Among the many picturesque towers of the group Dolomiti d'oltre Piave one of the most known is certainly Torrione Comici, a wonderful cigar-shaped peak of the Pramaggiore group. It's the northernmost summit of the small group of Croda del Sion, that is composed by the following summits: Cima di Forcella La Sidon ( 2265m) , "Il Ciastiel" ( Torre sud 2359 m ), Croda del Sion ( 2410 m ),Cima Val di Guerra (2353 m ),Torrione Pacherini and Torrione Comici. It is situated between two beautiful green valleys ( Val di Suola and Val di Guerra ) surrounded by amazing dolomitic walls and towers. The hiking routes on this valleys are well known but never much frequented, and if you decide to leave the path and climb one of the mountains around you'll experience how wild and solitary this places can be. The original name of the tower, Torrione di Cima Val di Guerra, was changed in 1936 when Emilio Comici climbed it for the first time from the east face, reaching the maximum level of difficulty known in that years, the sixth degree. Since then this charming tower has always been very popular among climbers, one of the most hankered of the group, like Campanile di Val Montanàia or Campanile Toro. And recently, with the realization of the spectacular via ferrata "Cassiopea", it has become even more popular.
The dolomitic rock ( Dolomia Principale formed in the late Triassic age ) of this Torrione has a strange yellow-pink-black color that gives it a mysterious look.
The views from the summit of Torrione Comici are fantastic, especially towards north-west, where an incredible dolomitic world opens in front of you.
The angel of the Dolomites
"On the mountains we feel the joy of life, the emotion of being good and the relief of forgetting earthly things: all this because we are closer to the sky".
Emilio Comici was an artist of the alpinism, one of the greatest of all times. He opened extreme routes reaching the highest degrees of climbing difficulty known in those years, especially in the Dolomites. He loved the Dolomites, and in particular that three "indian Gods", as he defined them, the fantastic Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
He was born in Trieste on February 21, 1901. His first passion was speleology but at the age of 26 he felt that he needed to explore something different from the deep carsic caves around Trieste, something closer to the sky. After the first trainings in the walls of Val Rosandra ( where he founded a climbing school, that became one of the best in Italy ), a small valley near Trieste, he started climbing in the Julian Alps. His first exploit, in 1927, was the climb of Innominata from the north gorge, the first on the vertical walls of the Jof Fuart group. Then he won the huge north face of Cima di Riofreddo, 600 meters with very difficult passages. In the thirties started climbing in the Dolomites, and with the climb of Sorella di Mezzo in the Sorapis group became the first italian climber to reach the sixth degree of rock climbing. In the same year he opened another extreme route in that group, climbing " Il Dito di Dio". Then he opened many new routes also in the winter season. In that period his activity was very intense: Torre Innominata in the Rinaldo group, the west face of Monte Cimone, the west face of Croda dei Toni di mezzo. Then two great exploits made him very famous: the north face of Monte Civetta ( in two days ) and the north face of Cima Grande di Lavaredo in 1933. The climb of Cima Grande ( after almost 20 failed attempts of different teams of climbers ) provoked harsh polemics among the italian climbers. Maybe Comici was just too great for that times. They accused him to use too many nails or other artificial helps. His fellows climbers of that exploit said that without them he wouldn't have been able to climb the mountain. But four years later he convinced everybody when he climbed the same route in free-solo.
Another remarkable climb in the Tre Cime group was Cima Piccola di Lavaredo through the famous "spigolo giallo", one of the most difficult passages in the Dolomites. Then another famous climb in free-solo: the Fehrman route to Campanile Basso di Brenta.
His last great exploit was the climb of "Il Salame" ( Sassolungo group ) in 1940 ,with his friend Severino Casara, another famous italian climber.
A few months later some friends asked him to go with them training in a wall near Selva. In a delicate passage, trying to secure his friends, used an old rope. The rope broke and he fell. That was the last flight of the "angel of the Dolomites".
Routes overviewVia Ferrata "Cassiopea" This is the easiest route for the summit of this tower, but is far from being easy. Is an athypical via ferrata because it doesn't follow ledges, chymneys or dihedrals, but it goes up vertically straight to the top. The degree of difficulty is very high for this kind of routes, there are several passages of the III, IV and IV+ UIAA degree. Only for via ferrata experts!
Via Comici ( Direttissima est )
Comici-Del Torso-Zanutti ( 7/15/1936 )
A "classic" of the group Dolomiti d'Oltre Piave. Extremely difficult and exposed.
300 m UIAA V and VI
Via Baldi-Sigon ( North face )
300 m III and IV
I'm not sure but I think that part of this route has been used for the descent of the via ferrata
This Tower is inside Parco delle Dolomiti Friulane. There aren't fees to pay or particular limitations, just remember that this is a protected area.
AccomodationThere are two huts in the area: Rifugio Flaiban-Pacherini ( at the moment closed for a makeover ) and Rifugio Pordenone.
Accomodation in Forni di Sopra and Cimolais
Forni di Sopra hotels
Camping Forni di Sopra
Getting thereThere are two possible ways of access: From Rifugio Pordenone ( 12 kms by car from Cimolais through Val Cimoliana ) or from Forni di Sopra
From the Brennero motorway exit Bressanone/Brixen and the S.Candido-Cortina-Pieve di cadore-Passo della Màuria-Forni di Sopra
from Pieve di Cadore to Longarone-Cimolais
From the Udine-Tarvisio motorway exit carnia and then Tolmezzo-Villa Santina-Forni di Sopra
From the Udine tarvisio motorway exit Gemona and then S.Daniele-Spilimbergo-Maniago-Barcis-Cimolais
From Venezia to Belluno-Longarone-Cimolais
From Venezia to Belluno-Pieve di Cadore-Passo della Màuria-Forni di Sopra
Maps and BooksMaps
1) 021 Dolomiti di Sinistra Piave
2) Parco naturale delle Dolomiti friulane
A.and C. Berti - Dolomiti Orientali vol. II, C.A.I. - T.C.I.
S.Fradeloni - Dolomiti di sinistra Piave e Prealpi Carniche, Edizioni Dolomiti
I.Zandonella - 50 escursioni in Val del Piave, Edizioni Tamari
L.Visentini - Dolomiti d'Oltre Piave - Escursionismo e vie normali
Emilio Comici - Alpinismo eroico - Vivalda editori
Spiro Dalla Porta Xidias - Emilio Comici - Nordpress editrice
Spiro Dalla Porta Xidias - Mito di un Alpinista - Nuovi sentieri editore
When to climbThe best season is from may to october.
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