Rock climbing in the Dolomites, Italy

Introduction to Via Ferrata

8 days
from
$2,475 NZD
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 14 reviews >
Trip code: 
TEZ
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Centre-based Trips
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Discover Via Ferrata

This is the perfect trip for walkers who enjoy scrambling and are looking for a new challenge. Via Ferrata, 'Iron Way' in Italian, refers to a system of cables that cling to the side of the mountains on routes that would normally be the domain of rock climbers. Taking us each day on classic routes in the craggy mountains of the Sexten Dolomites, our expert local mountain guides teach us all we need to know, so we can safely clamber along ridges and up rock faces.

Highlights

  • Wonderful routes in the spectacular Dolomites
  • Historic First World War Via Ferratas, museums and tunnels
  • Complete security with our qualified guides Breathtaking

Key information

  • 7 nights 3-star family-run hotel with en suite rooms
  • 5 days centre-based Via Ferrata; 1 free day
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus one local UIAGM guide for every 8 clients
  • Not suitable for vertigo sufferers
  • Altitude maximum 2910m, average 2300m

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Rock climbing in the Dolomites, Italy

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Dobbiaco.

    We begin in Dobbiaco at the Hotel Tschurtschenthaler. The hotel staff provide a warm welcome and the details for the next morning will be provided for you. The UIAGM guides do not meet you on the evening of your arrival.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Introduction

    The guides meet us at the hotel in the morning (usually around 8.30). We begin with an introduction on how to use the Via Ferrata equipment safely. The route takes you through forested trails and alongside alpine rivers. We start the week with some high level walking involving only a few sections of Via Ferrata.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    2 days of via ferrata

    Thanks to the number of via ferrata routes available and our leaders' intimate knowledge of the area, the best route will be chosen daily, depending on the weather and ability of the group.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day for optional walking or cycling.

    Usually the free day (although this may be changed to get the best possible weather on the Via Ferrata days). Optional activities include self-guided walking or cycling. There is the option to cycle across the border to Leinz, Austria. Bicycles can be rented in the town centre and the cycle path is well signposted and traffic free. Alternatively, you may choose to visit a local museum or enjoy a natural springwater swimming pool in Dobbiaco. See extra expenses for details.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 6-7

    2 further days of via ferrata

    We enjoy a total of five guided high-level mountain walks, including via ferrata for the ascents. We move on to more challenging routes with longer sections of Via Ferrata. This involves vertical rock faces and more exposed sections that could test our head for heights. We could end the week on a high with a classic such as Marino Bianchi, Col Rosa or Truppe Alpine.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Dobbiaco.

    End Dobbiaco.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 6 dinners included.

The buffet breakfasts offer plenty of choice, while the evening meals feature both Italian and Austrian specialities. Lunches are kept optional as, depending on the route chosen, there may be the opportunity to have lunch in one of the wonderful mountain huts en route. On other days the hotel is able to arrange packed lunches for you, or you may choose to buy lunch from the local supermarket.

Weather

In the Dolomites - as always in the mountains - the weather can be very changeable. On average in summer months you can expect some rain on one day in two, but it is likely to come in heavy and thundery outbursts of relatively short duration rather than prolonged showers. Down in the valleys daytime temperatures range on average from 12º to 22º Celsius although 25º is not unusual. Up in the mountains it will be a few degrees colder. You need therefore to be ready for anything, and to pack shorts as well as warmer clothes, full waterproofs and sun cream.

Is this trip for you?

This trip includes Via Ferrata (or protected scrambling) on high mountain routes and therefore, you will need a good level of physical fitness. No previous climbing or Via Ferrata experience is required. Experience of high-level mountain walking and a head for heights are necessary, as often there are exposed sections. There are steep ups and downs on gravel or rocky terrain and the average ascents/descents per day are around 800m. Some Via Ferrata sections lead up/down vertical rock faces, which require good upper body and arm strength. At this level, you need complete confidence in your physical condition, ability to deal with heights and difficult underfoot terrain such as scree, snow or difficult paths on steep mountainsides. Walking days may be from 6 to 9 hours, (or even longer at busy periods), on pass-crossing days. Extremes of altitude and weather may be encountered. There will be one local English speaking UIAGM certified mountain guide for every 8 clients. Benefiting from their local knowledge and love of their region, guides accompany the group on the five high-level walks and some evenings. All UIAGM mountain guides are trained to high standards in rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering and ski mountaineering. (Please note there will not be any Exodus leader, only the appropriate number of UIAGM guides). Altitude maximum 2910m, average 2300m.

