Geographical Classification : Eastern Alps > Dolomites > Pale di San Martino > Monte Caòz
Monte Caòz is located in the remote and solitary Pale di San Lucano Subgroup of Pale di San Martino
in the Dolomites. The Subgroup is located to the north-west of the main range and is climbed rarely, probably due to the fact that more interesting mountains surround it. Moreover - though it is counted among the Dolomites - its northern ridge is composed of black volcanic rock, covered by beautiful meadows. Monte Caòz is located on that northern ridge, the first major mountain which leads to the subgroup's highpoint, Cima Pape o Sanson (2503m).
Like all of the summits on that northern ridge Monte Caòz shows an impressive north-west face, which drops 1000m into Valle di Gares below. Being brittle and crumbly no serious climbing is possible on that face. Caòz' south-eastern side however is covered by forests and meadows and offers a moderately difficult ascent route. In fact only the final 350m from Forca di Caòz along the south ridge pose problems due to exposure to the 1000m drop.
Itself not being a perfect beauty Monte Caòz is a good viewpoint to view the surrounding mountains. There is probably no better place to see the north-west pillar of Monte Agner, which is with 1600m (one of) the tallest rock faces of the whole Alps. In fact it dominates Valle di San Lucano in a way that each time the trees open up enough to offer a view to the south your eyes are drawn to that wall in awe. Other nearby mountains include Civetta
and naturally the Pale di San Martino
. On our own climb, however, clouds rose from the valley to finally cover everything so that many of the photos have been taken on another day, in which we also used part of the ascent route.
Speaking of the route, there are two possible trailheads: Gares at 1381m in Valle di Gares and Col di Pra at 843m in Valle di San Lucano. We used the latter from which you have to climb more than 1200m to reach the summit. Though an easy scramble you have to be in good condition to undertake this climb.
Overview over the Pale di San Lucano Group. Hide / Show Annotations Monte AltoCrepa RossaLagazuoiP. Zorlet/ S. BiancoLe TofaneValghereM. PalaladaCima di CaòzMonte CaòzC. VanedieiCima PapeM. PrademurCivettaC. BusazzaMoiazzaMonte and Pale di San LucanoTàmer
As mentioned in the overview Monte Caòz and in fact all the ascent routes are perfect vantage points for gaping at the Monte Agner North Face (2872m), with 1600m the Alps highest vertical rock face by some accounts. The picture above was probably taken close to the trailhead at Col di Pra and shows Monte Agner with its satellites Spiz d'Agner (2617m) (left), Torre Armena (2652m) and Lastei d'Agner (2844m). To the right is the equally impressive end of Valle d'Angheraz.