Sass Maòr is one of the most important mountains of Pale di San Martino and of the all Dolomiti. Its fantastic leap is one of the images more known also out of the Italian borders. Its wonderful, 1000 meters high and extremely difficult E wall is one of the most beautiful walls of the whole Alps.
Sass Maòr lies in the southern sector of Pale di San Martino, between Cima della Madonna and the rocky saddle called " Portòn " and it is sorrounded by many towers and pinnacles, among which we can mention Campanile Luigia, Picco Val Pradidali, Campanile Annamaria and Cima Mai-Nef. On the ridge that leads at north to Portòn, we can recognize Cima and Campanile di Val della Vecchia.
The first ascent had done in 1875 by H. A. Beachcroft, C. C. Tucker, B. Della Santa and F. Devouassoud going up from north. They reached the saddle between Sass Maòr and Cima della Madonna from north, but this way is too difficult, so in 1892 G. Euringer, M. Bèttega and A. Lacedelli found an easier route reaching the saddle from south, and this became the actual normal route. We must indicate the fantastic and extremely difficult routes on the E wall by E. Solleder and F. Kummer, opened in 1926, the " Direttissima " of 1964 opened by S. Scalèt and G. Biasìn ( this last tragically dead during the descent, to whom was dedicated later the Bivouac on Monte Agnèr ), and the famous " Supermatita " opened in 1980 by Manolo and P. Valmassoi, a fantastic climb of 7° degree! Very beautiful is also the route opened in 1934 by E. Castiglioni and B. Detassis, along the SE edge. We advise against the route by L. Norman Neruda and A. Tavernaro along the N face, not very difficult ( 3rd degree ), but dangerous because the rock is quite friable.
The normal route is quite difficult ( 1st, 2nd and 3rd+ degree ), but very interesting and on good rock. It goes up with a spiral movement crossing the S, N and E walls. There are several pitons along the route, particularly for the descents in double-rope. You must start from Al Velo Hut m 2358 walking in the direction of Via Ferrata " Dino Buzzati ", and when you arrive a little before the liddle saddle that divides Sass Maòr from Cima della Stanga, you leave the path and go on the left towards the evident canal between Cima della Madonna and Sass Maòr. For gravels and easy rocks you go to the base of the canal where there is a great sticked block. Here is the start of the route. You avoid the cliff formed by this block going on the left, avoid a crack obliquing and go along another little crack with pitons, turn on the right crossing a wall. Now you go up along an easy canal running into two blocks that you must overcome the first on the right and the second on the left. You continue along the canal and then turn on the left going over a lateral spur. Now you climb along a rib, going then again on the right into the canal. You avoid a little wall going up on the right and reach a point where you can see another lateral canal. You continue into the main canal, overcome on the right another little wall, and following the canal you reach the saddle between Cima della Madonna and Sass Maòr. Now you go on the N side of Sass Maòr climbing on the left along easy rocks, and then return to the vertical of the saddle; on the right you overcame a little edge and go again on the left. You overcome a little crack and continue along easy rocks entering in a little canal. A little before the end of this canal you go on the right along a wall reaching the shoulder under the summit tower. You go along a long rocky slope ( easy ) crossing on the left under the summit tower reaching another shoulder. You go up to the base of the tower. Now climb along a crack for 10 meters ( difficult ) going then on the left on the E wall. Here you are extremely exposed! Cross going towards the base of a canal. You go up along it and along rocks decreasing gradually of difficulty you reach the wonderful top. ( Report by Luca Visentini ).
TIMES OF RANGE : Al Velo Hut m 2358 - saddle between Cima della Madonna
and Sass Maòr = h 1.15
Saddle - Summit = h 1.30
DROPS : Al Velo Hut - Summit = 456 m
To reach Al Velo Hut you must go to Trento or Belluno, by train or by car, and then go up to Fiera di Primiero. Here you continue along the road that leads to San Martino di Castrozza, go beyond Valmesta, and when you reach a winding you go on the right along a road that leads to Malga Zivertaghe ( or Civertaghe ) m 1375. Here you leave the car and go along the path n. 713 that in h 2.30 leads you to Al Velo Hut.
The ascent requires rope, friends and nuts. Several pitons are already along the route. Go up when you are absolutely sure about the weather, because this area is very hit by thunderbolts!
SAN MARTINO DI CASTROZZA : CAMPING SASS MAOR
via Laghetto, 48
38058 San Martino di Castrozza ( TN )
TONADICO : CAMPING CASTELPIETRA
loc. Castelpietra, 1
38054 Tonadico ( TN )
e-mail : [email protected]
IMER : CAMPING CALAVISE
Villaggio Sass Maòr, 36
38050 Imèr ( TN )