Spectacular Mountain Collapse in the Dolomites

Geography Mountain
Capture of Punta dei Ross collapse. Image E. Campago
Punta dei Ross collapse. Image: E. Compagno

The south-facing wall of Croda Marcora (3,154m) in the Dolomites looks a lot different than it did a week ago. On October 9, 2021, a goliathan column of rock collapsed off the northern Italian peak’s Punta dei Ross ridgeline.

A man by the name of Emanele Compagno captured footage of the event in stunning detail from the safety of a neighboring village. In Compagno’s video, you’ll see Punta dei Ross crest’s rightmost tower glide (almost gently — at first) before plummeting down the headwall beneath it. It then explodes into billows of choss-dust. Check it out.

If you prefer to jump right into the action, we recommend starting the video near the 20-second mark.

For greater context, Vacanz Dolomiti compiled alternative recordings of the event. The compilation showcases a clip of Compagno’s footage, followed by a longer segment taken from a much greater distance. The third and final reel is a detailed, up-close perspective of the avalanche-like rockfall as it shuttles down and over the mountainside.

On October 11, Jan Beutel, an Austrian professor and IFMGA-certified mountain guide, pointed out a developing crack feature in another section of Punta dei Ross’s ridgeline. Beutel posits that Croda Marcora will likely shed even more of what remains of its crown but has held off on predicting just when that might occur.

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About the Author

Jilli Cluff

Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college.
After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life.
She now works as a contributor, an editor, and a gear tester for ExplorersWeb and various other outlets within the AllGear network.
She is based out of Austin, Texas where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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