Grande Fermeda - 2873m
- Mountain massif: Puez-Odle
- Standard: IV+ (two sections), otherwise IV and (predominantly) III
- Starting point: Col Raiser, which can be reached via gondola from S. Cristina in Val Gardena
- Elevation change: access: 300 m, climbing route: 400 m
Col Raiser - access point: 1 hour
Access point - Grande Fermeda: 3.5 hours
Descent to the foot of the rock face: 2 hours
Way back to Col Raiser: ¾ hour
- Summary: very long but spectacular climbing tour with predominantly good rock, some spots are slightly crumbly. A sense of orientation is required due to complicated route finding!
Start at Col Raiser (2025m) and follow the waymarks across undulating pastures in the direction of Sass Rigais until you get to the south decline of Grande Fermeda. Turn left there and proceed on the path towards the eastern Fermeda gorge (between Odla de Cisles and Grande Fermeda) until you reach the access point at the foot of the south-east edge (terrific alpine flora!).
The route leads across grassy broken rock to the beginning of a deep groove which ascends slanting to the left. Through the groove, partly over blocks and up two short chimneys (sections grade III-, otherwise easier) to their ends where there is a reddish rock face. Now climb a slightly ascending traverse to the right (II and I) to a notch at which the normal route veers left. However, continue straight on, up short chimneys and stepped rock to a small notch at the south-east edge (to this point also along the original route as described in the AV [Alpine Association] guide, however, this route is not recommended since it leads across grassy and partly crumbly broken rock terrain).
Proceed across a crack (IV-) and subsequent broken rocks to a black cave. Climb left across a small ramp first and then right to a grey slab (III) which leads to the foot of a chimney/gully (III) ascending to the right. On the upper edge left to a short overhang, over this (III) to a crack and on to large overhangs, which can be bypassed by traversing right. Now up the wall (III+) to a wide notch, few metres’ descent and traverse to the left to a yellow wall. Fingery climbing over the slightly overhang wall (IV+, 1st crux) to a crack and move on to shortly before the SE-edge. To the left one pitch (1 section IV+, otherwise IV; 2nd crux) to a small notch, and 2 pitches to the highest point on the edge (initially III, then II). Short descent via a chimney to a very narrow ridge, which you have to climb over - extremely exposed - until you are under a wall flake.
Proceed, again descending a crack for a few metres (definitely not following the Alpine Association guide, climbing 40m down into the gorge, since it is brittle and prone to rockfall!), then exposed traverse (III+) to the foot of a chimney to the right of a yellow gendarme. Up through the chimney (IV-) to the notch above (beware of brittle rock!), where the normal route comes in from the left. Climb up left to a slab (II) to the ridge of the peak and closely to the right of it up to the ridge’s highest horns. Very narrow, airy traverse (“riding ridge”) to the Grande Fermeda peak.
From the peak via the ascent route to the mentioned notch above the chimney. Take the right turning there and follow a deep hidden gully to its base, while bypassing a blocking rock-step to the right (III-, otherwise II). Now climb down a few metres to an abseil piton and abseil the so-called “placca” (slab) down to a ledge. Zigzag down over ledges and grooves (II, most of the time easier, tracks), until you reach the traverse, where you left the normal route on the way up. Down the ascending route (2 fixed abseil points) to the access point and back to Col Raiser.