Dolomites Rock Climbing

Alps / Dolomites / Italy

2 – 6 Days or Custom Trips, All Levels
Cortina, Val Gardena or Hut-Based anywhere in the Dolomites

Dolomites Rock Climbing Highlights

  • Legendary Dolomites climbs!
  • Many climbs with short approaches!
  • Lots of long, moderate alpine routes
  • Picturesque Dolomite towns
  • Authentic Italian food and wine
  • Comfortable lodging in B&B, Hotels

The Dolomites are the largest lime stone climbing area in the Alps, with walls looming as tall as 1600 Meters (5250 ft) above gentle alpine meadows. Consequently, there is an abundance of classic routes, most of which can be reached with fairly short hikes from the road or with an overnight in one of the rustic huts or mountain lodges. The weather is more southerly influenced, the culture (and food) is a mixture of Italian and Tyrolian and the locals are very welcoming.

In terms of length of climbing relative to approach time, the Dolomites offer some of the best value you can get worldwide. Some climbs in this area are very popular – others see less than one ascent a year. Our programs largely manage to avoid the crowds by avoiding the August high season.

In addition to courses and custom guiding, we offer climbing camps: A concept, that suits a lot of our clients that are confident and self sufficient climbers themselves. Having a guide along in your group assures optimal use of your vacation time and peace of mind, should the going get rough.

Should the weather be consistently bad, we can escape south to the lime stone walls around the Garda Lake. A 2.5 hours drive gets us to rock climbs up to 15 pitches, nice beaches, medieval towns with distinctive Mediterranean ambiance and outstanding pizzerias!

The highest point of the Haute Route is the summit of the Pigne D’Arolla at 3800m (=12500 ft). After spending a week high in the mountains, walking down Zermatt’s bustling main street will feel like returning into a different world.

We will lodge in remotely and spectacularly located huts of the Swiss Alpine Club. The food is good and plentiful, the dormitories clean – but you should be able to survive without a hot shower for four days.

With a week of acclimatizing on the Haute Route under your belt, why not take two more days and try the Mont Blanc, the Alps highest peak.

Itinerary

Given the abundance of climbs in the Dolomites, we can adjust the itinerary during our climbing week to the preferred challenge level of our clients and the weather. Following are some of the routes that we can choose from:

Val Gardena / Western Dolomites, Itinerary Options

Driving distance in minutes from our base in Wolkenstein (Selva)

Training/Toprope/Sport Climbing
Steinerne Stadt, bouldering and toprope, 12 min
Frea, Passo Gardena, single / multi pitch sport climbs, 15 min
Traumpfeiler,single / multi pitch sport climbs, 10 min

Easy and Moderate Multi-Pitch Climbs
1. Sella Tower, Chimney Routes, 5.5, 5 pitches, 15 min
1. Sella Tower, Trenker Route, 5.7, 5 pitches, 15 min
2. Sella Tower, Gluck Dihedral, 5.5, 3 pitches, 15 min
3. Sella Tower, Jahn Route, 5.5, 7 pitches, 15 min
3 Sella towers traverse, 5.6, 16 pitches, 15 min
Piz Ciavazes, Ramp Route, 5.6, 8 pitches, 20min
Grohmannspitze, Dibona South Face, 5.6, 17 pitches, 12 min
Grohmannspitze, Normal Route, 5.5 & scramble, long day
Five Fingers, Thumb Ridge and Traverse, 5.6, 12 pit. , 12 min
Langkofel, Nomal Route, Scrambling and 5.5, long day, 12 min
Langkofel, North Ridge, 5.6, approx 40 pitches, 12 min
Langkofeleck, Ramp, 5.7, approx 35 pitches, 12 min
Masores, Pilastro della Chiesa, 5.6, 10 pitches, 15 min
Piz Pisciadu, Dillmair Route, 5.6, 5 pitches (can be combined)

Possibly with lodging in the Firenze / Regensburg Hut, 10 min
Great Fermeda, South East Ridge, 5.6, 10 pitches
Little Fermeda, Normal Route, 5.3 & scrambling, 7 pitches
Torre Firenze, Ridge, 5.4, 14 pitches

