The Ferrata Ettore Castilioni is dedicated to the great alpinist and anti-fascism activist and fighter, as well as writer of detailed and beloved Alpine Guidebooks. It was inaugurated in 1946, two years after his tragic death on the Passo del Forno, while trying to flee the fascist repression.
This equipped trail goes along the eastern walls of the Cime D’Agola and Susat and, with a very vertical and direct line, it arrives at the “Bocchetta Due Denti”, accessing the Vendretta di Prato Fiorito and then the gorgeous Conca of the Refuge XII Apostoli (2,487 m).
This itinerary starts at Refuge Agostini (2,410 m) located on the upper part of Val Ambiez, at the foot of the curvy Cima d’Ambiez. It is the last part of the gorgeous “Via delle Bocchette”, the upper trail of the Brenta Dolomites which connects Passo Grosté with the Refuge Fratelli Garbari ai XII Apostoli, along the equipped trail Benini, the Bocchette Alte, the Bocchette Centrali, the equipped trail Livio Brentari, the via Ferrata Ettore Castilioni (with the alternative of the Ideale equipped trail).
The Ferrata Ettore Castiglioni is hard because it is extremely exposed and some of the stairs along the smooth walls of Cima D’Agola and Susat are very long and vertical. However, the stretched themselves are not particularly difficult for hikers with experience of via ferrata.
It is important to evaluate the distance from other hikers on the route, because there is always danger of stone fall, because of the vertical development of the route.
Usually the route is divided into two parts and most hikers take a night of rest at Refuge Agostini or at Refuge XII Apostoli.
If you leave Refuge Al Cacciatore (1,820 m) in Val Ambiez, you take trail no. 325 A Dallago, walk at the foot of the massive rocky spur “Tose”, and reach Refuge Agostini (2,410 m) where most hikers spend a night.
From the Refuge you follow the track on the gravel field on the back of the refuge and you ascend towards the slim eastern wall of Cima d’Ambiez.
After a few minutes you leave the main track, which continues to Vedretta d’Ambiez - Sella della Tosa (Sentiero Brentari) and follow the route on the left (signal 321), towards the Ferrata E. Castiglioni. You ascend going zigzag along some small channels, where you are helped by some fixed ropes. You reach the debris deposit at the foot of the great walls on the East of Cima D’Agola - Cima Susat, where you find the plate of the trailhead, close to the first stairs.
Via Ferrata After wearing all your equipment you go over the first stairs to reach a small ledge, here starts the first long vertical stairs, the first of a long series!
You reach a small ledge and then you go up a second stairs, much more exposed. You reach another ledge, which cuts horizontally the wall. You continue on the ledge, to then start again the long series of small stairs, which lead you to the second large ledge.
You overcome the small interruption of the ledge, going on a small suspended bridge, and then you start again another set of stairs.
In this way you can reach a large ledge-canal, full of gravel. You go up the canal, on the right, until when the canal stops against the rocky, jotting out wall.
Continue on the right, you go on another stairs, pretty difficult and tiring. Then there are two other stairs, less vertical, which lead you to the last ledge. Follow the trail on the left and you reach the picturesque canal of the Bocchetta dei Due Denti (2,859 m).
You then enjoy the majestic view on the debris deposit of the XII Apostoli. You descend to the “Refuge Fratelli Garbari ai XII Apostoli” along the trail which is initially equipped with a steel cable, which helps you descending on some dangerous limestone plaques. Depending on the quantity and texture of the snow, you may need crampons and climber to cross the snowfields before reaching the plain where the Refuge is located.
Return: From the “Refuge Fratelli Garbari ai XII Apostoli” you descend to Malga Movlina (trails no. 307-354) or to Doss del Sabion (trails no. 307-357).