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Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta
Mountain/Rock

Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta

 
Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Dolomiti, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 46.67453°N / 12.07312°E

Object Title: Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 9219 ft / 2810 m

 

Page By: Vid Pogachnik, Gangolf Haub

Created/Edited: Sep 8, 2002 / Feb 3, 2013

Object ID: 151190

Hits: 9782 

Page Score: 84.27%  - 18 Votes 

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Overview

 
Croda del Becco
Petr Drápalík - Seekofel seen across Roßalm in the east

Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta easily is the most popular mountain of the Prags / Braies Dolomites. Located at the language border of three people (German to the north, Italian to the south-east and Ladinian to the south-west) it carries three utterly different names. While not the highest mountain of the range - Sas dla Porta comes in at number four - it is no doubt the most photographed one. However, more than 80% of the pictures are taken from the same spot, the northern end of Pragser Wildsee / Lago die Braies, a dark mountain lake, spread out underneath the north face of the mountain. From this spot the north face apears to rise vertically for 1300m above the southern end of the lake, a perfect face for epic big wall routes. At closer inspection, however, the it loses its attraction. While no doubt steep, it is far from vertical and in the end it is made up from the horrible choss, which is so typical for the Prags / Braies Dolomites.

 
North walls
Lukas Kunze - From San Vito
 
Sas dla Porta
From Grünwaldtal / Val Foresta
 
Seekofel seen from the frozen...
Mathias Zehring - From Pragser Wildsee

However, once you turn to the far side of Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta, aspects change dramatically. The south face is far from being as steep and high as the northern one, however, the rock composition is far more solid. Here firm limestone prevails which rises up to the summit in big 50° - 60° slabs. At a vertical height of 250m some of the slab routes reach up to 350m in length, the longest slab routes anywhere in the Dolomites. And there is an abundance of them. The face is divided in three sectors, all separated by brittle rockfall areas and each containing some 10 - 15 routes. The proximity of a climbing hut, Seekofelhütte / Rifugio Biella, makes it one of the most attractive climbing destinations in the Dolomites, certainly by far the most attractive one in its own smaller subrange.

Sas dla Porta's famous south face slabs

Towards the SE, the main crest of Prags Dolomites runs from Seekofel towards the highest mountain in the group – Hohe Gaisl. Towards the west there are in the group many more interesting summits, some of them can be visited by paths. The most popular among them is probably Muntejela di Sennes / Monte Sella di Sennes, 2787 m, which is easily accessible from the plateau and is also a very panoramic summit. Otherwise the narrow area of Seekofel ends on the west with Seitenbachscharte / Forcella Riodalato, 2331 m.

The normal route to the mountain leads across its east ridge, which starts directly above the hut. Starting there, you'll find the climb short, steep and moderately exposed. The ascent takes less than one hour but should only be undertaken in secure weather conditions. Thanks to its popularity the route has been worn down considerably so that you have to choose between highly polished limestone and choss of horrible quality. In its central part the route has been secured with chains, which due to their placement across the route increase rather than decrease the danger of a fall.

 
late afternoon sun on...
Mathias Zehring - On Kleiner Seekofel
 
Sas dla Porta
Seekofel from Rif. Biella
 
Sas dla Porta
Seekofel from the south slopes of Großer Apostel

Without the proximity of the hut Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta would be a formidable hiking destination. The closest trailheads are either at Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies, 1300m underneath the north face or at Malga Ra Stua 1200m lower and about 10km away to the south. A third trailhead is at Ücia Pederü again 1300m beneath the summit and about 8km to the south-west. Still all three routes are recommendable and can be done on a long summer day.

 
Pragser Wildsee from Seekofel
ppatenall - Pragser Wildsee
 
The summit ridge west of...
Joerg Marretsch - W views
 
On the edge - the summit of...
Towards Sexten Dolomites

Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta is a wonderful lookout summit thanks to the fact that it rises out of the karst plateaus of Fosses, Senes and Fanes. Higher mountains stay close to the horizon and the views down the north face towards Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies are breathtaking.

Summit Panoramas

Summit view towards the north

Summit view towards the east

Getting There

Sas dla Porta
Mirror Lake!

There are three reasonable trailheads for Seekofel / Croda del Becco / Sas dla Porta:
  • Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies in the north
  • Rifugio Ra Stua in the south
  • Ütia de Pederü in the south-west

The fourth one is Plätzwiese, 1950, on the east, but it is already quite remote.

