by Andrea Catarossi
The Bus de Tofana is perhaps the most classic and spectacular and easiest freeride near Cortina d’Ampezzo. It starts from almost 3,000 meters of elevation and descends couloirs and wide valleys under the looming Tofana di Rozes down to Socrepes at 1,500 meters. You can ski more than a thousand meters surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the Dolomites.
Elevation change: 100 m + / 1,000 m -
Max. slope: 45°
Period: December to March, depending on the season
Equipment: crampons, harness, cow’s tail
Take the ski lifts from Cortina, first the Freccia nel Cielo cable car up to Ravalles, and from there the Bus di Tofana chairlift.
As you’re going up on the lift, you can already see, above and to your left, a large arch called the Bus di Tofana. When you reach the end of the chairlift, you shoulder your skis and begin the climb to the nearby arch you just saw.
You reach the saddle after about 15 minutes of walking and about 100 meters in elevation gain. From here you can choose to drop directly into the first couloir that you find on the right (an option that frequently presents problems due to the rocks, because the snow in that area is often swept away by the wind) or continue until you find a metal cable that leads to the Bus de Tofana (be careful as the route is very exposed; crampons, harness and cow’s tail are recommended).
From here the route is very logical. You descend a steep couloir that has a slope of 45 degrees for the first 100 meters and then gradually becomes less steep until you reach Rifugio Dibona. From here, following the forest road, you quickly reach Socrepes.
WARNING: The route, though not extreme, requires some alpine experience and knowledge of the snow. Always inquire about the conditions of the couloirs, consulting notices and alpine guides.