Tofana di Rozes – majestic and impressive, it dream of all hikers. Ascent is hard and demanding hike, despite this fact belongs to one of the favourite summits in Dolomites for couple of reasons. It is colorful, offers great views, but most of all amazing adventure.
In June 2011 we spend here ind Dibona hut our vacation. We had a lot of plans, each day different hike, and I could not wait until Tofana di Rozes hike. Early in the morning during day “D” we got direction towards summit. Everyone was happy. Weather was great, not too cold, not too warm, just perfect. Unfortunately we got only to altitude 2 700 m / 8 858 ft till Tre Dita. Whole Tofana di Rozes north part was covered by snow and after we got there we found out, we will not be able to reach summit. In 2011 there was extremely lot of snow in Dolomites. Not only us, but lots of people decided not to climb. Instead of climbing we have decided to do other adventure and in Giussani hut we had a beer and agli – oli spagethi :) Despite the fact we didn’t reach summit, it was a great day. With great people we had a lot of fun and motto of the day was: “It is not important where you go, but with whom.” If you really want something you will find the way how make it happened. This was also Tofana di Rozes case. I am glad it didn’t remain only as a dream, and become reality two months later, when we had opportunity a great weather for the ascent. That morning it was probably first time when I have enjoyed alarm clock sound. We hit the road very early. Traveling from Val Gardena region to Tofana region takes almost hour, and we of course wanted to avoid a lot of tourists. In september it is not that crowded, but we wanted to be sure. There are two ways how to reach Tofana di Rozes summit. One of them is via ferrata Giovanni Lippela, second one is regular hiking path from north. Of course also hike around Toffana is great experience.
Reaching via ferrata: There are two options. We started in Dibona hut. Arrived to the hut via road #48. Between Passo Falzareg and Cortina d´Ampezzo is turn to forest towards Dibona Hut. From Passo Falzarego it is left turn, from Cortina d´Ampezzo it is right turn.
Second option is few kilometers behind Passo Falzarego is hut Ra Nona and big parking place. Than you will follow hiking path #412. Later it connects to path #402, which brings you to Col dei Bos saddle. From here road #404 will take you to via ferrata.
Our path #403 goes from Dibona hut traversing Tofana di Rozes and later it connects to #404 which brings us to via ferrata starting point.
Left from Tofana di Rozes is rock called Castelletto. Today it is only crater. In this particular place during “Grande Guerra” was a front line and Dolomites where under control of Italian or Austrian soldiers. They fight for each square feet of the land. Once Castelleto was under Austrian control, Italian soldier prepared an ambush. They dig under Castelletto in soft dolomite rock gallery Mina – tunel, to blow up whole Castelleto mountain. They used about 33 tons of explosives. Castelleto disappeared 11th June 1916 in 3:30 am. Wind blow off all the details, but you will find lots of Grande Gueara memories here.
Picture shows south side of Tofana di Rozes.
It is 7:30 am and we are leaving Dibona hut. Weather is amazing. Our “star” Tofana di Rozes shines in morning sun. We are looking for 360 ° views :-)
We are at via ferrata starting point. Ladders helped us to get to gallery Mina, which is here since World War I and now is part of via ferrata. Mina gallery is tunnel with length 507 m / 1663 ft ending in the crater after big explosion. It is a must to have a headlight. Claustrophobic people should not enter the tunnel. Grown up man can stand in tunnel without problem, however in some parts you need to watch your head. Great place where you can test your helmet.
Finally we are out of the tunnel and can see daylight. In front of us is big crater of Castelletto mountain (upper picture) and look back to Castelleto (lower picture).
Via ferrata is in west wall of Tofana di Rozes. ( Picture is from Lagauoi. )
Via ferrata is dedicated to Italian soldier – hero, who fight for freedom, Giovanni Lipello, who was born in Riva del Gárda November 13th 1899, and died in June 15th 1918 Monte Asolone.
Climbing path begins by two ladders, gallery Mina and it is totally dark. As mentioned before, you will need headlight in this route. Typical for this route are long traverses. It is from 55% secured by iron ropes, 5% are iron steps an ladders, 30% regular hiking path and remaining 10% is tunnel.
Reach via ferrata takes about 1:15 – 1:30 hours. Via ferrata itself takes 3:15 – 3:30 hours. Final ascent to summit is 0:30 – 0:45 hours. Total time is 7:30 – 8:00 hours.
Best time for ascent is from half of July till half of september. Difficulty is 2 – technically easy via ferrata.
Difficulty is a topic for discussion, because some sources says it is more difficult than 2. From my point of view I would split it to two parts. Ascent to Tre Dita is technically easy – difficulty #2. Tre Dita splits the road to regular hiking path from north (for those who don’t want to climb anymore). If you want to climb difficulty is #3 – medium difficult. In this part you need to have some experience, and definitely you can not be scare of height, cause there are some vertical walls.
Anyway this route is time-consuming. Total time 8 hours is estimate. You can make it in 8 hours but you have to be “blind and deaf” :) People who want to enjoy climbing, views, take a lot of pictures, have small snack in Giussani hut, need to have whole day dedicated to this trip. It is really worth it. In our case it was 13 hours in total, including 2 hours transport.
Next interesting part of via ferrata is traverse.
Look back to traverse.
(Upper picture) Another interesting traverse. This is the spot where route splits. Those who want to climb has to go right. In our first attempt in June, on the spot where I am standing was a lot of snow and we had to turn left and go to Tre Dita. (Lower picture) When we are here, lets see how it looks like in Tre Dita.
Tre Dita rocks, 2 694 m / 8 839 ft.
Also Tre Dita was occupied by soldiers in Grande Guerra. You will find here lots of artefacts like barbed wires, old barracks (upper picture). In this bizarre rock are situated watch post and shooting post (lower picture).
Lets continue in west wall of Tofana di Rozes.
Tofana di Mezzo and Tofana di Dentro. From this angle we have a great view. Great weather from the beginning of the day changed suddenly in couple of minutes. One can hardly believe it, how fast is everything covered by fog. However in Tofana region it is often. We were really looking forward to 360 ° views. We were not lucky this time. As you already guessing, I will not able to show you some amazing pictures. At least on Giussani hut I have bought booklet with Tofana di Rozes views.
This is via ferrata end. It is about 30 minutes via hiking path to Tofana di Rozes summit.
Tofana di Rozes, 3 225 m/ 10 581 ft.
” Summit ” happy on the top.
Tofana di Rozes north wall. (Picture is taken from Punta Anna in June.) In this wall you can find not secured hiking path to/from Tofana di Rozes.
Slowly we are going down. Descent is great experience. It is easy to lose hiking path, it is marked poorly. ( Right picture ) Giussani hut, nice place for tired hikers.
Tofana di Mezzo – left, right mountain edge, Punta Anna, Doss Tofana and Torre di Aglio.
(Upper picture.) Fontana Negra saddle was in World War I occupied by Italian soldiers. You can find here lots of barracks. (Lower picture) Cantore hut, is not opened for hikers anymore.
Tofana di Rozes, east side.
We are going back to Dibona hut in Valon valley with great scenery of Dolomites in front of us. We did a circle hike with ascent to Tofana di Rozes summit, at the end we have a great weather. It was amazing trip and day as well.
Under majestic Tofana di Rozes is Col dei Bos, 2559 m / 8 396 ft. Offers 360 ° view. This is the place where we will go next time – Col dei Bos.