BIKE TOURING PASSO FEDAIA | DOLOMITES
Passo Fedaia is one of the highest paved passes you can ride in the Dolomites and a great climb and challenge. The ride takes you over the Marmolada Mountain Group of the Italian Dolomites (Monte Marmolada is the tallest of the Dolomite's) and past Lago di Fedaia, formed by one of the tallest dams in Italy, this is the site of the opening scene, of the movie "The Italian Job". The best side to ride is from Caprile, the road is quite and well paved. The Canazei side tends to have more day traffic of tourists coming up to see the Dam and Lake, there are also a few tunnels to ride through. This is a great loop ride if you are staying in Arabba, Canazei, or Alleghe making your day a nice 50 mile day of riding. Otherwiseit canberode as part of a transition day to move to another part of the Dolomites.
There are two routes up to Passo Fedàia.
Bike Touring Passo Fedaia From Caprile (the most challenging route)
- Length: 14.1 km
- Average %: 7.5%
- Difficulty: 133.02
- Length: 14 km
- Average grade: 4.4%
- Difficulty: 70.52
PASSO FEDAIA | DOLOMITES
Passo Fedaia sits at 2057 meters a.s.l. and located in the Maromolada Mountain Group. The Passo Fedaia separates the Veneto Region from the Trentino Alto Adige Region, and connects the town of Canazei with the Agordo Valley. At the pass you find Lago di Fedaia, this is the site from the movie "The Italian Job", (where the guy double crossed the others). Reflected in the lake is the Marmolada 'Queen of the Dolomites' and the highest peak.
Passo Fedaia and the Marmolada Mountain Groups was part of the WWI front between Austria and Italy. On the glacier area several tunnels and galleries were built to protect and house the troops during the winter months, and though not of the ice fortifications remain there are still signs of the war to be seen. The Passo Fedaia is a great starting point for several great hikes and classic climbs. There is also skiing on the southern slopes that offers some the best ski runs in the Dolomites. Cyclist tourist challenges themselves each season on the classic bike climbs of the Passo Fedaia.
HOW TO GET TO PASSO FEDAIA IN THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES
Passo Fedaia can be reached from Canazei (Trentino Alto Adige Region) by a regional bus. If you are arriving from the southern side (Veneto Region) you can find a bus from Agordo that will bring you to Malga Ciapela. Passo Fedaia is about a 2:45 minutes from Venice.
By bicycle Passo Fedaia is generally used as a transition ride to move from the Alleghe area over to the Fassa Valley. The best bike ride is from Caprile to Passo Fedaia, this route is one of the hardest climbs in the Dolomites with some sections being over 15% grade. It is always better to ride down the Fassa Valley rather than up the valley, and the ride up from Canazei is not a nice since there tends to be more traffic. Passo Fedaia is great to link Passo Costalungo, Passo San Pellegrino, Passo Pordoi, and Passo Valles.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING PASSO FEDAIA
If you are bike touring your best locations are:
If you are hiking or climbing there are a few refugio's in the pass.
OUTDOOR RECREATION REPORTS AND TRAVEL TIPS FOR PASSO FEDAIA
Bike Touring Passo Fedaia in the Italian Dolomites
PASSO FEDAIA FROM CAPRILE BIKE CLIMB | DOLOMITES
The Bike Tour up from Caprile is the classic route and one used most by the Giro d'Italia, the road follows ss 641 up the valley for 15.5 km to reach the pass from the southern side. The route up to Passo Fedaia from Caprile can be deceptive and although not particularly high on the difficulty scale this touring route can be a challenge and is considered by many one of the hardest climbs in the Dolomites. I enjoy climbing up to Passo Fedaia from Caprile much more than the Canazei side because there is less traffic, and the environment is more open. You have a great view of the Marmolade mountain group, and you can see your objective most of the route.
GETTING TO THE PASSO FEDAIA CLIMB
If you are planning to ride up Passo Fedaia from Caprile you must reach the Agordo Valley. During a Dolomite's Bike Tour most people find it is easiest to base themselves in Alleghe, Arabba, or Canazei, all three give you multi day route options. There are no train lines close enough to allow you to do this route in a day if you are not prepared to ride 80 to 100 miles.
PASSO FEDAIA BIKE CLIMB
||Marmolada Mountain Group
||998 meters a.s.l.
||2236 meters a.s.l.
|AVERAGE TIME TO RIDE
View of Malga Ciapela in the lower part of the valley.
The starting point of the climb is at the village of Caprile, part of the Alleghe community, and is on SS 203, also intersecting this point is SS 641 coming from Selva di Cadore and Passo Giau. Arrive in Caprile from the south you are taking the left over the bridge and following the signs to Passo Fedaia. If you are coming down the Valley from Arabba you will take a right once you arrive at the intersection just prior to Caprile. Your first 1.7 km of the climb is an easy spin averaging around 4.5% then a short ramp of 300 meters at 9%. After this short section the climb is very ridable, passing through the town of Rocca Pietore, (captial of the Val Pettorina, where the local's have keep alive te traditions of the Ladin people.) There is another short ramp of 8% before reaching Malga Ciapela, and this is where you start the hard part of the climb.
Last section just before the pass.
From the seven kilometer point the ride stays steady above 10% grade for the remaining 6 km of the climb. At the eight kilometer mark you will pass Malga Ciapela and the ski lifts, this is a point to get water or take a break. At the 10 kilometer mark you have a 300 m of 18 percent grade which is the steepest part of the climb. From here you have several switchbacks averaging just over 10% grade with a last ramp of 15% just before he turned the corner to see the Passo Fedaia sign and refugio.
The Fedaia Pass.
WEST RIDGE OF MARMOLADA FERRATE | MARMOLADA MOUNTAINS
The Marmolada is known as the 'Queen of the Dolomite's', where you will find the tallest peak of the Dolomite Group. The Marmolada group is a major destination for hikers, mountaineers, and skiers all year long. The classic route along the crest of this mountain groups requires good mountaineering skills incomfort working in a higher elevation, the placement of the ferrate has made this mountain peak accessiblebut caution should be taken, the route over the Marmolada glacier and path to the peak requires good alpine skills and stable weather. That being said this is perhaps one of the most spectacular routes in the Dolomite National Park.
NUTS AND BOLTS
||Dolomite Mountain Marmolada
|TIME OF YEAR
||June to September (depending on snow conditions)
||Level 3 (very difficult or black)
|TIME OF WALK
||Ferrate kit, ice axe, crampons, harness, rope, and helmet