nature of the climb actually makes it quite challenging.  Still, Tomaselli is widely considered to be one of the best via ferrata in the Dolomites, albeit the most daunting.  While the paths of are well equipped, the exposed nature of the climb makes it quite a difficult task.  If you’re up to the challenge, it’s well worth it!

You can easily access the start of the ferrata from Cortina d’Ampezzo or by taking path 402-401 (630m height gain – 2 hours).  It begins near the Bivacco Della Chiesa in Forcella Granda.  Don’t be alarmed if you notice some old, rickety ladders just before you reach the start of the ferrata.  These are actually not part of the climb, just a fascinating testament to years past.

The first part of the actual ferrata provides a “test” that can be used to assess each climber’s abilities and ultimately help you to decide whether you should continue on or turn around.  This is one of the ferrata’s most unique and interesting features.  Assuming you pass the test and decide to trek on, you’ll begin with a sharp vertical start and then cross a horizontal passageway equipped with twin cables to assist.  Ahead awaits a series of exposed, vertical walls, providing a demanding climb.  These walls will lead you to the crest where you’ll face yet another daunting task – a vertical crack-lined slab to ascend. 

Your reward for tackling this final obstacle is reaching the incredible 2980m grand summit near the top of Punta Sud which offers spectacular views unlike any you’ve ever experienced.  Take a breather, sit back and enjoy your impressive accomplishment.  You deserve it!  Or, if you want to complete the task, beyond the ferrata and to the very top of Punta Sud, you can continue your hike but keep in mind that it’s without the assistance of any ferrata holds, so be careful.

After a much deserved break to take in the amazing sights, it’s time to gear up for the descent which is steep and just as formidable as the climb up.  There are a few different options, including the use of a completely separate route, but whichever way you choose to come down, do so with care. 

When you reach the bottom, be sure to take a moment and reflect on the incredible challenge you just conquered, the breathtaking sights you took in and the unique memories you’ve inevitably made.