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Tschurtschenthaler - 3 Star

7 nights 3-star family-run hotel with en suite rooms.

Situated in the centre of Dobbiaco, the 3-star Hotel Tschurtschenthaler is an attractive building, traditionally styled but with the advantages of a small indoor heated swimming pool, a sauna, and a beauty treatment room where you can enjoy massages (treatments not included - on request basis). After dinner you can relax in the lounge or go through to the bar for a drink with the locals. Single, double and twin-bedded rooms all have hairdryers, shower, WC and are comfortably furnished. Please note the hotel has Wi-Fi access but does not accept credit cards. Single rooms can be arranged throughout for a supplement (subject to availability). Please reserve at time of booking.

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sue Robertson

    An exciting chance to test your climbing and scrambling skills

    Having briefly tried Via Ferrata in 2016, I was keen to have a more prolonged and serious go at them. This trip was a great opportunity to do this with the difficulty increasing throughout the week. The last day was just beyond my comfort zone at times, but I felt totally safe with help from a top rope from the guides and it was very satisfying to do such a demanding route. A great experience and lots of photos to impress my family and friends!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    managing the last but one route reasonably easily.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guides were both excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to be as fit as possible. You really do need that upper body strength!
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Milan Kucerak

    Via Ferrata - A Challenging Superb Achievement

    My sister and I did the Exodus Travels Via Ferrata climbing holiday in the Italian Dolomites. After a day in Venice – great day as it was also the Bienniel art festival – we met the tour group going Via Ferrata at the airport, hopped on the bus to Dobbiaco and enjoyed the Italian scenery on the 3 and a half hour bus ride to Dobbiaco. Dobbiaco is a typical Tyrolian village in northeast Italy about 28 kilometers north of Cortina. The Dobbiaco area is/was heavily influenced by the Germans and the Italians throughout its’ history and, as such, you will find everything written in Italian or German. The town signs show “Tolbach Dobbiaco” with Tolbach the German name for the town. Everyone speaks Italian, German, and English and most also have their native tongue of Tyrolian. We stayed at the hotel Tschurtschenthaler which is located in the heart of the village. The hotel is family run having been built in 1972 and is currently run by one of the daughters of the folks who originally built the hotel. Her parents, both elderly, can be seen at the hotel during the day and evening – there is a neat picture in the foyer of the family with the daughter who currently runs the hotel as a little girl. The owner is super friendly and outgoing, always asking how we are doing and wanting to ensure our stay is going well. Exodus Travels has a long time relationship with Hotel Thursenschlater and the owner goes out of her way to make you feel at home. She works right along the serving staff during dinner time and is also there for the morning breakfast buffet. Breakfast is typical European with meats, cheeses, breads, yogurts, cereals, granola, and fruit. Any type of coffee is available – Americano, espresso, cappuccino, etc. Dinner is typical Italian and German cuisine with pasta and meats – dinner is a 5 course meal. You usually have a selection of three entrees each evening and you are given the evening menu at breakfast so you can designate which entrée you want for dinner. The rooms are typical European with enough space to do a little Internet work if you need to. The Internet is free. The hotel has recently upgraded their sauna area adding a modern spa setup with two saunas, two steam rooms, a spacious shower area complete with a cold water bucket dump for cooling off after the sauna or steam room, and ample changing rooms and lockers for holding your clothes while you use the facilities. The sauna and steam rooms are free and massages are reasonably priced. A word of caution as the floor is tile and very slippery when wet, especially as you go from the sauna area down the four steps to the pool area. The hotel atmosphere is warm and inviting and you are free to come and go as you please just as though it was your own home. There are seats and tables out front where you can enjoy the sunshine during the day or drinks in the evening. There is a coffee and ice cream parlor right across the street and the ice cream is to die for. The hotel has one outstanding individual who makes you feel right at home and is attentive to all that you want and that individual is Sara. She is the dinner server as well as the bartender in the evening. She gets to know you during your stay and is as efficient as she is pleasant. We felt like she was a member of our group and we were sad to leave her at the end of the week. Our typical day was up early for breakfast which starts at 7:30, but they opened at 7:15 for us as we had to be ready for our tour guides by 8:00 AM. Note; the hotel will pack a lunch for you for 6 Euros, or you can shop at the local grocery store just up the street on the same side as the hotel. The grocery store is closed on Sunday, however, further up on the opposite side of the street near the corner and this side of the church is a convenient store that is open on Sunday and carries food, snacks, sundries, wine, grappa, and has a small deli where you can get meats and cheeses for making sandwiches. A typical day is depart the hotel at 8:00 AM, drive the half hour to 45 minute ride to the mountains, climb for 4 to 6 hours, return to the hotel for ice cream at the ice cream parlor across the street and a briefing of the next day’s climb, sauna, shower, 30 minute nap to recuperate, and down for dinner which is served between 7 and 8 PM and typically lasts ‘til around 9-9:30 PM, and depending on how the group is feeling, a drink sitting outside the hotel or an evening walk around town and then off to bed. Note, the hotel has brochures on all activities in the area and one brochure in particular lists all of the via ferrratas in the Dolomites. It is a must keep souvenir of your adventure in the Dolomites. We climbed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with Wednesday a free day and climbing again on Thursday and Friday. Each day became more challenging as our climbing guides were constantly assessing each of the group’s ability to climb. The first day we climbed