Via Ferrata Renè de Pol
The actual via ferrata is not particularly long and traverses the north and north east faces of the Forame mountain chain, a minor western outcrop of the Cristallo group. 500m of metal cables and sections of iron rungs lead through small walls and past rubble terraces to reach the Austrian First World War emplacements and the Punta Ovest del Forame summit as well as the Forame de Fora. From Forcella Verde it is also possible to reach the Cristallo’s Forcella Grande and, along the easier Ivano Dibona, reach Forcella Staunies and Rifugio Guido Lorenzi.
Take the SS 51 Alemagna that leads from Cortina to Dobbiaco and park at the bar at Ospitale, Cimabanche.
Follow the disused railway along path no. 208 to a steep signposted path after a wooden bridge. Follow this and its red markers through the forest to exit beneath the rocks. At the isolated tree the path bears left (east) and traverses beneath three caves, the so-called Tre Fori, before rising sharply up the scree slope to the large cave where there is a via ferrata visitors book . The start of the ferrata is reached by continuing leftwards along the path (2080 m 1.30 hours).
With the help of the first cables reach ‘la parete nera’, the black rock face, and continue right to ascend the first slope ‘Cengia Bassa’, the lower ledge. Ramps and a vertical chimney equipped with iron rungs lead to a second ledge, after which a gully is reached via a steep path. A path leads along the left at first, then the bottom to reach a col on the crest which leads westwards to the large Punta Ovest del Forame summit (1.30 hrs). Now cross grassy slopes and descend SE to traverse beneath the rocks at the base of the Forame, to then climb the crest and Forame de Fora. Follow the crest to Forcella Gialla (2400m) and then traverse along the crest and scree, to Forcella Verde. From Forcella Verde it is possible to reach the Cristallo’s Forcella Grande and, along the easier Ivano Dibona, reach Forcella Staunies and Rifugio Guido Lorenzi (3.00 hours).
From Forcella Verde follow the scree slope to a signposted path 2/3 of the way down (beware of the sudden drop at the end of this slope!). The path leads towards the Pra del Vecio gully and meets up with the ascent path used earlier on in the day, which in turn leads back to the parking lot at Cimabanche.
Normal via ferrata kit.
This is a demanding ferrata, especially if the walk-in and descent are taken into account. Due care and attention are required at the start of the season as snow and ice may still be present on the wide terraces and ledges.
Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites: Vol 1 by John Smith and Graham Fletcher. Cicerone Press 2002