Delenda Carthago

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.50988°N / 11.77606°E
Additional Information Route Type: Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: French 6b, UIAA VII
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.10b (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 7
Sign the Climber's Log


Geographical classification: Eastern Alps > Dolomites > Sella Group > First Sella Tower > Delenda Carthago


Delenda Carthago - I Torre del Sella

The Sella Towers lie above the namesake alpine pass in the Dolomites, located between Sassolungo and Sella Groups and connecting Canazei (Val di Fassa) and Selva (Val Gardena). The towers are five in number, though the most famous are the first three ones, and belong to the extensive Sella Group, Mesules Subgroup. In reason of the scenic beauty and well worthy climbing routes, as well as the proximity to the Sella Pass and the speedy access, these spires are one of the most popular destinations in the Western Dolomites. First Sella Tower, the closest cliff to the pass, is greatly popular. There are many routes on its faces, and besides the classic ones there are also some sport routes (bolted). One of the most elegant and interesting sport route is Delenda Carthago, running on a superb steep wall facing South, built of excellent carved rock and rich in handholds, definitely a worthy outing.

Sella Towers seen from the pass
Sella Towers seen from the namesake pass

Getting There

The starting point of the approach path is Passo Sella (Jëuf de Sela in ladin, Sellajoch in german) m 2240, which can be reached either from Canazei either by Selva di Val Gardena.

Road access

- From Bolzano North follow the road to the little town of Ponte Gardena. From here take the road entering Val Gardena, pass Ortisei and reach Selva di Val Gardena. After 5,2 km from Selva di Val Gardena the road forks; turn to right (signpost Passo Sella), reaching the pass
- From Trento follow the A22 Brennero Motorway towards North, exit Egna-Ora and follow the road S51 towards Fassa Valley, getting to Cavalese, Predazzo, Moena and Canazei. Here take the road to Passo Sella, reaching the pass

Approching First Sella Tower
Approching Prima Torre
First Sella Tower
I Sella Tower




- From Brennero Pass take the A22 Brennero Motorway towards South, exit Chiusa and then follow the roadway joining the Val Gardena road, pass Ortisei and Selva di Val Gardena. After 5,2 km from Selva di Val Gardena the road forks; take the road on the right (signpost Passo Sella), reaching the pass.



Route Description

Delenda Carthago report

Summit altitude: m. 2553
Difficulty: French 6b max, UIAA VII, YDS 5.10b
Equipment: bolts and pegs
Climbing length: 180 m
Exposure: South
First ascent: R. Galvagni - M. Maceri 2002, May
Starting point: Passo Sella m 2240

A highly satisfactory route, providing an exciting climbing up some superb steep walls on excellent carved "dolomia" rich in holds, that alternate athletic moves and other ones more technical. The route is well equipped on the harder sections and sparingly bolted on the easier pitches. A worthy outing, even when your time is limited or the weather forecast in the afternoon is uncertain.

Sella Towers annotated panorama


First Sella Tower is the closest one to the parking lot. From the col walk down a few tens of meters along the road towards the Canazei side of the Sella pass and take the trail that at first climbs steeply up to get the hill, then runs to the right in the direction of the Prima Torre, passing under its South side. Scramble up to the starting point of the route (1 bolt), just below a ramp slanting right, about 40 meters to the left of a huge and obvious corner (Trenker corner). The route's line runs between Schober-Rossi on its left and Trenker on its right. The start is common with the route Schober – Rossi. 30 minutes from Passo Sella

Climbing report

L1 - Climb up some broken rock to the left of the Trenker corner towards a ramp (old pegs), pitch common with the route Schober- Rossi. 20 m
L2 - Climb up the ramp to reach the two bolt anchor just below the route becomes steep. 4b, 12 m
L3 – Great pitch. Traverse right 2 meters, then up a beautiful wall with tiny holes and “reglettes” on the right of the belay. After some easier meters slanting left, another hard move leads to the belay on a ledge. 6b, 25 m.

Beta of Delenda Carthago (I Torre del Sella)

L4 – Turn an edge to the right, following some bolts to a ledge, traverse right a few meters, then climb a small dihedral-crack to another bolted belay. 6a, 28 m
L5 – Another great pitch. Up an overhanging wall, then on easier ground reach a belay near a flake. 6a, 20 m
L6 - A winding beautiful climb requiring a bit of intuition. Traverse slightly to the right, then back left to a ledge. 6a, 18 m
L7 - Climb up a nice slab and belay on the normal route ledge. 5c/6a, 30 m. A few meters to the summit log.

Delenda Carthago crux pitch

Crux pitch (third pitch)

Exciting climb on Delenda Carthago sixth pitch

Exciting climb on sixth pitch

Fourth pitch start

Fourth pitch start

Descent - Along First Sella Tower standard route. From the summit follow the narrow trail traversing to the notch between First Tower and Second Tower. Pass across the notch, then continue traversing right in the direction of Piz Ciavazes along an exposed trail skirting the Second Tower and reaching a fork. Downclimb towards right (II UIAA), joining the trail coming from Cengia dei Camosci (Piz Ciavazes). Continue down, reaching an anchor on a terrace. With an advisable 25 m. rappel reach the path on the base of the tower.
I Torre del Sella summit view towards Sass Pordoi
I Torre del Sella summit view towards Sass Pordoi
A marmot coming out suspiciously  from a small cave along the descent
A marmot coming out from a small cave along the descent

Essential Gear and Climbing Grades

Rope 2x50 (or a single 60 m rope), 11 quick draws, some slings. A small selection of cams and wires. Climbing Grades:


Rock Climbing Rating Systems
1 5.2 I 6b 5.10c VII- 7c+ 5.12d IX
2 5.3 II 6b+ 5.10d VII 8a 5.13a/5.13b IX+/X-
3 5.4 III 6c 5.11a VII+ 8a+ 5.13c X-
4 5.5 IV 6c+ 5.11b VII+/VIII- 8b 5.13d X
5a 5.6 V- 7a 5.11c VIII- 8b+ 5.14a X+
5b 5.7 V/V+ 7a+ 5.11d VIII 8c 5.14b X+/XI-
5c 5.8 VI- 7b 5.12a VIII+ 8c+ 5.14c XI-
6a 5.9 VI/VI+ 7b+ 5.12b VIII+/IX- 9a 5.14d XI
6a+ 5.10a/5.10b VI+/VII- 7c 5.12c IX- 9a+ 5.15a XI+

Red Tape

No particular restrictions in climbing and hiking


The closest place to overnight is Passo Sella, otherwise there are numerous huts, hotels, apartments and campsites both in Val di Fassa and Val Gardena sides: you can stay in Canazei, a primary resort in Val di Fassa, or Selva di Val Gardena. Nearest accomodation:
- Pian Schiavaneis (along the road from Canazei to Sella Pass)
Rifugio Monti Pallidi

When to climb

Best season from May to October

Guidebooks and maps

Sella Towers map





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