Val Fonda Couloirs

Cortina d'Ampezzo

This spectacular corner of the Cristallo mountain range offers 3 different couloirs, which leads you to the hanging steep slope above Val Fonda.

Also in Belluno, Italy

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
3.8 km
Ascent
65 m
Descent
1.3 km
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
2.8 km
Gradient
49˚
VIEW ON MAP
Val Fonda Couloirs Map

Description

This spectacular corner of the Cristallo mountain range offers 3 different couloirs, which lead you to the hanging steep slope above Val Fonda. It is recommended to ski this in the morning, at first lifts, as the steep hanging face above a rocky cliff faces east.

Unfortunately, the ‘Forcella Staunies’ chairlift shut down in the summer of 2016, so a great deal more effort is now required to enjoy the popular steep lines of the Cristallo mountain range and this discourages lots of skiers. Take the Son Forca chairlift, then follow the slope to where the old ‘Forcella Staunies’ chairlift was. From here, skin up the old ski slope to the middle station, then continue further up to the steep wide couloir at the top of Forcella Staunies. Attach the skis to your backpack and continue climbing up on foot (crampons are usually recommended). You will need to rope up as you have to climb up a very steep ladder behind of the chairlift station. This is the beginning of the famous via ferrata "Ivano Dibona”. Normally, the iron ladder is buried under snow and you'll have a very steep 10m gully to climb. At the top on your right, you have a bolt that you can use to belay your partners (sometimes an ice axe can also be useful). The descent starts on the other side (the Northern side), it is relatively steep and narrow for the first 100 meters. Be careful when there is lots of snow, especially windslabs. Drop in, ski the first section with jump turns, the couloir then makes a turn to the skier's left. Be aware of the rocky cliffs before the couloir gets wider and less steep.

Now traverse all the way across to the right until you can clearly see 3 drop-ins. The first two options face the north, they are both narrow and steep, while the last one is easier and faces east. They all lead you to a steep, open and wide slope above a rocky cliff. You will need to make a long traverse to the left hand side (but be careful), in order to ski down a short couloir on the skier's right, then traverse to the right in order to ski under the rocky cliff and reach the Val Fonda. Keep skiing down the valley on the skier's right (there are usually lots of tracks made by ski mountaineers), when it gets narrower you might have to cross the creek once or twice, this will depend on the snow coverage. When the valley flattens, cross a sort of canyon and then go along the cross country ski slope. Follow it on the left until you reach the Ploner Hotel in Carbonin, here you can get a bus back to Cortina.

Equipment needed: an ice axe, a harness, slings and carabiners, plus a 30m rope could be useful for the technical approach up to Forcella Staunies.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April

Features

  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area