Geographical Classification : Eastern Alps > Dolomites > Latemar Group > Schenon
Most of the mountains in the Latemar Group
are an assortment of scree and broken rocks, occasionally putting up the show of an impressive spire. The northern ridge however, while also being composed of talus slopes to the south, shows impressive 800m faces to the north. The view from Karersee / Lago Carezza, which is featured above, is one of the best known and most popular one of the whole Dolomites. There are a multitude of towers, the Campanili di Latemar / Latemartürme, and one massive north-west face, the one of Schenon.
There is a lot of confusion, especially in German literature, about the names of the various towers of the Latemar north face. Schenon is a case in point: in German it is called "Östliche Latemarspitze" (eastern Latemar Peak) an name it sometimes shares with neighbouring Cornon or Torre Christomannos. Being located on the border of South Tyrol (mostly German speaking) and Trentino (Italian and Ladinian speaking) I feel I have to report all names but will stick to the shorter and more unique one: Schenon.
Schenon's north-west face is the most impressive feature in the Latemar northern view, dropping about 800m from the summit cross (which is located a bit west of the true summit) to the labyrinth-like rock meadows around Mitterleger Alm. But on closer inspection you can already see that the rock quality is rather poor. None of the Latemar north faces get climbed nowadays - there is just too much rubble.
But why? The climb to the summit along the southern talus slopes and ledges reveals the reason. Among the quite solid main dolomite rock you find porphyritic inlays. These rocks of volcanic origin erode much faster than the dolomite, so that the mountain range is veritably crumbling away from the inside. Back below the north faces you notice this by rock fall which occurs very often, even in warm summer conditions.
Still Schenon, together with its neighbour Cornon (2791m), is one of the few mountains which can be climbed. You have to start at Karerpass / Passo di Costalunga, more than a thousand meters below. While the climb is easy it gets scary above Forcella Latemar Piccola. Here the "trail" runs along scree covered ledges, occasionally climbing a chimney or two. It is very hard to keep your footing and a slip would send you down the talus gullies in no time. Also the broken rock gives you no real possibilities where to set up protection. Most of the climbers / hikers we observed up there returned after a couple of hundred meters.
We also did not reach the summit. We had to turn around at an elevation of 2740m (GPS reading) because I was dumb enough to knock my right knee against one of the rocks when climbing into one of the chimneys below the summit. Not being able to walk for quite a while we decided to call it quits. We made it into a little pass below Schenon so that we could enjoy part of the summit view. Which is the main reason why I still can recommend this climb. Latemar is the westernmost group of the Dolomites and its summits offer great views towards the Dolomites as well as the Ortler / Cevedale
and Ötztal Alps Groups
. Most famous is the view towards Rosengarten / Catinaccio
but popular Karersee / Lago Carezza is just an emerald dot in the dense Karerforst.
Latemar north faces as seen from Karersee / Lago Carezza. Hide / Show Annotations
Cima PopeCornonSchenonTorre ChristomannosCimon del LatemarCampanili di LatemarCima del ForcelloneCresta del MinatoriCima Bewaller