453 Reviews of Climbing & Mountaineering Tours
Super experience on the Classic Cols tour July 20155.0
Operator Bike Basque
From beginning to end, starting with your excellent communication and organisation right up until my departure date, everything was arranged with ease and efficiency from your end January 19705.0
Operator World Expeditions
Excellent September 20164.0
Operator G Adventures
INTRODUCTION TO VIA FERRATA August 20164.0
On the third day, we have started a serious via ferrata route, which was quite hard compared to the previous 2 days with some vertical ascents, etc. The first 30 meters of that route was a killer on the body and on the mind. After that, you gain more confidence and go to the summit with less pain, and looking down from there to see your progress was fantastic.
Hubert Niederwolfsgruber and Paolo Sbisa were outstanding in their leadership. Despite the size of the group and the wide difference in the physical capacities of the individuals, they have managed to lead the group safely during the whole event.
They were excellent in keeping the group in harmony and did utmost for everyone to enjoy this tough event.
When help was needed, they manage to do it in a way so that one would feel more confident of him or herself.
A big thanks to Hubert and Paolo...
Few practicalities to share for the future trips ;Technically the trip is do-able, irrespective of your physical capacity. We had a wide range of participants from serious runners and military staff to decent hill walkers, who all managed. Some with required more help from the leaders than the others, but all managed to go all the way up and down.
The first 2 days of the via ferrata trip is planned for getting acquainted with the technique and the equipment, be patient, the remaining days are tough and a lot of fun.
If you are not familiar with scrambling and/or rock climbing, please do not forget the fact that “It is normal to be afraid of the heights, just don’t panic”. Panic makes things worse and you loose control of your coordination. Do not hesitate to ask for help from the leaders. They are very experienced and they know how to handle such cases. Most of the times they will tell you to step on the little crack on your left and the problem will be solved.
The cost of renting the equipment, the via ferrata lanyard, helmet and the harness is eur 25, where as the cost of purchase of the same is around eur 130. If you are keen on continuing via ferrata and/or scrambling, it is worth considering to buy own equipment before the trip.
Consider using an approach shoe rather than a pair of mountain boots (B2). The approach shoe performs perfectly on the rocks and much lighter, about 500 gr per pair compared to a sturdy boot , weighing about 1500 gr per pair. I have used FiveTen Camp 4, which was very comfortable both on the rocks even when wet and on the scree while going downhill.
The arrival to the Hotel on the very first night is very late, and there are no lunch packs available for the next day. Therefore, suggest to arrive with some biscuits, crackers, etc that can be your lunch pack for the first day.
The sauna in the hotel is not heated, unless you tell them to do so prior your departure every day.
You can plan to go and see Venice on the free day. There was a bus departing Dobbiaco at 06:30 am (3 hrs by bus to Venice) and returning back at 07:00 pm. The cost was eur 64, which included the bus ticket, a canal tour with a guide. Otherwise, short walks to neighbouring towns (Innichen, 6 km, try the FunBob), crossing the Austrian border by bike to Lienz (approx 60 km, 2-3 hrs, mainly downhill and take the train on the way back) is also recommended.
The check-out time is at 11:00 am on the last day, and the bus departs from Dobbiaco to Venice at 6:00 pm, therefore one can also use the last day for sightseeing, etc.
A short note to Exodus here ; the group consisted of 15 participants, which was quite large for this event. There are long queues at the via ferrata routes and it was very hard to keep the whole group in one slot, as the speed of each member were so much different.
There were times when the time difference in between the first and the last party was 30 minutes. An optimal group size would be max 8 for such a trip. Otherwise, the large group would have been divided into 2-3 smaller ones and may even carry out different routes.
Operator Exodus Travels
Melody and Imogen Talbot
I walked Mt Rinjani in 2009 with my daughter when it was erupting andit was just so exciting January 19704.0
Operator World Expeditions
Be prepared for all weathers August 20163.0
Reaching the top of the Via Ferrata that we did manage to do on Day 2 - what an achievement!
Michele was friendly and fun, and I felt very safe with him as our guide. As in the 'summary' box above, I think it would have helped if he had had some 'Plan Bs' up his sleeve in advance, in the event of suboptimal scrambling weather. I also think it would have been helpful if he had told the group at the start of each day what kind of clothing we might need to take, since it was often unclear how very cold and windy (and even a bit snowy) it would be at the altitudes we were going to be driving up to, to start each day at. On one day, on arrival at our starting summit point, we quickly realised that our group would have to abandon the plan for the day because several members of the group did not have enough warm clothing, having left it in the hotel since it had not been clear how much colder it would be at our start point.
As above: be prepared for all weathers and do not expect to be able to do the Via Ferrata on days that it is not clear and dry. Take warm clothing WITH you in the van in the morning as you can always leave it behind in there if you don't need it in your day-sack. Mountain biking in the area is lovely - this is a great back-up option in my view and also for something fun on the day off. Bikes can be hired for about 18 Euros near the train station.
I really want to do this trip again so I can actually do the Via Ferrata!