The Puez-Geisler Group is the northwestern outpost of the Dolomites against the Eisack- and Villnöß-Valleys. It is best known for the impressive north faces of the Geisler summits to its west and the solitary standing Peitlerkofel / Sass da Putia to the east. Lesser known and thus much less frequented are the plains and valleys of the Puez Plateau which nevertheless offer some of the best hiking routes of the whole Dolomites.
This page defines the Puez Geisler Group along the boundary of the natural park that carries the same name. To the north it reaches towards Villnöß- / Val di Funes and Aferer Valley , to the east towards Campill- and Gadertal (Alta Badia). To the south Grödner Joch / Passo Gardena and the ramp downwards to Kolfuschg / Colfosco and Corvarra are the boundary whereas to the west it reaches almost down to the Eisack-Valley.
For the purpose of clarity the group will be further divided here into the following groups/supgroups:
Much of the information on this page has been compiled with the help of two absolutely excellent books by E.E. Striebitz. The information is in the appropriate section below.
As there are three valleys from which you can access the group, here there are the principal itinaries:
Peitlerkofel / Sas da Putia and Aferer Geiseln / Odle di Eores form the northernmost outpost of the Dolomites. Together they form a west – east ridge which is set a little north-west of the Geisler / Odle Group.
The Aferer Geiseln are best known for the ferrata “Günther Messner Steig” which was named in honour of Reinhold Messners brother who died in an avalanche while descending from Nanga Parbat. The summits themselves offer little in terms of interesting climbs. The following descriptions are given from west to east:
Isolated massive mountain with two summits. Normal route via ferrata from the south. Several interesting climbs through the north face.
See the SP Peitlerkofel / Sass da Putia page for more information.
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 almost 1000m 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). Beside the peaks the famous passes and cuts between the subgroups and towers of the group make up part of its fascination.
The Geisler / Odle Group can be roughly divided in three parts. To the west there are a number of meadow summits which show steep rock faces to the west and north. Between Fermedaturm (La Peles) and Forca de Mesdi there is the Fermeda Group with a great number of fine spires and needles. To its eastern side the Geisler / Odle group consists of 6 massive towerlike summits between Sass Rigais and Wasserkofel (Sass da L’Ega).
All of the summits can be climbed. All normal ascends start from the southern (Gröden) side. The north faces almost all consist of fragile rock, so that they can become very dangerous. The only exception is the combination of Meraner Weg and Solleder Route through the north face of Furchetta.
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).
The following descriptions are given west to east:
The Puez Group consists of a large plateau at an elevation of about 2300m, the Gherdenacia Plain (see next section). Out of this plain rise several strange looking sandy hills, whereas all the major summits are located at the north and south edges. The plain is divided by two deep gorges, Langental (Vallunga), a beautiful glacier-formed valley and Val Chedul. Both valleys runs from east to west.
The most interesting summits are situated in the south: Cir towers, Sass da Ciampac and Sassongher. Here the Gherdenacia Plain drops down into the Colfosco valley. On its western side the Puez Group is terminated by the Stevia Subgroup, four smooth mountains, which can be climbed rather easily. To its north another deep drop into the Campill-Valley terminates the plateau. Here the summits (Piz Duledes, Puez Spitzen, Kapunzinerspitze an Zwischenkofel) show rather imposing north faces. To the east there is a sharp drop into Gadertal /Alta Badia with no major summits.
For the sake of organisation the group will be divided in four subgroups, which will be described in detail in the following sections:
This northern ridge of Puez prolongs the ridge of the Geisler / Odle Group. With the exception of Piz Duledes the northfaces are not as imposing as the Geisler ones. All summits can easily be reached from the Gherdenecia Plain in the south.
