Municipality: Cortina d'Ampezzo
Beautiful and long splitboard tour in the Pragser Dolomites on the south-east flank of the Croda Rossa (Hohe Gaisl). A five-kilometer-long approach via the gently ascending forest path requires some endurance. Luckily it is steep enough to be ridden on the way back.
Splitboard Skitour - Castel de ra Valbones
Difficulty SAC: WS
Summit altitude: 2.300m
Start altitude: 1.500m
Vertical height: 800m
Walking time h:min: 3:00
Exposition: South,West,
Best season: All winter
How to get there: From Cortina d' Ampezzo, take the SS51 northbound towards Toblach/Dobbiaco. After about 14 km from the center of the village there is a small parking lot.
Route description
Starting point:

Parking near a small lake on the SS51, about 14 km from Cortina d' Ampezzo. Coming from the east, 1 km from the chalet "Passo Cimabanche".


This tour leads to an imposing mountain formation, a gigantic amphitheater where in the center stands the Castel de ra Valbones - a huge dark grey limestone monolith. It is also ideal as a starting point for more demanding tours, as the col of the bowl provides a good view of the surrounding mountain ranges where you get a very good picture of the snow conditions. The tour to the pre-summit (see destination in the GPX track) is also possible under difficult avalanche conditions if the ascent track is chosen well. In stable conditions also extendible as a round trip over the steep Forcella Col Freddo into the Colfiedo valley in eastern direction.

Follow the forest track from the parking lot. First a short stretch to the north, then after approx. 100 meters, after a sharp corner the forest road follows to the west. After two and a half kilometers of forest road, the forest thins slightly and you get a first impression of the mountain formations at the Croda Rossa. At this point, attention must be paid to wet slides, which can hit the forest road in springtime conditions. This passage is quickly crossed and you follow the forest path for another two kilometers until you reach a free area to the north. Here, one crosses the clearing in northwest direction over a small hilltop and turns into the light forest behind it, where the ascent to the huge amphitheater begins. There you keep to the right of a small channel and quickly reach a plateau where you can already see the Castel de ra Valbones - the prominent chalk monolith. From here you have two possibilities depending on the avalanche situation:

  • Ascent to the pre-summit in northwest direction (we commited)
  • Ascent northwards into the bowl in the direction of the castel and then climb up to the Forcella Col Freddo (2721m). The ascent to the col has a steepness over 35° (we commited)

Depending on where you are, there are the following descents:

  • From the pre-summit back along the ascent track (we committed)
  • From the pre-summit descent via shallow slopes first in a westerly direction, then back to the ascent track
  • From the Forcella Col Freddo back along the ascent track
  • From the col in easterly direction into the Colfiedo Valley (we commited)
The most rewarding descent of the tour leads from Col Freddo with a magnificent view towards Tre Cime di Lavaredo into to the Colfiedo valley in easterly direction. If the avalanche conditions allows it, this is the route to go. The first sector for around 100 meters is over 35 degrees steep, after that the terrain gets quickly pretty flat. Follow it straight towards  a small group of trees. Behind there the terrain gets steeper again. Here again caution is necessary, because the soil is all covered up with scrub mountain pines that abet slabs. After this steeper section, follow the river bed until you reach open terrain. There, turn left to get back to the starting point of the tour.
Maps: Cortina D'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane: Wanderkarte Tabacco. 1:25000

Ascent route map (show/hide)

Log in or register to download the gpx track.