/ Dolomites soon ? Be warned
There has been loads of snow this spring (and cool temperatures). They have forecast more snow next weekend (above 1200/1400 m).
So expet to find tons of white stuff, certainly more than average for June, and I suspect July too, unless there is a heatwave in the meantime.
Yikes, just booked flight to go and do Via Ferrata in the Brenta end of July and August. Assuming it is widespread ?
Well the Giro is having to do some rethinking due to the cold and snow. Looks like spring is late through most of Europe as well.
End of July you may well be fine.
It's June that could catch people out badly (and perhaps early July?).
If folk want specific news near the time drop me an e-mail. Or if anyone gets badly stuck for public transport in Trento or Arco ...
Cheers! Just this morning I checked out the webcams and was thinking "are they all stuck on some past image from winter?". A heatwave pre early July would be nice, but it is always fun there no matter.
Ah, but it scuppered my traverse of the Brenta last year, as my pals were fine on the VF's, but not skilled enough in winter conditions, which we had, burying the cables regularly.
And carrying axe and crampons is a bugger when you'd prefer nice dry, warm rock.
Ah well, c'est la vie in our game, is it not....... :)
Any recommendations for good places to go in June given the conditions? We were planning on heading up the first week of June so it will probably be pretty snowy I guess...
If anyone can name a region that will be less snowy, lower altitude summits perhaps, south facing, it would be very appreciated :)
If the weather looks really bad I guess we can keep going south down into Arco but I'd rather be in the mountains :).
> Any recommendations for good places to go in June given the conditions? We were planning on heading up the first week of June so it will probably be pretty snowy I guess...
> If the weather looks really bad I guess we can keep going south down into Arco
You said it ... Arco would be the automatic choice for most people.
A lot depends on what you want to do. The big wall trad climbing in the Sarca valley (alias Arco) is hard to beat. Of course there are various other places, but none quite as good and none really "in the mountains" (bottom of Val Sugana valley, or Monte Baldo on the big Brentonico "rock like Verdon" crags).
You could try the Sella pass, where the S facing routes could well be clear, but the descents will be a bit epic (abseil the routes?).
Gets worse and worse. They now forecast snow tonight (Thursday) and all tomorrow down to 900 m.
That's amazing for the time of year (2000 m would be typical) with cool temperatures, and then another pulse of cold air arriving next week.
We are normally basking like lizards by now. Might even be forced to go ski touring again.
For those that are booked - think Arco/Lake Garda. The altitude down there is just 70 m above sea level, so conditions are almost like the Mediterranean coast and it rarely rains because of the Alpine rainshadow.
True. Or Trieste area, Slovenia and the Istria area of Croatia. I know I am!
I'm no expert but the Julian Alps are famously very snowy on a normal year. I can only guess they are more so this year.
> For those that are booked - think Arco/Lake Garda. The altitude down there is just 70 m above sea level, so conditions are almost like the Mediterranean coast and it rarely rains because of the Alpine rainshadow.
You´re taking the piss aren´t you? Its been lashing it down here since yesterday and everything is a swamp or a waterfall. I left Corvara on Wednesday when it started snowing in the campsite.
Agree though, I´ve never seen so much snow up there before, virtually none of the rock routes looked anywhere like in condition.
> You´re taking the piss aren´t you? Its been lashing it down here since yesterday and everything is a swamp or a waterfall.
No, not joking. It's raining everywhere right now but Arco will be the first place it stops raining and the first to dry out.
Are you around much longer? We could meet up for a beer (I'm just up the road, in Cadine).
I am off week after next. Out of interest what are via ferratta routes like in winter conditions .
Can you recommend some sports guide books
And a book with trad routes at Arco ?
The new edition Arco of the multipitch guidebook "Arco Pareti", published by Versante Sud, is just out according to their website. I guess translated editions might take a bit longer(they normally do the Arco books in German & English). You might still find some copies of the old edition in shops, I'm only familiar with the German ediiton which was caled "Hohe Wände Sarcatals".