Moderate to Difficult Multi-Pitch Climbs
2. Sella Tower, Messner Route, 5.8, 8pitches, 15 min
2. Sella Tower, Fata Morgana, 5.9, 8 pitches, 15 min
2. Sella Tower, Kasnapoff, 12 pitches, 15 min
3. Sella Tower, Vinatzer, 5.8, 11 pitches, 15 min
Five Fingers, Diogonal, 5.7, 7 pitches, 12 min
Grohmannspitze, Harrer Route, 5.7, 15 pitches 12 min
Piz Ciavazes, Michelluzi, 5.8, 10 or 18 pitches, 20 min
Piz Chiavazes, Schubert, 5.9, 10 or 18 pitches
Piz Pordoi, Via Niagara, 5.9, 22 pitches, 22 min
Marmolada, Modern Times, 26 pitches, 5.10d, 40 min
Marmolada, Viantzer/Messner, 5.9, 24 pitches
Ciampac, Adang Dihedral, 5.7 – 5.8, 12 pitches, 20 min

Cortina D’Ampezzo / Eastern Dolomites, Itinerary Options

Driving distance from our base in Cortina is between 10 and 30 minutes

Training/Toprope/Sport Climbing
Cinque Torri: Aboundance of single and up to four pitch climbs, lots of fixed anchors, ideal for courses of all levels, 10 min approach from parking, exceptional views.

Fonda Savio Hut, Cadini Range. Several Training within 5 to 15 minutes from the hut

Easy and Moderate Multi-Pitch Climbs
Hexenstein, South Ridge, 5.5 – 5.6, 7 pitches
Falzarego Towers, South Ridges, 5.5 – 5.6,
11 pitches
Cima di Bois, South Face, 5.6, 10 pitches
Cinque Torri, Via delle Guide, 5.5 and 5.6,
4 pitches
Tofona, Dibona, 5.6 and 5.7, 26 pitches
Averau, Alvera, 5.6, 8 pitches
Tofana, First Piller, 5.7, 11 pitches
Punta Fiames, Normal Route, 5.6, 12 pitches
Cima Grande, Normal Route, 5.4 and 5.5, long day
Cima Piccola, Normal Route, 5.6, 8 pitches
Cima Preuss, Preuss Chimney, 5.7, 6 pitches
Paternkofel, South ridge, 5.5, 6 pitches Possibly with lodging in the Fonda Savio Hut:
Torre Wundt, Via Mazorana, 5.6, 7 pitches
Pilastro del Rifugio, 5.7, Tricolore, 6 pitches
Il Corro, 5.5, 7 pitches

Moderate to Difficult Multi-Pitch Climbs
Cinque Torri, Myriam, 5.8, 5 pitches
Cinque Torri, Finlandia, 5.10b, 3 pitches
Tofana, Pilastro, 5.11a, 12 pitches
Tofana, Pilastro Edge, 5.9, 11 pitches
Punta Fiames, Jori, 5.8, 12 pitches
Cima Grande, Comici, 5.10c or 5.8, A0, 15 pitches
Cima Piccola, Yellow Edge, 5.8, 9 pitches
Cima Grande, Dibona, 5.7, 18 pitches

Curriculum

For our courses, we strongly believe in the “Learning by Doing” concept as well as small group sizes. Expect lots of climbing!

Rock Climbing Beginner Course

Objectives

  • Follow moderate and lead easy multi-pitch climbs.
  • Knots, coaching in rock climbing techniques on top rope, anchors and belay methods, rope commands, repelling with self belay, placing anchors on top rope, following guide led multi-pitch climb, leading multi-pitch with guide coaching, hazard evaluation and basic self rescue techniques.

Rock Climbing Advanced Course

Objectives
Lead moderate multi-pitch climbs on gear self sufficiently.
Review of beginner’s course contents, simualted leads on top rope or leads on bolted climbs, coaching on building anchors and belays, lots of coaching on leading multi-pitch climbs.

