Sentiero Giuseppe Olivieri (2.5 - B) in Tofane range is definitely worth hiking because:
- it's nice and relatively easy
- offers you brilliant views
- and will also make you tired.
It's not typical via ferrata. The word "sentiero" indicates that the trail combines both climbing and hiking - there's quite a lot of easy, unsecured parts on this trail. But it's still an interesting option, especially as a warm-up before bigger climbing challenges.
I had a lot of fun climbing up (and, of course, a lot less fun going down).
Most importantly, Sentiero Giuseppe Olivieri is not via ferrata Giuseppe Olivieri. The latter one is difficult and exposed klettersteig suitable only for advanced climbers.
The best way to hike Sentiero Olivieri is to start from Rifugio Pomedes (2303 metres) and end in Rifugio Ra Valles (2470 metres). Buying one-way ticket to Pomedes and hike to Ra Valles is really the most sensible option - you climb up surrounded by breathtaking views of Sexten Dolomites and then you can comfortably get down on chair lift. It'll take you about 2-3 hours.
What you really shouldn't do is get back along the same trail. Climbing down the same way isn't that exciting. Besides, relatively easy as it may be, Sentiero Olivieri gets tricky at some points and it's easy to slip on the grit.
The other, more interesting option (which was actually my initial plan) is to hike to Tofana di Mezzo peak (3243 metres) and get down by chair lift to Cortina. This one however will require a whole day and quite a lot of strength - the trail's long and steep and there's also another via ferrata - Punta Anna (2.5 - B).
It makes a lot of sense to start hiking early in the morning. Unfortunately, I only had time to get to the beginning of Punta Anna via ferrata (about 2730 metres). I regretted badly the fact I had to climb back at that point - the trail leads on the ridge and looks very promising...
The reason of my retreat was the fact that we bought return tickets from Rifugio Pomedes and I left Bartosz there. Well, we all make mistakes in life, don't we?
Anyway, I highly recommend to climb as high as you possibly can - the views are getting better and the landscape makes you think you just hiked to the moon
It's also worth to remember about the closing time of chair lifts - lifts usually stop working around 4:30 PM which significantly shortens hiking day.
To sum up, Sentiero Giuseppe Olivieri is nice and undemanding trail with interesting via ferrata elements. I'm sure both fun-oriented families and advanced hikers will love it!
Have you ever hiked via ferrata trail with your family? Did you like it?