A few years ago I got caught out badly by snow in Corsica at the end of June. We had taken walking axes but no crampons and were reduced laborious step cutting to get up the hard packed nevee (too hard to kick steps in), particularly on Paglia Orba.
We went back at the same time the following year armed with axes and crampons and ice screws and there wasn't a spot of snow to be seen.
I have no knowledge of this year, but in general terms, it's possible for the VF wire to disappear into a snow drift, meaning you can't use it for protection, and so need to arrange your own protection or solo.
Higher routes are obviously more likely to be affected than low level ones...
A classic view - of a blotched camera lens streaming with water.
You owe me a keyboard!
The second edition of Sarca Walls is available in English (but not the first edition).
A free website of interest: http://www.arrampicata-arco.com/
(Italian language but free topos to download).
For those asking about VF under snow and ice - generally not a good idea. I have seen cases in which the cable is frozen into solid ice flows and becomes completely unusable for extended sections. Clearly a serious situation if you intend to continue.
However, there are plenty of low level ferratas just waiting for you to clip their cables, hard ones and long ones, too.
Erstwhile , it would be a lot more convenient for me if you can make the snow go away !
Totally agree. Anybody have any news from the dolomites? We'll be going on Wednesday. Looks like we'll head to Sarca and climb the big climbs there at first, and then maybe go back up if some sunny weather melts the snow away.
Any recommendations for Sarca?
Pretty much every valley I went down over a four day period this week was pretty stacked out with snow. There was snow down to 2000m with fresh snow most days I was there. I will upload some pics later on today, got to go out this morning, but if it were me, I'd forget rock routes in the main dolomites and either skitour (yes - you heard right!) or go alpine climbing and take axes and crampons. It looks like you could do some fine easy/not so easy gullies at the moment... for example I stayed below the Pleitlerkofel on Friday night and when it cleared in the morning there were skiable gullies everywhere and I had to clear two inches of fresh off the car...
Nice and clean today! http://www.umbriameteo.com/webcam/trecime/
Good webcam maps here http://www.webcamgalore.com/EN/webcam-map/Germany/country-1.html
Click on 'most popular webcams of the last 24 hours' and you will find the floods in Germany.
Looks like a good time to go on holiday!
Basically, lots of fairly new multi-pitch routes, so less polished than the usual stuff at Arco. Bearing in mind lots of people are in the same boat (i.e. unable to climb anything up high) expect crowds..
So thats one for the paddlers then!
I put my skis away for the season 2 weeks ago.
Were you in the Würzjoch? You didn't go and see Franz at the Schatzerhütte, did you? If so, you might have bumped into my mother in law.
What the hell is June doing? Excessive flooding all over Bavaria, even the river Isar here in Munich is a bit mental atm (https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-spg-7tMTlF0/Ua2uaMy2etI/AAAAAAAAB88/PUp7GorzCck/s640/IMGP6759.JPG... and despite conditions imroving there is snow down to about 1500m.
When will the alpine summer finally start? Those lovely multipitch routes won't climb themselves! [/rant]
Went up Marmolada today. Still stacks of snow on south facing approaches. E.g. Via Maria on Pordoi was one big snow slope. Approaches to the pillars on Tofane di Rozes ditto. It's still being skiied! Maybe 5 Torri is feasible but not much else.
North face of Civetta is completely winter conditions.
We're meant to be in Misurina the last week of June, kicking off a six week trip.
What's the wisdom - abandon altogether now, wait & see or what?
What about starting in the west - Alpes Marittimes or near Cuneo?
Or any other good ideas!
Freezing levels are shooting up over the course of this week.
You can follow them here: http://www.arpa.veneto.it/previsioni/it/html/meteo_dolomiti.php
For some reason only on the Italian version.
Not much help for your decision-making...I'd say south-facing approaches SHOULD be fine by then e.g. around Falzarego, but some caution on route selection regarding the descents could still be required cos any north facing descent above 2200 will still be snowed up.
