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Brenta Dolomites - Ortler - Piz Bernina

Classic Via Ferrata and High Snow Peaks

28th JULY - 8th AUGUST 2018

Combine classic via ferrata and legendary rock climbs in the Dolomites with the traverse of 3905m Ortler and the magnificent Biancograt on 4049m Piz Bernina in a 12 day holiday. The Brenta, Ortler and Bernina ranges straddle the borders of Italy, Austria and Switzerland and can be reached in a two-hour drive from Bergamo airport near Milan. The high-level via ferrata Via delle Bocchette and spectacular rock tower Campanile Basso provide historic challenges in the Brenta Dolomites. Ortler and the Piz Bernina are the two highest mountains in the Eastern Alps. These objectives can be conveniently linked over high road passes. The holiday offers a varied challenges for all mountaineers with some previous rock and snow climbng experience. Skills of via ferrata scrambling, mid-grade rock climbing and classic Alpine snow ridge traverses will be developed with coaching in rope-work, belaying and movement skills on the routes.

  • Brenta Dolomites: 3 day via ferrata expedition across the classic Via delle Bocchette: including the ascent of Cima Brenta (3150m).
  • Brenta Dolomites: Campanile Basso (2885m): an iconic rock tower, scene of great exploits in the late 19thC; 10-pitch climb to grade V- (UK V.Severe standard)
  • Ortler Alps: Ortler (3905m): traverse by the Hintergrat (PD+) and Payer routes; mixed ridge, summit glacier and rocky descent;
  • Bernina Alps: Piz Bernina: ascent via the sinuous Biancograt snow ridge (AD) followed by traverse of 3905m Piz Palu if weather and energies allow

The itinerary allows for gradual acclimatisation and fitness gain towards the culminating ascent of Piz Bernina. The climbs are linked by road journeys of 2 hours over scenic high passes. The holiday will be led by Martin Moran assisted by a second British Mountain Guides (BMG/IFMGA) and Aspirant Guide.

Prior Experience required is a combination of grade 2 to 3 scrambling; outdoor rock climbing to grade Severe/IV standard; Scottish winter mountaineering at grade II standard and/or previous Alpine experience to grade PD+; coupled with a good level of mountain walking fitness. The itinerary is flexible to accommodate different technical levels and offers easier contingencies in unfavourable weather. The ascent of the Campanile Basso is optional and an extension of the via ferrata routes can be done instead. The Piz Bernina can be ascended by an easier PD+ route from Diavolezza. The holiday can be enjoyed equally by climbers visiting the Alps for the first time or for older mountaineers who want to visit peaks in new regions of the Alps.

£50 early booking discount offered on reservations made before 31st Dec 2017

Piz Bernina (4049m) - highest objective of our Eastern Alps holiday

Campanile Basso - an iconic Dolomite tower

Outline Itinerary:
Sat 28th July: Meet at Bergamo-Milan airport (BGY) (or Milan Malpensa (MXP) as second choice), drive to Madonna di Campiglio (100km, 2-3hr); walk up to Rifugio Casinei (1825m) (1hr).
Sun 29th July: Walk up to Rifugio Tuckett and join the Via delle Bocchette Alte traversing spectacular ledge systems with a detour to the summit of Cima Brenta (3150m); descend to Rifugio Alimonta(2580m) or Rifugio Brentai (2182m) (8-9hr).
Mon 30th July: For experienced rock climbers ascent of Campanile Basso by the original route (IV+/V-) - 10 pitches and 6 abseils in descent; return to Rifugion Brentai. For via ferrata enthusiasts traverse the Via delle Bocchette Centrali in a 6-7hr loop route back to the Rifugio Brentai
Tues 31st July: Spare day for a technical coaching session on rope techniques on shorter climb or via ferrata; descend to Madonna di Campiglio in afternoon and stay in hotel
Wed 1st Aug: Travel day - drive to Sulden in Ortler Alps via Bormio and Passo dell Stelvio (2758m) (3-4hr); chairlift and 1.5hr traverse walk to Hintergrat Hut (2661m).
Thurs 2nd Aug: Traverse of 3905m Ortler by Hintergrat (PD+) and Payer route to Payer Hut (3029m) - 9-10hr
Fri 3rd Aug: Rest day or spare day if extra time needed for Ortler; descend to Sulden and drive to Bormio; stay in hotel
Sat 4th Aug: Drive over to Switzerland to Pontresina in Engadin (2hr); horse and trap ride to Hotel Roseg; then 2.5hr walk to Tschierva Hut (2584m)
Sun 5th Aug: Ascent of 4049m Piz Bernina by Biancograt (AD) and descend by Spallagrat to Marco e Rosa Hut (3610m) (9-10hr)
Mon 6th Aug: Traverse of 3905m Piz Palu and descend to Diavolezza Hotel (2973m)(7-8hr)
Tues 7th Aug: Descend to Pontresina by cablecar and taxi; drive to Bergamo (3hr) and stay in airport hotel
Wed 8th Aug: Flights home in morning

The itinerary offers flexibility to deal with any bad weather - all the planned ascents can be shifted forward or back a day if necessary; preferred airport for colection and transfers is Bergamo but we can collect from Milan Malpensa.

Airy ledges on the Via delle Bocchette via ferrata

The Brenta Dolomites

Location Map for the Tour

The Hintergrat on Ortler

Ortler (3905m) from the Payer Hut

Piz Palu (3900m) - the traverse of the summits is an Alpine classic


Price: £3,460: Deposit: 25% booking deposit. Balance payment: on or before 28th May 2018

Max Group ratio: 2:1

Discounts: £50 off on bookings made before 31st Dec 2017; 2½% to past-clients; 5% to groups of 3 or more

Price includes 10 days mountain guiding and group leading; car/minibus transport from Bergamo/Malpensa airports incl airport transfers, bed and breakfast in hotels/pensions on valley nights, half-board accommodation in mountain huts, lunch food for mountain days; 15% discount on equipment purchases from Cotswold Outdoor. Not included: Evening meals in valley hotels, Personal Insurance, Visas, Tips, Drinks, Lunches on the road, Cablecars/Mountain Railways.

Cancellation Terms: Deposits are refundable less a £40 admin charge on cancellations made more than 3 months before departure
Deposits are non-refundable on cancellation less than 3 months before departure (ie after 28th Apr)
Less than 2 months before departure 40% of the trip fee is forfeited on cancellation, rising to 75% at 1 month and 100% at 14 days
Further Reading:
Via Ferrata of the Dolomites vol 2 published by Cicerone; Eastern Alps - classic routes on the highest peaks (Dieter Siebert) (Diadem); The 4000m Peaks of the Alps (Martin Moran) (Alpine Club 2012)

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like any further information on the holiday.
We hope you will join us!

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Moran Mountain Ltd - Park Cottage - Achintee - Strathcarron - Ross-shire - IV54 8YX
Tel/Fax 01520 722361    
E-mail moranmountain@icloud.com
Director: Martin Moran
IFMGA and BMG Guide

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