Overview"Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo" (in german Hohe Gaisl, Croda Rósa or Crep Checio in Ladino) is a 3146 m high mountain which lies between the Braies valley and the Val di Landro, on the border between South Tyrol and Veneto within the "natural parco naturale delle Dolomiti d'Ampezzo" in the province of Belluno.
Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo is also known to be a very rugged mountain, with crumbly rock and difficult to climb. Of all the 3000 meters of the Dolomites is definitely the top most wild and risky.
Not to be confused with the nearby "Croda Rossa di Sesto", it stands as an imposing and isolated pyramid amongst lower and inconspicuous moutains.
Its main feature is to have the walls colored of deep red color unique in the Dolomites. Seen from far, it gives the mountain a bloody appearance. If you approach it and you travel on its slopes, the red takes shades of yellow, orange and sometimes purple.
However, the quality of the rock is quite poor. The climbing routes are exposed to falling rocks and is generally very rarely climbed. It is known more for her beauty than for mountaineering interest. On its slopes, is placed a lonely bivouac called "Hellbig dall'Oglio" (2253m).
It has an elongated north-south and, when viewed from the south, it looks like a pyramid. Instead the east and west sides have long smooth walls stained of red.
The highest point is located at the southern end. The form of the mountain may remember the "Croda dei Toni".
The first achievement of its peak was in the June 20th 1870, by the climber "Whitewell", accompanied by the local guides "Siorpaes" and "Laneuer", up the west gully.
Unfortunately failed few steps under the summit, is in the 1865, the attempt of "Grohmann", to conquer the peak along the north-west wall.
Secondary peaksSecondary summits of the massif are also:
La Crodaccia (Schelchte Gaisl) - 2531 m
Crodaccia Alta (Hohe Schlechte Gaisl) - 2967 m
Piccola Croda Rossa (Kleine Gaisl) - 2859 m
Remeda Rossa (Rote Wand) - 2605 m
Cime Camplale (Gumpalspitzen) - 2772m, 2765m, 2705m, 2680m
Punta del Pin - 2682m
Monte Cadini (Croda dell'Ancona) - 2366m
Castel de ra Valbones - 2380m
Sassi della Croda (Gaislkopfe) - 2127m
Getting thereThe Braies group is placed between the regions Veneto and Alto Adige.
Usually most of the routes start from the locality "Prato Piazza" 1991m. Easily reached by car and bus services from the village of "Villabassa" 1159m along the main "Val Pusteria".
From the motorway A22 that connect Austria to Italy across the "Passo del Brennero", take the gate "Brunico/Brunek", follow the indication to "Val Pusteria/Dobbiaco", and than shortly to "Villabassa".
From Austria (east)
Take the motorway A12 to exit "Kufstein". There turn onto 178, later 161 south in direction "Kitzbühel". At Mittersill 161 turns into 108 which heads through Felbertauern Tunnel. Take 108 until "Lienz" were you turn right (west) onto E66 which on the border crossing turns into SS49 to Toblach/Dobbiaco and Bruneck/Brunico.
Take motorway S27 north towards its end near Belluno. Turn into SS51 towards Cortina d’Ampezzo and on to Toblach/Dobbiaco.
The normal routeThe normal route from the northwest side, originally attempted by Grohmann that just missed the top, is the easiest orientation and with fewer technical difficulties, but is along a very steep, slippery and landslide basin of clay and reddish rocks, often wet or with glass and with frequent stone in case of bad weather which makes getting on and off extremely precarious and risky.
The absolute friability of the soil and rock, until you reach the fork on the west ridge in the upper part of the route, suggest to consider very carefully whether to make the climb from this side.
The slope of the valley-gorge becomes much easier in the presence of hard snow and well established, so it would be advisable to make the climb when the upper rock that leads to the notch is free of snow, but this is still in the valley, even if these conditions are difficult to predict and in any case can only occur for a short period in late spring or early summer.
In this case it is necessary to attempt a steep path with ice ax and crampons on slopes up to 50° in a very harsh and severe environment.
Normal route reserved for experienced climbers can move on unstable surfaces, insidious and difficulty with balance. (II+)
Other important routesWest couloir - E.Whitwell/C.Lauener/S.Siorpaes - 610m III/IV
West wall - A.Wachtler/S.Siorpaes - 620m II
East wall - J. von Schlogel/G.Innerkofler/M.Innerkofler - 550m III
"Canalone ghiacciato" - G.Winkler - (better to avoid) - 550m
South ridge - F.Terschak/H.Kees - 400m III/IV
Southeast wall - (direttissima) - I.Dibona/P.Apollonio - 600m up to VI
Northwest ridge - C.Sarteschi/E.Elsler
Southeast wall - H.Frisch/K.Renzler/S.Hibler/B.Schmid - 600m V/VI
Bivouac "Helbig/Dall'Oglio" 2253m
From: carpark "Ra Stua" (1688m) takes the path to "Rio Ra Cuodes" (1740m) and the indication to "Cason di Lerosa" (2039m) and "bivacco Helbig Dall'Oglio" (2255 m)
670 meters drop, length 10 km, time 2.00/2.30 hours
Owner: CAI Cortina d'Ampezzo, 5 places, open permanently