Ferrata Brigata Tridentina Dolomites, Sella, Torre Exner, 2585m

The natural beauty of the surrounding Sella walls makes the views from this ferrata some of the most impressive in the entire region.  Combined with the challenging exposed climb, flexible itinerary and death-defying suspension bridge, this ascent along the Torre Exner has easily become one of the most popular ferratas in the area among those skilled enough to handle it.  So popular, in fact, that it’s advised that you attempt it during the week to avoid the weekend crowds. 

The ferrata can be reached via the road to Passo Gardena, which in and of itself can be demanding with its hairpin curves at a height of 1956m.  From the car park, continue on the marked path that leads to the start of the ferrata.  Or, you can follow path 666 from Passo Gardena to begin slightly above the official start.  However you reach it, you’re in for a treat with this ascent!

You’ll begin by using the helpful metal cables to assist you in scaling the first vertical face to a terrace above and the path that leads in from the Passo Gardena access route.  Continue up the well-equipped ferrata beneath the magnificent east face of the Torre Exner and toward the left.  Here you have the option to vary your climb by following the wide gully at 2350m, which leads to the Masores plateau and Rifugio Cavazza.  Or you can simply continue on the ferrata up the steep east face and onto a series of ladders to assist. 

Head to the left where you’ll face the biggest challenge – a hair-raising suspension bridge that crosses the deep crevice.  Once across, take a breather and move on toward the Masores terrace.  From there, continue to Rifugio Cavazza and nearby Lake Pissadù.  Now you can take the time to relax, breathe in the pristine mountain air and take a good look around at the magnificent panoramas that surround you.  This ferrata is as versatile as it is beautiful.  It offers the unique opportunity to cut it short in bad weather or to alter the itinerary based on preference.

When you’re ready to head back down, simply travel northwest on path 666 and down Val Setùs.  Keep in mind that the altitude and location of this ferrata can result in snow patches still present in some areas even as late as August.  The descent is steep but the more challenging areas are equipped with cables to assist.  Eventually the path will meet up with another that goes below Torre Brunico and bring you to the car park where your journey began.

This ferrata is quite popular for obvious reasons and offers spectacular views, challenging terrain and a rewarding ascent for experienced climbers.  If you’re one of them, a word of advice:  try to tackle the Brigata Tridentina during the week, when it will be less crowded and you will be able to take your time and enjoy the incredible surrounding beauty of the Dolomites.