This is a great skitour for beginners. The height gain is moderate, the terrain is not steep and the views are some of the best in the Dolomites. On the way you will see Monte Pelmo, Lastoni di Formin, Civetta, Becco di Mezzodi, Monte Cernera and Piz del Corvo. Here’s how to do it.
From Casa Alfredino in Col di Rocca, drive to Passo Giau via Colle Santa Lucia (for a scenic but slightly longer route) or Selva di Cadore. After crossing the pass, descend untill you see a sign for Malga Giau. After the next hairpin there is a parking spot. The tour starts directly opposite the parking place.
Grade: MSA (Media Sci Alpinista) – Easy
Height Gain: 600mH
Total time required: 3-3.5 hours
Stage 1: Skin to Forcella Giau
Leave the carpark and skin following the right side of the forest and then beneath steep slopes descending from Col Piombin on the right. After 1km you reach an open bowl from where you can clearly see the line of ascent to Forcella Giau, beneath Lastoni di Formin. Cross the bowl and start to ascend, zigzaging up a 35 degree slope until you are almost level with the pass. Now contour across, gradually gaining height until you reach the pass, after 2.5km and approxmiately 0.45-1hrs.
Stage 2: Skin to Monte Mondeval
This section is a real pleasure with amazing views. There is a short shallow descent from the pass for which you can leave your skins on. Ski down and right to the edge of a deep and steep corrie. Keeping the edge to your right, follow the bowl around until you start to gain height – continue, occasionaly zigzaging until you reach the summit of Mondeval. 1.8 km 0.45-1hrs
Stage 3: Descend towards a cabin to the north
From the summit you remove your skins and ski North East towards a clearly visible hut The slope reaches 25-30 degrees. When you reach a flatter area, stop probably slightly short of the hut. Now put your skins back on. 0.8km 5-10mins
Stage 4 Skin to Forcella Giau
Make a gently ascending climb back to Forcella giau, possibly following a slight ridgeline into some boulders by the pass. 1.5km, 30 minutes
Stage 5 Ski Back to the car park
The descent from Forcella Giau is wonderful. Take off your skins and descend the steeper slopes back into the bowl and then very easily back towards the car park in the bottom of the valley. Cut through the woods when it gets too shallow to ski down and rejoin your ascent track.