Ascent of Tofana di Mezzo on 2017-08-03

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Thursday, August 3, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Tofana di Mezzo
    Elevation:10640 ft / 3243 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Rifugio Giussani, path climbs scree L to R, rounding foot of huge cliff, then splits, L for the old route, contouring straight ahead for the Ferrata Anna route. Our plan was the old route, which ascends L up 300m of scree, not bad at first but becoming purgatorial in the upper two thirds. Fork R at top for the obvious level notch. Here we optimistically put on ferrata gear and descend obvious trail R, rubbly ledge a little exposed, until we come to a spot where the trail appears to rise, looking rather exposed, with no marking or protection (essentially a rubble slope - it may be hard to fix cabling) and a death fall below. Looks unpleasant to reverse too, so we retreat while we can. Later in the day Lee sees a big rockfall in the gully which the route climbs, so not the safest route.

We quickly run back down the scree. I decide to give the Ferrata Anna a try, following the line on OpenStreetMap which climbs the next wide scree gully to the R. Passing a war meml, the route descends a little then climbs steeply, a decent scree path with mostly good footing. Two climbers ahead of me keep straight up, and I later see them on the col which I think also gives access to the upper middle cable car station; at the very least their route misses the hardest section of the Ferrata Anna, although the remainder from that saddle still has several quite strenuous vertical passages.

My route curves R, then heads up a rocky gully, with a little exposure, to soon reach a short cabled section. Then with an easy ledge and a short cabled section, the route joins another ferrata route which comes up from the R (from a cable car station). Above here the next section of ferrata is fairly easy with a steep section. Then a hiking trail leads up L onto a level ridge, then more fairly easy ferrata with ladders and some steep sections. The crux section is a vertical passage at about British Trad 4b (using the cable as handhold) followed by an exhilarating hand traverse where one hangs from the cable on reasonable footholds over a huge drop. A protected descent then leads to the col mentioned earlier where escape is possible R to the cable car and apparently also L via a large scree slope.

The main ferrata route descends L a little (painted red arrow) then cables protect a steep intimidating slope, then good ledge as route follows L side of ridge, then steep vertical section climbs to a prominent window whence it takes to R side of ridge; ladders and steep cabled sections, one short uncabled section a little exposed. Final 500m climbs blunt summit ridge, no protection needed, to reach the wide tourist trail which leads to the top station of the Torfana Cortina cable car. The summit is a short climb from this trail, not hard, but hard enough to ensure most of the day trippers don't reach it. Summit is an outcrop with trig plaque nearby and large cross a little further S. A little under 4hrs to summit, excluding the 1h30 old-route detour.

Back down using cable car, a hefty €20 getting me to the lower middle (Druscia) station whence a 10 min stroll down unmade road gets me back to car park.

We next drive southwest, planning the Kesselkogel tomorrow.

Tofana di Mezzo photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2236 ft / 681 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2236 ft / 681 m
    Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Start Trailhead:8404 ft / 2561 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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