Traveling with Friends: A Via Ferrata Girls Trip in the Dolomites

Ana RosbergSeptember 24, 2020

In this Episode 2 of our series “My Latest Explore-Share Adventure”, Luisa shares her impressions of the Dolomites via ferrata trip she and her friends went on with IFMGA certified mountain guide, Etienne, who made sure they had a blast.


After six months of hard work and COVID confinement, good friends Luisa, Ana, Sofía, and Tanya were ready to stretch their legs. And what better than a short girlfriend getaway in the mountains for some of that much needed fresh air?

When Sofía suggested the idea, the rest immediately agreed. They contacted Explore-Share and quickly booked a 3-day August via ferrata adventure in the Dolomites. Local IFMGA certified mountain guide, Etienne, from Val di Fassa, started mountaineering in the region at a young age guided by his parents, and he was the perfect fit for the trip that the group had in mind. Both the girls and the guide had an amazing time in the Dolomites, a top spot for via ferrata, delicious cuisine, and traveling with friends!

Girl trip
Bonding high up in the mountains.

Luisa represented the group on this great Q&A. She generously shared impressions and pictures of an unforgettable adventure in which she not only got to learn new skills and reconnect with nature but also create unforgettable memories.

 

Q: What motivated or inspired you to go climbing via ferratas in the Dolomites?

Girls trip
Reconnecting with nature in the Dolomites.

A: The possibility of having a sporty 3-day immersion in nature.  I work for a big corporation, and therefore have quite an intense, yet sedentary, daily routine. After more than 6 months of intense work-from-home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I really felt I needed a break to pause, disconnect from my city life, and reconnect with nature to feel “the ground beneath my feet”. That was when my friend Sofia came up with this idea, so I did not hesitate: YES!

 

Q: What was your prior experience coming into this trip and did you prepare or train for it?

traveling with friends
An exciting via ferrata traverse.

A: I became a true lover of the mountains a few years back when I was living in Switzerland. There I had tried a few short via Ferratas, which, as of day 1, were very fun and exciting to me! Normally I exercise on a weekly basis, so, since we chose to go on an intermediate via Ferrata on this trip, it did not take particular physical preparation beforehand. I just made sure to pack what was needed (with the help of our guide) and… come with a clear mind in order to seize the best of the experience. 

Q: If you had to choose your 3 favorite things about the trip, what would they be?

girls trip
A great sense of achievement.

A:

  • The possibility of being in touch with the breathtaking Dolomiti landscapes;
  • The feeling of achievement when getting to the mountain summits;
  • The experience of learning (through the eyes and words of our guide, Etienne) about the history of the Dolomiti and Val di Fassa lifestyle and communities.

Q: What was the accommodation like at the mountain huts/hotels/hostels you stayed at during your Dolomites adventure? Did they meet your expectations in terms of proximity, comfort, service, and food quality?

Girls trip
The Dolomite mountain huts, famous for their cuisine and amenities.

A: Staying at the mountain huts was actually an important piece of the whole experience! It was so nice to “stay away from civilization” the full three days, but yet find a comfy place to rest by the end of each day (with a hot shower and yummy dinner and breakfast). The cherry on top? The privilege to sense the quiet of the mountains during the night and enjoy some beautiful sunrises in the morning.

 

Q: What do you think is the “added value” of going on an adventure with a Guide and what was your experience with Etienne like?

Etienne, pointing the way.

A: I think going with a guide on a trip like this one is key to ensure you get the best out of it!

A guide can:

  • Clarify any doubts and help you to make the right packing choices prior to the trip. This ensures you come prepared, and have a comfy experience.
  • Help you make the right choices along the way (where to sleep, what to eat, which path to take, etc.)
  • Push you to challenge yourself while ensuring you are super safe all the time.
  • Teach you about all the technical knowledge required as well as about the history and culture of the place.

Etienne was the best guide we could have asked for: not only did he help us with all the points mentioned above (including a free climbing lesson), but it was also a blessing to share his light-hearted, warming company during the journey.

There is so much we would have missed without him, so we couldn’t be more thankful to Etienne for taking us through this remarkable experience!

We bring beautiful memories back home <3

Thank you Luisa for sharing some lovely snapshots and highlights of your exciting adventure in the Dolomites!

 

After Luisa’s sunny account of her via ferrata trip, we reached out to Etienne to get some insights on his end of the deal.

Traveling with friends.
Gradually building skills.

Etienne outlined how he structured the program to gradually build confidence and skills in the group. On the first day, they headed to the Roda di Vael via ferrata, to start warming up, and then they practiced some rock climbing techniques and did some training. On the second day, they went to the via ferrata Santner, and on the third day, they wrapped up on via ferrata Antermoia.  He was especially impressed by the way that the four friends progressed over the course of the three days:

“They improved so much, it was incredible. On the first day, I attached them on my rope for safety, and in the last two days they were already going on their own. It was really a good improvement in just one day.”

In the evenings they stayed in Rifugio Roda di Vael and Rifugio Vajolet, which Etienne stresses are very well equipped and cozy, far from the idea sometimes people have of mountain huts.

Traveling with friends
An amazing experience for the group and the guide.

He also mentioned that some groups are more introverted and shy, but it was not the case with Luisa, Ana, Sofía, and Tanya. In fact, Etienne observed a good sign that they were having fun:

“The group were very extroverted, they were singing on the via ferratas, which is great because that means that they were enjoying themselves and not scared.”

It’s clear to see that everyone was having a great time.

Thank you, Etienne, for pointing Luisa, Ana, Sofía and Tanya in the right direction and making sure they had an unforgettable Dolomites via ferrata adventure!

 

Traveling with friends
A great mountain view.

The Dolomites are a beautiful spot for outdoor adventures. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the birthplace of Via Ferrata, where many historical routes used during WWI were recovered and reequipped by the Italian Alpine Club (CAI).  Via ferrata is a great way for non-expert climbers to reach mountain summits. Therefore, it is ideal for group trips with friends and family. Additionally, because the Dolomites are easy to access and boast an amazing mountaineering environment with great mountain huts and cuisine, they are an ideal destination for group adventures and quick getaways!


So, what are you waiting for? Read our Dolomites via ferrata guide and check out our unique selection of programs to start planning your own adventure! Or, try out our concierge service and let us help you design an unforgettable trip with your family and friends!

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