We decided to start our holiday with a hut to hut in the Brenta Dolomites on the Via delle Bocchette, an area known for it’s stunning mountains which are surprisingly accessible due to the via ferratas which wind their way along ledges with ladders whenever the terrain becomes technical. Classic traverses tend to range between 3 and 5 days, however after much debating we decided to link days 1 & 2 together by doing Sentiero Alfredo Benini & Sentiero Bocchette Alte as a long first day which took us just over 8 hours. This took us to the stunning Rifugio Alimonta where we spent the night, before we completed the classic Via delle Bocchette Centrale on the second day. The descent out to the valley was also surprisingly enjoyable.
We caught the first lift up and made good time to the start of the first via ferrata (Sentiero Alfredo Benini), however it soon became clear that we had misjudged the temperatures and were regretting our choice of clothing, and the number of layers which were packed in our bags. The start of the via ferrata was a good sign of the day to come, as almost immediately we appeared on an exposed ledge in fantastic scenery, little did we know that in a few hours these ledges would have barely felt exposed.
Sentiero Alfredo Benini is a very straightforward route so we made good time up to the high point, however at this point we were certainly feeling our heavy bags due to having to carry crampons/ice axes and the associated heavy winter boots.
We lost a bit of time on the descent, but were soon at the split where most people descend to their first hut. We then had a wonderful section of via ferrata down to the Bocca del Tuckett which involved traversing and descending on exposed ladders.
We were just about on book time at this point, but starting to feel a bit tired. Nevertheless we pushed on and started the Sentiero Bocchette Alte via ferrata. This immediately climbed back up 350m to a high point just over 3000m. After a tough climb we were rewarded with a series of improbable ledges, over a surprisingly large drop which just kept going. It really was quite special, although nothing compared to day 2!
At the end of these ledges we started the descent, which involved a large number of ladders, which meant we lost a considerable amount of height in almost no distance. We descended into a valley with some of the highest and steepest sides I have been in. It felt fairly intimidating being inside this deep valley, with massive rock faces towering above on each side. Needless to say we didn’t hang around as the objective danger was clear, and we wanted to get to the hut to get a drink!
After a short descent and climb back to the hut, we were soon at our destination for the night, the Rifugio Alimonta. This was a lovely modern hut, which provided us with excellent food to prepare us for the second day.
Max elevation: 2985 m
Min elevation: 2435 m
Total climbing: 1867 m
Total descent: -1704 m