TOPO Climbing

Via Steger, Dolomites

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The via Steger is on the 1st Sella tower, with spectacular views of the Sasso Lungo and Sass Pordoi. The ridge is a local classic, accessible and airy, but also very, or even too, busy in summer. In places, the rock is well weathered by the passages, particularly on the last pitch, making V+ climbing more than a little tricky. The stated ratings should be treated with caution: IVs are well worth Vs, and the final IV+ is a V+/6a that's not so easy to protect. A fine option all the same, despite the crowds. If only for the splendid view from the summit!

Technical summary

Type ✦ Big route in adventure terrain

Location ✦ Cortina d'Ampezzo

Region ✦ Dolomites

Country ✦ Italy

Lengths ✦ 5

Vertical rise ✦ 160m

Difficulty max ✦ V+/6a

Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From Canazei, climb up to Passo de Sella. Park near the Hotel Maria Flora.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 20'

After the Maria Flora, on the Canazei side, take the path that climbs up the slope, then fork higher up to go straight up to the base of the first tower. Pass underneath to the right and climb a little to find the start corridor (III).

Course

The route is 160m long in 5 pitches (30m, 30m, 30m, 30m, 40m) and faces south. No equipment other than a few pitons along the way or at belay points. Bring a set of friends/hooks and long straps (crutches). Lengths and positions of belays are indicative. Climbing grades given differ from those in the RockFax guidebook, which in our opinion do not correspond to the difficulties encountered.


L1 (IV, 30m)

A step (IV) to get over the starting boulder, then an easy climb (II/III) up a gully to the pass. Moving stones on the ground. 1 piton to climb the belay on the ridge, at the foot of a small sloping wall.


L2 (IV, 30m)

Climb the sloping wall (IV) to reach a flat area. Then cross to the right (I) to reach the 2nd chimney, which rises to the left.


L3 (V, 30m)

Skated length. After a not-so-obvious start, follow the small inclined chimney that digs in higher up. A few passages are made more delicate by the smoothed holds. At the top, it climbs out on the left side to the belay.


L3 bis (I)

Cross again to the right for about 15m to find the 2nd crack going up. Relay under the start with a piton.


L4 (V-, 30m)

The most beautiful pitch. A very vertical crack with good holds and fairly homogeneous. We finish on the ridge on a small corner platform, with superb views on both sides. Relay with 1 piton.


L5 (V+, 40m)

The hardest pitch: V+ with good skating! Climb a little to the left to get under the wall with polished, round holes. The passage is vertical and athletic (V+) to reach the piton, then continue to exit slightly to the right. The rest is easier (III/IV), and you can walk to the summit (I).

Back

From the summit, take the aerial path heading east on the south side. Descend to reach the pass with the 2nd tour. From here, switch to the opposite flank to follow the path which heads due east before descending with a few passages of III de-escalation. At the bottom, we pick up a path that leads back under the walls to the parking lot.

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