Cimon della Pala is the second highest summit of the Pale di San Martino Group in the Dolomites. Second only to its slightly higher neighbour Cima della Vezzana it is nevertheless the best known mountain of the whole range. This popularity mainly stems from the beautiful silhouette of the mountain when seen from Passo Rolle to its west. From this angle it looks like a pointed seemingly inaccessible spire (sometimes dubbed "Dolomites Matterhorn"). Anyway, the views of Cimon della Pala and Cima della Vezzana from Passo Rolle or from nearby Baita Segantini are among the best known views of the Dolomites. Second (or third) only to the famous Drei Zinnen View from Drei Zinnen Hütte (or to the Torri di Vaiolet from Gartlhütte) they have been published in any guidebook about the mountain range.
Though seemingly inaccessible, however the normal ascent, which follows the eastern summit ridge, is only an UIAA III affair and was first climbed by L. Darmstädter, J. Niederwieser-Stabeler and Luigi Bernard in 1989. Interestingly though the first ascent didn't follow the normal route but was done by climbing the north face, performed by E.R. Whitwell, S. Siorpaes amd C. Lahner in 1970. Today most - if not all - summiters follow the normal ascent which runs by the Bivacco Fiamme Gialle, which is located at roughly 3000m to the east of the mountain. There are two routes which both combine near the Bivacco at Passo del Travignolo.
The northern route starts at Rifugio Pedrotti and follows the Cima Vezzana southern ascent through Valle dei Cantoni and heads directly up to the pass. The southern route starts at the central station of the Rosetta cableway and follows the Via Attrezzata Bolver Lugli and reaches the Bivacco before combining with the northern ascent route at the Travignolo Pass.
From the pass the ascent follows the Cimon della Pala east ridge with several UIAA III sections shortly before the summit. Most people skip this last part of the ascent and return via Valle dei Cantoni to Rifugio Pedrotti.
C. CoronaCr. d. PalaCimon della PalaCol CantoniIl NuvoloC. della VezzanaC. dei BureloniC. di Val GrandeC. delle ComelleCamp. di Val GrandeCamp. FocobonC. FocobonC. di CampidoC. ZopelC. Lastei di Focobon
Looking north-west from Cima della Fradusta across the Altipiano delle Pale di San Martino towards Cimon della Pala and the northern chain. Hide / Show annotations
The Pale di San Martino northern chain seen from Baita Segantini
The best starting point for Cimon della Pala is San Martino di Castrozza.
From there a two stage cable car leads up to Cima della Rosetta. San Martino di Castrozza can be reached as follows:
Motorway A13 (Bologna-Padova) exit Padova South or Padova West; SS47 della Valsugana (in the direction of Bassano/Trento) up to Cismon del Grappa; SS50bis (in the direction of Feltre/Belluno) up to Arten; SS50 to San Martino
Motorway A4 (Torino-Trieste) up to Vicenza and motorway A31(Vicenza-Valdastico) exit Dueville;
SS47 della Valsugana (in the direction of Bassano/Trento) up to Cismon del Grappa;
SS50bis (in the direction Feltre/Belluno) up to Arten;
SS50 to San Martino
Motorway A22 (Modena-Verona-Brennero) exit Trento center;
SS47 della Valsugana (in the direction Bassano/Padova) up to Cismon del Grappa;
SS50bis (in the direction of Feltre/Belluno) up to Arten;
SS50 to San Martino
Motorway A22 (Modena-Verona-Brennero) exit Egna-Ora (BZ);
SS48 (in the direction of Val di Fiemme - Val di Fassa) up to Predazzo;
SS50 to Passo Rolle and San Martino di Castrozza
From the summit, view to the "Altopiano delle Pale"Cimon della Pala overlooking the Lagorai Chain as seen from Passo Venegia
Cimon della Pala is located on the eastern border of the Parco Naturale Paneveggio - Pale di San Martino. The Natural Park consists of the area of the Pale di San Martino Group as well as the forest of Paneveggio and the porphyritic chain of Lagorai. It contains an area of 125 sqare km which in 1987 has been divided in three different levels of protection: 33% of the area have been assigned complete protected areas, 60% are restriced areas while 7% are controlled area. For more information you can look at the Park's official website. There are no fees or limitations for hiking and climbing, however you might have to be prepared for small parking fees within San Martino. The cable car parking lot is free.
When to Climb
The usual climbing season runs from late June through late September.
For Hotels and appartments have a look at the websites of the towns and villages of the region:
If you are interested in the mountain huts and Refuges, just have a look at the Pale di San Martino Group Page. The closest hut is Rifugio Pedrotti, the closest bivouac is Bivacco Fiamme Gialle east of the summit.
For weather conditions in Trentino look at the following pages