Tofana di Mezzo Via Ferrata

5 h 30 min
Rifugio Pomedes
Funivia Freccia nel Cielo - Cima Tofana

A spectacular via ferrata for experts, which takes you directly to one of the finest and unmissable peaks of the Dolomites: Tofana di Mezzo. The ferrata has many vertical sections, and also long exposed traverses, making the route varied and pleasant. Once you have reached the top, the view from a height of 3,244 m looks over the Ampezzo Valley and all the surrounding areas.

From Cortina, head towards the Falzarego Pass, and, before the Socrepes ski-lifts, turn right and follow the signs for the Baita Piè Tofana Restaurant which has a large car park where you can leave your vehicle. From here, take the chair-lift that brings you to the mountain lodge Rifugio Duca D’Aosta, at the foot of the Tofane mountain group. Then take the chairlift to the Rifugio Pomedes lodge at 2,305 m, one of the oldest lodges in the Ampezzo Valley. 

Follow the signs for the Olivieri equipped trail which, with a series of ladders and sections provided with protection, brings you directly to the amphitheatre of Monte Ra Valles. Follow the path on scree-strewn terrain and skirt the Pomedes Towers. Here you reach some boulders that lead to the Olivieri Punta Anna ferrata.

Follow the track uphill until you reach an arête without a fixed rope, and follow the route marked by a very obvious black arrow and a number of cairns. Walk up the path until you reach an 8-metre ladder that enables you to reach the ridge, from which you have fine views of the ski-slopes of Ra Valles and Cortina from above, from Croda Rossa to Antelao. From here you can already see the top of Tofana di Mezzo and the ridge that you will follow to the summit, and you can observe the very unusual rock with the marks left by the passage of time. The route continues with a level section, running along a ledge; cross a saddle and climb another vertical section that calls for some athletic moves along some chimneys, and then continue along a ledge that becomes an exposed traverse. 

From here you can climb to the top of the Gianni Aglio pinnacle, at 2,980 m, or continue to the summit of Tofana di Mezzo. This climb will bring you to the top in just a few minutes. It is an almost vertical section, and you have to go down the same way, and so it is suitable for expert climbers only. In addition, the summit has a lot of loose stones, and it is important to ensure that no stones are dislodged with the risk of them falling onto climbers on the via ferrata.

When you have returned to the Tofana di Mezzo via ferrata, you will encounter one of the key points, one of the most famous stretches, of the whole ferrata: a highly-exposed, very exciting traverse that enables you to encircle the Aglio pinnacle with exposed ledges and some fairly energetic stretches, for which protection is always present, and with additional support for the feet at the most challenging points. From here, keep going around the pinnacle, until you reach, a few minutes later, the famous “Bus di Tofana” (the hole through the rock on mount Tofana) at 2,910 m, very famous also for ski mountaineering in winter. The ferrata takes you above the hole, but if you wish, you can move rapidly down to see it (the descent is provided with protection) and then return back up to the via ferrata leading to Tofana di Mezzo. From here, the track takes you towards the left, along some panoramic ledges with incredible views of Tofana di Rozes. Some sections of the track are not equipped, and so it is important to be sure-footed. Then you encounter another vertical section, on splendid rock that brings you to a second incredible hole in the rock. After this there are two long ladders and another vertical stretch, bringing you to a wide open area from which you can see the route that you have taken up to that moment, from the first ramp leading to the ridge, to the traverse on the ledge, and even the summit of the Aglio pinnacle.

From here there is another equipped section, and then the final part is a non-equipped track, with some points at which a good sense of balance is essential. The track takes you to the summit of Tofana di Mezzo, which gives you one of the most amazing views of the Alps, dominating not only the entire Ampezzo Valley but also the surrounding valleys.

From the top, go down to the station of the Freccia nel Cielo cableway; take the cable car down to Col Drusciè and from there, follow the road, reaching the Baita Piè Tofana Restaurant where you left the car. 


Rest points

Rifugio Pomedes, Rifugio Duca d’Aosta, Bar Cima Tofana, Capanna Ra Valles


The via ferrata equipment: helmet, harness, appropriate climbing gloves and the via ferrata kit.


Variant 1: Starting point at the Freccia nel Cielo cable car If you wish to shorten the route, you can start from the Freccia nel Cielo cableway car park and take the cable car up to Ra Valles. From here, walk up until you reach the end of the Olivieri track and from here, carry on until you reach the starting point of the via ferrata. When you have reached the summit of Tofana di Mezzo, take the cable car from Cima Tofana and go back down to the car park. Variant 2: Formenton via ferrata When you have reached the summit of Tofana di Mezzo, the fittest and most experienced mountaineers can continue by following a route that leads from the summit of Tofana di Mezzo to the top of Tofana di Dentro. From the summit, descend and take the path that begins on the left of the Formenton via ferrata, right above the cable car top station at Cima Tofana.


3244 m
Positive elevation gain
980 m