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Alessandro Fiori

Via Ferrata Cesco Tomaselli

Paolo Tassi
Mountain guides Gruppo Guide Alpine Cortina d'Ampezzo
info@guidecortina.com - https://www.guidecortina.com/

On one of my first excursions as a mountain guide, I was entrusted with a small group led by a man of considerable stature.
Tethered with a simple cord, he promptly set off, but after a few steps, he remained petrified.
After several attempts, spurred on by the Olympic cheers of dozens of climbers who in the meanwhile had gathered at the start, he finally managed to overcome the key point
My clients were impressed and scared by this effort and wanted to give up. Finally they calmed down and enjoyed this great climb.


The Via Ferrata Tomaselli is reputed to be one of the hardest and most overwhelming in the Dolomites. It takes you up to one of the most suggestive peaks of the area: Cima Fanis Sud. This Via Ferrata is considered one of the most beautiful equipped climbing routes in the Dolomites and the panoramic view of the Sella Group, the Marmolada, the Civetta, the Tofana di Rozes and the Cime di Fanis is magnificent.
The via ferrata Tomaselli is challenging, very exposed, technically demanding but excellently equipped.
The approach and the first part of the route remind us that during WW 1 the front line ran also on this mountain. 
The key passage of the climb is right at the beginning of the via ferrata, on the overhanging traverse with a smooth rock-face. Once this passage was definitely feared. Thanks to the modern climbing shoes and a new placement of the wire rope and the pitons, without compromising the fascination and the exposure, now it is safer than ever before. 
Also the descent is along a via ferrata and this makes the climb complete and demanding from a technical point of view. 

Located at the top station of the cable car, the mountain hut Rifugio Lagazuoi is ideal for a deserved break. 

Those who do not have the necessary equipment can rent it on-site at the Lagazuoi Info-point & Rental.


very difficult

Departure point
Falzarego Pass

Arrival point
Falzarego Pass

Total duration
ferrata ↑ 2 h - ↓ 45 min

Vertical drop on the ferrata
↑ 300 m - ↓ 160

Maximum altitude
2.980 m

You can reach the starting point, Falzarego Pass, from Cortina d'Ampezzo, Arabba or Badia by car or public means of transport. There you take the Lagazuoi cable car that brings you up to the top station in a few minutes.

From the top station descend rapidly to the saddle Forcella Lagazuoi and continue down until you meet up with path no. 20b. Follow this and traverse beneath the NW crest of the Grande Lagazuoi and then ascend to Forcella Granda to reach the start of the via ferrata. Alternatively, you can reach the saddle Forcella Lagazuoi from the Falzarego pass in 1,5 hrs by walking along path no. 402-401.  

Just after the start of the Tomaselli climbers have to deal with the most difficult issue, an overhanging traverse leftwards. The ferrata continues through vertical exposed walls to the central section of the face and from here on a sort of trail. The last section comprehends a long dihedral and a series of extremely exposed rough slabs which lead to the summit.

Descend using the fixed cables along the still steep but easier route down the NE face. Once at the Selletta Fanis, continue down the scree slope on the path until you reach the ridges Forcella Gasser Depot and Forcella Travenanzes.  From here the path no. 402 leads back to the starting point at Falzarego pass.

Punta Fanes Sud