Type: Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft, 19 pitches, Grade V
FA: Ettore Constantini, Romano Appollonio 1944
Page Views: 4,617 total · 48/month
Shared By: Tim Wolfe on Jan 30, 2011
Admins: Tim Wolfe, Shawn Heath

You & This Route

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This is the harder of the three most classic routes on the South Face buttresses of Tofana. It is a great route, with continuously moderately difficult pitches for the entire bottom ¾ of the route and a couple of very difficult moves. It is a pretty big line in a day if you are not comfortable moving quickly across hard 5.9/easy 5.10 limestone trad climbing and either rapidly free or aid climbing 5.11 roof cracks. If this is your level, this is an absolute classic route to climb and to fill your day with spectacular pitches. This route climbs the center of the South Face, second buttress. It has a couple quite difficult pitches - the crux roof about 1/3 of the way up is very slippery but is a crack so can be easily aid climbed if you find it too difficult. I highly recommend you climb from past the belay under the roof and through the roof to the next belay linking both pitches. The belay under the roof is hanging and is of questionable quality in loose yellow fractured rock. The belay above is bomber and comfortable and is a very short distance above the hanging belay.
Pitch description:
Pitch 1 – 40 m V: Climb the dihedral on the right side of the pinnacle to just below its top
Pitch 2 – 30 m V: Move right up a grey slab to a piton, traverse horizontally to the crack and climb it to a stance
Pitch 3 – 30 m V+: Climb the crack past small roofs on beautiful grey rock
Pitch 4 – 35 m V: More of the same.
Pitch 5 – 35 m IV: Climb the groove
Pitch 6 – 45 m VI: Climb left past the bulge to a stance on the first terrace.
Pitch 7 – 15 m III: Go around the hole
Pitch 8 – 40 m V: Climb the black wall into the yellow crack that is at times loose (takes a lot of gear). There is a belay just beneath the roof. I recommend you NOT belay here but pull the roof of the next pitch to a safer and more comfortable belay
Pitch 9 – 20 m VII+: Jam out the roof on extremely polished holds (or pull on a couple cams to get past if you fall out).
Pitch 10 – 40 m VI: Continue up the steep yellow wall/crack and ledges.
Pitch 11 – 25 m VII: Climb the next quite difficult roof and move right onto the terrace.
Pitch 12 – 40 m VI+: Climb up to the cave and then the overhanging chimney to to left of the cave
Pitch 13 – 40 m IV: This chimney is easier
Pitch 14 – 35 m V-: More chimney
Pitch 15 – 30 m V+: Move right and climb the light colored rock – moving right more
Pitch 16 – 40 m IV: Climb the steep grey slabs up to the area under the yellow wall
Pitch 17 – 40 m IV+: Traverse diagonally left (easy) then climb over a more difficult bulge.
Pitch 18 – 40 m IV+: Continue up a steep short wall on the left to reach the easy gully to the left of the buttress.
Pitch 19 – 60 m third class: Climb up the easy gully to the col below the summit


Approach – At the 113.8 KM mark on the Falzarego pass road there is a road that branches off towards the mountain. Drive up this road to the car park near the Rifugio Dibona. Walk up the wide path towards Rifugio Cantore/Giussani and branch off left below the South face. Scramble up to the right side of a narrow ledge near the center of the face, walk left across this ledge until you see the word the “Pilastro” at the base of the route. Overall, the route starts in a corner to the right of a finger shaped little pinnacle and follows a right slanting crack up most of the first 2/3 of the face. After the crack becomes a chimney followed by a long slab pitch you move far left to the arete and exit gully

Descent – Follow a path north wrapping around the East side of the mountain. You can see the trail and even the cars way below to your right. DON'T go there - there are a hundred false trails heading down into a morass of cliffs and dangerous terrain that are all off route. You must go UP a fair distance (sometimes there is snow depending on the season) and over a pass following the painted dots towards Rifugio Guissani, then down a steep scree gully to the path going to Rifugio Guissani and finally pick up the path that leads back down to the Rifugio Dibona and the car park.


A full set of cams and wires, many long slings, threads, quick-draws (all standard for trad lines in the Dolomites).
Cortina di Ampezzo
drunkfox   Cortina di Ampezzo
When I was jung and crazy, I did the first solo of the Costantini - Apollonio route on the South Pillar of Tofana di Rozes in 1981.
See my bio and Dolomites info. Jun 15, 2012
Enrico, Thats an impressive solo especially for 1981. I hope the crux roofs weren't nearly as polished back then. Feb 9, 2014