The equipped trail delle Bocchette is for sure the most fascinating “high-mountain way” of the Dolomites and probably of all the Alps. It goes a long incredible ledges which cut the impressive peaks of the Brenta Dolomites and it connects the passes, called the Bocchette, of this superb Dolomites chain of incomparable beauty.
The Via delle Bocchette is made of two different parts: the former is called Bocchette Centrali, between the Bocca di Brenta (2,552 m) and the Bocca degli Armi (2,749 m) and the latter is called Bocchette Alte, between the Bocca degli Armi (2,749 m) and the Bocca di Tuckett (2,648 m).
Here you will find a description of the Bocchette Centrali, which, like the Bocchette Alte, can be travelled in both directions. The Bocchette Centrali are marked by long and exposed ledges, suspended on gorges which mark the most popular peaks of the Brenta Dolomites: the Torre di Brenta, the Campanil Basso, the Campanile Alto, and the Cima Brenta Alta.
Although the technical difficulties of the via ferrata are not extreme, the route is designed for expert hikers, used to exposed stretches and the use of specific equipment.
We recommend dividing the route into two days, sleeping one night in one of the refuges along the way.
First stretch: The via ferrata starts at the Bocca di Brenta (2,252 m) or at the Bocca degli Armi (2,749 m), according to the route you wish to follow. The ideal starting point is therefore the Refuge Tomaso Pedrotti, which you reach from Località Pradel (Paganella Plateau; Molveno - Andalo), following trails no. 340 and 319. Otherwise you can start from Refuge Brentei, which can be reached following trail no. 318. If you start from Bocca degli Armi you’d better choose Refuge Alimonta as a starting point. You can choose from many possibilities.
Via Ferrata The Via delle Bocchette is marked by the signal no. 305. You start from Bocca di Brenta (2,252 m) and the start is just under the Bocca towards the Upper Val Brenta (Rifugio Brentei). After wearing the necessary equipment, after a short stair you go over a small wall and reach the horizontal ledge, pretty exposed. This “pensile way” is well equipped with a handrail and it goes around the western wall of Cima Brenta Alta and it moves, with another stair and some easy jumps, on the northern side of the peak. From here you enjoy a gorgeous view of the south-west side of the Campanil Basso and you will easily detect the alpinists ready to climb it on the beautiful ways of this side. Then you descend in the incision separating Cima di Brenta Alta and the awesome Campanil Basso, close to the Bocchetta del Campanil Basso. You then start a structured stretch, along easy little walls and small ledges, along the eastern walls of Campanil Basso and Campanile Alto.
The way continues on pretty exposed ledges, which are always well equipped with handrails, and some ups and downs.
You reach Bocchetta Bassa degli Sfulmini, at the foot of the so-called Sfulmini, where one of the most picturesque stretches, on a suspended ledge, extremely exposed, in a semicircle in the middle of the walls. One of the most majestic and impressive landscapes of the Brenta Dolomites.
You cross close to the Bocchetta Alta degli Sfulmini and the “Torre di Brenta”, almost at the end of the Bocchette.
You go along a very exposed and panoramic ledge and descend along some stairs to the Bocca degli Armi (2,749 m), at the end of our route.
Return: From Bocca degli Armi (2,749 m), you descend on a snowfield (using crampons and climber) and the trail goes to the Refuge Alimonta and then to the Brentei. Here you can choose to go down to Madonna di Campiglio or go up to the Bocca di Brenta and return to the Refuge Pedrotti.
NOTE: if you left from Andalo/Molveno you can descend to the “Busa degli Sfulmini”, along the Ferrata Spellini. If so, pay attention to the alpinists which are ascending and do not move any stone. This via ferrata is marked by very long and exposed stairs, and requires a good level of training and fitness.