Rock Climbing Camp

Objectives

  • You name it!
  • A combination of any of the above contents, advancing at a rate in accordance with your personal skill level and preferences.

Detail and Logistics

Meeting Point, Location and Base

Our scheduled weeks have a mix of B&B lodging in either the Val Gardena or Cortina and one or two nights in a fully catered hut/mountain lodge. Meeting point will be at our preferred hotel in either Val Gardena or Cortina.

Cortina is most easily reached from Venice Airport.

Transport options: There is a daily bus operating between Venice Airport and Cortina for 25 Euros per person (2 hours). This bus operates daily with 2- 4 departures depending on the weekday and time of year. Please see our Trip Info link on the left side of this page for information on the public bus service – Cortina Express.
Alternatively we can arrange for a private shuttle that takes about 1.5 hrs at 200-350 Euros depending on group size (1-8 passengers) and departure in Venice.

Climate, Weather, Temperatures

The Dolomites, being on the “sunny side of the Alps” are usually blessed with better weather than other ranges in the Alps during the rock climbing season (June – mid-October). However, like anywhere in the mountains, there is also a chance to see some snow any time of year at least in the higher elevations, if a storm hits. Hence, day time temperatures can range from -5C (23F) to 25C (77F).

Services Included in the Total Price

Guiding by an internationally certified (UIAGM/IFMGA) and multilingual mountain guide; use of technical equipment such as “friends” and “stoppers”, rope, if needed. Lodging in double rooms in B&Bs, Dormitory in huts and mountain lodges, all dinners and breakfast.

Not Included

Air fares, lunches, drinks, land and local transport (can be included on request)

Can I Do It?

1) Beginner Course 

Requires good physical fitness for spending an active days in the mountains and you should not be afraid of heights. Previous hiking and indoor climbing experience advantageous. Objective: Follow multi-pitch climbs, lead sport climbs.

2) Advanced Course 

See under 1) plus outdoor climbing experience following routes up to grade 5.8 (French grade 5). Objective: Lead multi-pitch climbs on gear self sufficiently.

3) Climbing Camp 

See under 1) and 2) plus ability to safely lead up to grade 5.6 (V-) on multi-pitch climbs. If you sign up as a rope team of two, at least one of the partners must be a competent leader. Your guide will coach you on the climbs, helps you set up safe belays, assures route finding and steps in, if the going gets tough.

Private Guiding

As for any of our private guiding weeks, we enjoy optimal flexibility! The dolomites offer all you can dream of, regardless if you are a beginner in alpine rock or you have been climbing for decades and want to trade leads with your guide.

Feedback

Dolomites climbing

We will gladly put potential clients in touch with previous participants of each trip in order for interested guests to get personalized references and their questions answered from a more objective point of view than what our office could provide.

References of prior guests

“Christoph was a really great mountain guide as well as a really cool and nice person. 10/10! The communication was clear so there were no problems with forgetting important things.
The itinerary was very relaxed and everything we did turned out to be so much fun. I really appreciated and liked the fact that Christoph would run what we were going to do by us before we went to do it. The way he handled the planning of our trip was great. Every place and everything we ended up doing was so much fun!
The food and lodging was all well priced and suited the type of trip we were carrying out. Whenever we went out for food we would always walk out of the restaurant feeling like we couldn’t eat anymore, so as you can tell the food quantity and quantity was really great!
I would rate that a 10/10, because I feel like in Europe, finding the suitable guide is hard, especially for teenagers. But OnTop seems to help everyone who needs their help! When I go on my next climbing trip, I will definitely use OnTop Ltd! ”
Pierce B., Hong Kong

” Christoph was extremely friendly, accommodating while provided strong encouragement to perform well. He was not only very safety conscious but also imprinted that mindset onto us.
Good balanced plan that covered a range of activities. Nice and flexible giving us good choice in what to do based on circumstances, happy that we were given voice in timetable. Fine balance between traveling and activities.Plenty of food. Exceptional food at Mountain hut, all reasonably priced. Comfortable living arrangements throughout. ”
Hugh S., Hong Kong

