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Elevation: 5,474 ft
GPS: 46.6174, 11.8515
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: e Dixon on May 25, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Tim Wolfe, Shawn Heath

Description Suggest change

The Dolomites have to be one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. There are countless long routes at all levels of difficulty. The rock is limestone, the quality of which can vary dramatically! Many of the climbs have short approaches, and the longer ones can often be accessed via lifts. Definitely a classic and historical climbing destination. Most of the routes are "old school", so feel out the ratings.

The routes in the Dolomites comprise three different types of climbing:

Traditional climbs: Most of the major mountains have traditional lines up them requiring a selection of climbing gear consisting of wires, cams, and "threads" which consist of kevlar cord that can be slipped through holes or around hourglass features and tied off. A selection of quick draws supplemented with multiple long slings is also appropriate to reduce rope drag on the circuitous route lines. Over time the traditional lines that get relatively few ascents have deteriorated significantly in terms of the fixed protection (old pitons). If you choose to climb a not highly traveled route, it is probably recommended that you bring a piton hammer with a selection of pins as this is the only gear that is possible for considerable distances on many lines in the Dolomites.

Sport climbs: There are now also hundreds of sport climbing areas with single to several pitch routes and there are many multi-pitch sport climbs up major faces. These multipitch sport climbs tend to be significantly harder than the classic traditional lines and can feel a bit "run-out" compared to the single pitch lines close to the ground.

Via Ferrata: The term Via Ferrata translates to Iron road or path of Iron in English. These are paths up sections of mountains in the Alps, and are especially popular in the Italian Dolomites. These routes tend to be well marked paths through a section of mountains and where the difficulty increases or the exposure is significant they consist of a steel cable fixed to the rock every 3-10 meters, with occasional metal rungs or even ladders and bridges to assist hikers up the mountain or ridge. Many of the early the Via Ferrata were established during the First World War to aid the movements of military personnel in their attempt to establish lines of defense in the mountains. Since then these older Ferrata have been upgraded with newer cable, post and rigging and many newer Ferrata have been created just for tourists. Climbing Ferrata is big business for the local communities in the Dolomites: On a warm sunny day in July or August there may be thousands of people on a single popular Ferrata leading to queues up the entire mountain. Often at the summit there is a bar with food, alcohol and occasionally a Tramway back to the base making for an enjoyable hike in the mountains and good R&R on the summit (welcome to Italy).

In general, these Via Ferrata routes are much less committing than any nearby rock climbs as the routes have a fixed cable all the way through all difficulties (that you can pull yourself up with if needed or if slippery), and they have relatively well traveled descents with no rappels. Gear requirements include a harness, a helmet (required due to the busy nature of the routes and the quality of rock in general in the mountains), some form of a rigging to clip to the cable (dual arms with two carabiners and a shock absorbing system), hiking shoes and a pair of gloves to protect your hands from blistering. There are commercial riggings available for about 80 Euros and they are very nice, however a climber who is very unlikely to fall on these routes can create their own rigging with an old rope for essentially nothing using gear they should already own (search the internet or check a guidebook for homemade designs). The downside to a homemade system is the greater chance of back injury in a fall due to poor shock absorbing features. Occasionally a short section of rope is useful on the very difficult rated Ferrata to belay up any partners who are not experienced climbers. Depending on the season and the route there may be a need for crampons or ice axes on the descent (or just climb down the route you ascended).

For experienced climbers these routes are very easy even when they are graded as very difficult - unless you choose to climb them without grabbing the cable - then they can be very stout 5th class or unclimbable in places. Never the less, they make a great day out if you just want to go for a hike in the mountains but get some exposure. They are also nice for an early morning rapid ascent during questionable weather days where you might not wish to commit to a big wall (stay off of them if lightening is forecast). These are also superb ways to get your kids out into the mountains climbing at a young age - no gear, no ropes - just moving fast over stone.

Climbing grades:

The classic routes in the Dolomites are graded using the UIAA system. The modern sport and mixed climbs use the French grading system. Here is a table to assist you with understanding these grades in the Yosemite system. Beware that there are a lot of "easy" grades on routes but all but the most popular of these routes often have very little opportunity for gear placements (or quality fixed gear), loose rock and little chance for escape so they make up for their grade in commitment.

