This well-regarded route features good rock, and a line right on the crest of a steep knife-edged ridge visible miles away. The first 5 pitches are shared with the easier (but still spectacular) Dimai route, giving you a less committing day should weather or time demand a change. Once you traverse the great band to the ridge and get up a few pitches, the easiest way off is up. This adds to the pleasing feeling of commitment for this climb.
Bolted belay stances make life easier, but you need good gear placement skills and a decent-sized rack for the multiple wide crack pitches.
The sunny south facing direction, the long season for the climb, and most of all the full-burn middle section of the ridge with four sustained 5.8 pitches in a row will burn this climb into your memory as one of the greats.
First Ascent information
After having done the climb I'm absolutely amazed at the early date of the first ascent. F. Jori and Kathe Bröske, 1909.
I'd love to have historical information for this section! Anyone have any?
From Cortina, park at the Putti Institute (signed on the road heading north out of Cortina) and follow a trail north from the parking lot. You come to a dirt road in the forest, turn left on it. In about 5 minutes walking you'll intersect trail 202. Turn right and follow this up through the forest, soon entering scree fans. Turn left on a trail that traverses the hillside around 1670 meters elevation, and follow it to beneath the face. The trail will go down into scrub trees. A side trail will lead off to a dirt gully marked with cairns. Follow the gully up for about 60 meters. Scramble over a buttress then down into the deep gully that marks the right edge of Punta Fiames. On the other side of the gully, scramble up (marked by cairns) to reach the start of climbing at a 5.4 chimney.
The approach should take about 1.5 hours.
Route DescriptionPitch 1: III+, 25m.
Climb an easy chimney for 25 meters to a belay bolt.
Pitch 2: III, 25 m.
Continue up the chimney to a belay stance on more open terrain on top of the chimney/gully.
Pitch 1 and 2 can easily be combined, as we did.
Now walk across a gully and follow a trail about 100 meters up the mountain to a patch of schrubs that mark the continuation of technical climbing. Above the scrub patch, either of 2 prominent gullies appear to be the obvious way up. Take the one on the right.
Pitch 3: IV-, 20 m.
A ledge and easily missed bolt provide a belay to climb a face that enters the rightmost prominent chimney/gully. A single tough move to avoid an overhang exits the chimney on the right. Easier terrain leads to a belay among schrubs (I didn't find a bolt, and slung a sturdy scrub tree).
Pitch 4: III+, 40 m.
Traverse right on a ledge to a stance on a corner. It's possible to combine this with pitch 3.
Pitch 5: IV-, 45 m.
Climb a steep, shallow gully to a broad face, just left of a corner. Continue up the corner past the occasional piton. Belay at a ledge a few meters right of the corner.
Pitch 6: IV-, 45 m.
Continue up along the corner, finally moving left and continuing up a crack to a belay on a broad ledge.
From this point, the Dimai and Jori routes diverge. The Dimai route continues straight up from the belay. For Jori you need to walk right about 90 meters to reach the crest of the Jori ridge. This is easy though exposed walking terrain, you could travel in coils.
Pitch 7: IV, 30 meters.
Just on the right side of the crest, climb a steep chimney with a piton about 15 feet up. Higher, trend left then step left around a corner to a bolted belay stance.
Pitch 8: IV, 25 meters.
Climb a steep but featured face with good nut and cam placements to a slab below a prominent yellow roof. A funny metal bar can be girth-hitched for protection on the slab. Belay right below the roof on the right side.
Pitch 9: IV, 20 meters.
A steep but open chimney right of the belay leads up in 20 meters to a stance just around a corner to the right.
Pitch 10: V, 30 meters.
Easy ground above the stance (III) gets gradually harder until beneath or just right of a striking crack going to the horizon. Enter the crack (some pitons) and climb via wide crack moves and some hand jamming to a spacious platform below another yellow roof. Sustained and enjoyable.
We combined pitches 9 and 10, though in retrospect it's nicer for your belayer to see you while on the cruxy wide crack moves.
Pitch 11: V, 30 m.
Stiff moves in a vertical crack right off the belay soon ease up to reach another belay just right of the crest.
Pitch 12: V, 35 m.
The crux pitch. Easy terrain leads to thin fingercrack moves in a vertical crack. Above, a dramatic intermediate belay station provides a chance to break the pitch into two. Continue into a wide crack/chimney. Awkward moves lead to a ledge below a white, 3-cornered roof right on the crest. Slung blocks and wide cams provide most protection.
Pitch 13: V/V-, 20 m.
Step right around the crest and ascend a corner crack. Be careful about placing protection too early to avoid rope drag. Eventually crab left when the right side of the crack bulges into an overhang. Belay above the overhang.
Pitch 14: IV, 30 m.
Easier terrain ascending a broken face.
Pitch 15: IV+, 25 m.
Bouldery moves getting established in a shallow crack, then intimidating climbing left beneath an overhang, and back right to a belay.
Note: on pitch 15, we mistakenly made a variation finish around to the right, traversing across a steep slab then climbing grade III terrain to reach the belay anchor.
Pitch 16: IV-, 40 m.
Broken terrain leads to another crack with an overhang, escaped on the left. Easy ground then leads to the summit, where you can belay on a slung block.
Essential GearA standard trad rack. Take a dozen nuts, and a full set of cams. A #4 Camelot is helpful, because several of the harder pitches follow a wide crack.
Double ropes are recommended in case of rain and you need to rappel.
You can descend the "Strobel" via ferrata on the west side of the peak (a trail with cairns leads down in that direction). Once on the valley floor, walk a dirt road back south towards town, ending up just below the Putti Institute. This took us about 1.5 hours.
You could also go to the pass between Punta Fiames and Punta della Croce, then traverse easterly to the Pomagagnonscharte with some scrambling. Then follow the trail 202 back to near the Putti Institute.