This is a popular via ferrata that ascends Catinaccio d'Antermoia (Kesselkogel in German), the highest peak in the Catinaccio group. There has recently been some debate over the exact height but it is between 3002 and 3004m. The fact that it's an accessible 3000m+ peak in one of the most beautiful groups of the Dolomites means that solitude on this route is rare. The cabling is somewhat intermittent with many sections of easy but exposed scrambling. The route can be done in either direction but generally west to east seems the preferred approach and is described here.
Approach - Take the Pera-Rifugio Gardeccia shuttle/taxi (see page 71). From Rifugio Gardeccia, take the large path 546/7 north for 40 minutes until you get to Rifugio Vajolet. From here continue north on path 584, where the large blocky southwest face of Catinaccio d'Antermoia soon comes into view with Rifugio Principe just visible on the left. It should take about 40 minutes to reach the rifugio. The via ferrata is well signed from the rifugio with a series of large red arrows directing you towards the rock face. Follow these, passing a memorial plaque on your right, until you reach an exposed ledge system which brings you to the start of the wire.
VF - Follow the cable along the ledge for 5m to descend a ladder. Continue up a rising ledge and climb a wide chimney/small gully on good rock. The via ferrata then alternates between unprotected scrambling and easy climbing on good wire until the summit ridge is reached. Follow this for 150m to reach the summit cross and spectacular views on a clear day.
Descent - From the summit, descend down the ridge to the east with fantastic views of the remote Lago d'Antermoia. Follow the well-marked route with sporadic cabling and the occasional ladder/stemple until you rejoin path 584 at the head of the Val d'Antermoia. From here there are two possible options to return to Rifugio Gardeccia. The most direct is to turn right (south) on the 584 and follow it back to Rifugio Passo Principe before retracing your steps back to Rifugio Gardeccia. However, arguably the best descent (although it does involve a good bit more ascent) is to continue east on path 583B which ascends to Passo di Lausa in just under half an hour. Here you join up with path 583 which heads south and descends into the impressive Val de Lausa before making another short ascent to Passo Scalette. A descent into pine trees and scenic traverse brings you back to Rifugio Gardeccia and a well-earned rest. © Rockfax
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