Tofana di Dentro North Ridge
Tofana di Dentro or Tofana de Inze or Tofana III m 3238 is a mountain belonging to the group of the three majestic Tofane in the Eastern Dolomites and it’s the less popular and less known among these three mountains of similar height. However it's a beautiful peak, full of history, that can be climbed choosing amongst three different Normal routes.
It will be described the Normal route running along the North Ridge of the mountain, a long and scenic itinerary that is particularly interesting in reason of the superb views and the remains of the fighting on these high summits during the First World War.
First ascent: Paul Grohmann with Angelo Dimai 1865, August 27th
Two different road approachs are possible depending if coming from Bolzano or Belluno
- From Bolzano: take the Brennero Highway, exit to Bressanone and take the Val Pusteria, getting Brunico and Dobbiaco; here turn to right to Val di Landro, reaching Carbonin and then Cortina d’Ampezzo. Here take the road to Passo Falzarego and leave the main road to follow on the right the signposts to Col Drusciè and Ristorante Pietofana, where you can park the car.
- From Belluno: follow the road SS 51 to Longarone and Pieve di Cadore; in Pieve turn to left and follow the road to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Here take the road SS48 to Passo Falzarego. Leave the main road after a few kilometers and follow on the right the signposts to Col Drusciè and Ristorante Pietofana, where you can park the car.
From Ristorante Pietofana m. 1675 take the path n. 407 rising to Forcella Ra Vales m. 2300. A shorter walking approach can be done taking the “Freccia del Cielo” cable-car starting from the Col Drusciè Hut and reaching the Ra Vales middle station. From here the Forcella Ra Vales can be quickly reached descending along a short scree.
Tofana di Dentro North ridge
Difficulty: F+ (Alpine scale) - I grade (rocky section), 45° the snow section
Difference in level: 940 m. from Forcella Ra Valles, 1550 m. from Ristorante Pietofana
A panoramic and long route, alternating tracks with cairns, easy rocky steps and snow slopes near the summit
From the Ra Vales col m 2300 head to left following a path that describes a wide semicircle to the right, reaching the scree located below Tofana di Mezzo and Tofana di Dentro. Cross the long scree to reach the characteristic remains of the barracks Formenton m 2653, dating back to the First World War; from the remains climb up to a small notch, after passing through a window into the rock. Downclimb briefly on the other side and follow a trail with many hairpins climbing up a large gully through narrow ledges sometimes exposed, getting to a col called Forcella Formenton m 2860, separating Tofana di Dentro from Cima Formenton.
Climb easy rocks with a short-equipped step and then a scree to reach the emergency bivouac Baracca degli Alpini Battaglione Fenestrelle, a secluded real nest of eagles, lost on the mountain at an altitude of 2922 m (7 places). From the bivouac follow at first the jagged rocks of the north ridge and some debris, finally the crest almost always snowy or icy. A last gravel on the East side (towards Cortina) leads to the short summit ridge short and to the old wooden cross of the summit.
Descent: reversing the route
Ice axe and crampons are highly recommended at the beginning of the season or after summer snowfalls.
No fees no permits required
As the whole area of Tofane, Tofana di Dentro was the scene of fierce battles between Austro-Hungarian and Italian troops during the First World War. In May 1916 an Austro-Hungarian patrol conquered Tofana di Dentro quote 2758, renaming this place "Nemesis", with the intention of regaining the main summits of both Tofana di Dentro and Tofana di Mezzo, fallen into the hands of the Alpine troops. But the project was never completed because a few months later the Alpine troops retook "Nemesis" after hard fighting.
There is a wide choice of different kinds of accommodations in Cortina d'Ampezzo an surroundings: hotels, appartments, campgrounds and huts.
Along the route, at the height of 2922 meters, is located the Capanna degli Alpini Battaglione Fenestrelle, an original and well restored hut of the italian alpine troops, fighting in altitude in the Tofane Group during the First World War. It's a wooden emergency bivouac with 7 bed, embedded in a niche of the rocky wall below the North ridge of Tofana di Dentro. A true eagles' nest!
The best season to climb goes from the end of June to the end od September
"3000 delle Dolomiti" - Ed. Idea Montagna, Collana "Vie Normali", 2012
"Dolomiti Orientali" Vol. I Parte I - Antonio Berti, Collana Guide Monti d'Italia CAI-TCI