The Geisler / Odle Group
|Picture postcard view of the Gesiler / Odle Group
Together with Peitlerkofel
the Geisler Group is the northwestern outpost of the Dolomites. Well known - from any Dolomite book or calendar are its famous north faces that drop for 1000m or more into the Villnöß valley (Val di Funes). The Group consists of a multitude of towers of almost all sizes that are topped by the two main summits of Sass Rigais
and Furchetta which both reach the same height of 3025m (sometimes 3030m are claimed for Furchetta). Besides the peaks the famous passes and cuts between the subgroups and towers of the group make up part of its fascination.
For more information and a listing of all the summits look at the Puez-Geisler (Odle) Group
When hiking in the area keep in mind that the north faces always carry snow and ice late in spring and even summer. Though you might not be aware of it when you start from the Gröden (Val Gardena) side you must account for slippery conditions. Moreover ice keeps falling off the summit blocks so that climbing and hiking through Forca Pana or Forca di Mesdi may become a quite dangerous affair (speaking out of experience).
Toether with Sass Rigais
Furchetta is the highest mountain in the Geissler / Odle Group. In most publications you will find 3025m as altitude for both though sometimes 3030m are stated for Furchetta and 3027m for Sass Rigais. Both north faces dominate the famous Geissler view from Villnöß / Val di Funes. Whereas Sass Rigais is a massive broad but structured summit Furchetta is a single block of Rock with 800m walls to the north as well as the east.
Due to erosion Furchetta is formed like a (very) steep ramp on its southern side - like many, if not all of the Geissler / Odle summits. Beside the main summit there is a lower side summit, Kleine / Piccolo Furchetta (3000m) which knows some very nice routes of its own. I assume that the double peak structure explains the Italian name Furchetta which - if I'm not taken wrong - means "Little Fork". Most of the ascend routes other than the normal route described here (II and II in patches) are difficult climbing routes.
Nevertheless the imposing north and west faces have very early on attracted climbers of all nations and many of the great ones have established their names while climbing on Furchetta. The rock is supposed to be rather lose in some places and a combination of several classical routes is generally recommended to get to the summit safely.
Take the Brenner motorway A22 to the exit of Waidbruck (Ponte Gardena). Turn onto S242 east either to St. Ulrich (Ortisei) or St. Christina. From St. Ulrich you can take the cablecar to Seceda (2518m), the westernmost summit of the Geisslergroup. From St. Christina you can take the lift to Col Raiser (2102) on Cisles Alpe. From both cable cars you need to hike to Col de Coi (2301m), where the trail into Wasserrinnental (Val Salieres) starts.
A second possibility is to take the motorway to Feldthurns (Valturno) and go east into Villnößtal (Val di Funes). From Zanseralm at its end (or from any of the villages in between you can hike to and through Mittagsscharte (Forca Mesdi).
Source for all the info on these climbing routes (as well as topos) is
Dolomiten Geisler- und Steviagruppe
by E.E. Stiebritz
Solleder Route (277)
- Established: 1925 by E. Solleder, F. Wiessner
- Difficulty: VI and V+ in the upper part (above Dülfer Kanzel)
- Height: 800m
- Duration: 6h - 9h
Auckenthaler Route (277a)
(Variant to Solleder above Dülfer Kanzel)
- Established 1931 by M. Auckenthaler, H. Buratti
- Difficulty: VI and V
Vinatzer Route (277b)
(Variant to Solleder above Dülfer Kanzel)
- Established 1932 by G.B. Vinatzer, F. Rifeser
- Difficulty: IV+
Direct Ascent (277c)
(Variant to Solleder below Dülfer Kanzel)
- Established 1980 by, E.E. Striebritz, K. Müller
- Difficulty: V
Meraner Weg (278)
- Established: 1966 by U. Kößler, K. Glatz
- Difficulty: VI and V
- Duration: 10 - 12h
West Face (280)
- Established: 1973 by I. Gruber, R. Messner
- Difficulty: V+
- Height: 600m
There are two additional routes from the south and southeast but both are not recommended due to debris.
Furchetta - especially its north face - has attracted a lot of climbers from all nations. Here is only a short overview of the best known (first) ascents
1880: J. Santner
First attempt on North Face
1914: L. Trenker, H. Dülfer
reached Dülfer Kanzel some 150 below the summit
First Ascent of North Face / Solleder Route
1925: E. Solleder, F. Wiessner
First North Face Solo
1964: H. Holzer
along Solleder Route
First Winter Ascent of North Face
1967: R. and G. Messner
First Ascent of West Face
1973: I. Gruber, R. Messner
The Geisler Group belongs to the Natural Park Puez Geisler. Therefore within park boundaries any building activities are prohibited. Flowers, berries, mushrooms, minerals have to be left in their environment. Camping is prohibited and cars have to be parked in the official lots.
There are no fees for climbing, however you might have to be prepared for a small parking fee on the cable car parking lots and in Villnöß.
When To Climb
As with all Dolomite summits the best time is May through October but winter ascents are possible as well. Best time in my opinion is September or October since appartments are easily to be had and weather often is finest.
Winter ascents are possible - even on the north wall, which R. Messner proved with his brothers in 1967. But I suppose it should be left to the best to try this extreme challenge.
Hotels and Appartments
There are quite a lot of hotels and appartments to be had in the region of Gröden and Villnöß. In the summer months you most certainly will need reservations. Good entry points are the following pages:
The various tourist informations can be reached via
Tourist Office Ortisei
39046 Ortisei - St. Ulrich - Str. Rezia 1
Tel.: +39 0471 796328
Fax: +39 0471 796749
Tourist Office S. Cristina
39047 S. Cristina - St. Christina - Str. Chemun 9
Tel.: +39 0471 793046
Fax: +39 0471 793198
Tourist Office Val Gardena
Dr. Mussner Rudolf
39047 S. Cristina - St. Christina - Dursan 78/bis
Tel.: +39 0471 792277
Fax: +39 0471 792235
Tourist Office Selva Gardena
39048 Selva Gardena - Str. Mëisules 213
Tel.:: +39 0471 795122
Fax: +39 0471 794245
Tourist Office Villnöß
39040 Val di Funes - S. Pietro 11
Tel.:+39 0472 840 180
Fax:+39 0472 841 515
Mountain Huts and Refuges
For mountain huts and refuges you can use the following
|Col Raiser ||+39 0471 796302||06.06 - 12.10|
|Cuca ||+39 335 8060345||14.06 - 12.10|
|Daniel ||+39 333 6481163||06.06 - 12.10|
|Fermeda ||+39 338 7185720||21.06 - 12.10|
|Firenze / Regensburgerhütte ||+39 0471 796307||01.06 - 12.10|
|Gamsblut ||+39 338 8601244||31.05 - 12.10|
|Juac ||+39 335 8082321||12.07 - end Sept.|
|Mastlè ||+39 339 8313483||06.06 - 12.10|
|Pedrutsch ||+39 0471 798093||01.05 - beg. Nov.|
|Ramitzler ||+39 340 2420649||01.07 - beg. Nov.|
|Sangon ||+39 339 5737568||20.06 - 20.10|
For weather conditions in South Tyrol look at the page of Meteo Alpin
. For the english text you have to scroll down the right frame.
As for Webcams (also weather) you can look at