Jun 16

Madonna & marmot

Got up, packed up the tent, said goodbye to Cortina and headed over to Madonna di Campiglio, for a bit of change of scenery. Had a nice strudel breakfast by the lake. Then we drove merrily out of the mountains and into the sunshine.
Arriving to Madonna in the afternoon, we stopped by Passo del Groste for a quick trip up the cable car to see the snow situation for tomorrow. We pottered around Rifugio Stoppani for a bit, and indeed it seemed that Sosat ferrata still under snow and closed – which was then further confirmed by a couple of German climbers who’ve just been there.

Rif. Stoppani

Rif. Stoppani

For now, we walked up a bit towards Gustavo Vidi, and the place was alive with marmots. We had especially one fun encounter with the brave soul of the pack who gives the warning to the rest, and who valiantly faced us standing up.

Bird of prey

Bird of prey



In addition, we saw a great bird of prey, which was truly huge & majestic, of which Iest thinks was an eagle, which probably was not but huge, it really was.
Afterwards we took the last cable car down and found our usual campsite at Adamelo, and – after a little search around – also our usual restaurant for dinner.

Sep 12

Sentiero Alfredo Benini via Ferrata

The weather forecast knew exactly what was going on, and for a second day, we woke up to pure sunshine! Excellent news for us, as we were planning to go back up into the mountains for another day of ferrata.

For the second time, we drove up to Campo Carlo Magno, and got ourselves the same cablecar as we did yesterday to all the way up to Rifugio Stoppani (2500m). This time though, we were going to head in the opposite direction, and up towards the mighty impressive Cima Grostè massif, on Sentiero Alfredo Benini via Ferrata. This is what the internets has to say about today’s ferrata:

The Alfredo Benini equipped trail is often seen as the northern extension of the famous “Via delle Bocchette”, the best known and most fascinating high altitude equipped route in the whole Alps.

This Ferrata winds its way in a superlative environment, characterised by the impressive needles of the Grostè, Falckner and Sella peaks. The most challenging part is the final one : from the foot of Cima Sella down to Bocca di Tuckett with a succession of ladders and sections at times vertical and exposed. However, you also enjoy the spectacular views of the Ghiacciaio Pensile (hanging glacier) and Scivolo di Brenta (Brenta chute): a truly extraordinary experience.


From the hut, we walked up into the mountains until we reached a wonderful plateau with incredible views in all direction. We were above cloud level too, which made the view that more impressive.

Gina above the clouds

We continued up towards up towards Cima Grostè, and was greeted by the start of the Alfredo Benini path, marked on a large boulder. We took a moment to kit up in our dashing gear, and took some more impressive photos.

Iest, all geared up

Gina, all geared up

Gina climbing

Panoramic views

After getting as much photos as we could, we continued along the ferrata – with some it’s impressive suspended ledge that traversed the eastern side of Cima Falkner, and the long downhill section with equipped passages and ladders.. On the decent we stopped again to enjoy some spectacular views of Ghiacciaio Pensile (hanging glacier) and the Scivolo di Brenta (Brenta chute):

Iest and the glacier

Yet more panoramic views

Whilst we were here, enjoying the view – our minds went onto the fact that the cable car that we’d taken up, was stopping it’s run down hill in about an hour or so. If we didn’t make the last cable car, we’d be faced with a 3 to 4 hour walk downhill, which we both didn’t fancy doing. So! We changed gear, and walked as fast as we possibly could towards Rifugio Stoppani where we first started our walk. I don’t think we’ve walked so fast in our lives, overtaking everyone, and demanding to know from everyone that came towards us how close we were to the hut. With only 10 mins to spare (no joke), we saw the hut on the horizon. Gina ran into the bar and got herself (probably) the best beer she’s ever had in her life before we had to jump on the last cablecar down towards Claude.

The descent around the mountain

Best beer, evs.

And just like that, we were back down with Claude. Today was Gina’s nameday, so a quick stop off at the store to buy her some chocolate was in order, and a lovely evening pizza meal in our favourite pizzarea for our last evening.

Sep 12

Campo Carlo Magno, Sentiero Gustavo Vidi Ferrata and Carisolo

Our research had paid off. It was gloriously sunny – blue skies everywhere with only a dusting of clouds here and here. This was perfect. As I’d freaked out on day 1 with Via Ferrata Michielli Strobel, we’d thought it would be a better idea to start me off a bit gentle, so on todays agenda was Sentiero Gustavo Vidi Ferrata – a really nice traverse hike, with only a couple of places where we’d need to clip-in to manoeuvre the ‘tricky bits’ here in the northern Brenta group.

We drove over to Campo Carlo Magno, and got ourselves a cablecar all the way up to Passo del Groste to Rifugio Stoppani, a hut that’s located high on the plateau at 2500m.

At the top, the weather could not have been any better, sun was blasting, and Gina’s shades were out in full force.

Gina with shades on the plateau. 2500m.

Gina and the central Brenta group mountains

From the hut, we headed over towards the trailhead signs, and followed the trail as it began to steeply climb into a pass on the Pietra Grande ridge. The ferrata started with a nice sign telling us to secure ourselves, and plenty of photo ops. as we had an insane vista towards Cima Grostè and the central Brenta peaks.

Regi for scale

Once we reached the highest point of Sentiero Vidi, we traversed across the western side of Pietra Grande, and for a couple of hours, we were having a great time climbing ladders and cables, and admiring the fantastic landscape.

Iest and a glacier!

Quick lunch!

Gli Orti della Regina, Brenta Group. Italian Dolomites.

Once we were out of the ferrata bit, we settled down on a nice mountain edge for some lunch, and just admire the views. From here, we hooked around the mountain, and up to Bocchetta dei Tre Sassi (2614m), where we were greeted with even more impressive views of the valley below, where more photos took place!

Gina posing nicely at 2614m

Gina and her sign

Beautiful lomography

Once the photoshoot was over, we started to make our way back down to the lower of the two huts, which was a bit of a mission through all the loose rock – but! we were however pleasantly surprised to hear a beautiful sound in these mountains, a Svist!! (Marmot!) As we were walking down, she was just ‘svist’ing’ the whole way across the valley, to warn her pals that two no-gooders like us was in the area, creating havoc! It was really nice, and made me fell in love with Marmots.

The hike down was a bit of a mission, but thankful we managed to make it down to Claude, who was waiting nicely for us. We continued down the valley to try and find us a nice camping spot for the evening, and found a great one over in a small village called Carisolo; Parco Adamello.

The drive down the valley was magnificent, nice winding roads, with plently of lay-bys for us to nip into to take a few snaps on the way down, this is where I managed to take this dramatic photo of the Brenta group in all it’s glory.

Brenta Group, Italian Dolomites

This evening, we were pretty beat from all the activities, and headed into town for an epic pizza, and then returned to the tent with the hope that the weather will still be great for tomorrows mountain activities.