Lagazuoi Piccolo (or Kleiner Lagazuoi) is a wellknown mountain belonging to the Fanes Group in the Italian Dolomites. During the First world war, between 1915 and 1917, Lagazuoi was the scene of fierce clashes between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops, who built tunnel networks excavated inside Lagazuoi Piccolo. Both sides dug a network of tunnels inside the mountain with the aim of planting mines beneath their enemies. Some of the tunnels they dug have been restored and allows hikers/climbers to climb through the inside the mountain via the tunnel system. The route is part of a via ferrata and is very popular nowadays.
Although somewhat lower in elevation compared to Lagazuoi Grande, Lagazuoi Piccolo is arguably the more famous one of the two neighbouring mountains. Reasons for it are the cableway that leads up to the mountain from the Falzarego pass, the presence of the Lagazuoi mountain Hut (2752m) and the famous Via Ferrata that goes up the mountain, largely through the world war I tunnel system.
Lagazuoi Piccolo is located directly to the north of the Falzarego Pass (2105m) and to the east of the Valparola pass (2192m). Lagazuoi Piccolo is separated from Lagazuoi Grande by the Forcella Lagazuoi (2573m), situated east of the mountain.
There are multiple routes up the mountain. The most famous ones are probably the 2 Via Ferrata routes. The first of them, The Lagazuoi Tunnel / La Galleria (SP Route page here) route follows, for a large part of the route, through the WWI tunnel system. Another famous route is the Kaiserjägersteig (SP Route Page here), a Via Ferrata starting from the Falzarego Pass. Also a hiking trail goes up to the summit, coming from the East & North. The summit is marked by a large summit cross and a wooden plaque in memory of all who have died while fighting on and around the mountain during the first world war.
The normal route is the easiest and only hiking route up to the summit of Lagazuoi Piccolo. The route is graded T3 and starts at the Passo Falzarrego. Follow the well-marked trail no. 402 up to the Forcella Travenanzes (2507m). At this saddle there is a junction of hiking trails. Head towards the west on trail 402 in the direction of Forcella Lagazuoi. Once arrived the the forcella keep following the trail up the north flank of Lagazuoi until you reach the Rifugio Lagazuoi at 2752m. From here follow the trail (you can already spot the summit cross) towards the west to reach the actual summit of Lagazuoi Piccolo at 2778m.
The Kaiserjägersteig is a Via Ferrata route which is graded “A” (Austrian gradation) or “K1” (German gradation) and therefore graded as “easy”. The route starts at the Falzarego pass and is the only trail heading towards the North-NW from the Pass. Follow the
well-marked trail up until the Via Ferrata starts. The Ferrata is always easy and is partly a true Via Ferrata and partly a hiking trail. The route goes up along the south Face of Lagazuoi until the crest is reached. From here an easy hiking trail goes towards the east and up to the summit of Lagazuoi Piccolo. Ascend time is about 2 to 3 hours.
The Galleria Via Ferrata is the most famous route to the summit of Lagazuoi Piccolo. The route starts from the Falzarego Pass. First follow hiking trail no. 402 in a northern direction. At the first junction follow the signs “Galleria Via Ferrata”. Soon the Via Ferrata along the south Face of Lagazuoi starts. (The route is partly a Via Ferrata and partly a hiking trail) The Ferrata itself is easy and graded A/K1. The larger part of the route leads through old World War One tunnels, which is really impressive to say the least. Don’t forget a (head)-lamp. Without
one route finding is impossible! The route ends at the Lagazuoi cableway top station. From here it is just a hike to reach the summit of Lagazuoi Piccolo via the Rifugio Lagazuoi. Ascend time is 2,5 to 3 hours.
IV Other routes
There are several rock climbing routes located on the south face of the mountain:
Via A Baby (South Face), 350m ,UIAA D
Via Vonbank (South Face), 210m, UIAA D-
For a route planner (Google) to get to the Falzarego Pass click here.
The second Italian line was positioned At the Cinque Torri and Averauwith artillery emplacements and floodlights to light up the mountain side ofLagazuoi. It was soon clear to both sides thatthe best protection from enemyartillery fire was provided by the mountain itself and so began the excavations with emplacements andencampments transforming Piccolo Lagazuoi into a natural fortification. InsideLagazuoi today it is still possible to see the long tunnels, wooden huts,emplacements and trenches which form the open air museum of the Great War.
Between 18 and 19 October 1915, two Italianplatoons occupied some positions on the southern slope of Lagazuoi Piccolo, among them the Cengia Martini, which crosses the west-east wall and wasstrategically important, while Austro- Hungarians were on the top of themountain. To attack their Italian opponents in their fortified positions in therock, the Austrians exploded three mines, the most powerful explosion happened on May 22, 1917: A big part of the wallwas blown up. However, the Italians on the Cengia Martini did not abandon theirposition.
In return, the Italians digged a twohundred meter high altitude tunnel within the mountain and on June 20, 1917, 32.664 pounds of explosives were placedunder it brought to explosion. The crater caused by this explosion can still beidentified. After the battle of Caporetto, the Italians withdrew from all their positions and militaryoperations in the area ended.
Also see this great article about world war I in the Dolomites by Silvia Mazzani and Alberto Rampini
Telephone:+39 340 7195306
Publisher: Alpinverlag Jentzsch-Rabl (German withEnlish summaries)
Kompass WK55 Cortina d'Ampezzo - 1:50.000 – ISBN/EAN 9783850265119
Rifugio Lagazuoi Webcam 2
Rifugio Lagazuoi Webcam 3
Lagazuoi Cableway Prices and Operating hours
Cortinad’Ampezzo Official Website + Accomodation
Weather Lagazuoi & Falzarego Pass by Bergfex