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Tofana di Rozes Presented
The Tofane group is one of the most distinguishing in Dolomites. It has three main peaks which are of quite similar altitude: Tofana di Mezzo, 3244 m, Tofana di Dentro, 3238 m and Tofana di Rozes, 3225 m. The whole massif lies west of Cortina d'Ampezzo, so according to classification we use here on SP it belongs to Cortina Dolomites. On the south the border of Tofane group is the valley which runs from Cortina d'Ampezzo to the Falzarego Pass (2105 m). On the east the massif ends deep down in the Ampezzo valley. And on the western side the massif is divided from the Lavarella group by the valley of Travenanzes.
Geologically the massif of Tofane is made of "dolomia principale", a typical dolomites rock.
The Tofane massif offers a variety of outdoor activities. On the eastern part, above the Cortina d'Ampezzo there is a well known ski resort, where every year also the World Cup races are held. And on the very peak of Tofana di Mezzo a cable car goes. Otherwise in the whole massif there are many hiking and climbing routes and in the vertical walls of the massif the hardest climbing routes can be made. Especially the south face of Tofana di Rozes is monumental, offering the hardest climbing routes.
All three main peaks can be ascended by marked routes, but they are far from being easy. But now let's concentrate on Tofana di Rozes only.
Driving from Cortina to the Falzarego pass you will soon notice a remarkable, 1000 meters high vertical south wall of Tofana di Rozes, consisting of eight distinct pillars. The mountain is like a giant three-edge pyramid, so its west face is very similar - only that it is not so extremely steep. The north-east face is the least steep, but it still holds snow rests long into summer. It fails only a little and there would be a permanent glacier - and may be there it was in the past. Now over the scree of north slopes the normal ascent goes.
Although not being easy, due to its marked routes, Tofana di Rozes is often ascended. For an experienced hiker it represents one of the most rewarding peaks of Dolomites.
A Bit of Mountaineering History
|Andrej Mašera: As a beginning of the mountaineering history of Tofane group, we can consider August 29th, 1863, when Paul Grohmann reached the summit of Tofana di Mezzo in the company of hunter Francesco Lacedelli from Cortina. Next year he ascended with the same guide also Tofana di Dentro, and in 1865 with Giuseppe Dimai Tofana di Rozes. It is interesting, that the huge south wall of Tofana di Rozes relatively early attracted the attention of climbers. In 1901 guides Antonio Dimai, Giovanni Siorpaes and Agostino Verzi guided over the wall two well known climbers - the Hungarian sisters Ilona and Rolanda Eötvös. A very interesting classic of the upper UIAA degree IV, still today often visited.|
Later others came and till WW2 routes of UIAA degree VI were climbed. In the 40-ies the "Pilastro" was brought in focus. Ettore Constantini and Romano Apollonio, the two from "Scoiattoli" group, climbed it in 1942 (in two days), thus opening the "upper sixth grade" difficulty. Even Herman Buhl, one of the first to repeat the route, commented it: "Like a fly on the ceiling I was hanging under the roof, my feet were dangling in the void, 300 meters high above the ground." Even today the south wall of "Pilastro" is considered one of the most difficult and beautiful extreme climbs in Dolomites, rated with VI-/A1 or VII+ in a free climb. And similar climbs were done also in the other pillars of Tofana di Rozes.
|"Scoiattoli" from Cortina. As in some other towns in sub-Alps Italy, also in Cortina a group of climbers was formed in July, 1939. But it soon became legandary. A very capable team, in which there were many sons of old-time climbing legends (such as Dibona, Lorenzi, Dimai, Ghedina, Menardi,...), soon excelled with famous first climbs. Among them were the SW wall of Cima Scotoni, NW edge of Western Zina, firs winter climb over Grand Capucin east face and their member Lino Lacedelli was the first one to climb on K2.|
World War I on Tofane
Andrej Mašera: But one of the most remarkable events happenad on the SW corner of Tofana di Rozes. There is an outposted tower, called Castelletto, where Austrian soldiers had well fortified positions, excellently controlling the entry into Val Travenanzes. Italians decided to blow the fortifications up by mining the whole tower. In almost 6 months they dug a 507m long tunnel and placed into its end 35 tons of dynamite. Austrians of course knew what was going on, and were digging their own tunnel in the opposite direction. But too late. On July 11th, 1916, at 3:30 a.m. a terrible explosion blew away the whole summit of Castelletto. Rocks were falling miles around and from the nearby area of Cinque Torri the Italian king himself observed the scene. But the event had no big impact on the course of mountain war. In 1956 through the Italian tunnel the initial part of Ferrata Lipella was made.
