Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 46.37770°N / 12.04290°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Aid Climbing, Big Wall, Via Ferrata
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 10565 ft / 3220 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

Civetta Group

Civetta group is lying in the Eastern Dolomites and it is one of the most impressive, secluded and alpinistic group of the whole Dolomites. It runs from North to South, clearly delimited from the neighbouring groups by two deep valleys, the Valle Cordevole (West) and the upper Valle di Zoldo (East). Its Northern boundary is Forcella Staulanza, dividing this group from the Pelmo group, and the Southern one is Forcella delle Sasse, dividing it from the Moiazza Group. The heart of the massif is the Central Hub, appearing as a huge rocky castle, with the world famous wall facing NW, named "la parete delle pareti", meaning "the wall of the walls". 

Civetta Group labelled
The huge (1200 m drop) and world famous NW wall of Civetta

Almost all the summits are accessible by difficult climbs, except a few, as Civetta main summit, which has an easy Normal route on its Eastern face and two "vie ferrate", and Cima della Busazza. Hikers can find here numberless possibilities to explore all the group by long and interesting walks and crossing, inside a wild and spectacular environment, aided by a fair number of shelters. 

Le Rocchette from W at sunset
Le Rocchette from W: Torre Coldai, Alleghe, Valgrande, Pan di Zucchero
Monte Civetta
Torre Trieste and Busazza

 

schematical map of Civetta...

The group is quite the kingdom of the sixth grade with many challenging routes for very skilled climbers, but here there are also many amazing paths for hikers and some "Vie ferrate" and moderate climbs. Coming here after a climb campaign made (for example) in Brenta Dolomites or Catinaccio or ... can make you feel like a child in front of a giant! Famous climbers from Germany, Austria and (of course) Italy came here to open the most difficult rock routes of the Dolomites, so that this group is also known the Kingdom of extreme climbing. Here you can spend a lot of weeks before you can say you've climbed the best routes ...

Civetta, the hanging glacier at sunset
Civetta, the majestic NW wall at sunset
m. civetta
The East side seen from Val di Zoldo

 

Getting There

Road access

- From Belluno to Pala Favèra – Take the road S51 towards Pieve di Cadore and Longarone; here leave the main road and follow on the left the road S251 towards Forno di Zoldo, Zoldo Alto and Pala Favèra (48 km. from Belluno).

- From Belluno to Alleghe – Take the road S203 towards Agordo, cross the town of Agordo m. 611, then follow the Val Cordevole road reaching Listolade and Alleghe (59 km. from Belluno).

Monte Civetta, Dolomites
Winter sunset over Civetta

To access the two main valleys you can also use bus services starting from Belluno - Valle Agordina: Agordo - Listolade - Masarè - Alleghe (wonderful lake) - Val di Zoldo: Longarone - Forno di Zoldo - Zoldo Alto

Central hub

 

Here the most famous routes on the highest wall of the group, the NW face of Civetta, named "the wall of walls": if you speak about the "Solleder", the "Comici" or the "Philipp-Flamm", all climbers immediately think of wonderful, difficult and striking routes. Some modern climbers have made them in few hours, but if you think that they've been traced in the Twenties and Thirties... Here there are also some very hard routes realized in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. The last one is "Nuvole Barocche" (1999), a great challenging route just in the heart of the mighty face, a "must" for very strong and experienced climbers.

Civetta group
The NW side of Civetta from Passo di Valparola
Civetta NW face suspended glacier
The impressive suspended glacier on Civetta NW wall

Northern branch

Main summits of this chain :
  • Torre Coldai - 2600 m
  • Torre d'Alleghe - 2649 m
  • Torre di Valgrande - 2715 m
  • Guglia di Valgrande - 2653 m
  • Castello di Valgrande - 2680 m.
  • Torre da Lago - 2700 m.
  • Pan di Zucchero - 2726 m
  • Punta Civetta - 2920 m
  • Punta Tissi - 2992 m
The northen side of Civetta group and Monte Pelmo in the background.
The Northern branch and Pelmo in the background

 

Wonderful chain with yellow walls, on each summit many difficult routes, some of them, as Torre Coldai and Torre d'Alleghe, has also medium (AD/D) difficulty routes. The most impressive faces are the NW ones, overlooking Val Civetta.

