Classic routes – grade III and IV | FreeWheeling Dolomites
FreeWheeling Dolomites

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Classic routes – grade III and IV

The number and variety of climbing routes on display in the Dolomites is probably unrivaled in the world, thanks to their 16000 km extension and the around 50 different mountain ranges that make them up.

Just to clear things up, with “Classic” we mean an ascent of moderate difficulty (up to grade VI-VI+) with traditional protection and a good knowledge of the route, mostly gathered by many repetitions by other climbers.

This section is about classic routes of easy and moderate grade. It goes without saying that the examples here cannot possibly be exhaustive. Rather, they represent an overview giving a taste of what to expect in the pursuit of these Classic climbing routes.

type of activity

climbing classic route

required level

from low to medium experience

customised programme

see below

Info
Duration
WHERE TO STAY
CUSTOMISED PLAN
ROUTE LEVEL
EQUIPMENT
BEST-DAYS OFFER
ALL-INCLUSIVE DEAL
YOUR MOUNTAIN GUIDE
a list of Classic routes

TORRI DEL VAJOLET (Vajolet Towers)

The Torri del Vajolet are the quintessential Dolomites image. Incredibly beautiful and daring spires tower above Re Alberto hut, from which they can be easily reached in just a few minutes.

PIAZ route, Torre Delago, grade IV+, 180 metres. Get started on the climb up this edge and you’ll freeze: you will be standing over a 700 metre drop just a few metres from the rock foundation. Pure Dolomites’ magic! The fact such a daring edge is overcome with only moderate difficulties is another pleasant surprise.

CAMPANILE DI VAL MONTANAIA (Val Montanaia’s Bell Tower)

this isolated monolith is perhaps the most characteristic symbol of the wild Friulian Dolomites. Every one of its 4 sides is a vertical or overhanging wall. The first ascent’s history is not just about strength, courage and determination, but also trickery and scam. Worth listening to, perhaps on the cosy summit plateau.

NORMAL ROUTE, grade V-, 290 metres. An amusing climb on excellent rock. Unfortunately, nowadays the crux is a little worn and greasy therefore quite demanding. The route starts on the southern face and climbs up like a winding staircase, ending up on the northerns side. The descend is pretty exciting too, with its long abseil into the void.

CINQUE DITA (Five Fingers)

The legend talks about a giant defeated and buried by its enemies that, just before exhaling the last breath and turn itself into stone, managed to lift its hand above the ground, thus giving birth to “The Five Fingers

POLLICE (Thumb) route, grade IV, 250 metres. This route is not just about the ease of access, but also the unrivaled exposure: it climbs up right on the edge line, always on good holds and with incredible scenery.

MEDIO (Middle finger) route, grade III+, 300 metres. The “Middle finger” is the higher point among the 5 fingers. Once on the thumb, it’s possible to descend by abseiling and climb up this route’s last few pitches. Once on the summit, we can choose to get down or carry on with the whole 5 finger traverse.

CIMA DELLA MADONNA (Madonna’s peak

The Pale di S. Martino are a dolomitic group well known for its lunar plateau between the heights of 2500 and 2800 metres. According to some research, it was the inspiration for Dino Buzzati’s book “The Tartar Steppe“. What matters to us here is the exceptional rock quality, the breathtaking landscapes and the cozyness and warmth of the mountain hut.

SPIGOLO DEL VELO (Veil’s Edge), grade IV+, 430 metres. One of the most well known classic routes that many aspire to. Its conquest involves a long approach up to the hut the day before, a long and superb climb and a never trivial descent.

LASTOI di FORMIN

these are a wide rampart-like edge towering over the hairpin bends of the road winding its way from Cortina d’Ampezzo up to Passo Giau. The impressive west face turns towards the south, leaving shorter and more feasible routes in its tracks, with views over the green alpine pastures beneath.

BASTIONE DE MONDEVAL, Placca Nera route (Black Slab), grade III-IV, 180 metres. Around the bottom of this rampart, some neolithic tombs were discovered. It’s incredible to think these places were already known and favourited by our ancestors. The route is enjoyable and not very sustained, and takes around 2 to 3 hours. The 1 hour and 20 minute approach is pleasant, whilst the descent takes around 1 hour.

