Ferrata Trek in the Rosengarten

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Laurenzi, Molignon
Climbing along the ridgeline of Molignon during the Via Ferrata Laurenzi.

The Rosengarten is a group of mountains in the Dolomites with a dense cluster of exceptionally jagged peaks. 10 years ago I did two hikes through this range, and since then I’ve longed to return for some better photography and more challenging via ferrata climbing. Last week Claudia and I did just that, spending four days trekking, climbing, and photographing our way through the mountains. See lots more photos below!

Alpe di Siusi, Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten
The idyllic rolling meadows of Alpe di Siusi, with Sasso Lungo / Langkofel rising in the background.
Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, Sciliar
A view of the Rosengarten from Rifugio Bolzano on Sciliar.

We spent our first night at Rifugio Bolzano (aka Schlernhaus), a castle-like stone hut with a great view of rugged spires of the Rosengarten range… when we could see them through the clouds.

Rifugio Bolzano, Schlernhaus, Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Maximilian, Maximiliansteig, Alpe di Tires

Despite the misty weather, we pushed through our first via ferrata of the trip – the Maximiliansteig, which runs along the ridge of Cima di Terrarossa. In the background you can see the Rifugio Alpe di Tires, our destination for the night.

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Maximilian

The Maximilian ferrata was a bit of a warm-up, test run ferrata for us to see how we felt about doing a much longer, more difficult ferrata the next day. All went well!

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, Maximilian, Cima di Terrarosa, hiking
Approaching the summit of Cima di Terrarosa (2655m), with the Rosengarten range rising out of the clouds.

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Laurenzi, Molignon

The big objective of our trip was to complete the Via Ferrata Laurenzi, a long, high, rugged ridge route over the Molignon. This cabled route was rated by our guidebook as much more difficult and committing than any previous ferrata routes we’ve done so far, so we weren’t sure if we could do the whole thing or if we’d have to turn around at some point.

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Laurenzi, Molignon

Although the Laurenzi ferrata route is well secured with cables, there are a number of difficult downclimbing sections requiring quite some strength and commitment. Here Claudia encounters the first of these awkward downclimbs. She tried several times and almost gave up before she conquered her fears and pushed through, even though she knew that there were more difficult sections to come. I was impressed and proud of her!

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Laurenzi, Molignon

Now we’re having fun! This was definitely the finest ferrata route I’ve done so far in the Dolomites. With no crowds either, we could really get into the swing of things. (Nice pun, huh?)

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata, Laurenzi, Molignon

The via ferrata cabled routes are probably considered lame by serious climbers, but for us mere mortals they provide a taste of the joy of climbing, especially when you resist the temptation to grab onto the cable and just use the natural rock handholds. In this section above, there were no cables anyways… just some very airy scrambling!

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, Rifugio Re Alberto

The third hut during our hike through the Rosengarten was Rifugio Re Alberto, situated right below the fantastically surreal Vajolet towers (pronounced similar to “violet” with the accent on the “let”).

Rifugio Re Alberto, Dolomites, Italy

Of course my dream was to photograph the towers with some nice sunset light. In the afternoon I scouted out my favorite spots to shoot from, then after dinner, despite the clouds covering the peak, I returned to my spot, set up my camera, sat there, and waited. About 20 minutes before sunset, we started seeing glimpses of the towers though the clouds, then soon enough the clouds began dissolving into mist just as the ruby glow of sunset illuminated the pinnacles! As the misty clouds swept around the glowing red towers, the scene was so magical I really had the feeling that I was dreaming, and even started to get a little worried that I’d wake up! Claudia and I were speechless… almost in disbelief; and we were both riding high all night after witnessing and photographing such a phenomenal sight.

Dolomites, Italy, Vajolet, Torri del Vajolet, Rosengarten, sunset
Vajolet Towers Sunset : Prints Available

Brilliant sunset light illuminates the Vajolet Towers in the Rosengarten as misty clouds swirl off the peaks.

Dolomites, Italy, Rosengarten, via ferrata

One last vía ferrata after the Santner Pass took us to our exit point from the Rosengarten. A hitchhike to Bolzano, three trains, three busses, and one day later, now we’re out of Italy, back in Bavaria sitting in a nice apartment we scored in Mittenwald, Germany. More to come, but for now just a few days here to relax and take a vacation from our vacation! 🙂

16 thoughts on “Ferrata Trek in the Rosengarten

  1. I continue to be amazed and impressed with your work and the fact you followed your passion to use as a profession. Thank you for providing the treat to follow your adventures. I’ m honored.
    Hugs from a fan and hs classmate of your mom,
    Kathie Freres????????

    1. Hi Kathie, thank you for your kind compliment! Yes, I am very much grateful that I have been able to earn a living from my passions so far… I’m glad you enjoy my photos! Take care, Jack

  2. fantastic and fascinating written stories. I can’t wait to see your pictures when your back at home. By the way: Which kind of backpack do you use on this trip. The f-stop?

  3. Jack,
    Love reading the adventure you and Claudia are experiencing. It’s like reading an adventure novel. Waiting for the next chapter. Wish I was young again. Enjoy.

  4. Nice going you two. Computer man! I can’t believe it’s nearly 10 years since we did that trip. Fortunately no earthquakes for you this time? Can’t wait to see the tower photos.

  5. These pictures are absolutely breath-taking. Makes me miss Alaska even more! Hope you don’t mind, but I linked to the mountain slideshow on your home page on my upcoming Sunday post. I just discovered your work via Google. Looking forward to reading about your hiking adventures and seeing more of your work!

  6. Welcome back to my neck of the woods (and mountains!!). It puts a huge smile on my face that you enjoyed the Dolomites so much you came back again, this time bringing Claudia! I absolutely love the photos in this entry – gorgeous as usual!!

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