The Catinaccio Group - also known as Rosengarten, German name in use on the South-tyrolean side of the massif - is a fine and famous group belonging to the Western Dolomites and located among the Val di Fassa, the Val di Tires and the Val d'Ega. The highest peak of the group is the Catinaccio d'Antermoia 3004 m. Cima Catinaccio 2981 m is the second highest summit of the group, after Catinaccio d’Antermoia, this latter being the only summit in the group exceeding the 3000 meters.
The Catinaccio group has a quite simple structure, just as a big ridge oriented North-South, starting from Seiser Alm (alpe di Siusi) and ending with the Passo di Costalunga (Carer Pass). Highly frequented in summer from the hikers, because of fine sceneries and paths that cross it, and from the climbers. The Vajolet towers, three spires that even if lower are as famous as the Lavaredo, are the sector more popular with alpinists. Moreover the Roda di Vael, with its big red wall which you can see from Carer Pass, and Catinaccio East wall, with many fine routes very difficult and fine routes, recall the climbers' attention in a particular way. The Catinaccio group is also very popular with advanced hikers and scramblers, due to the presence of some Via Ferrata, such as those of the Catinaccio d'Antermoia and Santner.
The most frequented way to amuse this group is getting it from Val di Fassa (TN), on the East side. Gardeccia (above Pera di Fassa) is the central point from where to start to several hikes and climbs. Another approach is done from Passo di Costalunga and from the road between Passo Nigra and Passo di Costalunga.
The Catinaccio Group is divided into eight sub-groups:
Principe, Molignon-Antermoia, Valbona, Larsec, Catinaccio Centrale, Roda di Vael, Coronelle-Mugoni and Dorsale Nigra-Montalto. In the following chapters the most important among them will be described.
Coming from Lombardia, Veneto or Emilia-Romagna the best road is the Brennero Autoroute: get out in Ora (Auer) and with a nice trip through the Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa you can reach the Eastern side of the group, the most attended.
- Coming from Austria the best road is getting out from the Brennero Autoroute in Bolzano (Bozen) than, via Nova Levante, reach the Passo di Costalunga (with its wonderful Carezza lake) and the Val di Fassa
For the approach to the different sub-groups see the dedicated sections.
The Principe subgroup is a sharp chain about 1500 meters long which dominates the Conca del Principe and the Rifugio Bergamo (Grasleiten Hutte) with rocky walls. It's a small subgroup - uncrowded and not fully explored - consisting of only four peaks: the Cima di Fuori del Principe 2698 m, the Cima di Mezzo del Principe 2705 m, the Cima di Dentro del Principe 2672 m and the Torre del Principe 2568 m.
This subgroup includes the highest summit of the whole group: the Catinaccio d'Antermoia 3004 m, the only mountain of the Catinaccio group to overcome the 3000m threshold, in which page you can find complete info about it. In the subgroup there are few other peaks, all interesting, such as the Cògolo del Lago 2811 m and the Croda dei Cirmèi 2902 m.
The Passo Antermoia 2710 m divides the Larsèc subgroup from the Molignon-Antermoia. The Larsèc, also famous with the name Dirupi di Larsèc, is a wild and secluded area including many summits and rock towers. The rock is not always fine, anyhow there are some good climbing routes and the advantage is that in this group, even in summer, you can find few people and stillness.
Main summits : Cima Scalieret 2887 m - Cima Larsec 2891 m - Pala di Mezdì - Gran Cront 2778 m - Punta Scalpello - Pala della Ghiaccia
The most comfortable points of support for climbing or walking in this area, both situated in the Gardeccia basin, are:
The Valbona subgroup includes some low frequented summits, as the Teste di Agnello 2682 m, the Crode del Ciamin 2759 m, the Piccola Valbona 2802 m and just to the west of Catinaccio d'Antermoia, divided from it by a valley, the Cima Grande di Valbona 2824 m, the main summit of this subgroup. On the NW edge of the Cima Orientale di Valbona (Valbona East summit) 2705 m there is the fine Dulfer route (D sup).
The central sector of the Catinaccio is the most famous and majestic part of the whole group. It is made up of two more or less parallel chains with a North-South trend, the central Catinaccio chain with the main Catinaccio summit and the Vajolet and Croda di Re Laurino chain.
Catinaccio main summit 2981 m is the most important mountain of the whole group, its name comes from the two big basins ("catini" in Italian) in the upper part of the East wall.
On this wall, about 700 m drop, there are many routes:
The most classic, important and climbed is the Steger route (TD - very elegant). Many other routes get the summit across the Southern "catino". Some extreme routes, on the black wall, get the Northern "catino" (the largest one).
On the West side Catinaccio shows a short but wide wall which right end overlooks a large saddle that divides Catinaccio from Croda di Re Laurino (here the Passo Santner - 2741 m). In the proximity of this pass it starts the Normal route (II degree UIAA - not for hikers). Check here on SP the Catinaccio main page to get the complete description of the Normal route and an exhaustive list of the routes: Catinaccio/Rosengartenspitze.
At the right limit of the East wall a big cylindrical tower, the Punta Emma, has three very fine and classic routes often climbed : the Piaz route (TD inf), the Steger route (TD inf) and the Fedele route (D sup).
At the left limit of the East wall there is the Forcella Sud del Catinaccio 2680 m, located between the Catinaccio main summit and the Cresta di Davoi, an extended ridge along which several rocky peaks are aligned, among which the fine Punta Kafmann.
In the Vajolet and Croda di Re Laurino chain we see the Torri Minori del Vajolet, the Torri Settentrionali del Vajolet and the world-renowned tryad of Torri del Vaiolet including Torre Winkler 2800 m, Torre Stabeler 2805 m in the middle and Torre Delago 2790 m, whose celebrated image constitutes a formidable icon of the Catinaccio group.
