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The Tre Cime di Lavaredo are three enormous free-standing limestone towers, unique not only to the Dolomites but to the world.
Their yellow tinted north faces play host to numerous alpine routes, many of which, thanks to their difficulty and natural beauty, have become true classics.
Almost all were originally climbed using traditional techniques and a vast amount of gear, and it was only fairly recently that some of these routes were freed completely.
Hasse Brandler, taking the direct line up the North Face of Cima Grande (3000 m), is one such route.
It is best climbed during the summer months, for early morning starts can be extremely cold.
Information concerning the state of the route can be gained from the Rifugio Lavaredo.
Cima Grande di Lavaredo
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Lavaredo map
Getting there
The ideal starting points are Cortina d'Ampezzo and Auronzo.
These can be reached from the north via the Pusteria valley, or from the south by first taking the motorway (A27) to Longarone and then following the highway northwards. Both points of departure lead to Misurina, from which a toll-road winds steeply almost to the base of the Tre Cime's south faces.

Although there are numerous campsites at Misurina, the best option is one of the two Rifugi nestled almost at the base of the towers. Book in advance.
The first rifugio is Rifugio Auronzo (tel. 0435 39002, situated at the end of the toll-road.
The second rifugio is Rifugio Lavaredo (tel. 0336 494617), owned and run by Marco Corte Colò, an experienced Mountain Guide with an immense knowledge of all the routes on the Tre Cime.
More comfortable than the first, this Rifugio is reached by following the path for 15 minutes underneath the majestic south faces which contain, amongst many other famous routes, the Spigolo Giallo.

click images to enlarge
Rock and gear
This stratified limestone is friable and loose in places. Although the most important routes have been cleaned, be careful since it can be a bit unnerving at first.
The rock on Hasse Brandler is solid throughout. The first section is crimpy, the second section extremely pumpy, in particular the overhanging corner at half height.
The route is literally festooned with pegs, although not all are entirely trustworthy.
All belays are well equipped with bolts except for those on the finishing pitches.
Take a full set of wires, some medium-size friends, some slings and plenty of quickdraws. Although two ropes are recommended, a 60 m rope is sufficient.

1 - Via Hasse Brandler
2 - Via Comici Dimai
Cima Grande di Lavaredo photo and routes
The Route

North facing

550 meters

7a+ (UIAA: V+/A2 obligatory)

All belays are well equipped, most have bolts

The route
Numerous pegs, although not all are trustworthy

6-10 hours

Along the normal route on the SE Face. Some abseils on insitu gear and downclimbing (UIAA: II/III).
Regardless of the style of ascent the route, due to its 18 pitches, is very tiring and therfore requires a certain degree of fitness.

The route
Follow the path from Rifugio di Lavaredo to the Forcella Lavaredo and continue on a small track which traverses leftwards underneath the base of the north faces. The route starts on the right side of the face, close to the start of Via Comici. Route-finding skills are extremely important on the first two pitches, especially since a fast early morning start is essential! The original start tackles a smooth slab close to a crack-lined pillar. The top of this can otherwise be reached easily by starting slightly further to the right. Follow a leftwards rising traverseline (friable) to a small roof (nut and bolt belay). From here on upwards you cannot unintentionally climb off route!

Descend via the normal route on the south face. After the final pitch walk leftwards along a large ledge to the cairns that mark the normal route. Abseil down the chimney using two 50m ropes and continue by downclimbing to the gravel. Follow the cairns leftwards, until a short abseil leads to a col.
Reach the col (SE Face) which faces a steep gully; this can be descended either by abseils or by downclimbing (UIAA: II)
The final leap can be avoided by traversing leftwards along the ledge to reach the gully.

Via Hasse topo
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