The charming pre-alpine group of Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites) keeps some pearls. Baffelan is one of these, an imposing and beautiful limestone tower located in the Sengio Alto Subgroup, the central chain of Little Dolomites. By means of the mighty shape, the height – 350 meters - the remarkable highlight and the steepness of its faces Baffelan represents the emblem of the whole range. The peak shows a wide and majestic East face overlooking the Strada del Re (King’s Road), a yellow South face and a steep North face; the West side has a a shorter wall and joins the Sengio Alto notched ridge. On this peak we can count numberless high class climbing routes on a “dolomia” of very good quality; in addition to the pre-existent classic and hystorical routes, some other new ones were climbed in last ten-years period.
L'affascinante gruppo prealpino delle Piccole Dolomiti racchiude alcune perle. Una di queste è il Baffelan, imponente e bella torre dall'aspdetto dolomitico situata nel sottogruppo Sengio Alto, la catena centrale delle Piccole Dolomiti. Per le sue forme maestose, la verticalità e l'altezza delle pareti - 350 metri - il Baffelan rappresenta l'emblema dell'intero gruppo delle Piccole Dolomiti. Si distinguono l'ampia e maestosa parete Est che domina la Strada del Re, una parete Sud giallastra e una ripida parete nord; il versante Ovest invece non ha pareti cospicue e si unisce al crinale dentellato del Sengio Alto. Su questa cima si contano innumerevoli vie di arrampicata d'alta classe su una "dolomia" di ottima qualità; si aggiungono alle vie preesistenti classiche e storiche, diverse altre aperte nell'ultimo decennio.
There are two different possibilities to approach Baffelan. The approach described below allows a faster walking approach:
1 – From SE side (Vicenza province): follow A4 Motorway, exit Montecchio Maggiore and take the road to Valdagno, Recoaro and Passo di Campogrosso (47 km. from Montecchio Maggiore); some hundred meters before getting to Passo di Campogrosso take the King’s Road on the right and park the car near the bar closing the road. The walking approach if coming from SE side is quite faster then the next one.
2 – From NW side (Trento province): follow A22 Autobrennero Motoway, exit Rovereto and take the SS46 rising inside Vallarsa; after the interesting Eremo di San Colombano, the road is rising across some small villages like Valmorbia, Anghebeni and Raoxi and at least is reaching Pian delle Fugazze m. 1162 (km. 27 from Rovereto). From the pass, situated on the border between Trento and Vicenza provinces, follow for a few meters the road towards Vicenza and sudden leave it, turning to right on the King’s Road (Strada del Re, an old road suitable for vehicles only for some kilometers) leading to Malga Cornetto. Parking lot. At the fork with the road to Pasubio Military Sanctuary carry on along the main road and where the road is closed by a bar park the car in a little pull-out.
From Passo Campogrosso - Follow the Strada del Re (King’s Road), skirting the East faces of the Sengio Alto, for few hundreds of meters and park the car near the bar which closes the road. After reaching Malga Baffelan follow the trail toward the E face (20 min.)
From Pian delle Fugazze - The approach from Passo delle Pian delle Fugazze on the Trentino side is much longer but interesting. Reached Malga Cornetto (paid parking) continue along the Strada del Re by foot. The road once was an important link between the two sides, it's closed to traffic and turned into a path. At the fork with the road to Pasubio Military Sanctuary on the left, carry on along the main road soon closed by a barrier. Continue along the road, pass the start of the CAI path 175 for the Sella dell'Emmele (on the right) and after a few hundred meters of road you reach an area affected by an old landslide, where now you will find a suspension bridge that allows the crossing of the landslide: the "Ponte Avis", known as Tibetan bridge, stretched on steel ropes, very airy, narrow, swinging above the deep valley. After crossing the bridge and after a few more bends along the road, the road gets Malga Baffelan in front of the imposing East face of the Baffelan. From a hairpin below the peak a short trail starting from the hairpin leads below the East face (50 min).
First summit ascent: Giuseppe Bolfe and pals on June 24th 1877 along the West standard route
- Via Soldà IV, 180 m.
- Via Casara III, IV, 300 m.
- Via N. Soldà
- Via Compagnia
- I Segreti del Baffelan IV, V, VI-, 400 m.
- Ceneri nel Vento VI, VII, VIII+ (A0), 370 m.
- Via del Piacere V, V+, a single move grading VI, 350 m.
- Via Boschetti-Zaltron
- Alpinismo Radicale VIII-, A1 (VII obbl.), 345 m
- Via Berti - Carugati III+, a single move grading IV, 330 m. - The first itinerary on the east face of the Baffelàn climbed in 1908 by the great pioneer of the Dolomites Antonio Berti, it follows the easiest points of the face
- Via Carlesso IV, V, a single move grading V+, 290 m.
- Via Tranquillo e Placido VI, VI+, VII (A0), 280 m.
