Cinque Torri, meaning "Five Towers", is a group of actually more than 5 towers that lies on the south slopes of Falzarego Pass above Cortina d'Ampezzo. It is part of the larger Averau-Nuvolau group in the Cortina Dolomites. The climbs are short - no more than 220 m and usually more like 50 to 150 m - and the peak elevations are low (around 2700m). They are therefore ideal when time is short, for training, for beginners or when the weather is poor in the higher peaks. Every difficulty from UIAA III (5.2) on up can be found. Much protection, almost all belay stances and rappel anchors are fixed.
The five main towers are:
# Torre Grande, split into three blocks known as Cima Sud, Cima Nord and Cima Ovest.
# Seconda Torre , made of Torre Lusy, Torre del Barancio and Torre Romana.
# Terza Torre is also known as Torre Latina.
# Quarta Torre made of Alta and Bassa.
# Quinta Torre also known as Torre Inglese.
# One small tower, Torre Trephor, NE of the main group, fell a few years ago. It serves to remind us, how we must enjoy life and climbing while it is there!
The towers can be approached from Cortina in the east, or the Alta Badia to the west. From Cortina take the SS48 following signs for the 'Falzarego Pass'. Follow the road for just under 15km until you reach the large and well signed 'Cinque Torri chairlift' and 'Rifugio Bai de Dones' car park on your left. The chairlift runs from early June to late September and leads to Rifugio Scoiattoli which overlooks the towers. It is also possible to walk up under the chairlift, which takes about an hour.
Alternatively, before reaching the chairlift car park, there is an access track which can be used to drive to the towers. Turn off at a 112km milestone following signs for 'Rifugio Cinque Torri'. Follow this track steeply for 3km and park just before the rifugio. The towers are clearly visible from the parking area. This access road is a steep single-lane road with infrequent passing places and limited parking at the top, so an early start is essential. Additionally, this track is closed between 9:30 and 15:30 during August (and at other periods during the season) and a shuttle bus service runs (most of the time) during these hours.