Kicked by the Mule’s Derriere

Kicked by the Mule’s Derriere

Tofana di Rozes via Constantini Apollonio (VII, 500m) - Dolomites, Italy The Dolomites might be one of my favorite places in Europe, combining breath taking scenery and aesthetic climbing routes with amazing food and people.  Of the routes we have done in the Dolomites, which is not enough, Constantini Apollonio is one of our favorites.  Constantini Apollonio [...]

Tofana di Rozes via Constantini Apollonio (VII, 500m) – Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites might be one of my favorite places in Europe, combining breath taking scenery and aesthetic climbing routes with amazing food and people.  Of the routes we have done in the Dolomites, which is not enough, Constantini Apollonio is one of our favorites.  Constantini Apollonio is a beautiful route traveling 500m up the third pillar of Tofana di Rozes.  The line consists of sustained 5.10 climbing with two distinct cruxes, 5.11 roofs, on spectacular rock quality (for the Dolomites) and fabulous positioning.

Constantino Apollonio Route Topo

Pitch-by-pitch topo can be found here courtesy of planetmountain.com

Below is a pitch-by-pitch breakdown of the route as we climbed it, not to keep you from getting and using the guide (see quick reference section).  If you have time, we recommend a jaunt over to Cinque Torri and dining at the Rifugio Cinque Torri for some of the best Italian food of your life or head into Cortina d’Ampezzo and order a pizza.  If you are anything like my climbing partner, you might order a second for desert before romping through town to sample every single gelato stand.

Numbers indicate pitches (approximately):

  1. Go out the ledge and find the right facing corner, up this corner to a nice ledge directly below the top of pillar
  2. Traverse up 10′ from the belay and then hard right for 40′ to another nice belay ledge, look for and follow the pitons
  3. Up the obvious crack through a series of small roofs. The crack trends progressively more to the right and eases off in grade. Belay where comfortable.
  4. same as 3
  5. same as 3
  6. same as 3
  7. You top out onto a ledge, passing a gaping hole dropping down through the tower to the left (You will not see it until you are right next to it.) The intimidating overhung wall composing the routes challenges looms above you intimidatingly.
  8. Start up the vertical black wall that changes to looser yellow rock and belay right below roof (Recommend backing up fixed pitons with a cam or two). Harder than you might have hoped for.
  9. From here slap on the big boy pants, up and over polished mank overflowing roof. Stop shortly after to give a friendly belay to your moral support team member left behind. You probably want the rest anyways after freeing the roof.
  10. Slightly overhung delicate face (often loose), lots of pitons and insipient seams/cracks to link together. Belay in a dihedral just below the roof.
  11. Pull the fun 5.11 roof (2 of 2) and then move into the cave. Snack time! This is an awesome belay/bivvy ledge with a few audacious resident mice. Again a plethora of slings cluttering the roof make freeing it more challenging.
  12. “The Mule’s Ass.” Go up the overhung chimney (exposure, cough). There is a belay shortly after you pull out the massive roof. We missed this fixed belay and foolishly linked this into the next chimney pitch, not recommended as it leads to a lot of rope drag and a bad belay for your second (who will need prussik if they pop off).
  13. Easier chimney
  14. More chimney, a little bit more challenging, but this is the last of the “hard” pitches on route so enjoy it.
  15. Out right and romp up the gray face via the path of least resistance or most solid looking rock.
  16. Head out left, up straight, then out left toward the ridge
  17. (17-19)  Further left and into the summit gully which you make a few 5.8 moves and then class 3/4 scrambling delivers you to the top

Quick Reference Guide

Location: Tofana di Rozes – Dolomites, Italy

 

Best Time to Climb:
Late June to early September, depends on weather. August is the most consistent time.

Gear:

Approach:
From Cortina drive towards Falzarego, after Pocol and a few bends, take the right fork of the road (signposted) up a narrow road that leads to the Rifugio Dibona (GPS: 46.5333333, 12.05) at the foot of Tofana di Rozes. From the Rifugio Dibona, follow the obvious trail to the base of the Pillar (approx 30 min), the route starts at the center of the wall at an obvious dihedral (pictured in photo gallery).

Descent:
Traverse along a ledge in the direction of the great spur of Punta Marietta. Descend the scree passing through large boulders to Rifugio Giussani.

Accommodations:

Guide Books:

Photo Gallery

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Ilana is a native of Southern California. She is an accomplished rock and ice climber and is the brains behind Thrillseekers Anonymous. Currently residing in Colorado, she is a Registered Surgical/Trauma Nurse, who can be found leading her own adventures on days off. Ilana is a sponsored athlete with GoMacro, WoolX, and an Arcteryx Denver ambassador. She has been featured in various media outlets including the February 2015 issue of ‘Climbing’ magazine, December 2013 issue of ‘Rock and Ice’ magazine, December/January 2013 issue of ‘Gripped Climbing’ magazine, Canyoneering: A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons (How To Climb Series) by Dave Black and Pasadena Magazine as well as a Climbing Expert on MTV’s Parental Control (Season 7 – “Heather”).

Ilana has written 111 articles for Thrillseekers Anonymous.

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