Marmolada (Ladin: Marmolèda; German: Marmolata) is a mountain in northeastern Italy and the highest mountain of the Dolomites (a section of the Alps). It lies between the borders of Trentino and Veneto. The Marmolada is an ultra-prominent peak (Ultra) known as the “Queen of the Dolomites”.
The mountain is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north-northwest of Venice, from which it can be seen on a clear day. It consists of a ridge running west to east. Towards the south, it breaks suddenly into sheer cliffs, forming a rock face several kilometres long. On the north side, there is a comparatively flat glacier, the only large glacier in the Dolomites (the Marmolada Glacier, Ghiacciaio della Marmolada).
The ridge is composed of several summits, decreasing in altitude from west to east: Punta Penia 3,343 metres (10,968 ft), Punta Rocca 3,309 metres (10,856 ft), Punta Ombretta 3,230 metres (10,600 ft), Monte Serauta 3,069 metres (10,069 ft), and Pizzo Serauta 3,035 metres (9,957 ft). An aerial tramway goes to the top of Punta Rocca.
During the ski season, the Marmolada’s main ski run is open for skiers and snowboarders alike, making it possible to ski down into the valley.
Paul Grohmann made the first ascent in 1864 along the north route. The south face was climbed for the first time in 1901 by Beatrice Tomasson, Michele Bettega and Bartolo Zagonel.
Until the end of World War I, the border between Austria-Hungary and Italy ran over Marmolada, forming part of the front line during that conflict.
Austro-Hungarian soldiers were quartered in deep tunnels bored into the northern face’s glacier, and Italian soldiers were quartered on the south face’s rocky precipices. It was also the site of fierce mine warfare on the Italian Front. As glaciers retreat, soldiers’ remains and belongings are occasionally discovered.
On July 3, 2022, a serac collapsed, leading to the sliding downstream of over 200,000 m3 of ice and debris, killing eleven people and wounding eight more.