Trad – Classic Dolomites routes

Recommended climbing routes in Dolomites – area of Cortina

Cinque Torri – via Miriam
Cima Cason de Formin – Via Dallago
Col dei Bos – Via Alverà
Punta Fiames – Spigolo Jori
Tofana di Rozes – Primo Spigolo
Tofana di Rozes – Via Dimai Eotwos
Tofana di Rozes – Pilastro
Cima Scotoni – Via Lacedelli
Cima Piccola di Lavaredo – Spigolo Giallo
Cima Grande di Lavaredo – Spigolo Dibona
Cima Grande di Lavaredo – Via Comici Dimai

There are countless classic routes in the Dolomites, loved by alpinists from all over the world, and it would impossible to list them all on one page. For this reason, I will point out the most interesting ones in the area of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the wonderful town where I was born and where I still live.

The routes selected here are not only the result of my personal choice but it is undoubtedly a selection of very popular ones that are worthy of great interest and that contributed to climbing history in the Dolomites.

Thanks to the rich biography and to the information accessible online, it’s not difficult to find out many more routes that not listed here.
Click here for the rock climbing grades conversion.

Cinque Torri

A. and G.Dimai, A.Gaspari, Miriam O’Brien – 1927
The Miriam is a classic, and it let you take confidence with the Dolomite rock. Due to thousand of climbers climbed this route the rock is polished, anyway I think climb this route is worthwhile. The Cinque Torri are, by definition, everyone’s “gym”: for alpinists and sport climbers, for beginners to experts alike.
It is on this jewel, made up of the most diverse boulders and towers, that the alpine season is prepared, that the “engines are revved” before climbing the massive walls nearby, such as the Tofane and Lagazuoi. Read more about Cinque Torri.

Difficulty: IV – V
Access: 15 minutes
Descent: hour 1
Very good rock classic dolomites climbs
Face: south
Best time: May-November.

MountainProject description.

Eleonora climbing via Miriam

Cima Cason di Formin

DIEDRO DALLAGO (Dallago “openbook”)
F. Dallago e D. Costantini – 1970
This route climbs a peak located in wild and very attractive site, and it is never too crowded, unlike the most famous climbs of the Dolomites.

Difficulty: IV
Access: hours 1.30
Descent: hours 2
Very good rock classic dolomites climbs
Face: north-west
Best time: June-September
Note: the only difficult section (V) on the first pitch can be avoided by starting 20m to the left and climbing up the series of small ledges directly to the first stance.

MountainProject description.

Cason de Formin

Col dei Bòs

VIA ALVERÁ (spigolo sud)
S. Alverà e L. Menardi 1947

It is renowned for its beauty and excellent rock, and it too can be climbed early and late in the climbing season. The harder pitches are well-protected.

Difficulty: IV and V
Lenght: 360 m
Access: hours 0.40
Descent: hours 1
Very good rock
Face: south
Best time: May-October
Note: two technical steps.

MountainProject description.

Col dei Bos

Punta Fiames

Jori e Kathe Bròske – 1909
This is one of the most interesting and popular climbs in the vicinity of Cortina. It tackles the cracklines up the Punta Fiames’ obvious, airy arête. The view opens onto the Ampezzo valley is without equal. Together with the Primo Spigolo (see below) the Spigolo Jori is another example of classic climbing routes in Dolomites.
Do you want to read a true story about Spigolo Jori?

Difficulty: V
Lenght: 500 m
Access: hours 1.15
Descent: hours 1.30
Good rock
Face: south
Best time: May-October
Note: really nice edge climb.

MountainProject description.

Spigolo Jori

Tofana di Rozes

PRIMO SPIGOLO (first arete)
A. Alverà e U. Pompanin – 1946

An extremely popular mid-grade route. It initially follows the large corner at the base of the arête, then continues up slightly to the left of the arête, before moving right to avoid the roofs. This traverse and corner above constitute the crux.

Difficulty: IV and V, one steep V+
Lenght: 430 m
Access: hours 0.40
Descent: hour 1.30
Good rock
Face: south
Best time: June-October
Note: start early morning, often the route is crowded.
The second pitch is difficult, too, but can be avoided by climbing an easier variation to the left.

MountainProject description.

