The “Lipella” via ferrata is a route for expert climbers, and it is an essential entry in a climber’s curriculum. It includes some First World War locations, and it leads directly to the summit of one of the most famous peaks in the Dolomites: Tofana di Rozes. The view from the top, at 3,255 m, is magnificent, you get an aerial panorama of the Ampezzo Valley and the entire range of the Dolomites.
From Cortina, take the state road SS48 towards the Falzarego Pass, go past the restaurant La Locanda del Cantoniere and the small church of Vervei, and carry on for about 500 metres until you reach the Fedarola junction. Go uphill on the road leading to the mountain lodge Rifugio Dibona; the second part of the road is a dirt track, but in good condition. From this historic lodge, which has a large car park, take track n° 403 until you reach the intersection with track n° 404, which skirts the foot of Tofana di Rozes and brings you to the start of the via ferrata at the tunnels, Gallerie del Castelletto.
The ferrata begins with a long series of iron steps, taking you into the tunnel entirely built by the Alpini regiment during the First World War; this section has a vertical distance of 120 m and a length of 500 m, and it requires a torch or a headlamp. When you reach the fork, keep right at the exit from the tunnel, so that you go downhill along the track to return to the Lipella via ferrata.
The route calls for good fitness, because it proceeds over steep slabs and ledges, with some vertical sections. Continue until you reach a fork, and turn right in order to summit on Tofana di Rozes, or left to reach the distinctive “Tre Dita” (three fingers), an iconic rock formation, and then carry on towards the mountain lodge Rifugio Giussani that you will reach in about 30 minutes.
Take the track on the right towards the summit, and continue along the ledge until you return to the metal cables of the via ferrata which will accompany you all the way to the secondary peak at 3,027 m, in about two hours. This latter section is challenging and calls for a good level of fitness, because it includes some vertical sections. From the end of the via ferrata, you can continue to reach the peak of Tofana di Rozes, at 3,225 m, following the normal route, in about half an hour. When you arrive, you will see the majestic summit cross, and you can enjoy the impressive views of the entire Ampezzo Valley.
For the descent, go back the same way that you came until you reach the secondary summit; from here, follow the normal route towards the mountain lodge Rifugio Giussani at 2,580 m, which you will reach in about an hour. From the lodge, continue for another 45 minutes on track n° 403 until you reach the mountain lodge Rifugio Dibona.