Rifugio Capanna Alpina - From La Villa in the Val Badia, take the Valparola Pass signed towards 'San Cassiano'. Follow the road for 6km passing through the town of San Cassiano until you get to the small village of Armentarola. Follow the road for a further 1km until a left turn just before a large bridge signs you to 'Rifugio Capanna Alpina' (if you pass Camping Sass Dlacia you've gone too far). Park at the end of the road (paid parking) just short of the rifugio. Lagazuoi cable car - From Cortina take the SS48 to the west following signs for the 'Falzarego Pass'. Continue through Pocol ignoring the turn off for the 'Passo Giau' (SP638). Continue up to reach the top of the Falzarego Pass in 10.5km. Park in the large Lagazuoi car park at the base of the lift station. The individual crag approaches are detailed on the relevant route pages. To the north of Piccolo Lagazuoi lies a vast scree plateau that eventually runs down towards Armentarola via Rifugio Scotoni. The plateau is ringed by a complex chain of peaks to the east that shields the Tofana group and Val Travenanzes. On the west faces of these peaks a number of excellent historical climbs have been climbed over the years. Tucked away from the busy comings and goings of the Falzarego Pass, the routes here perhaps don't receive the attention they deserve. This has its advantages because, with the exception of via ferrata Tomaselli, the routes can be enjoyed in relative solitude. Rising above the beautiful Lago di Lagacio, the aptly named Cima del Lago forms the northern end of the chain. The huge open-book corner splitting the peak provides the perfect line for the amenable classic Southwest Corner/Dall'Oglio route and is a must for bridging enthusiasts. By contrast its southern neighbour, Cima Scotoni is entirely different, presenting a uniformly steep and intimidating southwest face. The face, which is often compared to Torre Grande at the Tre Cime, is home to the Lacedelli route, a climb that was considered one of the hardest routes in the Dolomites when it was first opened in 1952. The mountain chain formed an important strategic position during the First World War, and many remains of the conflict can still be found today. This natural wall could only be breached at the centre by Forcella Grande, a small pass between Cima Fanes Sud and Lagazuoi Nord. This became the logical site for an Austrian artillery position. The history surrounding this area gave Ugo Pompanin and his friends the inspiration to equip via ferrata Tomaselli in memory of the famous journalist from Cortina. Today the via ferrata is one of the best in the Dolomites, offering superb climbing, most of which can be done without having to resort to hauling on the wire. As you approach via ferrata Tomaselli, the path takes you directly under the west face of the aforementioned Lagazuoi Nord. This impressive face received very little attention until the late 1960s. During this time climbing ethics were being questioned, with a shift towards the modern ideals of free climbing. Reinhold Messner was instrumental in this movement, calling for a stop to the era of sieging tactics with an over zealous use of pitons and bolts for protection. Reinhold famously quoted, "Impossible: it doesn't exist anymore. The dragon is dead, poisoned, and the hero Siegfried is unemployed." In response to this the talented Claudio Barbier opened up his Via del Drago (Route of the Dragon) in good style on the west face of Lagazuoi Nord. Today the route offers fine free climbing up the characteristic yellow and black face.


1 trad route (V+)
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Lagazuoi Nord - West Face
In 1968, Reinhold Messner published an article expressing his concerns over the excessive use of...
Afternoon sun

45 mins

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