In Memory of Stefan "kletterwebbi" WeberA note from the SP staff
Stefan Weber, the member we all used to know from his climbing pseudonym kletterwebbi, died on May 28th 2004 in southern France at the age of 37.
Stefan joined SP early on in 2002 and contributed a number of excellent pages and routes to this site. He was an accomplished climber excelling in difficult alpine and technical routes. The Dolomites, especially the area around Gröden / Val Gardena were special to him, as it was his old ancestral home.
kletterwebbi was always willing to share his knowledge and experience with other climbers, mainly here on SP, but also on other sites. He contributed his IT expertise as webmaster of his local section of the German Alpine Club, where he also engaged in leading trips for fellow members. Besides his climbing and mountaineering activities he was a musician, a composer of contemporary music. Stefan will be greatly missed by us all.
This page will be kept in honor of kletterwebbi, one of SP's most talented, knowledgeable members, and without a doubt, one of our greatest fellow mountaineers.
The picture was taken on the summit ridge of Lyskamm.
Piz Ciavazes is the south-westernmost rampart of the big fortress that is the Sella group in the Dolomites. It is located close to Sella Joch / Passo Sella, the road pass which connects Grödnertal / Val Gardena with Val di Fassa in the south. Among climbers the mountain is famous for its great number of big wall climbs through its south face; among ferratisti it is equally famous for the (difficult) Via Ferrata Pössneckersteig which runs through the Piz Ciavazes west face but ends on neighbouring Piz Selva.
The western continuation of Piz Ciavazes are the well known Sella-Türme, which tower above Sella Joch / Passo Sella. There are five towers, the first three of which are verypopular among climbers. All are connected to the Piz Ciavazes west face at their base but separate higher up. The west face of Piz Ciavazes is part of the tremendous rock wall above the Grödnertal / Val Gardena.
The south face of Piz Ciavazes, which towers above the road from Canazei to Sellajoch/Passo Sella, together with the huge north-west face of Sass Pordoi forms one of the most characteristic landscapes of the western part of the Dolomites. Both mountains are separated by the huge gap of Val Lasties, the easiest route to the heart of the Sella Group.
The south face - like all faces of the Sella Group consists of two parts separated by a big ledge, the so called Gamsband (chamois ledge) or Ringband (as it surrounds the whole group). Beneath this ledge you will find the famous climbs of the south face. This is an area of enjoyable, famous and therefore often crowded routes (see route overview for details). The upper part is climbed rarely though most routes of the lower part continue above Gamsband. The upper part, however, is more alpinistic, the routes get longer, the descent gets more difficult and the rock quality isn't as good as beneath the ledge. Therefore most parties only climb the lower part of the face, using Gamsband to return to base.
Routes (a kletterwebbi suggestion)
There is no easy possibility to climb Piz Ciavazes. The easiest one is the Via Ferrata Pößneckersteig which takes you to the saddle between Piz Ciavazes and Piz Selva. From there you can reach the summit without any difficulties. This route also is the main descent route from the summit. There is an alternative for the descent by rapelling Via Stefan (very exposed).
There are about 40 routes through the south face of Piz Ciavazes. On this page only a short overview over the most important routes will be given. Details can be found at the common guide books (see last section). Most of the routes are not bolted (as usual at the Dolomites), so a full rack is required. Some of the most popular routes (Micheluzzi, Schubert etc.) have bolted belay stances.
As described above, most parties will climb only the lower part of the south face up to Gamsband. For descending from the Gamsband follow the well trodden trail along the Gamsband direction Sella Joch (some cables).
- Via Ferrata "Pößneckersteig": Rated as a difficult Via Ferrata this route provides an exposed, interesting approach to Piz Ciavazes across its west face. It can take up to 3 hours from Sella Joch / Passo Sella. Originally this was a climbing route rated UIAA 4, first climbed by G. Haupt and P. Mayr in 1907.
- Gamsband route: Mostly just a hike with some short moves of UIAA 2. This is a enjoyable approach to the summit traversing the whole south face of Piz Ciavazes following the broad Gamsband Ledge. This route is also generally used as descent route after climbs on the lower part of the south face.
- SW Verschneidung: 6+ (5+/A0 if aided), 240m, 3h, a famous, often done climb, first ascent by J.B. Vinatzer and L. Riffeser in 1934.
