Catinaccio Mountain Refuges

Hut that proposes this tour:
Fronza alle Coronelle refuge
List of refuges on the route:
Re Alberto I - Gartlhuette refuge
Vajolet refuge
Preuss refuge
Santner Pass Refuge
Characteristics of the route:

5 ore
2731 s.m.l.

The via Ferrata Santner Pass, situated on Catinaccio’s impressive west face, seems to have been made specifically to extenuate the beauty and very particular nature of the entire Dolomites massif. It follows a natural line diagonally leftwards and, leading relatively easily into the heart of King Laurin’s kingdom, is quite simply unforgettable. One of the most famous rock formations in the Dolomites meets the eye at the gateway to the Gartl valley: the mythical Torri del Vaiolet. The via ferrata Santner Pass is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and famous round-trips in the Dolomites.


From Pozza di Fassa drive to Costalunga Pass and continue on right at the fork for the Laurin chairlift at Frommer. Take this to Fronza alle Coronelle hut.

From Carezza take the chairlift to Paolina hut and continue on path no. 552-549 to Fronza hut.

From Vigo di Fassa take the cable car Catinaccio to Ciampedie hut and then continue on paths no. 549 and 552 to Fronza hut.

From Fronza hut take path no. 550 up polished rocks quickly to the fork. Turn off left onto path no. 542 to cross Catinaccio’s SW face. The start of the ferrata proper is located on a scree terrace.


From the scree terrace follow the ferrata across ladders, pegs and cables up north through gullys and across minor saddles. The path twists and turns in search of the easiest line through this rock maze to reach the highest col at 2680 m. Cross this and descend carefully into a gully which often remains covered in snow. Climb up the opposite flank on the gully’s left-hand side to reach Santner Pass, 2760 m, just a few minutes walk away from Santner hut and the Via Normale climbing routes to the Catinaccio peaks. The panorama westwards onto the green Alto Adige deep below is fantastic.


From Santner Pass follow path no. 542 down into the Gartl and the monumental Vajolet Towers. Reach Re Alberto 1° hut (2621 m) and his lake, to continue through the large basin on path no. 542 through this massif, polished by the thousands of footsteps to the famous refuges Vajolet and Preuss (2243 m). Proceed towards the Gardeccia basin to then follow signs right (no. 541). This path traverses beneath the Catinaccio’s east face to the fork and path no. 550, which leads steeply up to and over the Coronelle Pass (2630 m) then return to Fronza hut. 

Alternatively, for those wishing to return to Ciampedie hut and Vigo di Fassa, follow path no. 546 from Vajolet hut to Gardeccia hut and then continue on path no. 540 to climb up to Ciampedie hut.


Normal via ferrata kit.


Not particularly difficult, well-equipped ferrata. Take care when crossing the final gully before climbing up to Passo Santner, as this is often covered in hard-packed snow.

We suggest you to ask in advance at the refuges to update the conditions before the ascent.

The ring requires good physical training.

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