The northern section
Northern section seen from Punta Tissi
Torre di Valgrande from Colle S. Lucia
Torre d'Alleghe, Valgrande, Pan di Zucchero

South-West great ridge

Main summits :
  • Cima De Gasperi - 2994 m
  • Cima Su Alto - 2951 m
  • Cima della Terranova - 2900 m
  • Torre Su Alto - 2790 m

 

It's a great single wall divided in four summits by high rocky notchs, so that the first three ones, De Gasperi, Su Alto and Terranova are called "the magnificent triad"

The great triad De Gasperi - Su Alto and Terranova from West
The great triad De Gasperi - Su Alto and Terranova from West

 

Here some "little" routes that requires up to 1100 m. drop climbs, none easy nor medium difficulty. Each summit is worth of a dedicated page.

Cima De Gasperi, Cima Su Alto, Cima della Terranova
Cima De Gasperi, Cima Su Alto, Cima della Terranova
Mountains are eternal only in our dreams...
The Su Alto rockfall (2013, November 16th)

On 2013, November 16th, a huge portion of the Northwest corner of Cima Su Alto collapsed. That Saturday, around 15:20, there was a collapse of big proportion precisely on the base and the NW corner of Su Alto. The rockfall has taken away a piece of wall that enclosed itself some important chapters of climbing in the Dolomites, such as the routes Piussi and Livanos, erasing a piece of mountaineering history. The Piussi practically no longer exists, the lower part of the Livanos was deleted. On 2014, September 30th, another smaller rockfall occurred in the same place More info here: Planetmountain

South-West branch - "Cantoni di Pelsa"

Main summits :
  • Torre dei Monachesi - 2678 m.
  • Cima delle Mede - 2504 m.
  • Campanile di Brabante - 2252 m.
  • Campanile di S. Prosdocimo - 2335 m.
  • Torre di Pelsa - 2337 m.
  • Punta Agordo - 2290 m
  • Torre delle Mede - 2240 m.
  • Torre Venezia - 2337 m
  • Cima del Bancon - 2346 m
  • Spallone del Bancon - 2275 m.
  • Cima dell'Elefante - 2245 m.
  • Torre di Babele - 2310 m

 

This is the last section of the mighty SW branch of Civetta, starting from Forcella dei Triestini and ending with the beautiful Torre Venezia, lying just close to Rif. Vazzoler, maybe the most climbed summit of the group. The most famous routes of Torre Venezia are the Tissi and the Andrich routes.

Civetta group seen from Col Mandro.
Cantoni di Pelsa

 

This is the most "human" zone of the group, plenty of challenging routes, but also of different possibilities to climb for medium climbers.  It is a very "Babele" group, a lot of pinnacles, towers, channels where you can also think to climb a summit and arrive on another one. The starting hut for climbing and hiking in Cantoni di Pelsa is Rifugio Vazzoler.

Cima Bancon
Cima Bancon
Torre Venezia - east side
Torre Venezia - east side

 

South branch - "Cantoni della Busazza"

Main summits :
  • Cima De Toni - 3040 m
  • Cima Paolina - 3010 m
  • Cima della Busazza - 2894 m
  • Castello della Busazza - 2592 m
  • Castelletto della Busazza - 2407 m.
  • Torre Trieste - 2458 m - (here an interesting pdf)

 

Cima della Busazza and Torre Trieste
Cima della Busazza and Torre Trieste
Torre Trieste
Torre Trieste

Cantoni della Busazza are the branch which starts from Piccola Civetta, heading straightly toward South and running for about 2,5 km., delimited by Van delle Sasse to East and Val dei Cantoni to West. Here are is situated two famous summits often climbed, Cima della Busazza and Torre Trieste, "the Tower of the towers", one of the most difficult summit of the Dolomites, with its South wall 700 m drop where run the outstanding Carlesso and Cassin routes. The "Normal route" (used only for coming down) is far more difficult than the Normal one on Campanile Basso di Brenta.

Climbing images

 
 
On Carlesso-Sandri route - Torre Trieste, 1984
Via Carlesso-Sandri, Torre Trieste
Carlesso-Menti route
Via Carlesso-Menti, Torre di Valgrande
On Philipp-Flamm in the Eighties
Philipp-Flamm in the 80s, Punta Tissi

Other images

 
civetta group
Civetta East side
Sunset in Civetta Group
Sunset in Civetta Group
 

 

Civetta seen from Ref. Tissi.
Civetta seen from Refuge Tissi

 

Moiazza group

Main summits :
  • Cima della Moiazzetta della Grava - 2727 m
  • Cima delle Sasse - 2878 m
  • Cima Moiazza nord - 2870 m
  • Cima Moiazza sud - 2878 m
  • Cima delle Masenade - 2740 m

 

Moiazza, often considered as a part of the Civetta Massif because of its close proximity to this group, is a mountain range now treated as a separate range and properly considered apart from the neighbouring Civetta. It has a big wall facing the Val Corpassa (the valley that you must run to reach rif. Vazzoler from Listolade). See here on Summipost the dedicated page: Moiazza Group.

