Constantini-Apollonio route VII+ on Pilastro della Tofana di Rozes is the most famous route in Cortina di Ampezo (Dolomites). Almost 600 meters of climbing. Rock with good quality. You must be comfortable on grade VI+ Trad climbing in limestone. Route has 3 crucs. First is roof VII+ (you can aid), second roof VII and chimmey pitch VI+ (very endurance and quite often wet).

Dificulty: VI A0 (VII+)

Height (drop): 450 m (+ 80 m to col)

Length of the roue: 580 m (+ 100 to col)

Pitches: 23

Time: 8-10 hours

Quallity of rock: Perfect (for Dolomites)

Gear: Standard set + 8 quickdraws + set of nuts + middle cams

FA: E. Constantini and R. Apollonio. 1944


Getting There

Go by car to Rifugio Dibona. From Rifugio go to base of the wall. From base scramble up to the right side of a narrow ledge near the center of the face, walk left across this ledge until you see the word the “Pilastro” at the base of the route. Overall, the route starts in a corner to the right of a finger shaped little pinnacle.

Searching start of the route. Photo: Damian Granowski


Pitch description:
Pitch 1 – 40 m V: Climb the dihedral on the right side of the pinnacle to just below its top, where is belay
2 – 30 m V: Move right up a grey slab to a piton, traverse horizontally to the crack and climb it to a stance
3 – 30 m V+: Climb the crack past small roofs on beautiful grey rock

Constantini-Apollonio_6After the third pitch. Photo: Damian Granowski

4 – 35 m V: More cracks.
5 – 35 m IV: Climb the groove
6 – 45 m VI: Climb left past the bulge to a stance on the first terrace.
7 – 15 m III: Go around the big hole


View from 7 pitch. Photo: Bartłomiej Szeliga

First roof (VII+). Photo: Bartłomiej Szeliga

8 – 40 m V: Climb the black wall into the yellow crack that is at times loose (takes a lot of gear). There is a belay just beneath the roof. Maybe better will be NOT belay here but pull the roof of the next pitch to a safer and more comfortable belay
9 – 20 m VII+: Jam out the roof on extremely polished holds (or pull on a couple cams to get past if you fall out). Some powerful moves, but you can do it ;).
10 – 40 m VI: Climb up the steep yellow wall/crack and ledges. Beautiful overhang pitch :-)


Hmm. Pitch 8 or 10. Photo: Damian Granowski

11 – 25 m VII: Climb the next quite difficult, tricky roof and move right onto the terrace. When I do it, it was wet. Be prepared for that.
12 – 40 m VI+: Climb up to the cave and then the overhanging chimney to to left of the cave. Very endurance and wet pitch. If you think, that roofs were crux, then you may be wrong ;).

12 Pitch... brr. Photo Damian Granowski

13 – 40 m IV: This chimney is easier
14 – 35 m V-: More chimney
15 – 30 m V+: Move right and climb the light colored rock – moving right more
16 – 40 m IV: Climb the steep grey slabs up to the area under the yellow wall
17 – 40 m IV+: Traverse diagonally left (easy) then climb over a more difficult bulge.
18 – 40 m IV+: Continue up a steep short wall on the left to reach the easy gully to the left of the buttress.
19 – 60 m third class: Climb up the easy gully to the col below the summit


Descent – Follow a path north wrapping around the East side of the mountain. You can see the trail and even the cars way below to your right. DON'T go there - there are a hundred false trails heading down into a morass of cliffs and dangerous terrain that are all off route. You must go UP a fair distance (sometimes there is snow depending on the season) and over a pass following the painted dots towards Rifugio Guissani, then down a steep scree gully to the path going to Rifugio Guissani and finally pick up the path that leads back down to the Rifugio Dibona and the car park.