Good insight & a bit more optimistic than I had hoped - thank you.
Thanks for the update. We're off to the Cortina area for the middle two weeks of July. Had hoped to do a bunch of via ferrata and climbs but recent reports are making me a bit nervous. Particularly thinking about the Tofana ferrata, e.g Punta Anna Gianni Aglio and Giavanni Lipella, what are the chances off them being okay by 10th July? Some go above 3000m...
English language (skiing) website with weather and freezing level details here:
I am climbing in Dollies last week in Jun and first week in Jul. Looks quite grim at the moment but weather now getting a lot warmer with lots of sun. My experience of previous years is that south facing routes will clear quickly and anyhting that is not completely north facing will clear farly well, but the descents, which by definition are less steap and therfore hold more snow are very slow to clear. i have had a few dodgy moemnts on such desents as Erste Kanta on tofana, five finger traverse, Falzarego Pass routes (tunnels full of snow and ice) etc. So my advice is even if the route looks completely clear give a bit of thought to the descent.
A couple of years ago we clomed in Cinque Torre the day after about 6 inch of snow fell with no issues (except wet feet).
How long do people think it'll take before things like Comici on cima Grande are climbable? Or is it climbable now, and just the approach is difficult?
Falzarego 10th June: Routes clean but still masses of snow. Care needed in route selection for descents.
Sella: 8th June: South facing starts and routes already clear of snow
Here's link in Italian. I suspect others will update periodically.
I am thinking of the South Face of Tofana, should I be thinking of an Ice Axe for the descent and maybe snow spikes, or even boots and crampons.
Tofana aspirants should keep their eye on this. You prob are, but...if not, gives pretty good view of situation.
Thanks for that, not got my guidebook to hand, but am I correct in thinking that the big snowy area is the amphitheatre we have to cross?
Yeah thats right, we're really keen on the route too. We're taking axes, i have crampons and my second has some spikes. I think moving through the amphetheatre wont be too bad its more the top out and descent from what I've heard from speaking to lots of people. When are you planning on going? We're going 21st June - 30th June and will be attempting it sometime then. It would be great to get a condition report from you if you do it before us or I'll be happy to report our attempt to you if we go first.
Also, some guys skiied the south face of Pelmo 2 days ago...
That said, tropical temperatures here at the moment.
Are you going to take ice axes to get off the top of the routes, maybe phone the guides office in Cortina ?
Just came back from Cortina this week. As expected anything North / West facing above 2000 Metres still has snow. As an example we climbed hexenstein and had to abb down the south rib as the back was all white and we only had trainers. At 2000 somewhere between 50cm-100cm on snow . Looking up at tofana still lots of snow but we didnt go over the back.
If you have specific objectives in mind then check if they require lift access or refugios as some have been closed due to weather
When we left it was getting very hot but think it will take a while for any snow to clear.
We still managed to get out every day just had to change some objectives , hope you have good weather and great time.
One other thing , speaking to one of the guides there are less climbers out due to the weather , therefore trade routes which may have easier access might have less traffic . We spent two days on Cinque torre and at most saw 2 other teams.
Those going down to Arco need not worry, there's a few good VFs to do - I recommend doing the Rio Sallagoni one at night when all the creepy crawlies come out of their hiding places :-)
We're off to the Cortina area in 10 days and it seems that many of the things we'd planned to do are now pretty much toast. Sadly absconding to Arco isn't really an option as we've rented an apt in the area for the 2 weeks.
So, any suggestions for good walks, ferrata that aren't currently buried or just really anything that is actually still possible would be really good. Are any of the high up walking routes an option? we'll be taking ice axe + crampons.
Also, can any of the multi-pitch climbs around Cortina be accessed at the moment? Cinque Torri looks okay from the webcam but if that's the only multi-pitch that's doable then it's going to be silly busy. Basically looking for suggestions that aren't too hard (up to VS is fine) and not too long (max of 8-10 pitches but less is fine) without having to descend some snow horror show to get down.
