Ascent of Marmolada on 2008-08-27

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Lee Newton
Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
    Elevation:10965 ft / 3342 m

Ascent Trip Report

Marmolada, 3342m, P2130m

Map: Tabacco 1:25k map 06 or 15 (25m contours): each map covers the while route.

Stats: 5km, 770mH

Time: Wed 27 Aug 2008: 20mins chairlift to start, 4h to summit, 2h descent.

Hut: none used - single day climb

Start: From N, Rif. Seg. Marmolada: cablecar station.

Route: Cablecar to Rif. Pian dei Piacconi (2626m), Trail 606 heads W from back of top station, descends below a spur, then ascends glacier to foot of W ridge. Via ferrata then leads up ridge, via the deep notch of S'forcela de la Marmoleda, 2896m. From top of ferrata, snow slope to a refuge, with the summit just beyond.

Difficulties: PD- with Via Ferrata (4C in the Cicerone Ferrata guide but this seems an overestimate - it is of medium difficulty).

Triangulation point: standard 1.5m metal prism.

Summit: Snowy summit with big drops to E and S. Refuge 50m to W, providing refreshments.

Notes: After Tuesday's Presanella climb, we slept in the big roadhead car park at W end of Lago di Fedaia. Next morning we take the first cablecar of the day (08:30) with great views down onto the Lago and out to N and W. From the top station we follow trail 606, which leads gently downhill (well marked, stony terrain). The trail skirts the foot of a big spur (vertical walls - we don our helmets) then leads to the foot of the glacier. this is climbed in boots initially, then we resort to crampons for the final ascent to the foot of the climb. Here we stow our glacier gear, put on our Ferrata self-belay kit and start the climb. There are several other parties, mostly guided. Initially the route takes a steep gully, to reach the forcela - an impressive notch with dizzying drops SW. The route then ascends, crossing vertical faces, with steel footholds and ladders, and cable protection throughout. Very impressive route, with plenty of opportunities to admire the Vernel ridge with its huge SW faces. Near the top the gradient eases, then an easy snow slope leads to the summit (4h from leaving cablecar). Cloud is high, with good views.

After refreshments at the hut, we rope up for the initial snow descent, then revert to Ferrata kit for the steep gully leading E to the top of the main Marmolada galcier. Roping up again, we cross the bergshrund (easy) then follow a well-trodden trail. The glacier is generally easy with only minor crevassing. Easy rocky ground leads back to the Rif. Seg. Marmolada, then we take the cablecar down, with the same great views.

Lee then leaves us, after 4 enjoyable and productive days, and Andrew and I drive SE and get set up for tomorrow's Cul Nudo scree-climb - a big contrast!

For trip details and logistics, see the Säntis report
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2514 ft / 766 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2514 ft / 765 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Warm sunshine
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2514 ft / 766 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2350 ft / 717 m; Extra: 164 ft / 49m
    Loss on way in:164 ft / 49 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:West ridge
    Start Trailhead:Rif Pian dei Fiacconi  8615 ft / 2625 m
    Time:4 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2350 ft / 716 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:South ridge (Ordinary route)
    End Trailhead:Rif Pian dei Fiacconi  8615 ft / 2625 m
    Time:2 Hours 

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