The southern part of the Latemar Amphitheatre seen during the ascent to Schenon
- Start altitude: 1752m
- Summit altitude: 2800m
- Prevailing exposition: N, later S
- Type: 2h on trails, 2h marked scramble
- Protection: none
Effort: 1100m gain in elevation
Power: 1 - easy
Psyche: 2 - though easy and not very exposed, still scary doe to "scree on the rocks"
You can find descriptions of the Schenon ascent in almost any hiking guidebook which deals with Latemar. They all claim that the hike is difficult and strenuous. The former is wrong, the latter true but what the books generally forget to mention is that the scramble to the summit is scary and dangerous. You need absolute control over arms and legs since the ledges and chimneys the ascent runs along are covered with fine scree. Especially the descent can get very dangerous. Don't do it in wet conditions.
From Karerpass / Passo di Costalunga there are two routes to Forcella Latemar Piccola - on both sides of Poppekanzel / Cima Pope.
Take trail no 21 into Karerforst. After a while you reach an intersection from which trail no 18 turns of left (south-east). The trail leads you through the forest to the base of the couloir which leads to Forcella Latemar Piccola. The ascent - though a scramble - is fairly straightforward but for a short UIAA I section (just below the Forcella) on polished rock. There are some holds so ascending is easily possible but I wouldn't want to descend here.
Follow trail no. 517 southwards towards Malga Vallace. After one km the forest road ends and the trail slowly leads upwards across the lower slopes of Cima Pope. At Malga Vallace it splits - take the western branch which soon leads steeply through sparse pine forest to the scree fields north of Cima Pope. There are lots of curious looking towerlets below which the trail winds its way. You'll reach the Forcella after about 2h and after a steep scramble up its eastern couloir.
From Forcella Latemar Piccola a trail leads southward around the Latemar slopes and into the amphitheatre. It climbs up and down and before long turns into a ledge trail. The remainder of the climb leads you along these ledges, often using a chimney or gully to reach a higher one. In the chimneys you often can see the porphyritic inlays which make Latemar such a crumbly affair. Use them as steps wherever you can because fraction on this rock is rather good. Take your time, especially if there are other parties.
Most of the climb uses the southern sides of the Latemar summits occasionally reaching a pass with good views towards the north. The final ascent reportedly is steep scree but it is short, about 50m of elevation gain.
Hiking gear. In case you encounter other parties a helmet might be a good idea.