Pilastro Priolo, Lastoni di Formin

Pilastro Priolo, Lastoni di Formin

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.48675°N / 12.08805°E
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Alpine TD
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 11
Additional Information Grade: VI
Sign the Climber's Log



Geographical classification: Eastern Alps > Dolomites > Lastoni di Formin > Pilastro Priolo


The beautiful area of Lastoni di Formin offers a great choice of classic and also some modern routes running on the wide West wall facing the road rising to Passo Giau and on the South-West wall overlooking the Alpe di Mondeval. Starting from the left Lastoni di Formin main climbing sectors are Gran Diedro, Grande Parete CosteanaPunta Lastoi or Spitz de MondevalIV Bastione di Mondeval and V Bastione di Mondeval.

Lastoni di Formin labelled panorama
Lastoni di Formin labelled panorama


The Pilastro Priolo is a superb classic route located in the sector of Gran Diedro, on the left part of the West wall. This face is easily visible from the road leading to Passo Giau from Cortina d'Ampezzo.  It's a satisfying and fine route running on the stunning vertical and wide pillar on the left wall of the "Grande Diedro", located on the left part of Lastoni di Formin West wall. It is a route with compact rock developing at first along a succession of dihedrals on the right of the edge. The upper part, more airy and with greater difficulty,  runs on the left of the edge and in the last part still on the right up to the summit.

Lastoni di Formin
Lastoni di Formin
Lastoni di Formin, Gran Diedro
Lastoni di Formin, Gran Diedro
Pelmo from Lastoni di Formin
Pelmo from Lastoni di Formin

Getting There

 Road access

The starting point to approach the route is Passo Giau m. 2236, one of the highest pass in the Dolomites, offering a breathtaking view over the majority of the Eastern and Western Dolomites. Passo Giau is situated at 16 km. from Cortina d’Ampezzo m. 1230 (Belluno province), the main resort in this area. Cortina can be approached from Belluno or from Bolzano:

- Road approach from Belluno: follow the road SS 51 towards North reaching Longarone and Pieve di Cadore; from Pieve the SS51 turns to left, reaching San Vito di Cadore and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

- Road approach from Bolzano: take the Brennero Motorway, exit to Bressanone and then follow the road SS 51 along Pusteria Valley, reaching Brunico and Dobbiaco; from Dobbiaco follow on the right Val di Landro, reaching Carbonin m. 1432. At the fork road in Carbonin turn to right towards Cortina d’Ampezzo.


The road to Passo Giau in a summer sunset
The road to Passo Giau in a summer sunset
The little chapel on Passo Giau
The little chapel on Passo Giau


From Cortina d’Ampezzo m. 1230 to Passo Giau m. 2236

– Follow the road SS48 to Falzarego Pass and in Pocol turn to left following the Road SP638 to Passo Giau (16 km. from Cortina).

Route Description

 Pilastro Priolo (NW Pillar) report – UIAA scale 


Beta of Pilastro Priolo, Lastoni di Formin Beta of Pilastro Priolo, Lastoni di Formin

Summit altitude: m. 2956 Difficulty:TD, max UIAA VI Equipment: pegs Climbing length: 430 m Exposure: North West First ascent: A. Gross – G. Momoli 1963, September 3rd Starting point: road to Passo Giau

A stunning classic climb. The route offers some of the different styles of the climb in the Dolomites, as dihedrals, walls, cracks and chimneys.

