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Tofana di Rozes, 100 years celebration of the S Face


Cortina d'Ampezzo celebrates 100 years since the historic first ascent of the S Face of the "Dimai-Verzi-Siorpaes-Eötvös"

Tofana di Rozes, South Face (1901 - 2001)
Exactly a century has gone by since Antonio Dimai, together with the mountain guides Agostino Verzi and Giovanni Siorpaes, and baronesses Ilona and Rolanda Eötvös reached the summit of Tofana di Rozes. Thanks to Antonio Dimai’s inspirational route-finding, the previously unclimbed South Face was finally breeched on 8 August 1901. For 15 years the "Dimai-Verzi-Siorpaes-Eötvös" remained the only way up this immense Dolomite wall.

Cortina is holding three events to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of this historic first ascent. The first was on Saturday 4 August at Rifugio Giussani where, at the foot of the “Via Normale”, the first climbers of the South Face were remembered. The second event will be held tomorrow on Saturday 11 August, giving all a chance to admire the route, at nightfall, from the outstanding vantage point of the Cinque Torri. The "Dimai-Verzi-Siorpaes-Eötvös" will be lit up by a myriad of torches: a truly magical event. The closing event is on Friday 24 August with “The protagonists and history a century on from the first ascent”: a slideshow of old and recent photos and a film at Cortina’s cinema Eden.

The Great Wall
Do mountains have a soul? If so, the Dolomites have as many as it has towers, peaks and rock faces. The South Face of the Tofana di Rozes is undoubtedly a powerful soul, in some ways even reassuring, as only Mother Nature knows how. Unique in its structure, with enormous pillars that defend and support her, with her upper amphitheatre and great final walls, this enormous mountain has always been one of the symbols of the Ampezzo Valley: silent stone witness to the evolution of time and history. The history of great mountaineering in the Dolomites such as that of the pioneer Meo Dimai, and the history of many battles of which her rocks were spectators in the First World War.

The "Dimai-Verzi-Siorpaes-Eötvös"
The Dimai up the South Face of the Tofana di Rozes has become a classic over time, its beauty confirmed by innumerable ascents that have confirmed its excellent rock.

With a height difference of 700m, this 1000m, 20 pitch route can be split into 3 sections: from the bottom of the great amphitheatre up the sloped ramp with difficulties not exceeding III°; the traverse towards the little amphitheatre and the exit at the top left, more exposed and difficult up to IV°; the spectacular, airy traverse along the SW arête to finish up the final chimneys, graded solid IV°. The final metersw to the summit then follow the exposed SW Crest.

1908 – South Face of the Tofana di Rozes - Agostino Verzi at the beginning of the key section of the route: the high traverse which leads to the amphitheatre on the SW arete (photo coll. Franco Gaspari).


Saturday 4 August
Commemoration of the first climbers at Rifugio Giussani, Tofana di Rozes
- 11.00 am Holy Communion
- Barbeque and climbing display on the Punta Giovannina wall.
Saturday 11 August
Cinque Torri
"A line of light along the route of the first climbers"
- 19.30 – 20.30 free ride in chairlift from Bai de Dones to rif. Scoiattoli
- 20.30 Cortina Choir in concert
- 21.00 torchlit "Dimai - Verzi - Siorpaes - Eötvös" route
- Barbeque
Return along illuminated First World War trenches and busride back to Bai de Dones.
Friday 24 August
“The protagonists and history a century on from the first climb”
- Slideshow of old and modern photos, and short film to commemorate the first ascent ("Dimai - Verzi - Siorpaes - Eötvös")

Parco delle Dolomiti d'Ampezzo
Regole d’Ampezzo
Gruppo Scoiattoli Cortina
Gruppo Guide Alpine di Cortina
Cassa Rurale ed Artigiana di Cortina d’Ampezzo e delle Dolomiti

1908 - Antonio Dimai and Agostino Verzi on the summit of Croda da Lago, Nuvolau in the background. (photo coll. Franco Gaspari)





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