Marmolada - Punta Penia

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 keeenclimber 10 Oct 2021


I am considering hiking to Marmolada end of this Month, October 28th- 31st precisely, is this is terrible time to considering hiking to to the summit or it should be fine, my mainly concern being snow? 

 VictorM 10 Oct 2021
In reply to keeenclimber:

The normal route is a glacier tour. You'd be contending with snow no matter the season I think, but end of October is a tricky time in the Alps. Could be quite unsettled weather, new snow which hasn't properly sunk in yet, huts more than likely closed... Sounds like a serious enterprise in that time of year.

 keeenclimber 10 Oct 2021
In reply to VictorM:

how do you mean the normal route is a glacier route?

am asking because I may have been gathering wrong information, from I read elsewhere it appears the glacier is a very short part of the route to the top?

 VictorM 10 Oct 2021
In reply to keeenclimber:

It's in German but the pictures say it all. 

To be honest I haven't done this summit myself but it looks like it's a bit more than just a hike, even in good conditions, let alone end of October. I have no idea about your skill level of course, so you might well be up to it but I would err on the side of caution!

 a crap climber 10 Oct 2021
In reply to keeenclimber:

In summer the glacier is normally dry so reasonably safe to walk on provided you're happy walking on ice. There's a short section of easy scrambling to get off the glacier, there's a cable so you can clip a via ferrata leash to it if you're not confident.

I've only been there in summer so don't know how it would look by the end of October, but by this sort of time I'd expect the first snow to have fallen. This could mean hidden crevasses covered by only a thin layer of snow that won't support your weight. Snow on the rocky scramble section will likely impede progress too 

If you're experienced in these sorts of conditions, especially crossing wet glaciers, it would be easy enough, but the fact that you're asking suggests perhaps not. I'd recommend waiting till summer. I suspect it wouldn't be all that enjoyable in the conditions you might encounter anyway.

In reply to keeenclimber:

The first snows have indeed already fallen. The glacier section is not exactly trivial as there is currently a large crevasse at the foot of the scramble. You may have luck, but it’s not a hike by any stretch of the imagination… given the right conditions you could go up the west ridge via ferrata as this gives a protected route to the summit which is likely to stay passable as its up a crest of rock. However temps are likely to be zero at around 2300 around that time, so don’t get caught short. The other thing worth mentioning is the cable car up to pian fiacconni is no longer in existence and nor is the hut.  

 keeenclimber 10 Oct 2021
In reply to beardy mike:

hey mike, thanks for sharing those facts, have been getting mountaijn fever since returning from Chamonix and I'm itching for one last run before winter comes in full swing.

from what have gathered, the Refuge is closed which means I have to climb with Crampons 1300 metres and go back down.

however, do you know what the chances are if i where to start off from Rifugio Castiglioni Marmolada (Rifugio Castiglioni Marmolada - Passo Fedaia (tn))

my anticipation being In may find a group to ascent with.

In reply to keeenclimber:

Well it just depends on how fit you are - if you are used to operating at up to 3300m with that sort of height gain in a day, most likely on your own, possibly with fresh snow on the ground, crack on! I think it will be difficult to find people to go with, it's very much not Chamonix, where prospective partners are ten to the dozen. People usually arrive with their partners and in small, closed groups. Hence my suggestion of the West Ridge of Punta Penia as with a Via Ferrata kit you could get to the summit in relative safety and then reverse the ferrata. The glacier to reach the ferrata is relatively trivial, and the cable is mounted on tall stakes, presumably to allow there to be 0.75m of snow before the cable becomes buried, in which case I'd suggest it's not the place to be. I happen to be there around then, but as I broke my ankle a year and half ago, I'd still not back to full strength and this would be too much for me I'm afraid.

In reply to keeenclimber:

When we did the summit in summer we went up the via Ferrara and descended the glacier. We had to abseil the bergschrund from dodgy gear and cross several crevasses on the dry glacier on the way back to the chair lift. I wouldn't want to do it solo with a fresh covering of snow.

 McHeath 08:30 Tue
In reply to keeenclimber:

Hochalpine Gletschertour, die nicht unterschätzt werden sollte. Heikel bei Vereisung, und nicht frei von Spalten. Der mittlere Teil ist felsig, deshalb benötigst du deine Klettersteigausrüstung

Translation of part of Victor's link:

High Alpine glacier route which should not be underestimated. Tricky if iced up, and not crevasse-free. The middle section is rock, so you will need your via ferrata equipment. 

 hang_about 13:22 Tue
In reply to McHeath:

Fun route - we had a guide although he casually held onto the rope whilst smoking a fag with the other hand.

There were rocks pounding down the glacier when we did it - some the size of microwaves - so keep your wits about you. Wading through waste deep hail on the way off the top. This was summer. October in the Dolomites could be summer - winter - or anywhere inbetween.

In reply to hang_about:

The end of October is most definitely not summer. Even today the temperature at 1000m is 12 degrees, making the summit well below freezing. Mornings in the valley will by then see a frost most days. Thunderstorms (and hail) have stopped by then, the trees are golden (if you go, make sure you visit the beech forest above Sottoguda which is utterly stunning) and any precipitation will fall at altitude as snow for sure. Indeed they've already had snow in Arabba down at valley level. I know it was a throwaway comment, I just don't want the OP to get the idea that he might get lucky and find summer conditions...

 cb294 16:55 Tue
In reply to keeenclimber:

We expect about 20cm of snow in the Allgäu Alps this week! Marmolada is on the South side of the Alps but also 1000m higher, so conditions will likely be wintery round there by the enter of October this year. I would not expect the glacier to be dry.

Better wait until there is even more snow and go on skis!


 Kean 21:00 Tue
In reply to beardy mike:

>(if you go, make sure you visit the beech forest above Sottoguda which is utterly stunning)

Could you give more info about the beech forest? Trail number(s) for eg? I live just 'down the road' in Montebelluna so am up your way pretty often. Am a sucker for a stunning forest! 

In reply to Kean:

Hey Kean, I haven't got my Tabacco maps here in the UK. But if you find Palue and Sottoguda on the correct sheet, there is a path that traverses the mountainside at something like 1300m through small farmsteads called Alba, Valier and ends up descending to Sottoguda. Sottoguda is a really pretty village and worth visiting if you walk around the back alleys between the Fieniles. You can even pick up the path from directly opposite my place (search Casa Alfredino on Google maps) which will take you up through the forests which were destroyed by Storm Vaia. Its depressing but mind-blowing at the same time. It takes 45 minutes up to Alba, another 15 across to Valier then maybe an hour to Sottoguda. You can also follow a path across to Malga Ciapela but unfortunately the Serrai Di Sottoguda I still closed so you'd have to turn around and retrace your steps. That said, the walking up towards Federa and towards the Crepa Rossa is stunning too so you could carry on up, although it's some big elevation to get there! On the other side of the mountain, it's really worth driving up to Sass Di Roccia near Laste, parking at Ronch and then walking up past sass Di rocia to the Rifugio Migon and beyond as you get fantastic views of Civetta and Pelmo plus some stunning Larch forests. 

Post edited at 23:18
 Kean 06:12 Wed
In reply to beardy mike:

Thanks for the reply. I'll check it out

 hang_about 15:07 Thu
In reply to beardy mike:

Fair enough. It was cold up top in the summer (hence the waist deep hail in the gully). Perishing in Jan when skiing. Definitely a big mountain with appropriate conditions. Not been to Arraba in a few years but it sounds gorgeous at the moment. Must stalk a few webcams....  

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