WORLD WAR ONE IN THE DOLOMITES

Discover the first and original via ferratas of the world

Climbing the via ferrata is as visit one open air museum of the World War One in the Dolomites. The via ferrata are properly a military invention of the World War One to carry on the top of the peaks of the Dolomites: soldiers, weapons, munitions and supplies.
During the World War One the first line of the front between the Italian and Austro-ungarian troops was outlined in diagonal along the full territory of the Dolomites. Two parallel “first lines” covered crests and unaccessible peaks in a medium elevation of 2500-3000 meters. About 100 via ferratas was builded from the both armies for this reason. Today these climbing paths are a incredible testimonial of the crazy aspects of the war, a great experience for each repeater.
For this specific thematic I propose 5 different programs to discover the best of this historical remains of our mountains.

World War One in the Dolomites: Easy Trekking with easy Via Ferrata (for everyone)

Via Ferrata Dolomites WW1 easyWorld War One in the Dolomites: Easy Trekking with easy Via Ferrata (for everyone)

This proposal is available for every person. Aged people or families with kid can participate without problem. Every day we walk and climb easy via ferrata in differents areas of the Dolomites and visit the front line with short hiking tours.

World War One in the Dolomites: The great Via Ferrata Trekking (for expert hikers)

Via Ferrata Dolomites WW1 MarmoladaWorld War One in the Dolomites: The great Via Ferrata Trekking (for expert hikers)

The combination of the via ferrata of the west crest in Marmolada and the Mount Padon is the hardest World War One of the Dolomites. Both via ferratas are originally of the First World War and was part of the first line of the front.

World War One in the Dolomites: Via Ferrata tour in the Pasubio mountains

Via Ferrata Dolomites WW1 PasubioWorld War One in the Dolomites: Via Ferrata tour in the Pasubio mountains

The front line in the Dolomites was began on the Pasubio mountains, in the southern Dolomites. For strategic reasons and for a particular geographical conformation, the Pasubio mountains was the theatre of the most cruent combat field of the First World War.

World War One in the Dolomites: Trekking hut to hut in the wild Lagorai mountains (for expert hikers)

Via Ferrata Dolomites WW1 LagoraiWorld War One in the Dolomites: Trekking hut to hut in the wild Lagorai mountains (for expert hikers)

The Lagorai mountains is a chain of great peaks of Porphir stone (vulcanic stone) into the Dolomites territory. the first world war was a natural line of the front from peak to peak in a medium hight of 2500-2700 m.

World War One in the Dolomites: One day at the military Via Ferrata of the Garda Lake (for everyone)

Via Ferrata Dolomites WW1 Garda LakeWorld War One in the Dolomites: One day at the military Via Ferrata of the Garda Lake (for everyone)

If you have a short time (one day) and your period is not in summer this proposal is for you! The via Ferrata Susatti at the mount Cima Capi is amazing and easy via ferrata directly at the Garda Lake.

World War One in the Dolomites: the collateral effects after the war

My experience of climbing began at the age of kid because in summer I and my little friends went to the mountains to search of munitions, bombs and others relicts on the front of the World War One

At the date of the 26 October 1917, after the battle of Caporetto, the front of the Dolomites was abandoned in only one day. The soldiers of the both armies lost on the trenches millions of tons of equipments, weapons, munitions and more…. many of these relicts are today on the Dolomites and many into the glaciers.

When I was kid, (1970-1975) don’t existed electronics plays. The most comune play for mountain kids in summer, it was the search of munitions and military gears on the front line crest of the World War One. I remember that we had, in the elementary school, many poster with the photos of the different type of bombs and down was wrote the safety spot: “Don’t touch these bombs kids!”. But this was a too popular passion for the kids in age: 6-12 years old. Every summer when the school was closed many groups of kids went on the mountains along the front line for some search campaign.

Via Ferrata Dolomites bomb 2    Via Ferrata Dolomites bomb 1

The dangerous 65.13 mountain cannon grenade and the draw and the section of the bomb (full of Shrapnel balls)

The most dangerous bomb was the 65.13 grenade, a cilindric bomb of the Italian light mountain artillery. It was a very comune piece to find not explosed on the mountains. The detonation system of this bomb, after 60 years in open air was extremely delicate. Many kids died for this dangerous grenade…. but I was a mini expert of munitions and bomb…. and never touched this bomb!

Via Ferrata Dolomites cannon 2    Via Ferrata Dolomites cannon 1

The 65.13 mountain cannon today in a museum and in action during the World War One

Via Ferrata Dolomites WW1 hand bombThink for a moment at a group of kids (age 7- 12 years) that go on the mountains, climb in exposed rock walls (without ropes) and at the evening come back at home with the little backpack full of munition packs, hand grenades, and when you was lucky: one bayonet or a deformed helmet……

My prefered target was the “old austrian hand grenade”. A heavy hand grenade but no dangerous to handle and carry, easy to open.

Our technic was easy but efficient: “Go by a car workshops to ask the old oil… Fill a plastic case with the old oil and positioned the hand grenade into for a full month…. After this period try to open…..” What we do with the “Bachilite powder” of these hand grenade? Simple! We prepared many little bomb to play….. Now the kids play with Playstation and Xbox…. it’s sure not so dangerous! 🙂

Via Ferrata Dolomites: IFMGA logo

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