UIAA--------------Yosemite-------------French

II.........................5.2........................1

III........................5.3........................2

IV........................5.4......................2-3

IV+......................5.5.......................3

V-........................5.6.......................4

V.........................5.7.......................5a

V+......................5.8.......................5b

VI-......................5.9.......................5b/c

VI......................5.10a....................5c-6a

VI+....................5.10b.....................6a

VII-....................5.10c.....................6a+

VII.....................5.10d.....................6b

VII+...................5.11a.....................6b+

VII+...................5.11b.....................6c

VIII-...................5.11c.....................6c+

VIII....................5.11d.....................7a

VIII....................5.12a.....................7a+

VIII+..................5.12b.....................7b

IX-.....................5.12c.....................7b+

IX......................5.12d.....................7c

IX......................5.13a.....................7c+

IX+....................5.13b.....................8a

X-......................5.13c.....................8a+

X.......................5.13d.....................8b

Getting There Suggest change

The Dolomites are located in Northern Italy. Fly into one of the larger cities in the area and drive to your destination. It is worth checking flight costs into the following cities all which are within a few hours drive: Munich Germany (4 hours), Innsbruck Austria (2.5 hours), Milan Italy (4 hours), Venice Italy (2 hours). You will need a car to get to the climbs so part of your trip research should include car insurance issues as many credit cards will not cover you for a car rented in Italy, but will if you rent it in Germany. Also consider luggage costs when you plan your camping or lodging.

Camping and Lodging:

The least expensive and most climbing efficient method of staying in the Dolomites is to rent a Van with fold down seats and live in the van during your trip. You can park on the side of the road near the trail head for your next project and hike in from there. In general if you are clean and discrete you will be left alone. Camping with a tent in the woods is technically illegal - so if you choose this you need to set up late and tear down early and again pick up after yourself. At times it will make the most sense to hike into a route and stay near the base. In this setting camping can be very difficult unless there is a designated bivouac (again tents are technically illegal except as an emergency bivouac at dusk - just tear down early). More commonly one should consider staying in a Rifugio - but these cost in the 40-50 Euro range per day for lodging and food. If you wish to base camp with others or your family and leave stuff in a safe place you will need to stay in one of the many commercial campgrounds. These tend to be nice in terms of facilities (hot showers, pub, store for minor items, Gelateria, etc) and they are a great place for your kids to play with others and access the town. However, they can be a bit pricy (5-10 euro per car plus 5-11 euro per person plus 5-10 euro per tent per night). Finally if you intend to stay awhile, renting an apartment is often a similar price or less than commercial camping plus you do not need to haul all your camping gear to Italy and if you have a not uncommon bad spell of weather you will be more comfortable.

436 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Dolomites

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 27
Southwest Arete (Delagokante)
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 19
South Pillar, a.k.a. "Mariakante"
Trad 9 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 13
"Spigolo Jori," SE Arete
Trad 15 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 24
Primo Spigolo di Rozes (Via Alve…
Trad, Alpine 14 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 6
Cime Grande, West Face -- "Dulfer"
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 42
South Face (Via Miriam)
Trad 5 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 9
Scarf Arete, a.k.a. "Spigolo del…
Trad 10 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 23
Cima Piccola – South Arete Yell…
Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 17
Schubert (Friendship Route)
Trad 7 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 10
Messner
Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 18
Big Micheluzzi
Trad 12 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
 18
East Face "Via Finlandia"
Trad 6 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 11
Diretta Dimai (Dimai Direct)
Trad 8 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A0
 23
North Face - Comici
Trad, Aid, Alpine 16 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 8
South Face, Buttress 2, Pilastro…
Trad, Alpine 19 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Southwest Arete (Delagokante) Catinaccio (Ros… > Vajolet Towers > Torre Delago
 27
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
South Pillar, a.k.a. "Maria… Sella Group > Passo Pordoi Area > Piz Pordoi
 19
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad 9 pitches
"Spigolo Jori," SE Arete Pomagagnon & Cr… > Punta Fiames
 13
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 15 pitches
Primo Spigolo di Rozes (Via… Tofana Group > Tofana di Rozes
 24
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad, Alpine 14 pitches
Cime Grande, West Face -- "… Tre Cime di Lav… > Cime Grande
 6
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
South Face (Via Miriam) Cinque Torri Group > Torre Grand S Summit
 42
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 5 pitches
Scarf Arete, a.k.a. "Spigol… Pala Group > Cima della Madonna
 9
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 10 pitches
Cima Piccola – South Arete… Tre Cime di Lav… > Cima Piccola
 23
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
Schubert (Friendship Route) Sella Group > Passo Sella Area > Piz Ciavazes
 17
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 7 pitches
Messner Sella Group > Passo Sella Area > Second Sella Tower
 10
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
Big Micheluzzi Sella Group > Passo Sella Area > Piz Ciavazes
 18
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 12 pitches
East Face "Via Finlandia" Cinque Torri Group > Torre Grande, N Summit
 18
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad 6 pitches
Diretta Dimai (Dimai Direct) Cinque Torri Group > Torre Grand S Summit
 11
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 8 pitches
North Face - Comici Tre Cime di Lav… > Cime Grande
 23
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A0 Trad, Aid, Alpine 16 pitches
South Face, Buttress 2, Pil… Tofana Group > Tofana di Rozes
 8
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, Alpine 19 pitches
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