Oskar Schuster Via Ferrata

August 2015

The Oskar-Schuster via ferrata is a very high route in the Langkofel group.  We started at the Sella Pass. As we knew it can get very busy, we aimed to get the first gondola, as soon as they started. This takes you up to the Tony Demetz Refuge at the Langkofel Col. The gondolas are tiny and they don’t slow down for you to get in or out, so you have to run after them and jump in and the second person often is a bit slow and has to be shoved in by the attendant. There is only room for two people standing in each one. The col is in the cold shadows of the giant limestone pinnacles of the Funffingerspitze.

From the Langkofel col, we took path 525 down to the Langkofel cirque and on to the Langkofel hut. From the hut, turn west into the Plattkofel col. The marked Oskar-Schuster via ferrata runs from the Langkofel hut to the top of the Plattkofel, or Sasso Piatto, crossing rocky terrain, steep fault scarps and some sections that are secured with steel ropes. It takes roughly 2.5 hours. The environment is of a serious rocky high difficult terrain.

At the start of the climb, there is a huddle of climbers, and we briefly wait our turn to go up the ramp at the end turn right and continue to a narrow gully. The route take you up to a col at 2853m. Then go right into a gully, up to a little butte, then go left and cross another gully and climb up a slab wall to reach a statue of the Madonna embedded in the rock. From here, go up a ramp to the end of the climb, just before the summit of the Plattkofel. For the descent, take trail 527 heading south-west towards the Plattkofel hut. From the Plattkofel hut, take the Friedrich-August-Weg (no. 557) back to the Sella Pass.

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