Walking approach
A few hairpin bends before Passo Giau, coming from Cortina, you find on the left the signpost of the path 436 to Forcella Giau. Park the car and take this path. When you exit the woods and pass the pastures, ignore the main path and head towards the wall going up to the left. Once you get to the scree slopes that descend from the wall follow a trail that leads up to the pillar. Climb the easy rocks at the base, reaching a slab cut by slanting cracks. A sling on a hole is at the starting point of the route and of another sport route. 1 hour from the road.
L1 - Climb the chimney on the left with a jammed boulder, then some good slabs on the left and belay on a large terrace (keep yourself on the left of a yellow roof and on the right of a black dihedral). Stop on 2 pegs,  IV +, IV,  30 m
L2 - Climb a big blade to the right and then enter the black dihedral with a large crack. Higher up the dihedral becomes easier and you leave it to follow a chimney on the left. Belay on a terrace with a hole, V and IV, 45 m.
L3 - Climb the yellow crack on the left. Uncomfortable belay on two pegs, III+, IV,  25 m.
L4 - Take the dihedral-crack of gray compact rock formed by a detached pillar to the right. Some delicate passages, no pegs. Belay on a hole, IV and IV+, 25 m.
L5 - From the belay climb at first some easy rocks, then a yellow dihedral with a peg at the beginning. Near a hole you exit to the right and up a solid slab. Belay on 2 pegs,  V and V + in the dihedral, 40 m
Exposed traverse on Pilastro Priolo, Lastoni di Formin Exposed traverse on Pilastro Priolo, Lastoni di Formin
L6 - Take the obvious blade slanting right.   Belay on a peg or a hole above. IV,  IV +, 20 m
L7 - Now it begins a long traverse to the left and slightly downhill in the last part with some delicate moves that allows to get the left (North) side of the ridge, IV,  V+, some steps of VI, 20 m
L8 - Climb a dark compact slab and belay on the right on 3 pegs,  IV, 15 m
L9 - To the right on a narrow ledge, then climb the crack on the left and at another ledge reach the base of a yellow dihedral.  Belay on a peg, IV,  IV+, 20 m
L10 - Enter the dihedral and climb it, by pass an overhang and belay on some pegs, IV+, V+, VI-, 30 m
L11 - Climb  the overhang, then traverse to the right on a yellow slab, pass a small ridge and enter a chimney leading to the summit. Belay on an outcrop, VI, V, IV, 35 m

There are two ways to descend:

- the shortest one is walking to the right (South) following some cairns towards the summit of Spitz de Mondeval (the highest point of the Lastoni di Formin) to get the starting anchor of the first one of 3 abseils (3 x 25 meters) within a large gully on the left of the summit cairn, getting the base of the wall (facing South) overlooking the Mondeval meadows. From here walk up to get the Forcella Giau, then take the path to Passo Giau, At a junction descend to the right to get the road. 

The jagged profile of Croda da Lago seen from Lastoni di Formin
The jagged profile of Croda da Lago seen from Lastoni di Formin
Antelao and Becco di Mezzodì from the summit
Antelao and Becco di Mezzodì from the summit


- a longer way without rapping is by walking on Lastoni di Formin normal route, a nice hike across the karst tableland towards the Forcella Rossa, where a path descents to the Alpe di Mondeval and rises to Forcella Giau. From here as described in the previous point. 

Essential Gear

 In addition to the normal climbing gear bring a complete set of friends, hammer and some pegs are advisable.  

Red Tape


The wide West wall of Lastoni di Formin The wide West wall of Lastoni di Formin


There are not particulary restrictions in hiking and climbing, but Lastoni di Formin are situated inside "Pelmo and Croda da Lago" area, one of the nine mountains systems of the Dolomites acknowledged as UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE and require the best care and respect.


More info about Dolomiti Unesco World Heritage here:

Dolomites living mountains

Dolomiti Unesco

When to climb

 Best season goes from June to October.

Where to stay

Rifugio Passo Giau m. 2236 is located just on the pass. There are several other possibilities of accomodation in Cortina and surroundings.   



Lastoni di Formin map Lastoni di Formin map


Arpav Dolomiti Meteo


Dolomiti Meteo - Veneto

ARPAV DOLOMITI METEO Phone +390436780007 fax +390436780008

CENTRO VALANGHE DI ARABBA Phone +390436755711 fax 043679319  e-mail cva@arpa.veneto.it

Guidebooks and maps

"IV grado e più Dolomiti Orientali" by E. Zorzi, L. Brigo, C. Piovan - Ed. Idea Montagna“

“IV grado in Dolomiti” by Emiliano Zorzi - Ed. Idea Montagna

“Arrampicare a Cortina d’Ampezzo e dintorni – Le vie più belle nelle "Dolomiti” by Mauro Bernardi - Ed. Athesia

IV grado in Dolomiti Guidebook
Dolomiti Guidebook
Guidebook IV grado e più Dolomiti Orientali
Dolomiti Orientali Guidebook


We mention the valuable guide in reason of its great historical value: "Dolomiti Orientali Vol. I – Parte I”  by Antonio Berti - Collana Guide dei Monti d’Italia, CAI TCI

Map: Tabacco 03 – Dolomiti Ampezzane 1:25.000





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