Finally, does anyone out there know if the routes on the lower section of Piz Ciavazes finishing at the Chamois Terrace are possible? and perhaps more importantly whether you can get along the chamois terrace and down safely - we've been there before and at least know the routes so would be prepared to drive round and repeat stuff if necessary.
What approach and descent? The path to the hut looks well trodden.
my virus checker says that link has MALWARE that it blocked.
OOPS! Just re-read the news report I posted after looking at the webcam you posted. It was from 15th June, so a bit out of date, I'm afraid. However, for what it's (now!) worth, translation of newspaper report said the Germans topped out on Cima Granda, probably after doing Spigolo Dibona, but owing to the large quantity of snow on the summit, they were unable to find the abseil anchor for the descent & spent the night on the summit, before being rescued by helicopter the next morning.
Can't see much summit snow on Cima Grande on your webcam link now though...
We've just got back from eastern Dolomites, based in Claut. 10 days spent doing a mix of sport & trad climbing, hiking hut-to-hut and road biking. A lot less people and virtually no snow than the Cortina/Corvara areas. Super friendly couple at the Pordenone hut and our base was at Albergo Dolomiti in Claut where the owners were the most delightful and friendly hotel owners I have ever met (need to exercise your school Italian though).
Our highlight was the 8 pitch/200m climb of Campanile di Val Montaia - Napes Needles' big italian cousin :-)
Link here: http://quartogrado.com/volume3/relazioni/CAMPANILE%20VAL%20MONTANAIA_normale.htm
Can't recommend the area enough.
Anybody seen the Ciavazes south face lately? Snow on the Gamsband?
> Anybody seen the Ciavazes south face lately? Snow on the Gamsband?
Have a look at this http://www.dolomiti.com/webcam/realcam_canazei.htm
Oh dear, oh dear, that really doesn't look good, there's more snow now than there was when I was skiing in mid March 2012 - you could have rock climbed then quite easily as it was 23C in Canazei.
Based on those photos I very much doubt the Gamsband/Chamois terrace is going to be a good place to be until it's had a good few days/weeks to melt.
Yes, I agree totally. At the moment the traverse will probably be bad enough, but descent gully between the Second Sella Tower and the Piz Ciavazes would be even more, er, 'interesting'.
Frankly I'm amazed at the current conditions.
Eek. And there I was thinking Sella might be an alternative to the wet forecast in the Frankenjura. Perhaps not then.
Going out there to do some via ferrate in August.
It must have melted by then; must have...
This looks more optimistic http://www.belledolomiti.it/res/webcam/original/5torri.jpg
Some German climbers had to be rescued off the top of Cima Grande after getting stuck on descent 2 weeks ago, but I believe this has already been discussed here.
Did a route in the Catinaccio yesterday (Sunday) on the Croda di Re Aurino. Approaches are still quite snowy but not a serious problem. Route (W facing) was clear (but very cold in the morning).
However, the Santner Hut (i.e. beer dispenser) where the route finishes tragically was closed. The reason quickly became clear as we set off to descend the via ferrata (Santner) which was about a quarter to a third banked over with neve. Me met a few sad looking ferrata folk heading back down after giving up.
The friend I was with works as a guide in the Brenta Dolomites and he has been doing routes with clients but in nearly winter conditions. He confirmed that the ferratas were overall in the conditions we saw on Sunday, which means climbable but as minor winter routes with a rope and at least an axe (the snow is mostly soft enough for chopping out steps - not too much ice).
Hi. The region has been fine for the last month or so. Early July there was more snow than normal, but then it was very warm and the snow quickly moved on. Even back then it didn't really stop anybody having any fun. Only returning back here to the UK is the hard bit :(
Yes we are just back from 3 weeks in the dolomites where it has been very hot and snow conditions seem normal. Have fun out there the climbing is fab!
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