Caldore Dolomiti or Golo di Fanes, which is outside of Cortina and part of the heritage park (the Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site). Although at first sight the climb looked challenging (What?!? We are going to climb down THERE?), it was relatively easily in hindsight after a week of climbing and had the bonus of being able to walk behind a 100 meter waterfall – WONDERFUL to do. The first day was also an acclimation day, getting your body used to the altitude as our guides did not want us to get to 2,000 meters and pass out. We learned how to use our via ferrata equipment and how to negotiate going down the mountain as well as going up. The second day (Monday) we climbed Paternkofel. It was a mix of climbing and scrambling through long caves within the mountain – bring your head torch. Almost incredible to think how these were carved out of rock back during World War 1 and the amount of human labor it took to do it. Great views of the surrounding mountains and an especially gorgeous view of the Three Chimneys (Tres Cimis). Climbs were challenging yet an excellent way to prepare us for the next few days of climbing. Day three (Tuesday) was the big climb, Fiames, reaching almost 2,740 meters and most of it straight up. It also had our first ladder climb. Stunning landscapes that when you looked down you saw you were a couple thousand meters above the ground hanging on to a piece of rock that made you think, “What am I doing here?” but clearly exhilarating, exciting, breathtaking, and a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when you reach the summit. There is a perfect view of Cortina from the summit. The return down the mountain was much easier albeit strenuous as we went down the back side of the mountain that gave us two options: a hike down without having to use via ferrata equipment that is a long hike that takes you through wooded areas and streams – very picturesque, or you can try your skill at “skree skiing” which is a much quicker yet riskier descent – essentially skiing the talus slope of the mountain. There were several options for Wednesday, our free day – hiking trails around Dobbiaco, walking or road biking the bike trail to the next town (if you hike it you can take the train back to Dobbiaco for 1.5 Euros), or you can rent mountain bikes and head to Cortina, which is what I did; my sister opted for the hike on the bike trail to the next town. I rented a bike from the City Mountain Electro Rent A Bike (take a right out of the hotel and keep going across the main highway intersection and it is on the left –street is via Dolomiti). Rental cost was 17 Euros for the bike and 2 Euros for a helmet. The bike was new-like in great condition complete with shock absorbers. The bike ride to Cortina was arduous for me as it is all uphill out of Dobbiaco with a comfortable gradient for about a third of the 28 kilometers to Cortina and then two-thirds of the way downhill on a steep gradient to Cortina – a real workout on the return trip. Lunch at an outdoor eatery in Cortina had a great view of the Dolomite Fiames that we climbed the day before. As I am a road cyclist and this was only the third time I have ridden a mountain bike, I was pretty wasted by the time I got back to Dobbiaco, but the trip back was punctuated by stops along the way to rest and enjoy the dairy cows that freely graze along and on the bike trail and watching locals cut and stack firewood along the trail. After a sauna and shower off to meet the group for dinner at a local pizzeria, Pizzeria Hans, which is south of town (take a right out of the hotel, keep walking to the main highway intersection and go right, it is the first place you come to). Excellent pizza and service – make sure you give it a try. They even have a pizza with French Fries! Climbing day four, Thursday, we climbed Cima Cadin to a height of 2,788 meters. It is a lonnng hour plus steep walk to a hut situated on a mountain valley which is the beginning of the via ferrata. Another mostly straight up climb with multiple ladders. Stunning views at the summit and a tiny summit at that as our party of 15, 13 of us and 2 guides, literally filled up the entire real estate of the summit. You did not want to trip or fall up here. The return was going down the same way we came up which was challenging yet, again, exciting. Our last day climbing, Friday, it rained. It was the only day of our tour that it rained. All other days were perfect weather during the day with a thunder storm late in the day or overnight. Friday was going to be our most challenging, “very technical” according to our guides, but due to the rain we went to “plan B” climbing near the ski slope in Cortina. Two of the three climbs we did that day were newer via ferratas and they were challenging. The third was an older one but one of the most picturesque and one of the areas a lot of the promotional pictures are taken. Saturday was breakfast and return bus to Venice and homeward bound. A few closing remarks: - Our guides are superb individuals who are experts in their craft. They are extremely safety conscious while at the same time wanting you to have the best experience possible. I never felt unsafe but there were a few times I was truly scared but never panicked knowing Hannes and Toni were nearby. - Our guides, Pramstaller Hannes and Toni Obejes are outstanding human beings. My sister was unsure of her ability to climb Fiames so Toni tied a rope to her and he led her up the mountain, giving her a congratulatory kiss on both cheeks when she made the summit making her feel like she had accomplished something significant in her life – which she did. She would not have made it without Toni’s can-do attitude and caring guidance up the mountain. I saw the same thing in Hannes as he did the same thing for another female climber who was unsure she could make it. - The owner of Hotel Tschurtschenthaler is a caring and outgoing individual who sincerely makes you feel part of the family and that the hotel is your home. We freely went in and out, used the sauna and pool, and enjoyed having drinks in the evening sitting outside the hotel. - Our evening waitress, Sara, is a treat. She is direct, all business, professionally dedicated to catering to the needs of guests, and as she gets to know you through the duration of your stay becomes a friend. - Exodus Travels had everything very well coordinated and our holiday went on without complications. When booking and confirming the holiday their staff is professional, friendly, and knowledgeable about the tour we booked. They are a pleasure to work with and we whole-heartedly recommend them. We can’t wait to use them for our next adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    See above