Via Alverà – Pompanin

Tofana di Rozes

SOUTH FACE (via “classica”)
A. Dimai, A. Verzi, G. Siorpaes e R. Eotvos – 1901
All the climbers who watch south wall of Rozes want climb it, at least once in their lifetime.
Great route, open over a hundred years ago! For sure is one of the best trad climbing routes in dolomites. Although some sections are very easy, the route is never trivial.
Do you want to read a true story?

Difficulty: IV
Lenght: 1150 m
Access: hours 1.15
Descent: hours 2
Good rock
Face: south
Best time: July-September
Note: very long route in heart of Tofana di Ròzes. Not easy to find the right way.

MountainProject description.

Via Dimai – Eotvos Tofana

Tofana di Rozes

PILASTRO (pillar)
E. Costantini and R. Apollonio – 1944
This is surely the most famous and popular route on this wall, thanks to its intrinsic beauty and perfect line. It is long and demanding. The two famous roofs and the often wet “schiena di mulo” chimney are to be found in the more difficult upper section, which also contains the crux. For the local climbers, the classic of classics.
In 1981, when I was young and a little bit stupid 🙂 , I did the first solo ascent – no rope – of this route.

Difficulty: VI and A0 (6c+)
Lenght: 600 m
Access: hours 0.40
Descent: hour 1.45
Very good rock
Face: south
Best time: June-September
Note: a Ettore Costantini masterpiece. Good shape required.

MountainProject description.

Climbing on Tofana’s pillar

Cima Scotoni

L. Lacedelli, L. Ghedina e G. Lorenzi – 1952

This is one of the classic outings in the Dolomites. Great intuition enabled the first ascentionists to work their way up this immense overhanging wall.

Difficulty: VI and A0 (6c)
Lenght: 480 m
Access: hours 1.40
Descent: hours 1.45 to “Capanna Alpina”
The rock is not perfect, but the route has been cleaned by climbers
Face: south-west
Best time: July-September
Note: historical route by the “Squirrels of Cortina”
The crux is a delicate cross to the left, at the end of the fourth pitch.

MountainProject description.

Approaching the first ledge

Cima Piccola di Lavaredo

E. Comici R. Zanutti e M. Varale – 1933
Every year hundreds of climbers flock to the Spigolo Giallo. Few routes have such a perfect line, and few routes get quite so crowded. Known by climbers all over the world, the Yellow Edge does not need comments, just watch it.

Difficulty: VI and A0 (VI+)
Lenght: 350 m
Access: hours 0.45Descent: hours 1.30
The rock is not perfect, but the route has been cleaned by climbers
Face: south
Best time: June-September
Note: it is best climbed out of season and preferably avoided at the weekends.

MountainProject description.

On the Yellow Edge

Cima Grande di Lavaredo

SPIGOLO DIBONA (Dibona arete)
A. Dibona, E. Stubler – 1909

Spectacular climb at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo along the route to the Cima Grande di Lavaredo opened by the legendary Angelo Dibona. The route is likely to have been climbed a year before the official first climb, by Rudi Eller from Lienz, in a free solo climb in 1908.
The itinerary of this great classic route climbs mostly along the northeast spur, overlooking at times in some sections the impressive north face of the Cima Grande. 

Difficulty: IV+
Lenght : 430 m to the circular ledge
Access: 40 minutes.
Descent: hours 2
Good rock
Face: north-east
Best time: July-September
Note: there are a series of stepped ledges, and there is some loose rock: beware of rocks falling from parties above. Start early morning, often the route is crowded. Don’t underestimate the long and complex descent!

MountainProject description.

Dibona arete

Cima Grande di Lavaredo

E. Comici, G. e A. Dimai – 1933
The Comici is the classic example of climbing in the Dolomites. A climb of all respect, that must be climbed by only experienced climbers. One of the most famous climbing routes in Dolomites.
In bad weather it is very hard to get off from the wall, where the chimney become real rivers of water. Only with dry conditions, or it could be epic 🙂

Difficulty: VI and A0 (6b+)
Lengh: 500 m
Access: hour 1
Descent: hours 2
The rock is not perfect, but the route has been cleaned by climbers
Face: north
Best time: June-September
Note: a real exploit of the three climbers. The first half is very demanding and should not be underestimated.

ukclimbing description.

Tony Scott climing via Comici


Do you like sport climbing? You will also find in the Dolomites a fantastic place to play!