Dolomites d´Ampezzo – Monte Cristallo

Above mountain village Cortina d´Ampezzo is big mountain called Monte Cristallo, with highest summit Monte Cristallo (3 216 m/10 551 ft). In the mountain you can find three via ferrata routes. We choose the shorter route called Marino Bianchi to summit Cristallo di Mezzo, (3 154 m/ 10 348 ft). Two other routes will bring you to places of not old and not popular past of Grande Guerra – World War I. To be more specific via ferrata Ivano Dibona goes thru Italian war line and via ferrata René de Pol goes thru Austrian war line. It is more like open air museum.

When you reach Cortina d´Ampezzo  go to passo Tre Croci, before you reach it, near restaurant Rio Gere is big parking place and cable car station Son Forca and Cabinovia Staunies.

Take one of those cable car is really exciting. Both of them are working all year-long. In winter you will have just benches you can sit on. As you already guessing, in winter time there is skiing slopes. Summer cabins are for two persons. They do not stop or slow down when you want to get in or out. Cable car is very slow. It takes about 20 minutes to get up, but you will not be bored. Feel free to admire nature beauty.


We get off in Staunies sadle, and in few minutes we reach mountain hut Guido Lorenzi. Hut offers some food, drinks, nights but first amazing views from the terrace. Sign says that we are in 3 000 m / 9 842 ft of altitude, but maps says only 2 932 m/ 9 619 ft.

Via ferrata Marino Bianchi is secured by iron rope and two metal ladders. Difficulty of the route is #3 – which means medium difficulty. Starting point of secured route is near the hut. To reach Cristallo di Mezzo takes about 2:00 – 2:15 h, descent 1:30 – 2:00 h. Total time 3:30 – 4:00 h. Duration may wary, cause this route is both ways, meaning same way you are going up and down. There are plenty of people climbing. Dont be surprised, it is one of the most beautiful in Dolomites. Via ferrata Marino Bianchi is easy, however has 3 more difficult part, which can be challenging for less experienced climbers.

Monte Cristallo, 3216 m/10 551 ft.

Cable car station, rifigio G. Lorenzi and Staunies saddle.

This edge leads to already mentioned via ferrata Ivano Dibona.

Cristallino d´Ampezzo, 3008 m/ 9 868 ft.



In background Croda Rossa, 3146 m/ 10 322ft.


Sexten Dolomites.


Hurrayyy summit picture :-) There are plenty of breath-taking views during great weather. Lets enjoy some of them.

















We have a bit of time till last cable car descents. So we are going to check via ferrata Ivano Dibona, at least bridge, which is 27 meters / 90 feet long. In September we would like come back and climb this iron route.

In 1993 was movie “Cliffhanger” with Sylvester Stallone made here. Shooting was done in multiple places and couple of shots from Dolomites you could see in the movie. You can see the bridge in the movie.


In years 1914 – 1918 during World War 1 frontline was crossing Dolomites and it went directly thru Monte Cristallo. You could clearly find remaining part of frontline today – trenches, barracks, bunkers made in stone, hallways, tunnels etc. Groda Rossa view from army watch post.



Great experience, we are going back down “stuffed with euphoria” not only from excellent performance, but mostly from the beauty of Dolomites. As always we need to go for some ice cream. Lets find closest “gelateria” :-)

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