Sunday 19 July 2003:
Via Ferrata Ivano Dibona

Martin's report:

Ivano Dibona - a long but easy Via Ferrata (VF).
A bit of a gamble for the first day, but good weather is essential for this route, and the forecast had this as possibly the best day.

'Bucket' or 'Ice cream cone' lifts

The ascent in 'buckets' was fun, but following a coach load of Italians on the route was a bit tedious. So Andrew (who I was minding, as it was his first VF) and I overtook them. Eventually we waited for an hour at the foot of a scree slope as the rest of our party failed to appear. The Italians (all 50 of them) frustratingly drifted past. Then at last our group appeared, together with Rupert, Alys and Chris who had already been up Cima di Mezzo (a 3 hour route in itself). Unfortunately, whilst aging Andrew was fine, slightly more aging Julia (70 this year) was finding the going tough.

Not a bad place ot wait!

We were only half way, after 5 hours. So shortly after this everyone else went on and I stayed with Julia. After we had been narrowly missed by a thunderstorm the weather cleared - it was a beautiful evening and a lovely sunset. We eventually reached Ospitale at 9.15. Fortunately beer and food was 'on tap' here, and was really most welcome.



Here are Julia’s reflections:

‘The euphoria passes; what am I doing at the foot of this iron ladder, with a drop of several hundred feet behind me? Being none too keen on ‘ice-cream-cone’ [‘bucket’ – Ed] travel there was only one way to go – up. Clip on at the top of the ladder and I’m away on my first ever VF. A cave, a gun emplacement to explore, a 23 metre wooden suspension bridge to cross – no worse, in fact better, than some Himalayan bridges. Just don’t look down.

Longest suspension bridge in Dolomites, at 3000m

Sue always behind, keeping an eye on my novice moves. A whole new world up here. Lunch at an airy WW1 lookout point; energy spent on the walk, not on digestion!

A long, long downward scree slope was the bad bit, after which Martin’s news that we were only half way made my knees shake even more. Seeing so many WW1 remains, my admiration for the Alpini grew - I guess they had no Ferrata kits to safeguard their patrols. Amazingly I was never frightened or worried – the novelty of this splendid route held mind and body in this enthralling new venture.

Climbing one of the ladders

Then, eventually, the final walk down through the forest with Martin. Trees, flowers, the river rushing far below, before the final ’up’ to Ospitale and a long, icy cold, coke. Great. Slow I certainly was, but enjoyment of the whole allows me to forget the time.’

Click for more info on Ivano Dibona High-level Path


Devil's claw
Page updated 19 October 2003