OverviewTorre dei Sabbioni m. 2531
Torre dei Sabbioni is a superbe and secluded tower of "dolomia" situated inside the West part of Marmarole Group (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE), Subgroup Bel Pra – Scotter – Bastioni, Eastern Dolomites, between the majestic high summit of Sorapiss (mt. 3205) and Corno del Doge (mt. 2615) – Cima Bel Pra (mt. 2917) impressive ridge.
In the opinion of Wolf (“I Monti Pallidi”, “Pale Mountains”) the name Marmarole could mean – as Marmolada – “splendour”.
First ascent of Torre dei Sabbioni, a very difficult climb in that time (1877), just opened a new era to the mountaineering in the Dolomites.
“e il sole calante le aguglie
tinga a le pallide Dolomiti
sì che di rosa nel cheto vespero
le Marmarole care al Vecellio
rifulgan, palagio di sogni,
eliso di spiriti e di fate…”
Torre dei Sabbioni summit view towards Dolomiti Ampezzane, Marmolada and Sella Group
HistoryA bit of history...
Till the middle of XIX century mountaineering activities were directed to the conquest of the highest summits along the easier route. In 1877 the alpine guide Luigi Cesaletti climbed unroped the difficult Torre dei Sabbioni, opening a great new page inside mountaineering's history: the beginning of the conquest of minor but harder summits. Cesaletti climbed a crux of IV grade UIAA: it was the first time that a climber dealt with such a difficult move and above all unroped and solo.
Torre dei Sabbioni is reachable both from Scotter Hut (2 hour by walking) and San Marco Hut (1 and a half hour by walking). However the best choice is to spend the night at San Marco Hut, due to the faster approach.
Road access to Scotter Hut
From Cortina d’Ampezzo (Belluno province), the main town in this area, follow SS d’Alemagna towards SE along Boite Valley, reaching the little center of San Vito di Cadore m. 1011. Turn to left, following a steep road towards NE – in full summer make inquiry about road opening time – leading to Scotter Hut mt. 1580 (4,5 km. from San Vito) and to the upper parking. During high summer season, when the road is closed, it’s possible to reach the hut by chair-lift (open from the end of june to the first Sunday of september 8-13.30 and 14.30-18), leading at ten minutes by walking from Scotter Hut), or by taxi from San Vito di Cadore. By walking (228 path): 1 and a half hour from San Vito di Cadore to Scotter Hut.
Walking approach to San Marco Hut
From Scotter Hut mt. 1580 walk along the white road for a few meters, then turn to left following a good path to San Marco Hut (marks, number 228). The path rises along the wood, reaching in half an hour by pleasant walking the bucolic San Marco Hut mt. 1850, situated between Sorapiss, Antelao and West Marmarole Groups
– all inside the Unesco World Eritage list - inside a superb natural amphitheatre made by Cima Bel Prà, Scotter, Antelao and Tajola. The hut is a magnificent and panoramic place on Boite Valley, the gigantic Antelao, Monte Pelmo and Croda da Lago-Rocchette Group.
Cesaletti or Normal Route report
Cesaletti Original Route report
Summit Altitude: mt. 2531
Difficulty: AD inf., max IV- UIAA
Climbing length: 170 mt., 250 mt. dev.
Exposure: South and East Sides
First ascent: Luigi Cesaletti alone 24-8-1877
Starting point: road San Vito di Cadore – Scotter Hut
Torre dei Sabbioni Cesaletti Original Route – the Normal one of the tower – is a classic and not usual climb, very important because of being an absolute milestone in mountaineering's history of the Dolomites and all Alps. This climb is really a thrilling trip all around Torre dei Sabbioni; climbing difficulty isn't high and the quality of "dolomia" is extraordinarily good. Climbing way is very pleasant, mainly inner, along chimneys, connected by easy and sometimes exposed ledges.
Due both to these qualities and the historical value of this route, the Cesaletti route's ascent can't be missed!
Approach - From San Marco Hut follow the good path (n. 226) rising towards Forcella Grande mt. 2255, a wide saddle between Cima Bel Prà on the right-hand side and Cima Tajola on the left, and reaching the saddle. Torre dei Sabbioni is appearing if you're looking towards North. From Forcella Grande leave the main path on your left-hand side and follow an high and level little trail through the scree-slopes, surrounding all the sides of Torre dei Sabbioni and making almost a 360° round, skirting at first West Face, then North and East ones and finally rising steeply to reach a great hanging terrace at Forcella Sabbioni, just below the South side of the tower, near a rocky bridge towards Cima Bel Prà. Here the route starts.
L1 – Climb a short step along a little shallow chimney, reaching the Lower ledge. Follow the ledge 20 meters towards left (facing in), reaching an obvious chimney with a jammed block in its upper part. Belay under the chimney. II, I.
L2 – Up along the chimney leading to the jammed block; climb it on the left side (crux, pegs) and belay soon afterwards. III and IV-, 25 mt.
L3 – Climb some easy rocks, reaching a ledge with some cairns (Middle ledge, peg). Follow the ledge 40 meters towards left (facing in). Belay along the ledge (peg and cairn), under another yellow chimney with another jammed block.
L4 – Climb the chimney and belay on a little terrace past the chimney at the beginning of Upper ledge (pegs). II, III, 30 mt.
L5 – Towards right (facing in) follow the ledge, at times covered by a low vault, with some exposed moves (pegs). II, III, 40 mt.
L6 – Follow again the Upper ledge 60 mt. towards right, reaching a belay under a shallow chimney. II
L7 – Climb the chimney, then head towards right reaching a block. Belay. II, III, 30 mt.
L8 – Easy rocks are leading over the wide and flat summit (little Mary's statue and Summit Book). The view all around over the neigbouring Eastern Dolomites Groups and far off over the Western Dolomites is truly unbeatable!!! It’s one of the best I’d never seen.
Descent: from the top walk towards SE along the wide flat summit reaching an obvious cairn situated near the first equipped belay. Two abseils (10 mt + 50 mt.) lead to the Upper Ledge. Another abseil reachs the Middle Ledge. From here two abseils lead to the Lower Ledge. Follow the ledge towards left – facing out – reaching the last step. Climb the last easy rocks leading to the basal terrace.
Other routesOther Routes:
- SSW RIDGE II, IV
- WEST FACE III, IV+
- CASTIGLIONI NW V
- EAST FACE V+, VI
- BONAFEDE NE V and VI
- CAPRIOLI N VI, A2
- LIVANOS SW V+
Huts: San Marco Hut mt. 1850 (CAI – Club Alpino Italiano Sez. Venezia) – Phone +39 0436 9444 e-mail [email protected] – Open from June to September
RIFUGIO SAN MARCO
Scotter Hut mt. 1580 – Phone +39 0436 99035 – open from 20/7 to 20/9 and from 20/12 to 30/3
When to climbBest season goes from the end of June to the end of September
DOLOMITI METEO Phone +390436780007 fax +390436780008
CENTRO VALANGHE DI ARABBA Phone +390436755711 fax 043679319 e-mail [email protected]
Guidebooks and maps
“Dolomiti Orientali” Vol. I Parte I by Antonio Berti – Guide dei Monti d’Italia CAI-TCI
“Arrampicare a Cortina d’Ampezzo e dintorni –Le vie più belle nelle Dolomiti” by Mauro Bernardi - Athesia Editore
“100 scalate classiche” by Walter Pause
Map: Tabacco n. 3 – Dolomiti Ampezzane 1:25.000