Schlern (Monte Sciliar in Italian) is one of the best known mountains of South Tyrol and the Dolomites. Its reputation is not due to it's impressive height (which isn't - just some 2500m +) but to the situation as westernmost bastion of the Dolomites, dropping some 2000m towards the Eisack valley and Bozen (Bolzano). Also its shape is unique: a long stretched plateau which suddenly drops vertically on almost all sides. On the northwestern side two huge towers are located - Santner and Euringer - which make the mountain distinguishable from as far away as Passo Tonale far away to the west.
To the south the plateau is limited by the Tschamin valley, a deep gorge between Schlern and the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group. The ascent route on this side is called "Bärenfalle" (Buco d'Orso or Bear's Trap) which gives you a notion on the steepness of the hike.
To the east the plateau passes into a very nicely structured ridge, the Roßzähne (Denti di Terrarossa, Horses Teeth) which in themselves offer great climbing possibilities as well as a ferrata.
The north Schlern (where most of my pictures have been taken) gives way to the huge Seiser Alm (Alpe di Siusi), Europes largest. It is well known by generations of skiers who come here each year to take advantage of the perfect smooth ski runs. Here the ascent to Schlern is easiest since the least altitude has to be surmounted. Consequently all hiking trails are pretty much frequented during the season.
Finally in the west the Schlern plateau divides into two distinct parts - the northern Schlern proper with its summits Burgstall (Monte Castello, 2515m) and Petz (Monte Pez, 2564m) and the southern, more structured but slightly lower ridge with Tschafatsch (Monte Cavaccio, 2235m), Mittagskopf (Monte di Mezzodi, 2178m) and Hammerwand (Croda di Maglio, 2128m). Both Ridges suddenly drop more than 1000m towards the villages of Seis (Siusi) and Völs (Fié) which both are located on a balcony, again some 800m above the Eisack valley.
The northernmost part of Schlern consists of the two huge towers, Santnerspitze (Punta Santner, 2413m) and the smaller Euringerspitze (Punta Euringer, 2334m) which both have been named by the climber who first ascended them. Both would be worth an own page on SP.
Since Schlern is located between the Dolomites and the Eastern Alps it commands great views in all directions. You can see Rosengarten, Latemar, Langkofel and Plattkofel as well as the Geissler Group on Schlern's Dolomite side. To the west you can cee as far as the Brenta-, Adamello-, Presanella-, and Ortler-Groups.
Getting TherePart of Schlern's popularity stems from the fact that it is easily accessible. It is very close to the Brenner motorway and depending on the place you want to use as headquarter (or from where you arrive) you turn of either at the exit Waidbruck (Ponte Gardena) to the north or at the exit Blumau (Prato) to the south.
There are a lot of possibilities to stay in the region - I can recommend any village on the flanks of Schlern. It probably depends on your other destinations:
Any other village in Gröden (Val Gardena) or Eggental (Val di Ega) is possible as well since distances are rather small.
The Natural Park Schlern - Seiser Alm / Red TapeIn 1974 the complete region of Schlern and Seiser Alm was made a natural park. The Park contains some 6400ha. Within park boundaries any building activities are prohibited. Flowers, berries, mushrooms, minerals have to be left in their environment. Camping is prohibited and cars have to be parked in the official lots. Moreover between May and October the roads may not be used for car traffic - the hotels, huts and farms are excepted, however.
Many of the roads and trails on Seiser Alm are open for mountain biking. You will get as far as Tierser Alp to the south of Roßzähne. from there on it is NOT advisable to take your bike farther. On one hand you need to carry it along the narrow trails above the Tschamin gorge - on the other hand the Schlern plateau is a rather fragile fen. Even hiking boots leave deep impressions in the turf.
Other Routes - Converging on SesselschwaigeThere are some three or four further routes which take advantage of the deep cut between the northewestern and southwestern parts of the Schlern plateau. This cut is called Sesselschwaige (Alpe di Seggiola) and hosts a refuge. I haven't done any of these trails but if any member of SP can submit them as a route here.
When to ClimbAs with all Dolomite summits the best time is May through October but winter ascents are possible as well. Best time in my opinion is September or October since appartments are easily to be had and weather often is finest.
AccomodationAs stated within the "Getting There" section there are LOTS of hotels and appartments to be had in the region. In the summer months you most certainly will need reservations. A good entry point ist the Seiser Alm web page.
There is a campground at Seis (Siusi) but so far I haven't been able to find any contact data !?!
As for the multitude of refuges an Seiser Alm, here an overview:
Tel.: +39 0471 612024
Tierser Alpl refuge :
Tel.: +39 0471 727958
Mahlknecht refuge :
Tel.: +39 0471 727912
Schlernbödele refuge :
Tel.: +39 0471 705345
Tschafon refuge :
Tel.: +39 0471 642058
Weather conditionsFor weather conditions in South Tyrol look at the page of Meteo Alpin. For the english text you have to scroll down the right frame.
Another good page (with web cams) is: Weather in Alpe di Siusi
- Schlern - Sciliar - Klettersteige via-ferrata.de
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