Monte Siera (also known as “Cima Dodici”, “Siera Spitz” or simply “the Spitz”) is the landmark of the lovely Valle del Sole (Sappada-Plodn), a wonderful place that lies between Carnia and Alto Cadore, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto, the Carnic Alps and the Dolomiti. But this little alpine paradise has an old original heritage that has nothing in common with the traditions of its neighbours.
More than one thousand years ago a group of families from Innervillgraten (Tyrol) moved to the valley looking for new pastures and animals to hunt. They found a beautiful place where they lived in peace for centuries, in armony with nature.
Then in the nineteenth century a dark period of wars and hate broke that peace. The people of Sappada always felt to belong to Italy (although their language and their heritage was German) and fought for many years against the Austrian rule. During the first world war fierce battles have been fought in this area (the Italian firing line was between the Rinaldo group and Monte Avanza) but all in vain, because after the rout of Caporetto everybody had to leave the town.
Only in 1918, after the victory of the war, the people of Sappada could return to their town. Today Sappada is again “la Valle del Sole” (the valley of the sun) a wonderful and peaceful place where you can enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the nature and of the mountains around.
Monte Siera is one of those mountains that although not very tall, for some reason it appears huge and intimidating. It is a perfect dolomitic mountain, with sharp crests and towers on all sides. Whether you come to Sappada from the east or from the west, you can’t avoid to slow down or to stop to admire the spectacular indented profile of the three mountains of the group.
It is one of the most known and loved peaks of the Carnic Alps but it’s not often climbed because have no easy access. But its northern slopes are much frequented by hikers in the summer and by skiers in the winter.
Monte Siera has a “little brother”, a mountain on its right (if seen from Sappada) that looks like it but a little smaller, called Piccolo Siera (Cima Undici, 2430 m). There’s also a third peak in this group called Cima Dieci (2151 m). This three summits form a perfect natural sundial that is known as “Meridiana di Sappada”.
The quality of the rock ( dolomitic limestone of the Trias age composed by Dolomia dello Sciliar and Calcare della marmolada ) of Siera and Piccolo Siera is not so good for climbing, because it’s very friable. But there are nice and very challenging routes on the north north-west faces of Cima Dieci, where you can find a more compact rock.
The panorama from the summit is one of the best that you can enjoy in the Carnic Alps: Monte Coglians/Hohe Warte, Peralba, the Lienz Dolomites, the Hohe Tauern group, Dolomiti di Sesto, Cristallo, Pelmo, Sorapiss, Civetta, Antelao, Tofane, Terze group, Clap group, Cridola, Cima dei preti, Monfalconi, Tiarfin group, the Julian Alps and Prealps and the Adriatic sea in the background. But also a fantastic view of the nearby Piccolo Siera, Creta Forata, Monte Cimon, Creta di Tuglia and the romantic town of Sappada on the northern slopes of the mountain .
First ascent: M. Holzmann and S. Siorpaes - September 23, 1880
With the exception of the normal routes to Cima Dieci and Piccolo Siera, that can be climbed by expert hikers, all the other routes of this group require alpinistic experience, because is a very wild area and in some places the quality of the rock can be very bad.
From the Brennero motorway exit Bressanone/Brixen and then S.Candido-Passo di Monte Croce Comelico-S.Stefano di Cadore-Sappada
From the Udine-Tarvisio motorway exit Carnia and then Tolmezzo-Villa Santina-Forni Avoltri-Sappada
From venezia to Belluno-Pieve di Cadore-S.Stefano di cadore-Sappada
From Passo di Monte Croce Carnico to Paluzza-Ravascletto-Comeglians-Forni Avoltri-Sappada
You won't have problems to find accomodation in Sappada, there's a wide offer for every taste and budget.
Here you can find an updated list of lodgings.
Almost all the routes can be climbed in one day but if you want to stay in alpine huts you have two options:
1) Rifugio Siera on the northern slopes
2) Rifugio de Gasperi in the Clap group ( 2 hours from passo Siera )
01 S.Stefano – Sappada – Forni Avoltri
Guida ai Monti d'Italia - Alpi Carniche – A.De Rovere - M. Di Gallo - CAI/TCI
Guida escursionistica alle Alpi Carniche – Rino Gabersick – Liberodiscrivere Editore
Sappada – Dai Sentieri alle Vette – G.Borella – Editrice Co.El.
Alpi Carniche – Catena carnica principale e Dolomiti Pesarine – Ettore Tomasi – Comunità montana della carnia
Arrampicate classiche e moderne nelle Alpi Carniche – M.Candolini – R.del Fabbro – Candolini Editore