The Queen of the Dolomites is a massif that reaches 3,343 m of altitude with the Punta Penia. This peak, together with Punta Rocca (3,309 m), forms the main range, which is east-west oriented. The Punta Ombretta (3,011 m) and Sasso Vernale (3,058 m) are not so well known but are still part of the Marmolada.
Words cannot describe the stateliness of the Marmolada: only when you are face to face, you can feel the fascination of the highest mountain in the Dolomites, a massif that towers over Rocca Pietore and Agordino.
The incredible charm of Marmolada is a mix of different landscape aspects in a natural and unique picture. For this reason, the mountain is always considered a loved and popular destination.
In 28 September 1864 the pioneer of the dolomitic climbing Paul Grohmann with two alpine guides climbed the northern side of Marmolada for the first time. Two years before, Grohmann with Pellegrino Pellegrini climbed the Punta Rocca.
Marmolada is also a theatre of bloody battles during the First War World that are narrated in the Marmolada Museum of the Great World of Punta Serauta.
The height of the Marmolada
The Marmolada, whose shape vaguely resembles that of a trapezium, reaches its maximum height with Punta Penia (3,343 metres), Punta Rocca (3,309 metres), Punta Serauta (3,218 metres), Gran Vernel (3,210 metres) and Piccolo Vernel (3,098 metres), which constitute the northern part, the one with the highest peaks of the group.
On the southern side of the Marmolada group there are other important peaks, such as Cime d'Ombretta (3,000 metres), Sasso Vernale (3,058 metres) and Sasso di Valfredda (2,998 metres).
The Marmolada glacier
The Marmolada glacier is located in the northern part of the valley and is the largest glacier in the Dolomites, although it has shrunk in recent years. In winter you can ski on its surface. The main glacier is located in the province of Trento, from where the Avisio stream rises and flows through the Val di Fassa, the Val di Fiemme and the Val di Cembra, until it joins the Adige after about 90 km.
Once upon a time there were numerous glaciers on the Marmolada, but today they have greatly diminished if not disappeared.
Winter and summer
In winter, the skiing lovers can practice their favorite sport practically all year long on the big glacier of Punta Rocca of 12 km of slope and in Malga Ciapela. There are also slopes for cross-country and some beautiful skitour, like the Marmolada Tour or the Skitour of the First War World Tour.
The connection with Arabba ski area, across Padon Pass, allows the acces of other slopes and of the famous tour of Sellaronda, while in the valley floor you can admire the waterfalls of Gola dei Serrai di Sottoguda or hike with snowshoeing across the Val Pettorina.
In summer, Marmolada offers a variety of itineraries for trekking, mountain-bike e climbing in the background of extraordinary landscapes. Two interesting climbing are Via Ferrata of Marmolada and Via Tomasson that takes to Punta Penia.
Huts on the Marmolada
On the Mamolada group there are numerous refuges, some of which are located near the main massif: the Capanna Punta Penia Hut located at the top of the Marmolada and on the route of Alta Via n.2, built at the end of the 1940s; the Castiglioni Marmolada Hut at 2,057 m, which can be reached on foot from Val Contrin, from Pordoi through Viel del Pan, from Via Neva from Pian Trevisan or even by car from Rocca Pietore and Canazei.
Falier Hut at 2,074 m in the Valle di Ombretta at the foot of the south face of the Marmolada. Also in this valley is Malga Ombretta which can only be reached on foot from Malga Ciapela. Near the Fedaia Pass and the lake of the same name are: the Passo Fedaia Hut, the Dolomia Hut and the Cima Undici Hut.
The Pian dei Fiacconi Hut is located at 2,626 m on the north side of the Marmolada and can be reached by the ski lift to Pian dei Fiacconi and/or on foot from the Fedaia Pass. The Marmolada Glacier Hut is located at 2,700 m in Pian dei Fiacconi, just below the glacier. The Serauta Hut at 2,950 m, can be reached by cable car from Malga Ciapela to the middle station of Serauta, home to the Great War Museum.
The Contrin Hut is located at the top of the Contrin Valley at 2,016 m, at the foot of the south face of the Marmolada. It can be easily reached by dirt road from Alba di Canazei. On the path that leads from the hut to the Falier hut there is also the Marco Dal Bianco bivouac, renovated in 2017.