SOSAT, a via ferrata in the Brenta Dolomites
APT Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Val Rendena Verified partner
Scala metallica lungo il sentiero attrezzato SOSATPhoto: Apt Madonna di Campiglio Pinzolo Val Rendena FA, APT Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Val Rendena
The SOSAT via ferrata heads into the heart of the Brenta Dolomites and is one of the most popular and most spectacular sections of the Via delle Bocchette.
SOSAT is one of the best known via ferratas in the Brenta Dolomites. The route is one of low technical difficulty, but it does require experience with via ferratas due to the steepness and exposure of certain sections and the fact that a few sections are not equipped with iron handholds.
The actual SOSAT via ferrata is a hike of about 3-4 hours, but you will also need to take account of the time it takes for the round trip to and from the trail itself (which adds another 3-5 hours). Created in 1961, this itinerary was intended as a route to connect the mountain lodges of Rifugio Alimonta, Rifugio Maria & Alberto ai Brentei, Rifugio Tuckett and Rifugio Sella along the panoramic ledges running beneath the Campiglio spires.
Despite its popularity and relatively low level of difficulty, the length and exposure of this via ferrata call for both experience and physical fitness.
Please note that the practicability of the itineraries in a mountain environment is strictly linked to the contingent conditions and is therefore influenced by natural phenomena, environmental changes and weather conditions. For this reason, the information contained in this page may have changed. Before leaving for a tour, make sure the path you will approach is still accessible by contacting the owner of the mountain hut, the alpine guides or the visitor centres of the nature parks, the info offices of the local tourist board.
Tips and hints
From Rifugio Tuckett & Sella (2,272m / 7,454 ft), take trail 0303, which runs in the direction of Bocca di Tuckett. After just a few minutes, take trail 0305/B through the valley at the base of Brenta Inferiore hanging glacier. The start of the via ferrata is just a few meters away. Iron cables, steps and rungs will help you to get past a number of rock climbs and outcroppings to a ledge.
Follow this ledge along the entire north face of Punta Massari.The trail continues through typical sections of boulders, outcroppings and the remains of a rockslide from a century ago to the highest point of this via ferrata at 2,460m (8,070 ft). From here you have a spectacular view of Crozzon di Brenta and the Adamello-Presanella group. It is also from here that the most technical section begins as the trail winds through the gorge that descends from Punte di Campiglio along a series of ledges and over a number of equipped outcroppings down to the bottom of the gorge. To this day, you can see the remains of the via that was used long ago to climb up the opposite side of the gorge, whereas today the right side is used a bit more thanks to the new fittings, but this is still certainly the most physically demanding section of the trail.
Once you have reached the ledge above, follow it around the corner of Punte di Campiglio. Once around the corner, you will have an amazing view of the central section of the Brenta group, where you will be able to see Rifugio Brentei below and Rifugio Alimonta higher up, as well as (from right to left) Crozzon di Brenta, Cima Tosa, Cima Margherita, Cima Brenta Bassa, Bocca di Brenta, Cima Brenta Alta and, with a bit of luck, if the clouds separate it from Brenta Bassa, Campanil Basso, Campanile Alto, Sfulmini, and Torre di Brenta, as well as Bocca degli Armi, Cima degli Armi, Cima Molveno, Spallone dei Massodi, and Cima Brenta.
In just a few minutes, you will reach the final equipped sections of the trail, where a plaque notes that the via ferrata was constructed in 1960 in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the SOSAT Foundation. Continue on to trail 0323, which connects Rifugio Brentei with Rifugio Alimonta, then follow this trail down to Rifugio Brentei (2,182m / 7,159 ft). From the start of trail 0323, Rifugio Alimonta is a climb of about half an hour up to an altitude of 2,580m (8,465 ft).
Shuttle bus service (in summer) from Madonna di Campiglio (Piazza Brenta Alta) to the Grostè gondola lift and to Vallesinella (from late June to early September).
- Check schedule and pricing online or ask for the booklet from the tourist office at Via Pradalago, 4.
- You may also check the bus schedule of Trentino Trasporti at www.ttesercizio.it.
To get to Rifugio Tuckett:
- from Vallesinella, which you can get to by taking trail no. 317 from the south of Madonna di Campiglio (approx. 2 hours);
- from Grostè Pass along the easy-to-intermediate trail no. 316 (approx. 1.5 hrs), which you can reach by way of the Grostè gondola lift.
You can also take the SOSAT trail starting from Rifugio Maria & Alberto ai Brentei, which you can hike to from Vallesinella in about 2-3 hours.
Ample paid parking is available in Vallesinella, although access is restricted (check summer schedule and pricing online).
Ample paid parking is also available at the base of the Grostè gondola lift.
Book recommendation by the author
- "La via delle Bocchette e le vie ferrate. Dolomiti di Brenta", by Pio Ferrari (Italian edition published by Rendena)
- "La Via delle Bocchette e le Ferrate del Brenta", by Roberto Ciri (Italian edition published by Idea Montagna)
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
- technical mountain clothing
- hiking boots with Vibram or similar sole
- via ferrata gear
- pickaxe and crampons (when necessary)
- a length of rope (recommended)
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