Cristallo is a mountain group in the Italian Dolomites, northeast of Cortina d'Ampezzo, in the province of Belluno, Veneto, northern Italy. It is a long, indented ridge with four summits higher than 3,000 metres.
The highest peaks of the Cristallo group are Monte Cristallo (3,221 m), Piz Popena (3,153 m), Cima di Mezzo (3,154 m), and Cristallino d'Ampezzo (3,008 m). Cima di Mezzo and Cristallino d'Ampezzo can be reached by via ferratas, while Monte Cristallo and Piz Popena both require climbing skills.
Cristallo is largely formed from the Upper Triassic dolomitic rock Dolomia principale. The mountain was formed during Cretaceous, as well as the rest of The Dolomites, due to the collision between the African and European continents.
A cable lift system starts from Rio Gere in Val Begontina, first a lift to Rifugio Son Forca at the upper end of Val Padeon. The gondola lift up to Forcella Staunies (2919 m), close to Rifugio G. Lorenzi (2.932 m), was built for the Winter Olympics in Cortina in 1956.Through the eastern part of the massif goes the Dolomite Highway number 3.
The two via ferratas VF Ivano Dibona and VF Marino Bianchi both start from the top of the cable car at Forcella Staunies. VF Marino Bianchi can be followed to the peak Cima di Mezzo.VF Ivano Dibona follows the Zurlon-ridge. It is a historical route used in World War I, and later restored and made safe for tourists. At the beginning is the longest via ferrata suspension bridge in the Dolomites, the 27 metre long Ponte Cristallo.The via ferrata VF Renato de Pol can be used for access from the western side of the Cristallo massif.
Cristallo is one of the major skiing areas in the surroundings of Cortina.
Cabins (rifugi) And Restaurants
Some of the cabins and restaurants available are the Rifugio Son Forca at 2,235 m; Capanna Guido Lorenzi at 3,003 m; Ristorante Rio Gere at 1,680 m; Ristorante Lago Scin at 1,336 m; Ristorante Staulin at 1,370 m; Ristorante Son Zuogo at 1,800 m.
- Monte Cristallo (3,221 m): 1865 (P. Grohmann, A. Dimai, S. Siorpaes)
- Cima di Mezzo (3,154 m): 1881 (J. Stafford Anderson, S. Siorpaes, G. Ghedina)
- Piz Popena (3,153 m): 1870 (R. Whitwell, S. Siorpaes, C. Lauener)
- Cristallino d'Ampezzo (3,008 m): 1886 (M. Innerkofler, A. Angerer)
3,221 m (10,568 ft)