Moiazza sud seen from Forcella delle Masenade.
Moiazza sud
Moiazza group seen from the summit of Pala del Belia
Moiazza group seen from Pala del Belia
Scenic peaks in Moiazza Group
Cantoni del Duran, Moiazza Group

Huts

Huts and Bivouacs

Rifugio Vazzoler m. 1714 - The hut is situated at the Southern end of the Civetta Group, just at the footh of the beautiful Torre Trieste and Torre Venezia - C.A.I. Conegliano, 52 beds, open from middle June to middle September

- From Capanna Trieste (getting there from Listolade, on the road following Val Corpassa, cars allowed) - 1,45 hour by walk

- From Listolade 680 m - 3 hours walk

Rifugio Coldai m. 2132 - The hut is situated at the Northern end of the Civetta Group on Val di Zoldo side - C.A.I. Venezia, 83 beds, open from June 20th to September 20th

- From Pala Favèra (m. 1505) – Follow the gravel road starting near the camping and rising with some hairpins to Malga Pioda m. 1816, then a good path leading to the hut (2 hours from Pala Favèra) – It’s the shortest way to get the hut

- From Alleghe – Follow the road to Piani di Pezzè (m. 1470), then the narrow gravel road rising to Forcella d’Alleghe and to Malga Pioda m. 1816. From Malga Pioda follow the same path as the previous approach.

Refuge Vazzoler
Rifugio Vazzoler
Rifugio Coldai (2132 m) with...
Rifugio Coldai
Tissi hut

Rifugio Tissi - Photo Snooper

-Rifugio Tissi m. 2262 - The hut is situated on Col Rèan; the view over the majestic NW face of Civetta is unforgettable - C.A.I. Belluno, 65 beds, open from June 20th to September 20th

- Long, strenuous and rarely frequented are the paths from Masarè (971 m) and from Alleghe; the best way to reach Rif. Tissi is coming from Rif.Vazzoler (2 hours) or from Rif. Coldai (less than 2 hours).

- Rif. Torrani m. 2984 - Lying on Civetta Normal route, the route usually followed to descent, about 230 meters below the main summit - C.A.I. Conegliano, 24 beds, open from July 1th to September 15th

- From Rif. Coldai - Follow the Sentiero Tivàn and Civetta normal route (4,30 hours) - Alpine approach (I and II grade UIAA)

- From Rif. Vazzoler - Follow the path to Van delle Sasse and Via Ferrata Tissi (4,30 hours) - Alpine approach (I and fixed ropes)

- Rif. Tomè m. 2869 - The bivouac is situated in a secluded site closed by the famous triad Cima De Gasperi, Cima Su Alto and Cima della Terranova. It's an emergency shelter useful to the climbers of Civetta, De Gasperi, Su Alto and Terranova - C.A.I. Agordo, 6 places, always open

- From Rif. Vazzoler along Val dei Cantoni (5 hours) - Alpine approach (I and II grade UIAA)

Camping

Campings in Val di Zoldo, useless for climbing, very fine for tourists and hikers

When To Climb

Starting from June for Cantoni di Pelsa. From July to September for all the other subgroups

Meteo

ARPAV Dolomiti Meteo

Guidebooks

 

Civetta guide-book

- Guidebooks

The late complete and updated guidebook is:

"Civetta" by Ivo Rabanser - Collana CAI-TCI Guide dei Monti d'Italia, 2012 june

Other historycal guidebooks:

"Civetta" by Oscar Kelemina - Scuola di Alpinismo C.Capuis, CAI Mestre, 1984
"Civetta-Moiazza" by Vincenzo Dal Bianco - Giovanni Angelini - Tamari Editori, Bologna 1984 - € 14,46

a report from Gangolf Haub (in German language) Dolomiten Civettagruppe - Andreas Kubin - Alpenvereinsführer - Bergverlag Rudolf Rother (1980) - ISBN: 3 7633 2308 2



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