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Tofana di Rozes, Dolomites

Via ferrata

veneto

italy

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A major via ferrata in the Dolomites! The itinerary, fantastic from start to finish, passes through an impressive 150m-high gallery dug out during the 1st World War, before circling around the Tofana di Rozes to climb to its summit. The panorama is exceptional, and the sculpted, ashen massifs are almost unreal in their beauty: striated walls covered in silvery streaks, valleys of intense green hues, orange rocks flecked with light and shadow under a sky of clouds hanging low over the peaks. The route is moreover varied, clever and so logical to access the final ridge through a spectacular natural amphitheater. From the summit, at 3225m, you can admire a complete tour of the horizon, with the Cinque Torri below you and the Marmolada glacier in the distance. An unforgettable experience.

Via ferrata dans les Dolomites

Technical summary

Type ✦ Via Ferrata
Location ✦ Cortina d'Ampezzo
Region ✦ Veneto, Dolomites
Country ✦ Italy
Length ✦ 800m
Vertical rise ✦ 1200m
Max. altitude: 3225m
Difficulty ✦ K4
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

Between Passo Falzarego and Cortina d'Ampezzo on the SR 48, before reaching Pocol, turn off onto the small road that climbs for 4 km to the Angelo Dibona refuge. The last 2 km are on a stabilized track. Park in front of the refuge (beware of the crowds!).

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45' à 1h

Exit behind the refuge and take the path that climbs to the left. 5′ later, branch off to climb to the base of the Tofana (signpost). A steep path with short switchbacks leads after 30′ to the base of the cliffs, which you follow to the left. Further on, branch off again to go around the massif and reach the start and entrance of the gallery.

Course 3h

The route is perfectly equipped, but with nothing more than the cable acting as a lifeline. There are a few difficult or tricky passages, all the more so if the rock is wet. We often climb with the holds offered by the rock, for both feet and hands. Gloves are essential, as is a headlamp for the gallery. A pair of crampons may be useful depending on the season, especially on the final section at over 3000m.

Part 1: the gallery and beyond (45′)

A few ladders and we enter the impressive gallery equipped with metal steps at the start and then on the rock itself further on. It's uphill and in places you have to bend down to get through. There are nooks and crannies and a few openings in the cliff. The end has been carved into a spiral (!!) and you come out on the side of the wall 150m higher. Here the route crosses the wall and then descends to reach a scree slope with a delicate, polished final step. We then walk due north across the scree until we find a new start equipped with a cable that climbs the wall (plaque bearing the name of Giovanni Lipella).
Part 2: the ascent traverse (1h)

This part consists of a sequence of fairly vertical climbs, followed by traverses over ledges to head due north. We soon discover a splendid interior valley. Further on, we pass beneath a black waterfall oozing with water, possibly forming stalactites in cold weather. At the very end of this traverse/climb, you come to a hairpin bend with an easy escape route to the Giussani refuge.
Part 3: the amphitheatre (45′)

The route then climbs a series of switchbacks, this time due south, to finally find equipped passages that climb up to reach the amphitheatre. The sequence is tricky, with several very vertical pitches on wet, slippery rock. The route skirts the heart of the amphitheater before leading out to the col and the start of the final ascent to the summit of Tofana di Rozes.
Part 4: the summit (30′)

The trail climbs up and then switches to the west side to ascend to the summit. With the numerous passages, the terrain is a bit broken up. The views are spectacular and you can feel the changeover to 3000m. From the top, with luck, a 360° panorama of the Dolomites.

Back

20′ of descent from the summit to the pass, then we switch to the east side on a short, not very comfortable, winding path with lots of stones on the ground and underfoot. The valley leading to the Guissani refuge offers an incredible view of the Tofana di Mezzo, like something out of a Hollywood set on an unknown planet.

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