Topographic isolation: 18 km
Nearest higher point: Antelao (3264 m)
Prominence: 1369 m
Tofana di Mezzo is the highest peak of the Tofanas and the 3rd highest peak of the whole Dolomites. Only Marmolada (3344 m) and Antelao (3264 m) are higher.
I created this page for SummitPost in September 2011. Now SP has 116 pages dedicated to the mountains of the Dolomites. Weird, but Tofana di Mezzo - despite its outstanding position - was not on SP up to now! The only explanation I can find is that there is a possibility for everybody to get to the peak by funicular service. Really, for mountaineers it's not a positive factor - but also not a reason to neglect this peak and not to ascend it by human force on one of the ferrata routes or by other ways. I'd encourage everybody to visit this peak!
According to the classification used by SP, Tofana di Mezzo belongs to the Group of Cortina Dolomites (together with Antelao), Within this group it is the highest peak of the smaller group of the 3 Tofanas that is formed by:
- Tofana di Rozes (also marked as Tofana I), 3225 m, on southwest
- Tofana di Mezzo (also marked as Tofana II or Tofana de Meso), 3244 m, in the center of the Tofana Group
- Tofana di Dentro (also marked as Tofana III or Tofana de Inze), 3238 m, on north.
Tofana di Mezzo and Tofana di Dentro form a more compact unit than Tofana di Mezzo and Tofana di Rozes. The col between Mezzo and Dentro is approximately 170 m deep, while the col between Mezzo and Rozes (called Forcella Fontana Negra) is on 2561 m, making the prominence of the smaller Rozes as high as 664 m. It's not bad when there is such a high brother (sister?) as Tofana di Mezzo, in 2 km distance!
Tofana di Mezzo is a steep bare dolomite rock pyramid, with no vegetation above 1800-2100 m.
First known ascent: August 29th, 1863, when Paul Grohmann reached the summit of Tofana di Mezzo in the company of the hunter Francesco Lacedelli from Cortina.
WWI: From May 1915 till November 1917 the front line was just here on the Tofanes, with minimal changes in pozitions, but with many people killed both on the Italian and on the Austrian-Hungarian side.
All trailheads are in Cortina d'Ampezzo or in its vicinity. I don't describe how to get to the well-known Cortina d'Ampezzo, you can find it on any map. But here you can find information about how you can get there by public transport.
1) From the uppermost station of the cable-car called "Freccia nel Cielo" (Arrow of the Sky). The funicular doesn't operate to its uppermost station in winter, for safety reasons
You find much information about the cable car here. Distance from the station to the summit: approximately 150 m
Altitude difference: 53 m gain (from 3191 m to 3244 m)
Difficulty: everybody can do it
2) Via Ferrata Lamon - from Tofana di Dentro
Distance from Tofana di Dentro: 1.1 km
Altitude difference: approximately 160 m loss and 165 m gain
Difficulty: 2.5 - B. Technically easy, power is not needed, exposure is medium in the short middle section. In optimal weather condition, it can be done without ferrata set. Otherwise ferrata set and helmet is advised
To Tofana di Dentro you can "walk" up from many places: from Rif. Duca d'Aosta (the place is called Pie Tofana, too), from Rif. Ra Valles or from Fiámes
3) Via Ferrata Gianna Aglio from Punta Anna. Punta Anna can be reached from many places. The most evident is from Rif. Dibona
Distance from Punta Anna: 2 km
Altitude difference from Punta Anna: 513 m
Difficulty: 4.5 - D. Only with via ferrata set and with helmet!
You must expect many people on the summit. This is the result of the cable car service. There is a cross on the summit, and a fence on the north side of the small summit plateau in order to prevent inexperienced tourists from falling and dying.
As it is the 3rd highest point of the Dolomites, the panoramic view is excellent. There are many-many peaks to see around. Just some examples:
- E: Cristallo (3221 m)
- SW: Tofana di Rozes (3225 m)
- NW: Cunturines (3064 m)
- N: Tofana di Dentro (3238 m)
Freyrag & Berndt - WK S10: Sextener Dolomiten / Dolomiti di Sesto - Cortina d'Ampezzo - 1:50000
Kompass - 55: Cortina d'Ampezzo - 1:50000
Kompass - 617: Cortina d' Ampezzo, Dolomiti Ampezzane - 1:25000
Tabacco - 03: Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzana - 1:25000
For weather forecast please click here!
3 campings in Cortina d'Ampezzo:
- Camping Rocchetta (my usual selection for the stays in Cortina)
- Camping Olympia
- Camping Cortina
- Bivouac: Baracca degli Alpini (2.922m), below Tofana di Dentro
- Rifugio Angelo Dibona (2.083 m). Link to description (Italian, but easy to understand)
- Rifugio Giussani (2.580 m). Link to description (Italian, but easy to understand)
- Rifugio Duca d'Aosta (2.098 m), private operated, open in full summer and in ski season. It can be accessed with car
- Rifugio Pomedes (2.303 m), family operated, posto all'altezza della Punta Anna. Open in full summer and in ski season. Accessible on foot from Rif. Duca d'Aosta on the marked path #420. This hut is used as the basis to access via ferrata Giuseppe Olivieri.