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Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites: Southern Dolomites, Brenta and Lake Garda Area: Southern, Brenta and Lake Garda v. 2 (Cicerone Mountain Walking) Vinyl Bound – 1 Mar 2005
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'You could never accuse it of shying away from niche sports. In fact Cicerone Press appears to take pride in publishing books that only those already passionate about a specific sport or place are likely to buy. This time, though, it's appealing to a growing fraternity. Via ferratas, especially in the Italian Dolomites, are becoming increasingly popular as walkers push their personal limits in a different mountain playground. That, and the availability of cheap flights to airports feeding the Dolomites, have helped push via ferrata to the fore. For those who haven't experienced the heart-pumping exhilaration of the via ferrata network, they are protected routes in rocky mountain ranges, using fixed cables, ladders and bridges. They allow the walker to access places usually reserved for rock climbers and provide a unique way to enjoy the breath-taking beauty and exposure of the mountains. Until now the only decent guidebook has been Cicerone's Scrambles in the Dolomites. This suffered from being out of date (first published in 1982) and translated from German (although this has also helped fill long hours in huts, as people gather round to laugh at the phraseology). Smith and Fletcher's version, covering the North, Central and East Dolomites, gains considerable points by originating in English. It has an excellent introduction with comprehensive information on equipment, weather, maps, accommodation options and so on. In fact, if I'd had this book prior to my first trip to the Dolomites I would have saved a fortune on phone calls to Italy. They've also created a new two-stage grading system incorporating both difficulty of the route and seriousness of the mountain situation. Cross-referencing back to routes that I know, I'd say this is accurate and easy to follow. The book includes 75 routes in a fairly tight geographical area, including Cortina, Marmolada and Val di Fassa. They're well described with good colour photography and clear sketch maps. Some are straight-forward walking routes, others go up to the highest level of via ferrata. But the authors have opted to cluster the routes according to valley base rather than mountain groupings and have not referred to the mountain ranges in either text or maps. An index of mountain groups is some compensation but unless you have a local map in front of you, this isn't much help. Given that there are two identical locator maps in the book showing numbered routes relative to each other, converting one of these to show mountain groups as well as towns would have made things easier to follow. VOLUME TWO will complete the coverage of the Dolomites. It will include the famous Brenta group as well as the southern Dolomites, with the stunning Paia group being particularly well represented. Besides the honeypot via ferrata, this volume will break new ground in covering some of the short-duration, off-beat routes near Lake Garda. These are often real gems, and make this volume essential reading for walkers on a lake-based holiday who need a dose of adrenaline, stunning scenery and physical challenge. (Judy Armstrong, TGO)
This is the second in a series of two guidebooks to Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites. (Volume One covers the eastern, northern and central areas of the Dolomites, while Volume Two completes the picture, focusing on the southern, Brenta and Lake Garda areas.) Book Two documents Via Ferrata routes in the major mountain ranges of Civetta, Schiara and Pala as well as those to the west in the Brenta. A significant addition (and, as far as we are aware, not previously published in any English language guidebook) is the inclusion of routes around the northern end of Lake Garda and the Piccole Dolomites north of Vicenza. Here, the mountains are generally lower and you can enjoy ferrata climbing over a much extended season, with some routes accessible for most of the year.See all Product description
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