Usually the highest peak of an alpine group, especially in the Dolomiti, is a famous mountain often climbed and photographed. But this is not the case of the mysterious Cimòn del Froppa, the highest summit of the Marmarole, that is really a forgotten mountain, and only the locals and the experts of the Dolomiti Orientali know something about it.
Like almost all the mountains of its wild group, the Cimòn is hardly reachable and quite difficult to climb, so it’s very rare to see alpinists on its lonely summit. It’s the classic mountain for “old fashioned” alpinists, that are not afraid of isolated valleys, long and strenuous routes, often difficult to follow and to find.
The first ascent of the Cimòn del Froppa (10/19/1867) was a very remarkable exploit of a local guide (Giovan Battista Tofoli known as Tita Petòz, a chamois hunter of Calalzo di Cadore that became a legend in the area, and is said that he climbed for the first time all the summits of the Marmarole, although there aren’t proofs of that ) and of a young captain of the Bersaglieri , G. Somano. Actually this first climb was disputed for a while because the group of mountaineers led by A. de Faulkner, that climbed the mountain for the second time, didn’t find any cairn on the summit and thought that Somano and Tita Petòz climbed a minor summit of the crest. But many years later the guide showed the route to Luisa Fanton, described the place where he and the captain had to find a shelter against the strong winds and spent the night and the most difficult passages they had to face. The words of Luisa, a very strong woman mountaineer and one of the pioneers of the Dolomiti, were enough to stop any controversy.
It was a very difficult climb ( it was late October and there was already a lot of snow ), they probably approached the summit from north through the Val Tana crossing the glacier called Ghiacciaio del Froppa di Dentro, today disappeared. They had to bivouac below the summit, that reached the following morning. They went down following the normal route today known as Via Kugy-Orsolina.
The views from the summit of the Cimòn del Froppa are fantastic, on one side the Dolomiti Orientali and on the other the Carnic Alps and Prealps, with the king Antelao that appears amazingly big and beautiful.
Red TapeNo limitations
There are several routes for the summit of this mountain but the only advisable one is the normal route from Forcella Kugy. All the other routes have been repeated only a few times and there are no recent information, if you want to try one of them it’s better to contact the local alpine club CAI Calalzo di Cadore for more info.
Normal route ( Via Kugy-Orsolina ): A classic normal route of the Dolomiti, quite hard with a few passages of the UIAA II degree and a short section of the UIAA III+.
From the NE crest: From the Tiziano bivouac, difficulty around the UIAA III degree.
From the SW crest: From the Tiziano bivouac, difficulty around the UIAA III degree.
From the south face: From Forcella Marmarole, difficulty around the UIAA III degree.
From Piccolo Cimòn: From the ravine between Cimòn and Piccolo Cimòn, difficulty around the III/IV UIAA degree.
Steinbocks of the Vallon FroppaIn the wild and lonely Vallon Froppa live a numerous group of steinbocks, they are really beautiful and don’t seem to care much about the rare men that go through the valley.
AccomodationIt’s not difficult to find lodging in the Cadore, it’s a popular touristic area.
Pieve di cadore hotels
Auronzo di Cadore hotels
Calalzo di Cadore hotels
Domegge di cadore hotels
>San Vito di Cadore hotels
There are two nice alpine huts on this side of the Marmarole group where you can spend the night before the ascent of the Cimòn:
Rifugio Baion E. Boni
Getting ThereThis mountain is very rarely climbed and always from the southern side ( From Calalzo di Cadore to Rifugio Chiggiato or from Lozzo di Cadore to Rifugio Baion E. Boni ), but it could be climbed also from the north ( From Val d’Ansiei to Bivacco Tiziano ).
From west: From the Brennero motorway exit Bressanone/Brixen and then San Candido, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Auronzo di Cadore.
Cortina, San Vito, Calalzo di Cadore or Lozzo di Cadore.
From East: From the Udine-Tarvisio motorway exit Carnia and then Tolmezzo, Villa Santina, Forni di Sopra, Sappada, Santo Stefano di Cadore and Auronzo di Cadore.
Santo Stefano di Cadore, Lozzo or Calalzo di Cadore.
Villa Santina, Forni di Sopra,Lorenzago, Lozzo or Calalzo di Cadore
Villa Santina, Forni di Sopra,Lorenzago,Auronzo di Cadore
From South: From Venezia to Belluno, Pieve, Calalzo, Domegge, Lozzo, Auronzo di Cadore
When to climb?From July to October.
Meteo Dolomiti Veneto
Maps and booksTabacco maps 1:25000
016 Dolomiti di Centro Cadore
Dolomti Orientali vol I – Antonio Berti – CAI - TCI
Antelao, Sorapiss e Marmarole – Luca Visentini
Dolomiti. Il grande libro delle vie normali - G. Buscaini, S. Metzeltin - Zanichelli Editore
I 3000 delle Dolomiti - H. Kammerer, R. Goedeke – Tappeiner