Gear List

1. Technical Equipment

• Approach shoe, a sturdy trekking boot for alpine approaches
• Running shoe or light approach shoe for easier approaches
• Rock climbing shoes*
• Climbing backpack (30-35 liters) with rain cover if possible. Some have built-in rain covers (Deuter backpacks). Rain covers can also be bought separately. Otherwise bring a big plastic (garbage) bag as an inside liner for your backpack.
• Climbing helmet**
• Collapsible ski poles* (recommended on some approaches, better for knees)
• 1 harness with gear slings**
• 6 quickdraws** (2 carabiners with a short sling of webbing)
• Minimum of 4 regular carabiners**
• 2-3 locking carabiners**
• 1 HMS (large locking) carabiner**
• 4 long slings of webbing (single shoulder)**
• 2 long slings of webbing (double shoulder) or one cordelette (8mm)**
• 1 figure 8 or other belaying/repelling device**
• 2 prusiks: (3,5 meter long rope slings, both 5-6mm wide)**
• Single rope (10-11mm wide, 50-60m long) or double rope (8-9mm wide, 50-60m long) per climbing team**
• 1 set of wired nuts (stoppers) per climbing team**
• 1 set of cams (friends/camelots) per climbing team**

All items marked ‘*’ can be rented from a rental shop locally.
All items marked ‘**’ can be provided by OnTop. Let us know ahead of time if you need any of these items. Please bring your own equipment if you have it.

2. Clothing

We suggest using the ‘layer system’: Light technical clothing that doesn’t take much space in your backpack and dries quickly if sweaty or wet. Layers can be put on and taken off fast if weather conditions change during the day.
• Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore Tex or similar)
• Wind and waterproof over pants with side zippers (Gore Tex or similar)
• Mountaineering pants
• Fleece or heavy jacket
• Medium weight fleece sweater
• Long underwear or running tights (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
• Undershirt – preferably long sleeves (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
• Warm socks for trekking/mountaineering boots (wool/synthetic outers)
• Lighter socks for rock climbing shoes
• Warm hat, covering your ears
• Lightweight gloves (fleece)
• Sun hat, with a wide brim if possible
• Bandana (optional)

3. Hut lodging (if included in the program)

• Spare underwear, socks
• Down vest or light insulated jacket (optional)
• Light cotton sheet or youth hostel sleeping bag for the huts for sanitary reasons, wool covers are provided by the huts (optional)
• Light hut slippers (optional). Usually huts provide slippers, especially in France and Switzerland
• Light stuff sacs or zip lock bags to keep your backpack organized (optional)
• Toiletries and small towel
• Alpine Club card (if you are a member)
• Ear plugs (optional but very useful)

DIFFICULTY
Dolomites Rock Climbing
  • Technical Rock Climbing
  • All Levels
2018 DATES
Dolomites Rock Climbing

Custom trips any time from May – October, any duration and anywhere in the Dolomites

Beginner Course

Cortina & Savio Hut
5 Days – 6 Nights

June 10 – 16
June 24 – 30
Aug. 12 – 18
Aug. 25 – Sept. 1

Advanced Course

Cortina & Savio Hut
5 Days – 6 Nights

June 10 – 16
June 16 – 23
June 24 – 30
July 1 – 7
Aug. 12 – 18
Aug. 19 – 25
Sept. 2 – 8

Climbing Camp

Val Gardena or Cortina
5 Days – 6 Nights

June 10 – 16
June 17 – 23
June 24 – 30
July 1 – 7
Aug. 12 – 18
Aug. 19 – 25
Sept. 2 – 8

PRICES:
Dolomites Rock Climbing

US $1565
CA $1875
€ 1250
£ 1125

Single room
US $125, CA $150
€ 100, £ 90

High season surcharge
US $100, CA $120
€ 80, £ 72

Includes: Guide + guide expenses, technical equipment, 6 nights either huts/lodges or hotels, all dinners and breakfast.