At the end of the chain is situted the Croda di Re Laurino 2813 m, which East wall is rising for about 100 m over the Passo Santner- On the opposite side (West) it drops with a majestic fine wall, that is famous for the "Enrosadira" (at sunset the wall gets a brilliant red colour).
A very fine hiking turns round the Catinaccio subgroup :
starting from Gardeccia - passo Coronelle - passo Santner - Vajolet valley to come back to Gardeccia - it takes few hours and has only one point that can require attention if some snow or ice is still there (fixed ropes).
The best huts to stay for climbs and walks on Catinaccio East wall here are located in the Eastern side of the group :
Other important huts to climb or hike here :
On the Western side of the chain:
It's an important but little known horseshoe-shaped subgroup, containing the Gran Busa di Vaèl, including some summits.
- Coronelle 2794 m is a long ridge connecting the Catinaccio with the Mugoni, no climbing importance but very fine for hiking.
- Mugoni 2757 m, with various summits. The Cima sud dei Mugoni is a majestic tower with the famous difficult Vinatzer route, often climbed.
- Cigolade 2482 m with various summits.
The best huts to climb here :
The Roda di Vaèl chain is formed by imposing and famous peaks, such as the celebrated Roda di Vaèl (Rotwand) 2806 m and is majestic red wall, on which it runs the Buhl route, a spectacular route always ready to be climbed by the skilled climbers. Many other routes on this wall, all very difficult, some extreme.
- Rif. Roda di Vaèl 2283 m
- Rif. Pederiva 2283 m
- Rif. Paolina 2127 m
No particular restrictions in climbing and hiking. The road starting from Pera di Fassa to Gardeccia is open to the private cars as far as the small hamlet of Soial. Private cars beyond Soial are not allowed.
Cima Catinaccio is located inside the Natural Park Sciliar-Catinaccio and Latemar. This area, shared between the provinces of Bolzano and Trento, is one of the nine mountain systems of the Dolomites acknowledged as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important systems worldwide for the study of the stratigraphy of the Triassic, in reason of the plenty of fossils on Alpe di Siusi, the relationship between carbonate and volcanic sediments, and the fact that the outcrops are easily accessible. Catinaccio, with the stunning Vajolet Towers, forms a series of peaks and sharp needles showing the movement of an island which sank into the sea 240 million years ago. More info about Dolomiti Unesco World Heritage here:
Hiking and climbing: Summertime (from June to the end of September)
Ski-mountaneering (from Gardeccia toward northern side, passo Principe): February and March
|Re Alberto I / Gartlhütte||2620m||mid June - end Sept.||+39 0462 763428|
|Passo Santner / Santner Pass Hütte||2734m||not available||+39 0471 642230|
|Aleardo Fronza / Rosengartenhütte||2337m||mid June - mid Sept.||+39 0462 764461|
|Vajolet||2243m||mid June - mid Sept.||+39 0462 763292|
|Preuss||2243m||mid June - end Sept.||+39 0462 764847|
|Gardeccia||1963m||mid June - mid Oct.||+39 0462 763152|
|Ciampedie||1998m||beg. June - mid Oct.||+39 0462 764432|
|Negritella||1990m||mid June - mid Sept.||+39 0462 764097|
|Stella Alpina||1963m||June - Oct.||+39 0462 764388|
|Roda di Vael / Rotwandhütte||2280m||mid June - mid Sept.||+39 0462 764450|
|Catinaccio||1960m||end May - end Sept.||+39 0462 766987|
|Passo Principe / Grasleitenpasshütte||2599m||end June - end Sept.||+39 0462 764244|
|Bergamo al Principe / Grasleitenhütte||1887m||not available||+39 0471 642103|
|Antermoia||2476m||mid June - mid Sept.||+39 0462 750480|
Many very confortable campsites in Val di Fassa.
The most up-to-date climbing guidebooks are:
"Arrampicare sul Catinaccio e dintorni" by Mauro Bernardi, Ed. Athesia, 2013
“La nuova guida del Catinaccio” by Antonio Bernard, Ed. Mediterranee, 2008 – A wide selection of the Catinaccio group climbing routes
"Arrampicare Dolomiti Nord-Occidentali
"IV grado Dolomiti Occidentali" vol. I by Emiliano Zorzi, ed. Idea Montagna 2011
"IV grado Dolomiti Occidentali" vol. II by Emiliano Zorzi, ed. Idea Montagna
Choosing among all the books regarding Catinaccio group, for information we mention the old classic but long-lost guide:
"Sassolungo, Catinaccio, Latemar", Arturo Tanesini - Guida dei Monti d'Italia, ed. CAI-TCI (1953) and also:
“Catinaccio” by Dante Colli and Gino Battisti - Tamari Editori in Bologna, 1984
A fine hiking guidebook:
"Gruppo del Catinaccio" by Luca Visentini, Ed. Athesia (1979) also in German with the title "Rosengarten"
Another updated and excellent guidebook describing all the hikes and the Normal routes to the hundreds of summits of the whole range, with a lot of pictures, topos and very accurate maps is
"Gruppo del Catinaccio" by Andrea Gabrieli, Luca Visentini Editore (2010)
Rosengarten-Catinaccio Latemar - 1:25.000 sheet - Compass
Val di Fassa e Dolomiti Fassane - 1:25.000 - sheet 06 - Tabacco
Sciliar/Schlern Catinaccio/Rosengarten Latemar-Regglberg - 1:25.000 - sheet 029 - Tabacco