Sorapiss is a Dolomite peak that provides a genuine mountaineering experience to its rocky summit ridge. With few red markers and cairns you will feel just like the Dolomite pioneers as you escape from most tourists into the realm of true mountaineers. With its central position, in relation to the other Dolomites, Sorapiss gives those who reach the top a stunning 360° panorama. You can enjoy all this in silence because you’re unlikely to find a crowd up there.
Spend the night at the historic Rifugio San Marco, owned by CAI Venezia. Built in 1895, on the Col de Chi da Os, the rifugio has been carefully preserved and retains all its original charm after serving mountaineers for over 120 years. From the rifugio, take path 226 that rises up steep hairpin turns to Forcella Grande at 2,055 m. Ahead is Torre dei Sabbioni, first climbed in 1877 by the alpine guide Sanvitese Cesaletti by a route that is considered to be the first grade III climb in the world. Continue along path 246 towards Bivacco Slataper at 2,620 m, built by the CAI Section XXX Ottobre of Trieste, in beautiful, panoramic position at the end of the Via Ferrata Berti (see Variant 1). Go right from the bivouac, up the scree until you reach the small central snowfield where the Via Comune begins (red arrow). What has now become the usual ascent route is the path travelled downhill in 1864 by the Austrian Paul Grohmann accompanied by the Ampezzo mountain guides Francesco Lacedelli and Angelo Dimai, after the first ascent of Sorapiss. Immediately there is section of grade II rock climbing, which goes up, then proceeds along an exposed ledge to the left and climbs again over rocks and scree, up to the crux, a smooth chimney blocked by a jammed boulder at the top. Climb the chimney, grade III, to an abseil peg used for the descent. A little historical curiosity: the technique of rappelling, or abseiling, was invented here in 1864 during the first descent from the summit. Checco Lacedelli had the brilliant idea of passing the rope around a spike and retrieving it by pulling one of its ends. This move allowed the old guide and his illustrious client to reach the scree at the foot of the rocks and continue their descent, without further difficulty, back to Cortina after 22 hours spent on this mountain! Once out of the chimney, go up to the large ledge that runs along the left almost to the edge of the Croda Marcora. From here you go right along another clear well-used ledge to a natural water supply; continue to the summit ridge and follow that to the small and rectangular peak. From the top, look down to the north and admire the beautiful turquoise Lago Sorapiss sparkling far below. The descent follows the same route in reverse, abseiling down the chimney to reach the foot of the rock.