"La Rigola di Fanis", ski mountaineering on Dolomites couloirs

"Rigola di Fanis" is an amazing, very narrow and hard-to-spot couloir stretching out between the rocks of the peak Torre di Fanis Nord (2922 metres a.s.l.).

This ski mountaineering route has been pioneered by the mountaineers Mario Dibona – Moro and Andrea Bacchin.

"For years I had been looking at this narrow canyon wedged between the peaks of Torre Travenanzes and Torre Fanes Nord, wondering whether it was possible to climb up along this crack without too much trouble. Finally, my friend Andrea and I embarked on this adventurous ascent which turned out to be a wonderful, exciting, unforgettable experience." (Mario).

The ascent along the crack is not too difficult: it is possible to reach the top on foot, being equipped with crampons and ice axe. The only difficult section is a few-metre long, vertical slab covered with ice.

The descent along the canyon is just as much enjoyable: it is possible to ski down to the very end of the canyon, where it opens out into the wide, breathtaking northern Fanis amphitheatre.

Information about the ski mountaineering on Dolomites couloir "La Rigola di Fanis"

From the mountain hut Rifugio Lagazuoi, passing below the snow shed structures, you will head towards the mountain saddle called Forcella Gasser Depot. From there, continue until you reach the foot of the rock face of Torre Travenanzes peak.  As you approach the peak, you will see the narrow couloir that ends up into a very small crack which looks very difficult to climb.

You will then begin your ascent and, after ten or so metres, you will have to climb up a vertical icefall which is a few metres long (we recommend you take with you an ice screw).

After having passed the icefall, continue along the amazing, narrown couloir and reach the first saddle. From there, you will descend approximately 30 metres and then climb up again along a second couloir that reaches the altitude of 2780 metres. From there, your off-piste skiing descent begins.

The descent couloir is wonderful: it is quite straight, does not present dangerous cliffs or overhangs and it is possible to ski down all of it until the very bottom. The difficulty level of the descent depends on the snow conditions, just like in any other couloirs of the Dolomites.

When you get to the end of the gully, continue your descent along the milder slope of the wide Cadin di Fanes amphitheatre.

In order to go back to the terminal of Lagazuoi cable car, climb up to the Forcella del Mortaio saddle and continue to reach Forcella Travenanzes.

An alternative, longer backward itineray is the following: instead of climbing up to the saddle, continue the off-piste skiing descent along the nice slopes that reach the ancient lodge Casone di Val Travenanzes. From there, it is possible either to continue descending along the Travenanzes valley down to the hamlet of Fiames, or ascend again to reach the Forcella Col dei Bos mountain saddle.

Technical information about the ski mountaineering excursion on Dolomites couloir "La Rigola di Fanis":

  • Starting and arrival point: Lagazuoi cable car terminal
  • Mountain/massif: Gruppo di Fanis
  • Elevation gain - ascent canyon: 380 metres
  • Duration time (backward itinerary through Forcella del Mortaio included): approximately 5 hours
  • Ascent exposure: South
  • Descent exposure: North
  • Average slope of the ascent canyon: 40°
  • Maximum slope of the descent canyon: 40° 
  • Difficulty level - ski mountaineering section: OSA ("Ottimo Sciatore Alpinista" which means "very expert ski-mountaineer")

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

  • Rifugio Lagazuoi
  • Rifugio ristorante da Strobel
  • Rifugio ristorante Col Gallina

Ski mountaineering on Dolomites couloirs: La Rigola di Fanis


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