Ski mountaineering excursion to Forcella Cristallino

The col Forcella del Cristallo is located between the two peaks of Piz Popena and Monte Cristallo and is visible from Lake Landro. This mountain saddle is usually reached during the winter season, when the snow covers the wide, over 1200 metre long, pebbly rill that leads down to the valley.

The ski mountaineering excursion to Forcella Cristallino is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful itineraries of the area for its variety of ascents and descents along amazing slopes, in a fascinating and imposing natural environment. We recommend that you embark on this challenging excursion only with perfect snow and weather conditions.

Information about the ski mountaineering excursion to Forcella Cristallino

The starting point of the excursion is the town of Cortina, from where we will start driving towards the mountain pass Cimabanche and reach the junction with the road that turns right and leads to Misurina. We will then go past the bridge Ponte della Marogna (1476 metres a.s.l.) and park our cars nearby.

The ski mountaineering itinerary starts along the riverbed of the stream Rio di Val Fonda, that we will climb up to reach a majestic canyon, which leads to the foot of the imposing north faces of Monte Popena and Monte Cristallo. When we get to the bottom of the mountains, we will turn left along steep slopes and reach a narrow rill, that we will climb up either wearing simply our hiking boots or our crampons too, depending on the terrain conditions.

Once we reach the top of the rill, we will start skiing down the wide glacier that stretches out from the saddle Forcella del Cristallo, turning left again and going past a long and challenging traverse.

We will get to the saddle Forcella Michele and then we will start climbing up the narrow rill on the left, which leads up to the saddle Forcella del Cristallino (2666 metres a.s.l.).

From there, we will descend skiing off-piste along a steep, narrow slope, which ends up into a wide, 1200 metre long, highly enjoyable slope.

Once we reach the woods, after the amazing off-piste skiing descent, we will hike along the crest that leads to the bed of the stream and, from there, we will get to the car park.

With the Dolomiti SkiRock Mountain Guides you can also discover an alternative itinerary, which starts from the saddle Forcella Staunies (3000 metres a.s.l.), reachable by taking the cable car Monte Cristallo, and has an overall elevation loss of more than 2200 metres.

We will ski off-piste down the slopes of Monte Cristallo to reach directly the first narrow rill, that we will climb up either wearing simply our hiking boots or our crampons too, depending on the terrain conditions. From there, the ski mountaineering itinerary continues in the same way as the previous one, as it is described above.

In order to embark on the alternative route, you will need at first to park a second car at Ponte della Marogna, so that you will be able to go back to Cortina at the end of your excursion.

Technical information about the excursion:

  • Starting and arrival point: Cortina D'Ampezzo
  • Mountain/massif: Monte Cristallo
  • Overall elevation gain: 1300 metres
  • Overall elevation loss: 1300 metres
  • Overall elevation gain - alternative route: 1000 metres
  • Overall elevation loss - alternative route: 2200 metres
  • Duration time: approximately 5 hours
  • Ascent exposure: West
  • Descent exposure: North
  • Difficulty level - ski mountaineering section: D - difficult

The mountain huts along the path and nearby offering facilities and food are the following:

  • Lago di Landro restaurant
  • Passo Cimabanche restaurant
  • Carbonin hotel

Video about ski mountaineering excursion to Forcella Cristallino


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