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Sentiero Olivieri

By: Enrico Maioni, Mountain Guide
Area: Dolomites, Group: Tofane, Peak: Tofana di Mezzo, Country: Italy, Region: Veneto

The Sentiero Olivieri is an easy equipped path facilities that joins Rifugio Pomedes (2303 m) with rifugio Ra Valles (2470 m). It is important to not confuse the Sentiero Olivieri with the similar sounding Via ferrata G. Olivieri, as the latter is an challenging and exposed via ferrata up the vertical south arete of Punta Anna, the large buttress located in front of Tofana di Mezzo.

As in many other cases, such as the "Sentiero ferrato Ivano Dibona" the term "path" indicates that the route mainly follows a series of rocky ledges and terraces, with an occasional vertical section. Unlike the eqipped path, the "Via ferrata" on the other hand ascend vertical rock faces and are, depending on the actual ferrata, more or less exposed.

Having said that, it's now time to return to the topic of this post, namely the description of Sentiero Olivieri. This pleasant and short "walk across the peaks" is an ideal route for those who have never attempted a via ferrata before and wish to learn the ropes on terrain that is not too difficult. Furthermore, Sentiero Olivieri offers a magnificent view onto Cortina and the d'Ampezzo valley and is certainly worth exploring.

You are almost guaranteed to meet chamois as the grassy slopes above Rifugio Duca d'Aosta provide food and warmth for these agile animals. If you walk along the Sentiero Olivieri, it's difficult not to encounter them at some point.


Two options:
Drive by car from Cortina via the SS48 towards Passo Falzarego. At Gilardon turn off right and park at Piè Tofana.
Alternatively, take the "Freccia del cielo" cable car from the ice stadium at Cortina. Exit at Col Drusciè (first station) and walk downwards towards Pié Tofana (circa 20 minutes).


Take the first chairlift to Rifugio Duca d’Aosta and continue on the second one to Rifugio Pomedes.


From the chairlift head towards Rifugio Pomedes. After circa 50m take the obvious path left (north). The path cuts across the scree below the Pomedes towers and ascends gently NNE to below the rocks where the Sentiero ferrato Olivieri begins

Access time: 20-30 minutes

The path follows a series of ledges and terraces, broken by a series of vertical steps that can easily be breached thanks to the ladders. The end of the path, on the scree slope below the imposing East face of  Tofana di Mezzo and close to the Ra Valles ski slopes, is reached in circa 1 hour.
From here in circa 15-20 minutes the Rifugio Ra Valles hut is reached and the cable car station.


Two options:
Take the cable car from Col Drusciè and from here, in circa 20 minutes, continue to Pié Tofana.
Walk down path #407 to Piè Tofana. The descent is fairly long and rocky, not the most pleasant I would say :-).

15-20 minutes. (ca. 110m height loss) to the cable car station at Ra Valles.

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