May through November
Beginner to advanced
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Limestone, via ferrata, and enough routes to last a lifetime
The Dolomites are not your average, ordinary, everyday rock climbing spot. The area’s distinctive spires, needles, ledges, towers, plateaus, and crags — not least to mention its historical significance during the First World War and unique cultural history — stood out so much so that UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 2009. And then there’s the climbing. Part of the Southern Limestone Alps and shared by the provinces of Bulluno, South Tyrol and Trentino, the Dolomites are home to three disciplines of climbing: traditional climbing, sport climbing and via ferrata.
The ratings for trad and sport are conservative, to say the least, so make sure you warm up some before tackling the harder stuff, like the Comici Route on the North Face of Cima Grande di Lavaredo (5.10b). Easier going initial climbs are the Arete of the Thumb (5.5) on Cinque Dita, Sassolungo, or the Dimai route on Punta Flames (5.6) or the south arete of the Falzarego Tower (5.5), both in Cortina. There are thousands of routes to climb, certainly enough to merit a return trip. We know when we first climbed the Dolomites, we couldn’t wait to get back.
Most popular packages and classes in the Dolomites
Rock climbing in the Dolomites
Spend the day climbing an objective of your choice, or letting your guide surprise you with something perfectly situated for your skill set. Whether you want to climb in Cortina, Alta Badia, Sella Pass or Catinaccio in Fassa Valley, you’re going to have an unforgettable climbing trip with your IFMGA guide.
Climbing Dolomites: Customized Programs
With so much to climb and so little, don’t be overwhelmed with options! This customized trip includes transportation, guiding service, rifugios, gear, and other lodgings — of course, your IFMGA guide too! You and your guide will tailor-make your itinerary. Start with the basics at the Sella Pass and move on to the Vajolet Towers, Great Pordoi Peak, the Sass de Stria, Falzarego, and more — all depending on the length of your stay.
Dolomites Alpine Rock Climbing
Based out of the Sella Pass area or possibly Cortina, this is an amazing opportunity to spend a week or more exploring multi-pitch climbs until your heart’s content. Regardless of your skill level, there’s something for everyone — from low-grade 5th class to technical routes well into 5.10. This is an all-inclusive package and a great way to explore the culture and climbing in the Dolomites.
Things you need to know
When is the best time to go?
The Dolomites are excellent for climbing late spring until late fall. If early or late in the season, though, be ready for some snow!
What's a typical itinerary?
Usually you’ll meet up with your guide, go over gear and beta, and then plan on what routes you want to ascend, or what techniques you want to focus on most, depending on your skill level and course.
What about group sizes?
Group sizes are usually between 1 – 4 people with one instructor. Also, remember that the costs decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
What about bad weather?
Inclement weather can always get in the way of climbing, but your guide will know the best spots to move to if and when it rains. If in doubt, though, always ask your guiding service for more information on their policies when weather disrupts climbing.
Options abound: Innsbruck in Austria, 1.5 hours away; Verona, 1.25 – 2 hours away; Venice, 1.25 – 2 hours; Milan, 3.5 – 4 hours away; Munich
Who should climb the Dolomites
The Dolomites are worth going out of your way for. There are all levels of accessible grades, and the area itself is worth a visit at least once in a lifetime.