The normal route to Antelao is not a via ferrata as at so many Dolomites peaks. It is a demanding and interesting climb that requires climbing easy (UIAA I-II) but exposed rocks without fixed cables. The most characterstic item of this trip is what makes out the shape of Antelao – it is the huge inclined ramp of the “Laste”. This area should be dry and free of snow – otherwise the trip would be too dangerous.
Referring to the guidelines of this fact sheet:
- Start altitude: 1580m
- Summit altitude: 3264m
- Prevailing exposition: N
Type: easy but sometimes exposed climb (UIAA I, partly II), very dangerous if wet or icy, G3 on the Munter scale
Protection: marked with red spots and cairns, but only one fixed cable
Effort (ascent): 1700m ascent, very strenuous as a daytrip; 9 h – better to do in two days
Orientation: 2-3 – loosing the marked route may lead in trouble!
From the Rifugio San Marco the route leads to Forcella Piccola pass. It’s advisable to depose the overnight luggage somewhere at a hidden place. The route – marked with red spots – leads up to the high valley east of Antelao north ridge, that is filled with scree. Rockclimbing starts at app. 2400m. The ascent route through this area does mainly a traverse to the right, using ledges and short steps to the next ledge. At app. 2700m you reach the broad ridge called “La Bala”. Higher this becomes for some meters a narrow and exposed ridge and then forms the huge ramp of the “Laste” that falls down several hundred meters on both sides. The ramp is followed in uniform steepness, in the upper part channels are cutted into the slabs. Between the lower and the upper part of these slabs a gap has to be crossed and the higher part is reached by a chimney (UIAA II). On the upper 200m the route runs near the ridge, passes the emergency shelter of Bivacco Cosi (3111m) by a chimney. The typical tower on top of the “Laste” has to be climbed on the west side. At the most exposed part a cable helps climbing another chimney (UIAA II). After the next ledges the final meters to the summit run on the east side of the ridge.