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    See above
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Thidara Udomritkul

    Via Ferrata - Give it a try!

    The Dolomites is a truly spectacular mountain range. The chance to ascend up the mountain range on established Via Ferrata routes was unforgettable. We traversed beneath waterfalls, through tunnels, up exposed craggy rock-faces and to the top of peaks over 2000m.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We completed the hardest Via Ferrata on the last day of the trip, the Col del Bos. It was a incredible ascent steeped in history with caves and the border of Austria in view during the trek. A suiting finale to the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Toni. He is a calm, steady and experienced presence throughout the trip. He offered his knowledge and his help on the most tricky area's of the Via Ferrata and I felt very safe with him guiding the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would advise to bring both full length and "mountain biking" style gloves, the Via Ferrata wires can be very cold to grip on the topmost peaks. Longer trousers on the Via Ferrata days to protect from scratches/bruising as well. On the free day, I would recommend travellers to rent a bike from Dolomiti Slowbike (10 minute walk away) for approx 15 EUR. There is a 100% traffic free cycle path where you can cross the border to Leinz on a flat cycle route. You'll cycle straight pass the Loacker (biscuit) factory where you can stop for souvenirs and a hot drink + pastry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel is cosy and very well situated in central Dobbiaco. The 4 course dinners are delicious and filling after a long day on the mountain. The guides are very knowledgeable and I cannot recommend this trip enough for anyone who wants to enjoys scrambling and wants to try something different.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Martin Christlieb

    Via Ferrata - The Dolomites

    A really good trip. The organisation was slick and I had no troubles traveling. The hotel was good (although the room was a little on the small side for two people who didn't know each other). The via ferrata was epic. The weather really helped, but the routes were well chosen, tough but not undoable. Lots of exposure and spectacular views. The views from the top amazing and sometimes even included trenchs from the first world war including boot leather and shell fragments - yes at 2300 m. Guides good - supportive, informative but not intrusive when you wanted to try by yourself. Even the climbing helmets were comfortable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing by a cross on the top of a mountain. The cross was wound with WW1 barbed wire and the cairn full of leather and shrapnel. What a place to have to live in and fight in.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is climbing rather than walking. It doesn't need a lot of experience, but it's not striding edge with a handrail. It's a climbing trip proteted by a metal cabel rather than a rope.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definiately worth a go.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Bill Russell

