From the town of Canazei you can't help but notice the impressive northwest face of Colac rising up besides the western flank of the Marmolada. Despite being easily accessed from the top lift station of the Ciampac cable car, this via ferrata has a very Alpine character and feel. It receives very little sun and consequently it is not uncommon to encounter snow and ice late into the season. The rock quality is also more 'Alpine' in nature and the face has suffered several large rockfalls in the past. Despite this the via ferrata is engaging and has cleaned up nicely in recent times. The views from the summit are excellent and the descent down the southeast side makes for a complete and rewarding itinerary.
Approach - From Canazei, take the SP641 heading southeast towards the Marmolada. After 2.5km you reach the village of Alba. At the end of the village, just before you get to Penia, is the Ciampac cable car on the right - free parking is available here. The usual approach is via the cable car which runs from late June to mid September. For those wishing to walk, it is possible to take path 602 and then track 644 up to the lift station. Alternatively it is possible to walk straight up the winter ski piste, but both routes are arduous and not particularly pleasant.
Exit to the left from the top of the lift station and cross the ski pistes heading roughly southeast following signs for the via ferrata. The path skirts a small reservoir (that doesn't always have water in it) and then heads more steeply uphill through scree. After 20 minutes you should reach the first section of cable. This turns out to be brief and a further stint of uphill walking takes you to the start of the cable proper.
VF - The route starts up an often-wet slab rounding a corner to climb a successive slab. This leads to a steep section of slightly overhanging stemples with some excellent exposure. From here the climbing gets easier although remains fairly sustained as you proceed along more slabs and up a number of corners. The route presents a number of false summits as you climb and often takes longer than people anticipate. The actual summit is worth the wait providing spectacular views of the surrounding area and in particular the Gran Vernel on the west flanks of the Marmolada.
Descent - The descent path is clearly marked with paint and leads down to the south. There are some easy passages of down-climbing often protected by intermittent sections of wire. After descending a wide scree-filled gully the path forks. Stay up high on the right heading for the saddle of Forcia Neigra. After descending from the Forcia back into the Ciampac bowl the path forks again. Take the right-hand fork following path 644 back to the Ciampac cable car. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Great route to summit, but steep with loose rock
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