Custom Dates Upon Request
1:1 $ 600 p.p.
2:1 $420 p.p.
Mountaineering and Via Ferratas
The highest peaks of the Dolomites are close to 11,000 feet, with a prominence between 2,000 to 6,000 feet. Although the area is best known for rock climbing, these peaks offer many interesting classic mountaineering routes and climbing them is a great way to get to know the area. There is no better way to see the scenery than from above. Although some are technically easy they involve exposed terrain, difficult route finding and lengthy descents, a Dolomite trademark.
The Dolomites are located in northeastern Italy, north of Venice and immediately south of the Austrian border. The range is divided into numerous groups, each of which has a unique character and are connected by famously winding roads that climb through alpine passes and descend steeply into forested valleys. In 2009 this area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ascents described here all involve easy fifth class climbing.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cima Grande – Normal route (1,500 ft. 5.6). First climbed in 1869, it is a very varied climb with chimneys, cracks and dihedrals. The scenery is magnificent and the tricky descent ensures a memorable experience. This is a great way to get to know the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
Sassolungo – Normal Route (1,700 ft. 5.6). First climbed in 1869, the normal route up Sassolungo is a quintessential Dolomites climb, long and easy, but very involved. It requires just as much time to descend as to climb up. The views from the summit are breathtaking, offering a 360-degree view from Odle, to Puez, Sella, Marmolada and over Catinaccio. Sassolungo is one of the hardest 3000-meter peaks of the Dolomites.
Marmolada (1,500 ft. 50˚ ice and snow, 5.3). This is the highest peak in the Dolomites and it was first climbed in 1862. The route ascends the only glacier that still exists in this area.
Antelao (5,500 ft. 50˚ ice and snow, 5.3). First climbed in 1850, Antelao is known as the “King of the Dolomites”. Not surprisingly the climb to the summit of the “King Peak” involves much vertical gain.
Pelmo (4,500 ft. 5.6). First climbed in 1857, Pelmo dominates over the easier side of the Dolomites and offers incredible views of Tofana, Civetta, Antelao and Marmolada. The climb is very engaging and has one well known crux section.
Civetta (3,500 ft.). As for Pelmo, Civetta was also first climbed in 1857. It is a complex and grandiose mountain, one of the most striking in the region.
Ascents such of those listed above can be combined with some of the longer and more interesting Via Ferratas the Dolomites have to offer. Via Ferratas (Iron trails) were originally created to get troops into position during World War One. These summits and ridges were the focus of fierce fighting between the Italian and Austrian armies but they now offer unique outdoor outings. The more challenging Via Ferratas are the Ivano Dibona on Cristallo, which traverses several miles of one of the prettiest ridges in the region; Punta Anna on Tofana di Mezzo (3,000 ft.), Lipella on Tofana di Rozes (3,300 ft. through World War One ruins) and the Ferrata degli Alleghesi on Civetta (3,000 ft).
Because the range is very compact, a wide range of climbs can be done from one single base location, or at most two. Virtually all climbs can be done in a day.
We suggest using Cortina d’Ampezzo, Corvara or San Cassiano as a base, but it is also possible to base out of Selva di Val Gardena or Canazei. If you prefer not to stay in towns, it is possible to base the trip out of mountain huts or campgrounds. We will work with you to come up with a trip itinerary that fits your interests and expectations.
We plan trips to be progressive, building up over several days, getting used to the rock and the climbing to eventually push the limit as far as desired, hoping to do a couple of key climbs. On rest days we are able to do shorter, easier climbs, continuing to explore the scenery while resting actively.
Trips can be of any length you may choose but we suggest you allow a minimum of four climbing days.
Seldom do we need to take days off because of bad weather. Usually it is possible to at least do a short muti-pitch climb or a Via Ferrata.
You may want to consider adding an extra day to your trip to explore Venice.
Routes will be discussed and chosen according to technical ability and interest on a daily basis.
A typical nine-day itinerary looks like this:
Day 1: Fly to Venice. If you are arriving from North America, flights going east are usually overnight.
Day 2: Arrive and head to Cortina d’Ampezzo or another town of our choosing, arriving mid afternoon. Meet and check gear.
Day 3: Cima Grande di Lavaredo, Normal route.
Day 4: Marmolada, Normal route.
Day 5: Civetta, Ferrata degli Alleghesi.
Day 6: Active rest day or doing an ascent on Passo Falzarego or Passo Sella.
Day 7: Save the hardest and longest climb for the end: Sassolungo, Normal route.
Day 8: Return to Venice and spend the afternoon and evening sightseeing.
Day 9: Fly home.
ROCK CLIMBING GEAR LIST
This list may be adjusted by your guide based on the venue and time of season.
PERSONAL GEAR YOU NEED TO BRING:
- Long climbing pants such as the Patagonia Simul Alpine Pant
- Shorts for warm weather climbing and approaches.
- A selection of cotton and synthetic or wool T-shirts.
- 1-2 lightweight long sleeve synthetic or wool shirts.
- A medium weight synthetic or wool shirt. We use and recommend the Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody.
- One medium weight insulated jacket, such as a Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody.
- A lightweight emergency rain shell such as the Patagonia Alpine Houdini or M10 Jacket.
- Lightweight emergency rain pants such as Patagonia Torrentshell Pants.
- One lightweight insulated piece such as a Patagonia Nano puff jacket or pullover.
- A lightweight wool or synthetic hat
- A pair of lightweight fleece or lightly insulated leather-palmed gloves.
- A selection of socks and underwear.
- 2 locking carabiners
- 1 belay/rappel device
- Rock shoes suitable for climbing all day, generally snug fitting with a sock.
- Rock shoes suitable for more difficult pitches, generally snug fitting without a sock.
- Good approach shoes are mandatory. Preferably with a sheet rubber sole and not with mold-injected rubber. An example of this is the La Sportiva Boulder X approach shoe.
- A simple, climbing-oriented 25 liter backpack such as the Patagonia Ascentionist 25 backpack.
- 1-2 medium size garbage bags for packing.
- Lipbalm with sunscreen
- We recommend one set of travel clothes that are also suitable for dining out.
Let us know what you DO NOT have. We may have it.
EQUIPMENT WE PROVIDE:
Ropes, protection, slings and other team technical equipment.
Fly into Venice, Italy. There you can either rent a car or take a shuttle (cortinaexpress.it) to reach Cortina d’Ampezzo, located 2.5 hours away. Cortina is known as “the queen of the Dolomites” and lies near the center of the massif, at the heart of an immense open air playground. It offers a wide variety of hotels, first class window shopping, and great people watching. During the summer there are a good number of cultural events, music, and film festivals. Here you will also find first class Italian food.
Depending on flight connections and your final destination within the Dolomites it may be worthwhile to fly to Munich (Germany), Innsbruck (Austria) or Klagenfurt (Austria) if you plan to climb in the northern part of the range or Ljubljana (Slovenia) if you plan to climb in the eastern part of the range.
Participants must have prior rock climbing experience, be familiar with basic knots, belaying a leader, and able to follow or top-rope rock to 5.6. They should also be fit enough to carry a 25 pound pack uphill for an hour at a steady pace and still have energy left for climbing.