This route was probably climbed for the first time by the captain G. Somano and the guide Tita Petòz, that used it as descent. But the first recorded ascent was of Julius Kugy and Pacifico Orsolina, that climbed it on august 3, 1884.
It is a very challenging normal route, both physically and psychologically . The Vallon Froppa is very long and strenuous and in the second part there are several passages on rock ( around the I/II UIAA degree ) with one more demanding wall that requires a climb of the III+ UIAA degree. There can be some problems of orientation, especially if you’re not familiar with this kind of routes. The average quality of the rock is not very good, but not bad in the most difficult passages.
So this route is recommended only for well fit alpinists that know well the dolomitic environment.
Elevation gain around 1100 m from Rifugio Baion E. Boni and around 1000 m from Rifugio Chiggiato. 6/7 hours.
You can approach the Vallon Froppa from :
Rifugio Chiggiato - From Calalzo di Cadore take the road to the Val d’Oten and park your car in the village of Praciadelan. Then take the path n° 260 to the hut ( 2 hours ) and the n°262 to the valley ( 1/2 hour ). If you choose this option you have to sleep in the hut because otherwise the elevation gain of the route from Praciadelan is really too much ( around 1900 m ).
Rifugio Baion E. Boni - From Lozzo di Cadore take the road to Pian dei Buoi and then to the hut ( in the summer you can go only up from 9 to 13 and only down from 14 to 17 ) . Then take the path n° 262 to the valley ( 1 hour ).
Then you follow the old track ( some rare cairns ) to Forcella Marmarole ( 2661 m). This part is very steep, mostly on scree slopes, with one short secured section. The last 200 meters are really very hard and quite dangerous for the extreme steepness of the ravine.
From the notch you follow the path that goes towards Forcella Froppa ( NW ), but after a while you have to turn right following a path ( small cairn not easy to see ) that goes up to another small notch ( Forcella Kugy ), where the route begins ( some passages of the UIAA I/II degree ).
If you spend the night in the Rifugio Chiggiato you can also take the path called Sentiero degli Alpini ( partly secured with cables and ladders, but quite difficult and exposed in the first not secured part, with passages of the UIAA I+ degree ) to Forcella Jau de la Tana. From there you have to go up to Forcella Froppa and then go down towards Forcella Marmarole until you meet on the left the path to Forcella Kugy. Less strenuous but longer.
The first 5-6 meters are the most demanding. You have to follow a narrow crack, slightly overhanging, that will take you inside a small ravine. The difficulty is around the III+ UIAA degree, there’s a piton in the most difficult passage and another a few meters above. Then you have to climb a short easier section ( II ) and after that you will find the belay ( 3 pitons ). From this point you can go on unroped to the summit ( there’s another short chimney of the UIAA II+ degree, 1 piton in the middle ) or you can climb another short pitch until the last belay ( piton with cord, that you will use for the first rappel ). From the belay there are another couple of tricky passages on fun slabs of the UIAA I/II that will take you right to the crest and to the summit. The 360° view is really breathtaking. 120 m, 1 hour from Forcella Kugy.
Descent: Follow the path until the last belay from where you have to rappel to the first belay. From there another 20 m rappel will take you right to Forcella Kugy. Then take the same path to Forcella Marmarole and then to the bottom of the valley.