Historic photo 1960. Paul Ross and Ralph Blain on ...
The Cinque Torri area of the Dolomites is a wonderful grouping of small towers uniquely situated between the impressive Croda da Lago mountains to the east and the grand south face of Tofana di Rozes to the west. The area offers a multitude of easy-to-access sport climbs as well as many classic multipitch traditional routes to the airy summits of the towers.
The biggest of these towers are the three summits of Torre Grande. At 2361 meters, the south summit of Torre Grande is the tallest. First climbed in 1927, the five-pitch route “Via Miriam” (V+ or 5.8+) is the classic route up the south face of the south summit.
Ascending the east face of the north summit of Torre Grande is a more modern (1959) six-pitch route called “Via Finlandia”, (VII- or 5. 10+).
The classic line up Torre Grande's west summit is the fun and easy four-pitch route “Via dale Guide” (IV or 5.5). First climbed in 1930, this route is obvious and easily viewed from the Rifugio Scoiattoli at the top of the ski lift and is a short five minute walk from the rifugio.
From the quaint mountain town of Cortina d' Ampezzo, the Cinque Torri group is only roughly a seven mile drive up the windy road of Falzarego Pass. You can either drive to the well-signed “5 Torri” parking area and, for 7 Euros one-way (2009), take the 5 minute ride up the ski lift to the Rif. Scoiattoli and then hike five minutes to the Cinque Torri. For another 7 Euros you can ride the lift down but it's an easy 20 minute hike down a good trail if you'd rather save that 7 Euros for some wine with dinner.
Alternatively, and free in July (pay in August), you can turn off the Falzarego Pass road at the 112.2 km marker on the small, paved road up to the Rifugio Cinque Torri parking area and hike up for about 10 minutes to the climbing. This is a great way to access the route “Via Miriam” as you hike right under the south face of the south summit of Torre Grande.
Hotels abound in Cortina d'Ampezza and it's a short drive (~10 miles) up to the Falzarego Pass from Cortina. Renting a car for your trip is probably the best way to go allowing you early starts for the sure-to-be-crowded classics in the Falzarego Pass area. I suspect taxis and buses can be easily obtained but I don't know for sure.
The rifugios in the area, Rif. Scoiattoli, Rif. Cinque Torri, Rif. Dibona and others near the pass offer a lower cost option of nightly lodging and are super close to the climbing. It also appears you can camp along the road to the Rif. Cinque Torri and along Falzarego Pass but I can't say for sure.
The area is pretty high in altitude and obviously a great ski destination in winter so late spring, summer and fall are best. The towers themselves are lower than the surrounding mountains and can be easily bailed off from so they are a good choice compared to other areas in the Falzarego Pass vicinity if weather looks iffy.
The English-translated version of the book “Classic Dolomite Climbs” by Anette Kohler and Norbert Memmel (ISBN 0-89886-693-6) published by The Mountaineers of Seattle, WA, covers the classic multipitch routes of the Cinque Torri. Finding and English version of a book covering the sport climbs of the area might be difficult but I haven't looked. Perhaps try Chessler Books online. Roberto Casanova has a guide in Italian, German and English with 10 different sport climbing areas near Cortina featured (including Cinque Torri) that you can purchase in downtown Cortina.
Weather station 18.7 miles from here
19 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
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Latest Regional Forum Messages
By Angie C
From: Sacramento, Ca
Oct 4, 2013
Topos are for sale for this area in Cortina at l'Cooperativa in the main "downtown" area. There's also a tiny bookstore with topos near the north face store, just to the right of a cafe.
By Mark Fletcher
Jan 24, 2014
Note that while you can drive almost to the formations on the narrow one-lane road, there are mandatory direction controls in August. Up until noon, you can only drive up and then in the afternoon you can only drive down. At other times there are no controls, but beware that this is a one-lane road with only a few turnouts and steep grades and the car coming downhill has the right away. If you are coming up, be prepared for driving backward on a very steep single lane paved road until you can find a turnout.
I stayed at the Cinque Torri hut for five days and have to say that it was the best hut of the three I stayed at in Italy when climbing in the Dolomites. It is privately run, so it is a bit more expensive than the CAI huts, but the food and facilities were better. You cannot beat the 10-15 minute approach to the climbs.
Many of the climbs have bolts or fixed pitons, but it helps to take some cams and slings for threading hourglasses.