    Fantastic

    I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, and would strongly recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Via Ferrata- firmly protected scambling- is a marvellous way for a novice to really experience some amazing mountaineering. The Dolomites are a perfect venue to select for this purpose. There were many inspirational moments, looking down from very exposed spots, knowing that you would otherwise never in your life be perched so precipitously, enjoying such a wonderful view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The quality of the mountain guides was absolutely crucial to maximise enjoyment and minimise stress. Thanks to Exodus for their selection – ours were really superb. They were extremely attentive, supportive, and reassuring. Their service was reliable and responsive. They seemed to evaluate the group’s ability levels skilfully. Route choices were excellent. Expert help was consistently provided just at the required crucial moments, and in a very friendly manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I have a tiny bit of climbing experience, and also wore scrambling boots rather than hiking boots. I found both these elements helpful, especially towards the end of the week, when we did a couple of more challenging routes.
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Maia Forrester

    Be prepared for all weathers

    The Dolomites area of Italy is just beautiful and it was really lovely to be there. It is important that people signing up to this trip are prepared for a wide variety of experiences, since doing the Via Ferrata was much more weather dependent than I had appreciated. I had expected that rain and low cloud would not have prevented us from doing the Via Ferrata routes, simply that the experience would have been a bit damp and with reduced views. Unfortunately, non-optimal weather completely ruled out doing Via Ferrata routes for about half of our trip. On those days we went for walks instead. On those days we did see some incredible historic sites where there had been trench warfare on the hilltops, which we perhaps wouldn't have seen otherwise, however this was not an eventuality I had anticipated and I was really disappointed not to be able to do much of the Via Ferrata planned. I think it would be better to include this information in the Trip Notes, ie that weather may mitigate entirely against doing the Via Ferrate, so peoples' expectations are set an an appropriate level. It would also help if there was a 'Plan B' in place for such times because I think that the days when we didn't do the Via Ferrata would have felt better spend if we had been engaging in a pre-planned 'Plan B', rather than playing things by ear on a 2-3 hourly basis during those days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the Via Ferrata that we did manage to do on Day 2 - what an achievement!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was friendly and fun, and I felt very safe with him as our guide. As in the 'summary' box above, I think it would have helped if he had had some 'Plan Bs' up his sleeve in advance, in the event of suboptimal scrambling weather. I also think it would have been helpful if he had told the group at the start of each day what kind of clothing we might need to take, since it was often unclear how very cold and windy (and even a bit snowy) it would be at the altitudes we were going to be driving up to, to start each day at. On one day, on arrival at our starting summit point, we quickly realised that our group would have to abandon the plan for the day because several members of the group did not have enough warm clothing, having left it in the hotel since it had not been clear how much colder it would be at our start point.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As above: be prepared for all weathers and do not expect to be able to do the Via Ferrata on days that it is not clear and dry. Take warm clothing WITH you in the van in the morning as you can always leave it behind in there if you don't need it in your day-sack. Mountain biking in the area is lovely - this is a great back-up option in my view and also for something fun on the day off. Bikes can be hired for about 18 Euros near the train station.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really want to do this trip again so I can actually do the Via Ferrata!
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    INTRODUCTION TO VIA FERRATA

    A challenging and exciting trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    - summiting peaks by Via Ferrata routes which would be otherwise impossible- learning skills and techniques to feel confident to tackle the routes- personal achievement and satisfaction - great sharing experiences with like minded people  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. They were thoroughly professional, offering well planned skills and technique training. They were always encouraging and motivating, and very focused on individual strengths and needs. They also had a great sense of fun which helped us succeed. Paulo 'Be happy!' still rings in my ears!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are used to serious trekking, are quite fit and are looking for a new challenge - this is it!You do need a very good head for heights. Some of the routes are very exposed, very steep, and it's a long way down and a long way up!  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

     A good sense of humour is a bonus!
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    INTRODUCTION TO VIA FERRATA

    Highly recommended trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Via ferrata is just fun - the more I did the more I wanted to do.  I'm now considering doing some rock climbing next year, along with more via ferrata of course!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We didn't have an Exodus leader with us the whole time but we were met at the airport by an Exodus rep who then also returned with us to the airport.  We had two local (but internationally qualified) mountain guides leading us each day (and who had dinner with us a couple of times) who were brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some via ferrata require a walk in (i.e. up) and walk out (i.e. down).  The downhill sections seriously played on the knees of a couple of our group so bring along compression straps or anything else you may need if you've had injuries in the past.  While you do need a head for heights I found that being clipped in removed feelings of vertigo for me - I'm not sure if that would apply to everyone though! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take the chance and book this trip - you'll be so glad that you did!
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    INTRODUCTION TO VIA FERRATA

