Monte Zermùla is a long ridge mountain for which we can say that it belongs to the Carnic Alps Main Range mountains (Karnischer Hauptkamm). Still, it is indented much towards the south and is separated from the main range by the broad saddle - Passo del Cason di Lanza / Lonice. It has long, grassy and on top rocky southern slopes and steep, all rocky northern slopes. Over Passo del Cason di Lanza an interesting road goes. It connects the towns Paularo and Pontebba. Even if the road is often in a bad shape, when it is passable it is much used by tourists, who are quickly brought on the altitude over 1500 meters.
The ridge of Zermùla is running in the direction WNW-ESE. Monte Zermùla is first of all the mountain of Paularo, the town, lying in the big, sunny cauldron south of it. Paularo is being sheltered by Monte Zermùla from the fierce northern winds. Hikers are often crossing the whole ridge or are ascending on top by the northern ferrata and then descending by one of the normal routes - either towards the west or east. In the northern walls there are a few climbing routes. Also a few crags in the vicinity of Passo del Cason di Lanza / Lonice are arranged for climbing. The broader area of Zermùla is also suitable for tour skiing, especially the nearby Monte Pizzul. Also the biking tour over Passo del Cason di Lanza / Lonice is a popular, quite enduring, but beautiful tour. During the World War I the mountain was heavilly fortified. The Italian positions along the whole ridge can still today be very well seen.
On the west the area of Monte Zermùla is delimited by the deep valley of Torrente Chiarso from Monte Dimon and Monte Paularo. On the terraces below the western summit (Cul di Creta) there are two beautiful alpine meadows, Zermùla and Valute, and above them already the rocky main crest begins. This one has several elevations, but is running up and down only little. Approximately in the middle there's the highest point. Then the ridge is running further, and from the last high point it drops abruptly towards the east. From below it, towards the SE, at first steep, later more flat and grassy ridge is descending - the one which continues later all the way down to Pontebba. Beyond the point 1909 m this ridge lowers down on Forca di Lanza, 1831 m (saddle). Over it the south-north passage goes, the southern part is not marked.
South-east of Forca di Lanza the rounded, grassy Monte Pizzul, 1935 m, is rising. It also offers a nice view on Zermùla , but as an independent goal it is less important, except when the tour on Zermùla can not be done. In winter it is a nice goal of a ski tour. Of course it can be ascended by the way, when coming down from Zermùla or, if on a long crossing we continue towards Monte Salinchiet. Otherwise the marked path bypasses it on the southern side. South of Monte Pizzula the narrow area of Monte Zermùla finishes on Forca Pizzul, 1708 m (saddle). Also on Monte Pizzul you can see many remains from the World War I.
North of Monte Pizzul, so even closer to Passo del Cason di Lanza another interesting character is rising out of the high plateau. This is the sharp rocky tower of Zuc della Guardia, 1911 m. Towards the south it drops down vertically with some 100 meters high wall on the saddle between it and Monte Pizzul. Over this wall a beautiful ferrata goes. Also the tower of Zuc della Guardia was fortified in times of World War I. Just above the saddle a big cavern reminds us on those times. From the summit on the other side, towards the north, another, less difficult ferrata goes. It is appropriate for a descent. From Passo del Cason di Lanza the summit can be reached in an hour.
For the broader overview see the main Carnic Alps page and the Carnic Alps Main Ridge (East) page!
The fastest ascent on Monte Zermùla can be done from Passo del Cason di Lanza / Lonice, 1552 m, the saddle, which can be reached by a mountain road either from Pontebba, or from Paularo. Many hikers start the tour also on the road above Paularo, the starting point is by Nelut hut, 1102 m. The third option is possible only from Paularo, but we reach the summit as quickly as from Cason di Lanza / Lonice pass. From the town Paularo a mountain road goes through Ravinis and further on, all the way to Casera Pizzul, 1532 m, where an agritourism is operating.
Hikes, Scrambles, Ferrate1. West ridge. From the road near Nelut hut, 1102 m, by the mountain road (closed for public traffic) towards the NE (marks No. 442), then further on the main ridge and by it on top. 3 hours.
2. East ridge. From Passo del Cason di Lanza / Lonice towards the S on Forca di Lanza, 1831 m. Till here you can arrive also from the S, from Casera Pizzul. From the saddle further towards the top by the right variant, which soon ascends just below the main ridge and follows it to the highest point. 2 h 20 min. This path is a bit more demanding than the normal approach (#3 below), but still and ordinary hike up.
3. Eastern (normal) approach. As described above by the route #2 on Forca di Lanza, from there we follow the path No. 442 across the S slopes of Zermùla till the small chapel below the summit, and from there in a few turns up to the highest point. 2 h 15 min. This path is wider and easier than the ridge variant, but hardly a few minutes shorter.
4. Via Ferrata Monte Zermùla. From Passo del Cason di Lanza / Lonice we go towards the SW across the slopes into a basin below the N wall of Zermùla . The entry on ferrata is just in line with the main summit, there, where a distinct ravine cuts the N wall. A middle hard ferrata (rated: PP3) overcomes some 300 meters, then we have a few more meters by the E ridge to the top.
5. On Monte Pizzul. As described above by the route #2 on Forza di Lanza, from there by military and animals paths towards the E (less than 150 m) on top. Easy, 1 h 20 min. Similarly, the summit is reachable also from Pizzul saddle.
6. Ferrata degli Alpini (on Zuc della Guardia). Over the S wall of this attractive tower goes quite a demanding ferrata (rated: PP3), which is also very exposed, but very good secured (with a chain). This tower can of course be an independent tour or can be ascended by the way - when going down from Zermùla.
In the northern walls of the main summit of Zermùla, and especially of the Eastern summit there are quite some classical climbing routes. Here they are listed from W towards E:
Red TapeNo limitations.
When To Climb?
To ascend Monte Zermùla it is best to choose time of a season, when the slopes are not under snow, in summer and autumn, roughly from June till October. In wet, snow or even icy conditions the steep, grassy slopes can also be dangerous. With appropriate equipment Monte Zermùla is also a nice winter goal. The nearby Monte Pizzul is a perfect goal of a ski tour, only the road on Passo del Cason di Lanza is almost never cleaned in times of tour skiing (usually much later, because the road hardly avoids avalanche devastations).