The mighty NW side of Civetta - Torre di Valgrande is on the left
Torre di Valgrande is an imposing great tower of dolomia lying North to the highest summits on the mighty Civetta Northern branch, one of the outstanding groups of the Dolomites. It’s rising between Torre d’Alleghe and Guglia di Valgrande from which it’s separated by two high rocky saddles. The most impressive and high side of Torre di Valgrande is the steep and stunning 450 m. high NW face, rising on a massive baseboard and cut in the middle by an impressive long crack. This side is facing towards Val Cordevole and it’s overlooking Val Civetta and the village of Alleghe. Some important challenging routes – as Carlesso-Menti, the team which solved here one of the most important climbing problem of the Dolomites in the Thirties - are running on this attractive yellow and black wall. The opposite side – facing East and South – shows a shorter but steep and compact wall overlooking Val Masarè and counting several short but engaging climbing routes.
Torre di Valgrande has three summits, amongst which the highest one is the Eastern summit; the original different place-names of Torre di Valgrande were Terza Rocchetta, used in Val Cordevole (West side) and the fascinating Croda Dolada, used in Val Zoldana (East side), while the name imposed by the first summiters was Torre Grande. The definitive current name is Torre di Valgrande.
First summiters: Leopold Knoth and Viktor Holzwarth in 1907
- From Belluno to Pala Favèra – Take the road S51 towards Pieve di Cadore and Longarone; here leave the main road and follow on the left the road S251 towards Forno di Zoldo, Zoldo Alto and Pala Favèra (48 km. from Belluno).
- From Belluno to Alleghe – Take the road S203 towards Agordo, cross the town of Agordo m. 611, then follow the Val Cordevole road reaching Alleghe (59 km. from Belluno).
Approach to Rifugio Coldai
- From Pala Favèra (m. 1505) – Follow the gravel road starting near the camping and rising with some hairpins to Malga Pioda m. 1816, then a good path leading to the hut (2 hours from Pala Favèra) – It’s the shortest way to get the hut
- From Alleghe – Follow the road to Piani di Pezzè (m. 1470), then the narrow gravel road rising to Forcella d’Alleghe and to Malga Pioda m. 1816. From Malga Pioda follow the same path as the previous approach.
All the routes of Torre di Valgrande (UIAA Scale)
Approach: the best approach for all the routes, both on NW and E faces, is from Rifugio Coldai m. 2132
Difficulty: III, IV
Length: 200 m., 8 pitches
First ascent: Leopold Knoth and Viktor Holzwarth in 1907 (upper pitches) – Valentino Angelini, Silvio Sperti and Piero Cerutti in 1925 (lower pitches)
Interesting route on good rock, the easiest way to climb the summit of the tower. The necessary pegs are in place.
From Rifugio Coldai follow the Sentiero Tivan, reaching a scree-circle between Torre d’Alleghe and Torre di Valgrande. Leave the main path and follow on the right a track cutting a steep scree, then scramble up some easy rocks and reach a ledge rising towards left and turning itself into a scree gully. Climb it, getting to a rocky saddle lying below the SE ridge (I, II, 1,45 h.). Climb the ridge.
NORTH AND NORTH-WEST ROUTES
NORTH FACE Difficulty: IV, V, A1 (a single move) Length: 450 m. First ascent: Sergio Faccioli – Andrea Taddei 8-8-1976
The route climbs the obvious corner cutting the N face on the left of Robertson-Fullalove route. Rarely repeated.
NORTH RIDGE (ROBERTSON - FULLALOVE)
Difficulty: VI, VI+, A2, A3 Length: 450 m., 18 pitches First ascent: Brian Robertson and James Fullalove 9/11-7-1967
Great challenging route only partially equipped.
NW FACE (CARLESSO-MENTI)
Difficulty: V+, VI, VI+, A0 and A1 (or VIII-) Length: 450 m. 10 pitches First ascent: Raffaele Carlesso and Mario Menti 15/17-7-1936
The greatest classic route of Torre di Valgrande; beautiful challenging and historical route, one of the best known of the Dolomites and frequently climbed.
W FACE (TITTI)
Difficulty: V+, VI, VII Length: 450 m., 7 pitches First ascent: Gigi Dal Pozzo and Sandro Neri 20-8-1983
High challenging free-climb. The route hasn’t be repeated.
W FACE (ROWE - MCKEITH)
Difficulty: IV, V, VI (a short move) Length: 450 m., 8 pitches Exposure: W First ascent: Ian Rowe and Alistar McKeith 9-7-1966
The route climbs the obvious corner in the middle of the West face.
EAST FACE ROUTES
E PILLAR (VIA POLLAZZON)
Difficulty: IV, IV+, V (a step) Length: 200 m., 7 pitches Exposure: E First ascent: Cesare Pollazzon and Giovanni Rudatis 11-9-1941
Fine classic climb on excellent rock.
EAST RIDGE (DIEDRO BONETTI)
Difficulty: V, VI, A1 or VII- Length: 130 m., 5 pitches Exposure: W First ascent: P. Bonetti, C. Bottecchia, M. Poli; F. Bonetti, C. Motton, M. Bottecchia 27-7-1969
A short but interesting route.
ADRENALINA NON STOP
Difficulty: VI+, VII, A2, A3 Length: 130 m., 7 pitches Exposure: E First ascent: Gigi Dal Pozzo and Renato Panciera 25-9-1988
Extreme route on the left of Diedro Bonetti
VIA BELLENZIER Difficulty: VI, VI+ Length: 200 m., 6 pitches Exposure: E First ascent: Domenico Bellenzier and Orazio De Toni 10-7-1966 The route climbs the characteristic crack in the middle of the overhanging East face.
VIA DELLE GUIDE Difficulty: VI, VI+, VII Length: 200 m., 7 pitches Exposure: S First ascent: Mariano De Toni and Cesare Pollazzon 10-9-1941 Obvious crack cutting the South face of the tower.
Descent: for all the routes the common descent is along the NE side Normal route (4 equipped rappels and some downclimbing, cairns)
The tower has a stunning shape and it doesn’t show weak sides, so it was climbed later than other peaks in the Dolomites. The first summiters were Leopold Knoth and Viktor Holzwarth in the summer 1907, climbing the upper part of the present Normal Route. The impressive North-West face, cut by a striking yellow crack, represented on of the most important climbing problems of the Civetta Group and the whole Dolomites, wonderfully solved by Raffaele Carlesso and Mario Menti in the year 1936.
Best season goes from the end of June to middle September
No particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking.
- Rifugio Coldai 2132 m - C.A.I. Venezia – 83 beds, open from 20-6 to 20-9, winter-hut, phone +390437789160
- Rifugio Tissi 2262 m – C.A.I. Belluno – 65 beds, open from 20-6 to 20-9, winter-hut, phone +390437523083
DOLOMITI METEO Phone +390436780007 fax +390436780008 CENTRO VALANGHE DI ARABBA Phone +390436755711 fax 043679319 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
“Civetta” by Ivo Rabanser – Collana CAI-TCI Guide Monti d’Italia, 2012