    This is a challenging  and rewarding trip which felt more than an "introduction" at times and you do need to be fit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The two local guides were very good.  The trip lacks a little in not having an exodus guide on hand to fill in the logistical details but we managed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Due to the late flight home you in fact have two free days to fill so that needs to be planned for.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As this is billed as an 8 day holiday the exodus 8 day insurance should cover it.  I resented paying for another 8 days to cover the last 25 minutes on the plane!
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    INTRODUCTION TO VIA FERRATA

    This was a very good experience and most of the things have exceeded my expectations. Thanks to Exodus for organising the event is such a good way. The stunning view of the Dolomites and Sud Tyrol was a bonus, on top. The local team of 2 very experienced leaders was also an important factor of the success of the whole organisation.   They have helped in every way, from belaying the inexperienced to finding bus tickets for the free day. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the third day, we have started a serious via ferrata route, which was quite hard compared to the previous 2 days with some vertical ascents, etc. The first 30 meters of that route was a killer on the body and on the mind. After that, you gain more confidence and go to the summit with less pain, and looking down from there to see your progress was fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hubert Niederwolfsgruber and Paolo Sbisa were outstanding in their leadership. Despite the size of the group and the wide difference in the physical capacities of the individuals, they have managed to lead the group safely during the whole event. They were excellent in keeping the group in harmony and did utmost for everyone to enjoy this tough event. When help was needed, they manage to do it in a way so that one would feel more confident of him or herself.A big thanks to Hubert and Paolo...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Few practicalities to share for the future trips ;Technically the trip is do-able, irrespective of your physical capacity. We had a wide range of participants from serious runners and military staff to decent hill walkers, who all managed. Some with required more help from the leaders than the others, but all managed to go all the way up and down.The first 2 days of the via ferrata trip is planned for getting acquainted with the technique and the equipment, be patient, the remaining days are tough and a lot of fun.If you are not familiar with scrambling and/or rock climbing, please do not forget the fact that “It is normal to be afraid of the heights, just don’t panic”. Panic makes things worse and you loose control of your coordination. Do not hesitate to ask for help from the leaders. They are very experienced and they know how to handle such cases. Most of the times they will tell you to step on the little crack on your left and the problem will be solved.The cost of renting the equipment, the via ferrata lanyard, helmet and the harness is eur 25, where as the cost of purchase of the same is around eur 130. If you are keen on continuing via ferrata and/or scrambling, it is worth considering to buy own equipment before the trip.Consider using an approach shoe rather than a pair of mountain boots (B2). The approach shoe performs perfectly on the rocks and much lighter, about 500 gr per pair compared to a sturdy boot , weighing about 1500 gr per pair. I have used FiveTen Camp 4, which was very comfortable both on the rocks even when wet and on the scree while going downhill.The arrival to the Hotel on the very first night is very late, and there are no lunch packs available for the next day.  Therefore, suggest to arrive with some biscuits, crackers, etc that can be your lunch pack for the first day.The sauna in the hotel is not heated, unless you tell them to do so prior your departure every day.You can plan to go and see Venice on the free day. There was a bus departing Dobbiaco at 06:30 am (3 hrs by bus to Venice) and returning back at 07:00 pm. The cost was eur 64, which included the bus ticket, a canal tour with a guide.  Otherwise, short walks to neighbouring towns (Innichen, 6 km, try the FunBob), crossing the Austrian border by bike to Lienz (approx 60 km, 2-3 hrs, mainly downhill and take the train on the way back) is also recommended.The check-out time is at 11:00 am on the last day, and the bus departs from Dobbiaco to Venice at 6:00 pm, therefore one can also use the last day for sightseeing, etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A short note to Exodus here ; the group consisted of 15 participants, which was quite large for this event. There are long queues at the via ferrata routes and it was very hard to keep the whole group in one slot, as the speed of each member were so much different. There were times when the time difference in between the first and the last party was 30 minutes. An optimal group size would be max 8 for such a trip. Otherwise, the large group would have been divided into 2-3 smaller ones and may even carry out different routes.  

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