With its long and exposed series of ladders the “Oliva Detassis” is widely regarded one of the most difficult ferrate in the Brenta Dolomites. The itinerary is often cold and wet but it offers a rare and very particular view onto the wild valley and Vedretta dei Sfulmini glacier deep below. It is often climbed as the start, or the end, of the Bocchette Alte, but without a doubt it is to be considered a ferrata in its own right and not to be underestimated.
From Madonna di Campiglio drive to Rifugio Vallesinella (1513m).
From Rifugio Vallesinella (1513m) take path no. 317 to Rifugio Casinei (1825m) and then continue on path no. 318 Sentiero dei Brentei in two hours to Rifugio dei Brentei (2182m).
From Rifugio dei Brentei climb up the wide gully keeping left, walk past the Sentiero Sosat fork and continue, following signs, up right. After about 50 mins reach the signpost for the Bocchette Alte and, instead of continuing up to Rifugio Alimonta, turn off left along path no. 396. This leads into the beautiful Vedretta dei Brentei valley. Traverse carefully along the right-hand side across small snow patches to reach the base of the ferrata. This is situated high to the right at the valley head and, given the danger of falling rocks, we recommend you wear your helmet well before reaching this start.
The ferrata begins immediately in earnest up steep ladders to gain height extremely quickly. Ledges offer welcome rest and view points onto the valley below, before continuing up rightwards past some wet cables (take care) to meet up with the Ferrata delle Bocchette Alte to the left of the exposed Bocca Bassa dei Massodi (2790m). Reach this by following the cables right (instead of following the other cables up north to the Bocchette Alte) and, having carefully crossed this col, climb up to Cima Molveno. Descend easily to the Vedretta dei Sfulmini glacier and Rifugio Alimonta (2580m).
From Rifugio Alimonta walk down the obvious and well-marked path to Rifugio dei Brentei, 2182m, in about an hour. Return to the Rifugio Vallesinella and the car park in a further 1.30 hours.
Normal via ferrata kit. Ice axe and crampons necessary at the start of the season
Extremely exposed itinerary up steep ladders. Well-equipped throughout.
Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites: Vol 1 by John Smith and Graham Fletcher. Cicerone Press 2002