Via Ferrata Ivano Dibona

For experts
9 h
Rifugio Son Forca

A difficult via ferrata that calls for a high level of fitness, considering the route’s length and altitude. The Ivano Dibona via ferrata is one of the most famous ferratas in the Dolomites, hallmarked by a magnificent 30-metre-long suspension bridge that offers an unmissable opening for the route. The itinerary is on Monte Cristallo, which still preserves the marks left by the Great War, and it offers the possibility of a solitary climb in a location entirely above the Ampezzo Valley. 

To reach the start of the via ferrata from Cortina, head towards the Tre Croci Pass until you reach Rio Gere, where you will see a large car park. Take the chair lift from Rio Gere to Son Forca, where you will find the like-named lodge with its incredible views.

From Son Forca, take the steep track that leads you up along the scree slope to the saddle Forcella Staunies: this part of the route, along the scree-strewn gully, takes about two hours (900 metres vertical ascent). Once you have reached the saddle, behind the historic mountain lodge Rifugio Lorenzi (closed), you will find the first iron ladder and the start of the via ferrata.

The itinerary begins with the incredible, iconic “Ponte Cristallo” (Cristallo Bridge), 30 metres in length: crossing it evokes unique and incomparable emotions, and the surrounding landscape will take your breath away. Then take the metal ladder to reach the top of the ridge. From here, the via ferrata continues on the ridges of the Cristallo group, offering a spectacular panorama. 

Along the traverse it will be possible to see some remains of the First World War that affected this area. 

Already at Forcella Grande we encounter some ruins, former military shelters. Towards the middle of the route, we reach a small bivouac clinging to the rock as if by magic: the Buffa di Perrero at the Forcella Padeon at 2760m, an excellent stopping point for those who want to break up the route or take a break.. The former war barracks, dating back to 1915 and restored in 2022, was named after Colonel Carlo Buffa of Perrero, who led the actions in this section of the front and was awarded the gold and silver medals for military valour.

From the bivouac we head, first, slightly uphill towards Vecio del Forame, another place rich in war relics almost abandoned to themselves, then downhill towards Forcella Alta 2650mt and Forcella Bassa; we continue under the long ridge of Zurlon with the continuous presence of Italian military posts up to Col dei Stombi from which, descending into the Padeon valley, we cross path no. 203. From here, it is possible to opt for the closer Ospitale or the starting point (Rio Gere) solution, which is, however, very long.

Rest points

Rifugio Son Forca, Bivacco Buffa di Perrero, Rifugio Ospitale


3008 m
Positive elevation gain
1300 m
Negative elevation gain
1720 m