First Sella Tower on the right. The small tower far right is called "Lokomotive".
The First Sella Tower is the furthest south and nearest to the road of the famous Sella Towers at Sella Pass in the Dolomites.
It has a narrow north face to the west of the notch between it and the Second Tower
, a sharp west ridge, and a very broad south / southeast face divided by a prominent pillar. The southeast face merges into the notch between the Tower and Piz Ciavazes. The eastern side of the tower is a steep series of broken ledges leading to the top and to the notch between the First and Second Sella Towers.
There are over 18 routes on the First Sella Tower providing a wide variety of excellent rock climbing in a beautiful mountain setting.
Otto Ampferer, Karl Berger, and Wilhelm Hammer made the first ascent of the First Sella Tower on 9 August 1899 via the east side.
The Sella Towers
There are five distinctly separate Sella Towers. They are not named separately, but merely individualized by number roughly from south to north. They are the First, Second, Third, Fifth, and Fourth Sella Towers. The Fifth Tower is quite small and set back to the east between the Third and Fourth Towers. Most climbing interest is in the First, Second, and Third Towers with only four routes on the Fourth Tower and only one route on the Fifth Tower.
Sella Pass is located on the main road between Val Gardena and Val di Fassa. MAP
From the pass, it is less than an hour via good trail to any route on the First Sella Tower.
There is bus service to and over the pass.
A travel note: We were advised by a cousin with a summer place in the Dolomites and we have found it to be true, that having a car available in this area is far and away the best way to go - especially if climbing. This also greatly increases the choices of places to stay.
Climbing and Routes
The climbing on the First Sella Tower is generally of the classic steep exposed variety expected in the Dolomites. Because of the ease of access and popularity of this area, many of the more frequented routes have polished sections, which can raise the difficulty of a climb by one full grade.
Listed here are the normal route along with the classic and recommended routes on the Tower (arranged by difficulty).
, mostly I with places of II, 150 m, about one hour from the base. This is also the normal descent route. It attains the notch between the Tower and Piz Ciavazes via the south side, then follows steep broken ledges up the east side to the summit.
Kostner Route, Southeast Face
, III+, 180 m, This route has a spectacular open chimney near the top which separates the top of the south pillar from the face - see photos below.
Glück Route (Pilastrini), South Pillar
, IV+, 140 m
Steger Route, West Ridge
, V-, 180 m, (polished at the crux)
Trenker Route South Face
, V+ or V / A0, 180 m, (polished at the crux) There is a grading difference between my guidebook and the link provided, probably due to the polishing. This link also has excellent photos.
Tissi Route, West Ridge
, VI or VI- / A1, 180 m
Schober Route, South Face
, VII- or VI- / A1, 180 m
Climbing on the First Sella Tower
|Kostner Route |
|Kostner Route Chimney |
There is a CAI hut and at least one hotel located nearly directly on Sella Pass.
RIFUGIO PASSO SELLA/SELLAJOCH HAUS
Hotel Maria Flora
There are numerous vacation apartments, hotels, huts, and campsites in the general area within an easy drive of the Pass.