Cima Grande South Face - Ordinary Route

Page Type
South-Tyrol (Sextener Dolomites), Italy, Europe
Route Type:
Mountaineering, Trad Climbing
Time Required:
Most of a day
UIAA II to III (YDS 5.2 to 5.5)

Route Quality: 6 Votes

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Cima Grande South Face - Ordinary Route
Created On: Jan 8, 2005
Last Edited On: Feb 27, 2006


The highest tower of the Tre Cima di Lavaredo attracts many climbers. Both scenic and relatively easy south face routes are popular so that the rock is polished in the more difficult passages. (Like Fred says, "Smoother than David's butt!") Since this peak is nearly 10000 feet high, weather and snow can complicate the climbs. When we tried it in early July of 1995, there was much snow in the first gully as well as in the upper third of the face. The views from the face are wonderful!


This can be approached from either the parking lot at the Auronzo hut or from the Lavaredo hut. There is a well defined trail from near the church to a gully goes left at the col between Cima Grande and Cima Piccola (red marking). 20 min (from Lavaredo) to 1 hour (from Auronzo)

Route Description

The route generally runs along the right (east) side of the south face first the gully between Cima Grande and Cima Piccola and then diagonally across the face through a series of walls and chimneys dissected by two large terraces.

Cima Grande South Face RouteThe ordinary route on Cima Grande South Face
Ascend the above mentioned gully by a ramp for 50m (UIAA II). It is often snow filled in early season. A wall to the left can be climbed, if you want to avoid the snow. From the col at the top go diagonally L up a wall (II+) to a ledge and then by a gully to a scree covered shoulder. This is the lower terrace, which cuts the whole face. If climbing the Mosca Chimney route, you would proceed west along the terrace. The Ordinary route continues a little R and then up chimneys, keeping near the SE ridge, with 1 pitch of III up a smooth chimney near the top. At the Upper Terrace, there is a gully that leads L 50m of UIAA II to the summit blocks (the Mosca Chimney route reconnects here).

Essential Gear

50m rope, 6 quickdraws or slings, at least 6 carabiners, a small rack. Most protection is in place, but because this route is popular, care needs to be taken in trusting it. Rappel anchors are in place, but again, check them carefully before using.
Helmet advised: rockfall caused by other climbers on the terraces possible.