Portraits of Tofana di Rozes
from the NW
from the NE
TOFANA DI ROZES
from the SW
from the SE
Getting ThereFrom Cortina d'Ampezzo drive towards the west (towards the Falzarego pass) by the main Dolomites panorama road. Just after Pocol (1530 m) you can turn right and reach the Dibona hut (2083 m) by a narrow road. This hut is the best starting point for the two marked Tofana di Rozes ascents - and so also for a round tour.
You can reach the trailhead also directly from the Falzarego pass road. From the Magistrato alle Aque hut (1985 m) just take a marked path No. 412 towards the noth-east.
The approach through Val Travenanzes is also marked but long and appropriate only for a two-day hike.
1. Tabacco 1:25000, No. 3 - Cortina d'Ampezzo
2. Kompass on-line map, 1:50000
Marked, Secured RoutesTwo marked and secured routes climb to the top:
The north approach (normal). In normal (summer) conditions not hard, actually a hike-up, which requires a secure step on some places.
Ferrata Lipella over the west face. One of the most popular, but long and strenuous ferratas in Dolomites, which actually encircles more than half of the mountain.
For those who do not strive only for high peaks also a round tour can be made, which encircles the whole Tofana di Rozes by a marked path.
The normal (north slope) ascent can in good conditions also be done as a hard ski tour. Best time: spring.
South Wall Routes
Especially south wall of Tofana di Rozes is interesting for climbers. Our member Gabriele Roth contributed the list of routes below. He also contributed the following
Important information about descent routes
Landslide on the Tofana di Rozes
Enrico Maioni, the Mountain Guide from Cortina, informs that a landslide on the Tofana di Rozes has changed the descent from the routes on the Pilastro, Primo Spigolo and Terzo Spigolo.
A recent landslide on the Tofana di Rozes, the majestic peak in the Dolomites, has radically changed the descent path used by alpinists climbing routes on the right-hand side (east) of the spectacular South Face.
On 7 September 2011 a continuous mass of rocks started falling onto the path which gives access to the narrow ledge used to descend to Rifugio Giussani and Rifugio Dibona. The ledge is well-known to alpinists who have climbed on the Rozes as, despite not being the only descent, it is far and away the most popular.
The characteristic, narrow ledge can no longer be used and the new descent follows cairns up the gully to the left (west) of Punta Marietta. Used during the Great War, remains of the First World War can still be seen along this route.
> SW wall - Phillimore-Dimai - 700m - PD
> NW wall - von Glanwell - 1000m - PD sup
South wall - from west to east ...
> SW spur - via della Tridentina - Bonatti - 850m - TD
> SW spur - via Mirka - Steinkotter - 850m - D
> Dimai-Eotvos - 800m - D
Michael - mvs: 'For an adventureous, but not "extreme" climber, the Dimai/Eötvös Route will provide the most rewarding tour of the face.'
> direttissima - Stosser - 850m - ED
> SSW edge - Dibona-Apollonio - 850m - D
> Tissi-Andrich - 800m - ED
> via della Julia - Apollonio-Costantini-Alverà-Ghedina - 850m - TD
Big pillars (eastern side of the South wall)
> Alverà-Pompanin - 600m - D sup
Gabriele: 'The Pompanin-Alverà route on the third pillar of Tofana di Rozes is, for my feeling, the most amusing route of the whole wall, maybe also the most "old fashion" (no crowd and almost deserted).'
Pilastro di Rozes - South wall
> Costantini-Apollonio - 550m - ED - the best route
Pilastro di Rozes - SW edge
> Costantini-Ghedina - 550m - ED inf
Marci: 'Beautiful and varied climbing on mostly slabs and cracks define this route on the Pilastro Di Rozes of the Tofana di Rozes.'
Pilastro di Rozes - S wall
> Paolo VI - "scoiattoli" - 500m - ED sup
First pillar - SW edge
> Pompanin-Alverà - 500m - TD
First pillar - South wall
> Sioli-Ferrari - 500m - ED inf
Some information is also here -a link to a web page with 6 routes (in English).
Red TapeThe whole massif (except the ski resort) is part of the Dolomites natural park.
When To Climb
In winter conditions ascents by the normal route are also possible, but they require experience and a full winter equipment.
There are many mountain huts which can be used as a starting point for the ascent:
1. Rif. A. Dibona, 2083 m. Tel.: 00 39/04 36/86 02 94.
2. Rif. Pomedes, 2303 m and Rif. Duca d'Aosta, 2098 m (both more remote on the eastern part).
3. Rif. Giussani, 2580 m (on the Forcella Fontananegra (notch)). Tel.: 04 36/57 40, open from June 20th to September 20th.
4. And many huts and hotels on the road Cortina - Passo Falzarego.
More tourist information you can find on the page of Cortina d'Ampezzo.
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