Type: Trad, Alpine, 1700 ft, Grade III
FA: World War 1 Military
Page Views: 458 total · 13/month
Shared By: Tim Wolfe on Jan 15, 2016 with updates from kenr
Admins: Tim Wolfe, Shawn Heath

You & This Route

2 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


This Ferrata is considered difficult and exposed. It is also stunningly pretty. It ascents the SW face of Punta Fanes Sud which is one of the towers extending along the Cresta di Fanes – the ridge of mountains that extends north from the top of the Falzarego cable car and which contains numerous classic traditional climbs along its western faces. From the start of the route you traverse leftwards on a steep/overhanging wall then head straight up for some distance to a ledge on top of an arête (where many photos are taken). From there the route goes up right (not along the left cable) then steeply up more slabs and a crack to the summit. The total cable is 300-400 meters in distance.


Parking: Drive to Passo Falzarego and park in the large car park at the top.
Approach: The easiest start is to take the Funivia del Lagazuoi cable car up to the Lagazuoi refuge (or hike up path 402 for 2 hours, or hike up the Lagazuoi tunnels, or climb an easy route). Once at the Refuge you can take one of two paths to the start depending on the snow depth. If little snow exists the most direct path is descending down the path to Forcella del Lagazuoi (right out the door, then north down the zig-zags to the fork in the path at the pass area.) From here head straight north on the West side of the ridgeline heading down, then eventually back up to the next pass (Forcella Granda) stopping at the Bivacco della Chiesa to gear up and start the route. If there is a lot of snow, an alternate approach is to again drop down the initial switch backs, but at that point stay on the large path heading east towards Tofana di Rozes, across some meadows to the next pass (Forcella Travenanzes) then turn north on path 20b walking along the east side of the ridgeline in a valley that then ascends another pass (Forcella Gasser Depot). At this point continue north and begin hiking up the hill towards the top of the ridgeline/pass (Forcella Granda). Once you hit that pass, you will be at Bivacco della Chiesa and the start of the route.
Descent: From the summit head north along the summit and descend the steep cable on the NE face and wrapping back around the east face. Watch carefully where you are going by looking over the east side occasionally – you need to pick up a notch and descend some steep scree (or snow fields) on the east face heading back south to path 20b. Pick your way down and get on the path described above relating to the alternate approach. Once you arrive at Forcella Travenanzes you can just hike down the path (402) to the bottom. You can also go back up and take the cable car down, or descend the Lagazuoi tunnel Ferrata, or hike further east and descend Ferrata delgi Alpini.


Helmet, gloves, Harness, Ferrata rigging


Mark Hense
Mark Hense   Wisconsin
While this is a ferrata, it would be my take that you are a solid 5.7-5.8 gym climber who can do a good 15-20 routes per session at the gym in order to make this feel like a cruise. The route is a full climb down on the cable and is a pretty decent workout at 3 hours on route. Jul 22, 2017
Two problems with trying to give a "rock climbing" difficulty rating to this climb.
First is that the usual way most Europeans climb an Italian-style via ferrata route is just a different kind of climbing -- because rely very much on grabbing the fixed steel cable. So the Europeans have a completely separate grading system for Via Ferrata routes. You work up to climbing harder VF routes by first climbing easier VF routes (not by practicing lots of indoor gym climbing). Part of the game for climbing harder VF routes efficiently and safely is getting real good at clever maneuvers while grabbing the steel cable (and finding out which gloves work for your finger skin not to get torn up by grabbing the cable hard and lots. And get very fast using the steel cable for aiding the descent.

Second problem is that there are two (or three) completely different styles of climbing an Italian-style VF route -- just as there are three different styles of climbing a multi-pitch rock route: Free with protection, relying on Aid, and Free Solo. And many European multi-pitch climbing routes have _two_ difficulty grades: one for doing all the moves Free, the other if use Aid for some of the moves.

Most European VF climbers use the fixed hardware in-place: They grab the cable with their hands and they place their feet on steel rungs and cable-anchor-posts.

But a few of us try to climb a VF route "Free": placing our hands and feet only directly on the rock, using the steel cable only for Protection. (Or sometimes we place hands and feet directly on the rock, and not clipping the cable for protection -- "Free Solo").

So on a serious rock-climbing site like MountainProject, really we need two different climbing-difficulty grades: one for climbing a VF using Aid, and another for climbing a VF with all "free" rock moves, using the cable only for protection.

Since I have climbed VF Cesco Tomaselli making all the moves in "Free" style, I will say that its free climbing grade is about 5.10b. But there's only one 10b move (right at the start). And there's lots of (fun interesting) 5.7 or 5.8 moves if done Free in the final dihedral section, so perhaps it's more helpful to give a "Free with asterisk" rating of 5.8 (with one harder move to be done using Aid).

What climbing-difficulty grade ought to be given for using the cable lots for Aid throughout the route, I have no idea (so for now I'll just accept the "low 5th class" grade given on this page), since it never occurred to me to want to climb VF Cesco Tomaselli in that style.


P.S. On other websites, I have given my assessments of "free" rock-climbing-difficulty grades for other VF routes. Aug 27, 2017
other detailed English-language descriptions + reports:
. . . also description in the new print guidebook for the Dolomites from rockfax.com
Sep 17, 2017