Marmolada d’Ombretta 3247 m
Marmolada d’Ombretta 3247 m. is a superb ridge running for almost 2 km. showing a succession of eleven amazing spires, pinnacles and towers, all overcoming 3000 meters, amongst which the highest point touching the altitude of 3247 m is Punta Ombretta. Each of these eleven summits matchs as many pillars 900 meters drop on the Southern side of the mountain. From the Eastern side of Marmolada Ombretta the walls continue, originating a mountain range called Serauta. It consists of four summits: Serauta, Piz Serauta, Monte Serauta and foresummit. While the North side of Marmolada d'Ombretta is rarely climbed because it doesn’t offer particular mountaineering interest, on the contrary the Southern wall forged in shape of tremendous smooth slabs has a special importance because here run some of the most beautiful and challenging routes of Marmolada, Dolomites and whole Alps. These extraordinary walls are one of the temples of world mountaineering as well as the walls of Punta Rocca.
The South face of the Marmolada Ombretta is a gigantic wall situated between the South face of Punta Rocca, to the left, and Serauta to the right. Ombretta counts about 90 climbing routes, bounded to the left (West, towards Marmolada di Rocca South wall) by the "Gran Diedro Martini" and to the right (East) by the deep gully that separates Ombretta from Serauta. The wall is characterized by these main sectors: Torri di Marmolada d'Ombretta, Dorso dell'Elefante, Specchio di Sara, Pilastro Sud-Est, Agnese, Franca, Rosanna, Dante, Uli, Upo pillars and Parete d'Argento (Silver Wall). A wide ledge cuts horizontally the wall, from Dorso dell'Elefante to "Torri di Marmolada d'Ombretta", and finally it stops giving a great continuity to the sector "Parete d'Argento", where it falls a long waterfall. In the middle of this fascinating Silver Wall it is located a niche in the shape of a whale, become worldwide famous in the history of extreme climbing: in fact on this wall and "across the fish" the Czechs Igor Koller and Sustr in the year 1981 climbed the famous route "Attraverso il Pesce" ("Through the Fish"), a real challenging test for extreme climbing that here touches the limits of the VIII grade UIAA.
The starting point to climb on Marmolada d’Ombretta is the resort of Malga Ciapèla m 1435 in Rocca Pietore commune (BL).
- coming from Brennero Highway exit Ora and take the road SS51 towards Val di Fassa, getting to Cavalese, Predazzo, Moena, Pozza di Fassa and Canazei. From Canazei take the road to Passo Fedaia m. 2054, situated between Canazei and Malga Ciapèla, then continue to Malga Ciapèla. This resort is the starting point of the trail to Rifugio Falier and Malga Ciapèla - Punta Rocca cable car.
- coming from Belluno take the road to Agordo, Alleghe and Caprile. Pass Caprile and take on the left the road to Malga Ciapèla.
Walking approach to Rifugio Onorio Falier 2074 m.
Refuge Falier on Vallon d’Ombretta is an excellent base to climb all the routes of Marmolada SW and S walls, so it’s excellent also to climb on Punta Ombretta. All the climbing routes on Punta Ombretta are long and very demanding. An alpine start is required, so it is convenient to stay overnight at the shelter. From Malga Ciapèla m. 1435 follow the road to the campsite and beyond, as far as the ban on driving. By walking reach the confluence of Val Franzedas in Val Ombretta and further on the trail, path n. 610, continue to Malga Ombretta m. 1904, placed at the Eastern edge of Pian de Ombretta and surrounded by the walls of Piz Serauta on one side and Marmolada on the other one. Crossed all Pian de Ombretta reach the base of the ridge from where, after a short climb, you will reach the Rifugio Falier m. 2074 (2 hours from Malga Ciapèla)
The whole crossing of the long and serrated crest of Marmolada d'Ombretta was realized for the first time by Kurt Leuchs and Karl Finckh in the year 1909. The great Southern wall of Marmolada d'Ombretta was won by Umberto Conforto and Franco Bertoldi with an itinerary that takes advantage of the weak points along cracks and chimneys with difficulties up to VI UIAA (1939). Missing only Comici, Carlesso and Cassin, the greatest protagonists of mountaineering in the Sixth Grade Age measured with Marmolada walls, like Gino Soldà, G. Battista Vinatzer, Luigi Micheluzzi, Ettore Castiglioni, Bruno Detassis, Umberto Conforto. More recently Armando Aste, Reinhold Messner, Sergio Martini, Heinz Mariacher, Maurizio Giordani and the Czech Igor Koller.
The South face of the Marmolada Ombretta is a gigantic wall with about 90 climbing routes. Here is related a small selection. UIAA scale
- Via Conforto - Bertoldi TD-, VI- 870 m. Dev. 1000 m., 26 pitches - U. Conforto, F. Bertoldi, dal 17 al 19/8/1939 - A historic route, not frequently climbed, the first to be climbed on Marmolada d'Ombretta. The Silver Wall is bounded on the right by a deep cleft. The first half of the route follows this natural line, then turn to left along a more direct line. Few pegs in place, friend and excentrics are very useful.
- Via Pisoni-Castiglioni D+, V 800 m. 20 pitches - G. Pisoni, E. Castiglioni 21/8/1942 Another historical route, low frequented, few pegs in place. See here the route topo: Via Pisoni-Castiglioni
- Via dell'Ideale , TD+, VI+ - 920 m., Dev. 1300 m. 31 pitches - Armando Aste and Franco Solina 24/25/26/27/28/29-8-1964 - The route climbs the Silver Wall (Parete d'Argento), so nicknamed by Armando Aste, in the sector lying on the left of the waterfall by following the natural opportunities given by the rock. A great classic route of the Sixties, smart, techical and on beautiful limestone. See here the route's report and topo Pareti Verticali - Via dell'Ideale
- Fortuna EX, 6c+ - 920 m. Dev. 1335 m., 32 pitches - M. Giordani, F. Zenatti, 5-8 and 1-9-1985 - Magnificent route, amongst the most fine on Marmolada, almost completely equipped; almost all the 80 pegs used were left in place
- Via Irreale ED+, 7a+ - 920 m. Dev. 1390 m., 33 pitches - M. Giordani, F. Zenatti 17/18/19-8-1983
- Specchio di Sara EX, 7b+ - 800 m. Dev. 1085 m, 22 pitches - M. Giordani, R. Manfrini, august 1988 - This route climb one of the most compact areas of the wall. A "classic- extreme" of the wall.
- Schwalbenschwanz TD, VI obbl. - 800 m. Dev. 900 m., 24 pitches - L. Rieser, R. Schiestl 19-11-1978 - Nowaday a route become a classic of the wall, frequently climbed and almost completely equipped. The route runs on the right of Parete d'Argento (Silver Wall). See here the route's topo: Schwalbenschwanz - Planetmountain
- Via Don Quixote TD, VI - 950 m., 21 pitches - H. Mariacher, R. Schiestl, 24-6-1979 - One of the most affordable of Ombretta, become a great classic of the Dolomites and frequently climbed
- Attraverso il Pesce ABO, VII+ and A0, or VIII+ in free climbing - 920 m. Dev 1220 m. - J. Koller, J. Sustr il 2/3/4-8-1981 - A great and challenging route that made Marmolada d'Ombretta worldwide famous and rightly passed in the myth. It climbs through the fish, a peculiar whale-shaped niche, the only sign of weakness in the vast compactness of the impressive wall. Today it has become one of the classic extreme of the Dolomites, and even if the initial equipment has been changed, it's still a route absolutely not to be taken lightly. See here the route's topo: Via Attraverso il pesce - Planetmountain