- Via Thiene IV, V, VI+, VII-, 170 m. - Route running directly on the smooth North pillar of Baffelàn, opened in 1954 by Zaltron, Finozzi and Dalle Carbonare.
- Via Vicenza III+, IV-, 170 m.
- Via Verona III+, IV-, IV, V the start, 170 m. - Classic mountaineering route of medium-low difficulty, opened by Padovan, Rossi and Bortolan in 1927. It follows an obvious system of chimneys to reach the top of the pillar where it joins Via Soldà
- Via Bentornato IV, V, VI, 220 m. - Well-protected mountaineering route, opened in 2007 by Silvio Scandolara and Arturo Franco Castagna, to the right of Via Verona.
- Via Ferrara IV, V, A1 170 m. - Historical itinerary, opened in 1971 by G. Soldà and A. Gorini which follows the edge of the north-west corner starting from the Vajo del Baffelàn.
Baffelan Normal Route West side
Summit altitude:1793 m
Difficulty: Alpine F
Difference in level: 330 m
Starting point: Rifugio Giuriolo - Passo Campogrosso 1460 m
Short and fun route on solid rock with good holds, leading to the beautiful and panoramic summit
From Rifugio Giuriolo at Campogrosso take the path 13-E5. At the second junction leave the main path and turn to right taking the path 14 rising up to Passo di Gane. From here, turn left going up to Forcella del Baffelan along a path winding among the mountain pines.
From the saddle climb the first rocks (I UIAA), then on a trace reach a scree gully, climb it and cross to the left to climb an easy crack and a dihedral (II-), bypass a slab on the right and through gullies (I) and a short trace up to the flat top with a huge cross.
Descent: reversing the route
Baffelan Normal Route across Boale del Baffelan
Summit altitude:1793 m
Difficulty: Alpine F
Difference in level: 330 m
Starting point: Strada del Re, Passo Campogrosso 1460 m
An interesting route starting from the Strada del Re and involving a short equipped section, getting Forcella del Baffelan. The last part is the same as described in the previous point.
Report: take the Strada del Re (King’s Road) and follow the trail toward Malga Baffelan, then head towards the walls, skirt the East face of Baffelan and reach on the right a built stone-wall. Climb the rocks on the left of the wall with the aid of an iron chain and enter the Boale del Baffelan, following a trail on steep gravel ground, leading to Passo del Baffelan (junction with the Arroccamento trail, signposts). Turn to left (South) and follow the Arroccamento trail to the Forcella del Baffelan. From here a short scramble up easy rocks (I, II) leads to the summit cross (1 and a half hour from the Strada del Re).
The Piccole Dolomiti are home of a local micro-climate, due to the high contrast between the NW side, colder and dry, and the SE side, warmer and wet. This situation is the cause, especially in the summer time, of frequent fogs along the East sides. In Spring we can observe a wonderful flowering of many species, some of which autocthon.
Fall is a wonderful season to climb and hike, in reason of the presence of a mixed wood, surroundings the Sengio Alto Subgroup, giving an amazing look to the landscape.
The Sengio Alto is a mountain range, rather brief, with towers and pinnacles of dolomitic appearance, located between Passo di Campogrosso and Pian delle Fugazze. Its Eastern side is more vertical and rocky, while the Western one has shorter rocky walls and less steep slopes that descend to the woods and meadows below.
The Sengio Alto is crossed by a panoramic path, called Sentiero di Arroccamento dating back to the First World War. This is an extraordinary old military path, winding between the peaks of Sengio Alto Subgroup and crossing it from Malga Cornetto m. 1220 to the Refuge Toni Giuriolo on Passo di Campogrosso m. 1456. The path was realized by the Italian Military Engineers Corp during the First World War. The path has stretches carved into the rock and several tunnels and gives really characteristic glimpses of the surrounding walls and spires. It can be accessed from both sides, Vicenza and Trento: from the Refuge Campogrosso through the Passo delle Gane or from the Sentiero del Re across the Boale del Baffelan (Vicenza) and from Malga Cornetto (Trento) through the Selletta di Nord-Ovest or the Sentiero dell'Emmele.
- Rifugio Toni Giuriolo m. 1456 - Passo Campogrosso m. 1456 - Phone +39044575030
- Rifugio Alla Guardia Phone +39044575257
On PIAN DELLE FUGAZZE:
There are no particular restrictions in climbing and hiking. Cars are not allowed on the road of Settefontane, running on the North side of the Sengio Alto chain and joining Passo Pian delle Fugazze with Passo di Campogrosso.
Best season goes from May to October.
Piccole Dolomiti e dintorni - Arrampicate scelte" by Guido Casarotto - Un updated complete selection of climbing routes in Piccole Dolomiti, Ed. Cierre 2015
“Piccole Dolomiti – Pasubio” by Gianni Pieropan - Collana Guide dei Monti d’Italia, CAI TCI
“Arrampicate nelle Piccole Dolomiti” by Guido Casarotto
“A un passo dal cielo” di Arturo Franco Castagna – Alpguide Antersass