- Zeni Verscheidung: 7- (5+/A1 if aided, A2 if pitons are missing), 130m, 3h, first climbed by D. Zeni and L. Trottner in 1960
- Via Italia: A2/5, 470m, 8-10h (4-6 up to the Gamsband), first ascent by D. Franceschetti, C. Franceschetti, Q. Romanin and E. Wuerich in 1961
- Via Giampiero Tarenghi: 6, 250m, 4h, start of the route is on the Gamsband Ledge, first ascent by D. Huber and S. Ventura in 1985
- Soldà/S-Verschneidung: 7- and A1, 600m, 12h, an important, famous but seldom done route, one of the big epics of Piz Ciavazes, first climbed by G. Soldà and G. Pagani in 1947
- Rossi/Tomasi: 4+, 200m, 3h for the upper part (common), 5-/A1, 450m, 7h for the complete route. Only the lower part up to Gamsband is usually climbed. First climbed by B. Rossi and A. Tomasi in 1945
- Grosse Micheluzzi: 6- or 5+/A0, mostly 5, 250m, 5h up to Gamsband (500m, 8h for the complete route to the summit), one of the most famous routes of the whole Dolomites, very often climbed, crowded at all times, but this route is worthwhile. Some bolts in place but not completely bolted. Superb climbing route, first done by L. Micheluzzi and E. Castiglioni in 1935
- Buhl Variante: 6 or 6-/A1, an often done direct variant to Grosse Micheluzzi, first climbed by Hermann Buhl and Walter Streng in 1949
- Weg der Freundschaft: 6- and A0, 250m, 4 h up to Gamsband (500m, 10h up to the summit), another highlight on the south face. Famous, excellent route with a very demanding first pitch. Bolted belays. First climbed by Pit Schubert, K. Matthies and K. Werner in 1967
- Via dei Camini: 5+, 500m, 8h, climb mostly through wet chimneys, first ascent by F. Glück, G. Demetz and H.T. Steel in 1928
- Kleine Micheluzzi: 5-, 220m, 3h, a nice, often done, relatively easy possibility to climb the south face up to Gamsband, first climbed by L. Micheluzzi, W. Rogers and P. Slocovich in 1928
- Via Irma: 7- or V/A0, 260m, 3h, a good route, often done, first ascent by B. Pellegrino and E. Böhnel in 1964
- Rampenführe: 4+, 300m, 2h up to Gamsband. 500m, 4h up to the summit, a very often, very crowded but nevertheless nice route, first climbed by S. del Torso and E. Lezuo in 1935
- Abram Kante: 7- or 5+/A0, 300m, 5h up to Gamsband. 500m, 7h up to the summit. An often done, good route. First climbed by E. Abram and F.Gombocz in 1953
At the base of the Piz Ciavazes south face some base climbs have been established. If climbing there you have to take care about rock fall from the huge face above. A helmet is very recommended ! Those routes are described at the guide book Val di Fassa - Guida alle arrampicate sportive.
More informations can be found at this page (thanks to gabriele for this info).
Getting There[img:71338:aligncenter:medium:Piz Ciavazes seen from the road to Canazei]
Trailhead for the S-face routes of the Piz Ciavazes is the road from Canazei to the Sella Joch / Passo Sella. Trailhead for the Sella Towers or the Pößneckersteig Ferrata is Sella Joch / Passo Sella itself.
The Sella Group is located in the heart of the Dolomites and thus longish to get to. The shortest itineraries use the Brenner motorway A22. There are other routes (from Belluno or Brunicio / Bruneck) but I'll describe only the two shortest ones:
- From the north
- Take the Brenner motorway A22 to the exit Ponte Gardena / Waldbruck.
- Take SS242 eastward through Val Gardena / Grdnertal
- The road crosses Sella Pass
- two switchbacks beneath the pass there is the trailhead for Val Lasties and the S and E faces of the mountain
- From the south
- Take the Brenner motorway A22 to the exit Ora / Auer.
- Follow SP232 through Val di Fiemme and SP238 through Val di Fassa
- At Canazzei follow the signs to Passo Sella / Passo Pordoi, staying on the road to Passo Sella.
Red TapeThere's no red tape. At Sella Joch / Passo Sella there is a large parking lot on the Gröden / Val Gardena side. As far as I know it is still free of charge. On Passo Sella itself there is only a small parking area and at the trailheads for the south face you'll find space for three or four cars only. Either be early or take into account, having to hike some 2km until you reach the entry to Val Lasties.
When To ClimbSpring, Summer and autumn. In winter and early spring there is danger of ice fall and even avalanches from the summit plateau. The south face, however, is ice-free earliest and thus can be climbed in early spring already.
AccommodationVal di Fassa
Grdner Tal / Val Gardena
- St. Ulrich / Ortisei
- St. Christina / Santa Christina
- Wolkenstein / Selva di Val Gardena
Guidebook & mapBooks:
There is one very recommendable book, Sella - Langkofel Extrem, which the original submitter kletterwebbi used to help put up this page. It gives an overview over hundreds of climbing routes in the area. Two thirds of the book deal with the Sella Group.
- Sella - Langkofel Extrem
- Val di Fassa - Guida alle arrampicate sportive
Renato Bernard/Gabriele Bonnano
Dora' Publisher, Bolzano
- Sella e Sassolungo
Ed. Athesia, Bolzano/Bozen. (both in Italian and German languages)
- Classic Dolomite Climbs: 102 High Quality Rock-Climbs Between the Uiaa Grades III and VII (also available on CD)
Anette Kohler, Norbert Memmel
ISBN: 0 8988 6693 6
- Sella - Langkofel Extrem
- Vie Ferrate
- Klettersteige Dolomiten
H. Hfler, P. Werner
ISBN: 3 7633 3096 8
- Hlslers Klettersteigfhrer
ISBN: 3 7654 4161 9
- Klettersteige Dolomiten
- Hiking and Trecking
- Hhenwege in den Dolomiten
ISBN: 3 7654 3860 X
ISBN: 3 8705 1409 4
- Dolomiten 3
- Dolomiten 4
I have been using the maps by Kompass Verlag. There are two which differ in scale:
- Val di Fassa, Marmolada, Gruppo di Sella
Kompass Map WK 686
ISBN: 3 8549 1768 6
- Sellagruppe / Gruppo di Sella
Kompass Map WK 59
ISBN: 3 8549 1066 5
- Val Gardena & Alpe di Siusi
Tabacco Map 05
- Hhenwege in den Dolomiten