Dolomites Rock Climbing with Rolando Garibotti


Cortina, ITALY


Custom Dates Upon Request


1:1   $ 600 p.p.
2:1   $420 p.p.

The Dolomites are a climber’s paradise – a myriad of summits and walls strewn across a vast and beautiful landscape that was one of the cradles of mountaineering. They are located in northeastern Italy, north of Venice and immediately south of the Austrian border. In 2009 this area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The range is divided in numerous groups, each of which is unique. They are connected by winding roads that climb through alpine passes and descend steeply into forested valleys. The peaks are up to 10,000 feet high and sport faces that range from 400 to 6,000 feet tall. The approaches are generally quite short so most climbs can be done in a single day.

Classic mountaineering and more modern rock-climbing coexist in almost every wall offering a wide array of possibilities at every level of difficulty. Thanks to this a week-long visit can involve a very varied mix. Objectives range from the playground of Cinque Torri and the Sella Towers, to multi-pitch routes on world-renowned peaks such as Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Tofana di Rozes, Marmolada, Sassolungo or Civetta. The rock is so featured that seemingly impossible walls can be climbed at relatively low grades. There are objectives of every grade and length imaginable.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cima Piccola – Spigolo Giallo (1,200 ft. 5.10-). Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the most iconic formations in the Dolomites, cradle of many legendary climbs and the site of intense fighting during World War One. This Emilio Comici masterpiece is one of the best known routes in the Dolomites. It climbs a direct line up a finger-like tower with sections of breathtaking exposure.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cima Grande – Comici-Dimai (1,500 ft. 5.10). Another Emilio Comici masterpiece and in its day was one of the hardest rock climbs in the world. Because of its historical significance it is one of the most sought after climbs in the Dolomites.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cima Grande – Dibona route (1,500 ft. 5.7). The Dibona route is a great way to climb Cima Grande, following an aesthetic line which traces the left edge of the north face, one of the most iconic faces in the Dolomites.

Tofana di Rozes – Primo Spigolo (1,300 ft. 5.9). Our vote for the best 5.9 in the Dolomites. The initial dihedral and the central arête offer steep climbing on solid rock with lots of exposure.

Tofana di Rozes – Dimai-Eötvös (2,000 ft. 5.6). The Eötvös sisters did the first ascent in 1901 in a single day, an impressive accomplishment even by today’s standards. Climbing this route is a great alpine experience. The face is massive and an exposed traverse up high delivers you to breathtaking summit views.

Monte Averau – Alverà (600 ft. 5.6). The traverse half way offers good holds with lots of air under your feet. From the summit you get a 360-degree panorama of the Dolomites, from Cristallo to Antelao, Pelmo, Civetta, Marmolada, Sella, Lagazuoi and Tofana. A great route for starting your trip.

Marmolada, South Face – Tomasson (2,000 ft. 5.9). Beatrice Tomasson made the first ascent pf the famed south face of Marmolada in 1901. The approach and descent are long by Dolomite standards but they are most definitely worth it.

Mamolada, South Face – Don Quixote (2,000 ft. 5.10-). This is the most accessible of the harder Marmolada south face climbs. The upper portion is simply fantastic.

Mamolada, South Face – Vinatzer-Messner (2,000 ft. 5.10). The upper part was climbed solo by Reinhold Messner in 1969. It is one of the most popular hard classics. It has very good rock throughout especially in the upper half, on steep exposed slabs.

Sasso della Croce – Grande Muro (1,000 ft,  5.10-). This is one of Reinhold Messner’s  most popular climbs, sporting an airy rightwards traverse across a thin flake with the entire Badia valley spread beneath your feet.

Piz Pordoi – Maria Kante (1,000 ft. 5.6). A five star climb, with solid rock, a short approach and an even shorter descent via cable car. One of the best Dolomite routes in its grade.

Sella Towers – Traverse (1,000 ft. 5.8). Sella Pass is one of the go to places in the Dolomites. Above motorcycles and paragliders rise the three Sella Towers, which can be traversed along the skyline, linking one to the other. A climbing day can hardly get any better than this.

Sassolungo [OU1] – North face – Pichl Route (3,000 feet 5.7). A “grand cours”, long, involved and committing, with one of the most difficult descents the Dolomites offer.

Roda di Vael – Dibona route (1,000 ft.  5.7). Roda di Vael is one of the most historic faces in the Dolomites and Angelo Dibona was a legendary guide from the start of the 20th century. He led the first ascent of this route without placing a single piton. The climb offers incredible views of Latemar, a jagged group of spires and towers right across the valley.

Monte Agner – North ridge (5,500 ft. 5.9). A climb that never ends, a perfect rock ridge that raises to pierce the sky. Doing this climb in a day is an achievement to be proud off.

Pale di San Martino, Pala di Rifugio – Castiglioni-Detassis (2,100 ft. 5.9). In 1934 Castiglioni and Detassis climbed new route after new route, this is one of the best from that harvest. It offers very good quality rock which rivals any Dolomites climb. If one makes good progress it can linked to the Wiessner route on the Sass de Ortiga, which combined result in an impressive 3,300 ft. climb.

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 as a base, but it is also possible to base out of Corvara, San Cassiano, Selva di Val Gardena, or Canazei. If you prefer not to stay in towns, it is also possible to base the trip out of mountain huts. 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 might want to consider adding a day in Venice to your trip.

Routes will be discussed and chosen according to technical ability and interest on a daily business.

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: Warm up multi-pitch climb.

Day 4: Longer multi-pitch climb.

Day 5: Harder multi-pitch, “key” climb.

Day 6: Active rest day climbing an easier multi-pitch route or Via Ferrata.

Day 7: Harder multi-pitch, “key” climb.

Day 8: Return to Venice and spend the afternoon and evening sightseeing.

Day 9: Fly home.


This list may be adjusted by your guide based on the venue and time of season.

Download and Print Gear List


  • 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.
  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • 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.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • 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.

Ropes, protection, slings and other team technical equipment.

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Fly into Venice, Italy. There you can either rent a car or take a shuttle ( 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.

More details to come.

Interested in a more structured approach to training?


Participant prerequisites

Participants must have prior rock climbing experience, be familiar with basic knots, belaying a leader, and able to follow or top-rope rock to 5.9. 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.

Booking & Information

Do you have questions? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. If we are not immediately available, we are outside climbing, skiing or exploring the wilderness. Leave us a message and we will call you back.

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