Access to these trailheads is quite different so that it is difficult to give a general description.
From The North
  • Take A22 Brenner Motorway to exit Brixen / Bressanone
  • Turn off onto SS49 east to Bruneck / Brunico or Toblach / Dobbiaco
  • For Pederü at Bruneck / Brunico turn south onto SS224 and onto the side road through Enneberg / Marebbe to the hut
  • For Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies drive towards Toblach / Dobbiaco and turn south just before you reach the town. Follow the signs to the lake

From Austria (East)
  • Take A12 Inntalautobahn to exit Kufstein.
  • Turn onto B178, later B161 south in direction Kitzbühel.
  • At Mittersill B161 turns into B108 which heads through Felbertauern Tunnel.
  • Take B108 until Lienz were you turn right (west) onto E66 which on the border crossing turns into SS49 to Toblach / Dobbiaco and Bruneck / Brunico.
  • For Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies drive through Toblach / Dobbiaco and turn south just after you left the town. Follow the signs to the lake.
  • For Pederü turn south onto SS224 at Bruneck / Brunico and onto the side road through Enneberg / Marebbe to the hut

From Udine
  • Take A23 north to exit Carnia.
  • Turn off onto SS52 which leads through several detours to Innichen / San Candido
  • Turn east on SS49 to Toblach / Dobbiaco and Bruneck / Brunico.
  • For Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies drive through Toblach / Dobbiaco and turn south just after you left the town. Follow the signs to the lake.
  • For Pederü turn south onto SS224 at Bruneck / Brunico and onto the side road through Enneberg / Marebbe to the hut

From Venezia
  • Take motorway S27 north towards its end near Belluno.
  • Turn onto SS51 towards Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • For Ra Stua, right after Cortina turn off from SS51 onto the side road to the rifugio

Red Tape

Seekofel/Croda del Becco
ppatenall - Seekofel seen from Seekofelhütte / Rifugio Biella

In 1980 an area of 25680ha has been set aside for the natural Park Fanes Senes - Prags. You are required to treat the Natural Park with care: leave animals and plants in their place, use trails (especially when mountain biking), and take the official open roads with your car.

For more information you can look at the park's official website


On mountain maps you will see roads, but keep in mind that they are not open for public traffic. From SE side the approach to Rif. Ra Stua (1668m) is allowed for public traffic only outside the main season (from October to June). From July to September you must either walk or take a Jeep-Taxi. When we reached the peak we saw on the Senes plateau mountain-bikers (we were also by bikes) so mountain biking is obviously allowed.

When To Climb

Sas dla Porta south face
The south face slabs

The best months are in summer and fall when the weather is stable (July to October). It's also possible to reach the upper parts of Senes Plateau in winter and spring by ski and then climb the peak with winter equipment. There are two ski routes, one along the east ridge and one along the slabs to the south-west of the summit.

If the winter ascent on the highest summit of Seekofel is most rewarding, the western smaller neighbour - Kleiner Seekofel, 2750 - offers the most beautiful skiing. The tour is best done from Rif. Sennes, from where we ascend directly towards the north.

Accommodation

Sitting at Seekofel/Biella hut.


  • Seekofelhuette (Biella, 2327m), open from July to September. Tel.: 04 36/86 69 91. This hut lies on the main crest of Prags Dolomites and is accessible by mountain bike.
  • Rif. Ra Stua (1668m), open June to October. Tel: 04 36/ 57 53.
  • Rif. Pederu (1548m).
  • Hotel Pragser-Wildsee (1493m)

Mountain Conditions



Maps & Books

Books


The Prags Dolomites / Dolomiti de Braies are not as well covered in terms of Guidebooks. The list below offers the German books I know of dealing with the area but there certainly are more, especially Italian ones.
  • Dolomiten 5 - Sexten - Toblach - Prags
    F. Hauleitner
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 3 7633 4199 4
  • Dolomiten
    P. Fleischmann
    Kompass Verlag
    ISBN: 3 8705 1409 4
    Sextener Dolomiten extrem - Alpenvereinsführer
    R. Goedeke
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 3 7633 1255 2

Maps


The most commonly used maps are the ones by Kompass and by Tabacco. The Kompass one is good as an overview map while the Tabacco one offers more details.
  • Bruneck - Toblach / Brunico Dobbiaco
    Kompass Map WK 57
    ISBN: 3 85491 064 9
    Scale: 1:50000
  • Dolomiti di Braies / Pragser Dolomiten / Marebbe / Enneberg / Plan de Corones / Kronplatz
    Tabacco Map 031
    Scale: 1:25000

What's New On This Page?

  • August 17th, 2005 - The Summit panoramas chapter added.
  • November 27th, 2004 - Link to the beautiful Lorenzo's picture inserted.
  • June 11th, 2004 - Link to the new SP page 'Prags Dolomites / Dolomiti di Braies' inserted.
  • March 1st 2010 - Complete redesign of the page

Images