CADINI DI MISURINA

this is a mountain group to the north of Cortina d’Ampezzo. They are clearly visible from the parking place by Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Their most defining characteristic is a tangle of rising towers and deep gullies. This environment is quintessentially Dolomitic.
Despite this, there are plenty of short and medium-graded routes. Two charming huts are found just a few steps from the peaks: Fonda Savio and Città di Carpi. They make it ideal for a few days of intense climbing.

TORRE WUNDT (Wundt Tower), Mazzorana/Del Torso route, grade IV, 200 metres. A route on excellent rock up to a wonderful tower, not far from Fonda Savio hut.

CAMPANILE DULFER (Dulfer’s bell tower), south edge, grade IV with a short V- step, 300 metres. One of the most popular routes among the climbs starting from Città di Carpi hut, and rightly so. Its main strong points are the very good rock, the nice exposure, the bell tower’s daring shape and the dizzy abseiling to descend.

PUNTA COL DE VARDA, grade III-IV, 230 metres. The peak from which the hut underneath takes its name. Its very elegant and slender shape is tackled by this route on excellent rock. The initial approach is aided by the chairlift, bringing it down to 50 minutes. The climb takes around 3 hours, with an extra hour for the descent.

LAGAZUOI

This peak sits right above Falzarego pass and is well known for its famous battles and explosions happened during the First World War in 1916-17. Its location is very convenient given the short approaches and the easy descent, which can be done easily by cable car.

IL TRAPEZIO, Giordano route, grade IV-, 180 metres. This nice short route is easily reached with a 30 minute hike. The route stops by the Martini ledge and requires an abseil and another 30 minute hike in order to get down.

PICCOLO LAGAZUOI, via del Buco (Hole route), grade IV, 250 metres. A classic route on excellent rock with two interesting variants. Right at the end, we’ll be surrounded by history, with the remains of the First Wold War, fought more than 100 years ago right in the Dolomites.

NUVOLAU

one of the most visited Dolomites summits. Its main attraction is the Nuvolau mountain hut, right on the summit, with its 360 degree view. Luckily, we will escape the crowds until we reach the top. Its more vertical side ain’t touristy at all!

CRODA NEGRA, Gianleo route, grade IV, 180 metres. After a half-hour approach we will get to the bottom of this route. 2 hours of enjoyable climbing will take us to the summit, thus the well-deserved beer among the breathtaking panorama.

Prices

price of the listed routes

1 personpersona2 peoplepersone
VIA PIAZ, Torre Delago 320 180
CAMPANILE DI VAL MONTANAIA, via normale320185
CINQUE DITA, pollice300180
CINQUE DITA, medio300180
CINQUE DITA, traversata350200
CIMA DELLA MADONNA, spigolo del velo360210
BASTIONE DE MONDEVAL, via della placca nera310180
TORRE WUNDT, via Mazzorana330190
CAMPANILE DULFER, spigolo sud340200
PUNTA COL DE VARDA310180
IL TRAPEZIO, via Giordano310180
PICCOLO LAGAZUOI, via del buco310180
CRODA NEGRA, via Gianleo310180

Prices are intended per person. A guide is needed for every 2 participants.

 

INCLUDED IN THE ‘GUIDE-ONLY’ PRICE

  • mountain guide, UIAGM/IFMGA certified
  • customised plan
  • technical equipment

ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICES

2 days/3 nights3 days/4 nights4 days/5 nights5 days/6 nights6 days/7 nights7 days/8 nights8 days/9 nights
1 person970 €1325 €1870 €2325 €2780 €3220 €3670 €
2 people660 €930 €1215 €1475 €1770 €2045 €2300 €
+ second add guide
3 people705 €1010 €1320 €1625 €1930 €2235 €2545 €
4 people610 €860 €1115 €1375 €1630 €1880 €2135 €
+ third add guide
5 people650 €930 €1200 €1480 €1760 €2035 €2300 €
6 people595 €840 €1085 €1335 €1585 €1830 €2075 €

Prices are intended per person and per spent activity day. A guide is needed for every 2 participants.

 

INCLUDED IN THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICE:

  • mountain guide, UIAGM/IFMGA certified
  •  customised plan
  • technical equipment
  • Transfer from/ to hotel
  • half-board hotel accommodation during the activity
  • bed and breakfast accommodation the night previous to the start of the activity

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • drinks or lunches
  • any transport involving chairlifts, cable cars or taxis.