Descriptions from west to east:
Text by Vid ;-)
Gherdenacia is a beautiful high plateau, taking a great part of Puez mountain group. Its beauty and karst nature are also the reasons that Puez-Geisler Group were declared a natural parc. Similar to the Gherdenacia Plateau is the much smaller Crespeina Plateau, which is located more towards south. The altitude of the plateaus varies between 2100m and 2500m, peaks above the plateau exceed 2600m. In early and late summer among broad limestone plates you can admire beautiful flat grass meadows filled with mountain flowers. Another specialty are a few strange sand hills, rising above the plateau. They are made of compact debris, in some places of weird colours unlike white limestone. The three most distinctive sand hills are: Col Puez (2725m), Col d'Muntejela (2676m) and Col de la Sone (2633m). On the lower part of the similar Crespeina plateau there is also a beautiful Crespeina Lake, attracting many hikers. The supporting huts for hikes over the Gherdenacia Plateau are Rif. Puez and Rif. Gherdenacia.
The southern summits form a line along the (west - east) ridge that towers over the valley between Grödner Joch / Passo Gardena and Corvarra. Only Sassongher to the east is located a little south of this ridge. All summits are climbing summits with quite a number of very interesting routes.
Located between Langental (Vallunga) and the Geissler group to the latter’s southwest, the Stevia Group consists of four summits, which all have rather easy hiking ascents but also quite a number of serious and interesting climbing routes. On the top the summits are rather broad with fine meadows and offer fascinating views onto the Puez plateau as well as towards the whole western Dolomites. The Stevia group is a rather lonely region as compared with the other parts of the Puez-Geissler Natural Park.
The following descriptions are roughly from north to south.
The Natural Park has been created in 1977 and contains an area of 10,703ha. 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.
For further information on the park, take a look ath the official website.
There are no fees or limitations for climbing, however you might have to be prepared for a small parking fees.
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 apartments are easily to be had and weather often is finest.
In winter there are a couple of very nice ski tours possible, especially on the Gherdenacia Plain and in Vilnöß / Val di Funes. Not to mention the downhill ski possibilities in Gröden / Val Gardena.
There are quite a lot of hotels and appartments to be had in the region around Puez-Geisler. 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
For mountain huts and refuges you can use the following
Gröden / Val Gardena
|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|
Villnöß / Val di Funes
|Ristoro ed informazioni Zannes||+39 0472 840 309|
|Pensione Sass Rigais||+39 0472 840 133|
|Malga Zannes||+39 328 89 26 257|
|Malga Dusler||+39 0472 840 501|
|Nuova Malga di Casnago||+39 333 75 69 029|
|Malga di Casnago||+39 0472 840 158|
|Malga Glatsch||+39 0472 840 270|
|Malga Gampen||+39 348 272 15 87|
|Rifugio Genova||+39 0472 840 132|
|Caseril||+39 0472 840 219|
|Rifugio Halsl||+39 0472 521 267|
|Ristoro Muntwiesen||+39 0472 840 043|
|Malga Unterpiscoi||+39 0472 840519|
Alta Badia / Gadertal
(the table includes refuges in other Dolomite Groups like Fanes and Sella)
|Baita La Marmotta||+39 0471 836125 / +39 338 8801364|
|Bec de Roces||+39 0436 79193 / +39 0436 79336|
|Capanna Nera/Negerhütte||+39 0471 836138|
|Cherz||+39 0436 79270 / +39 335 6175089|
|Col Alto – G. Ferrante||+39 0471 836324|
|Crep de Mont||+39 335 6023721|
|F. Kostner - Vallon||+39 0471 836757 / +39 333 8759838|
|Plan Boè||+39 0436 79339|
|Ütia Ciablun||+39 0471 836633|
|Ütia Punta Trieste||+39 0471 836643|
|Kolfuschg / Colfosco|
|Col Pradat||+39 0471 836188 / +39 338/9734662|
|Edelweiß||+39 0471 836024|
|F.Cavazza Pisciadù||+39 0471 836292|
|Forcelles||+39 0471 836323|
|Frara/Passo Gardena||+39 0471 795225|
|Mesoles||+39 0471 836023|
|Puez||+39 0471 795365|
|Ciampai||+39 335 6943528|
|La Fraina||+39 0471 836833|
|Piz La Ila||+39 0471 847403|
|Ütia de Bioch||+39 0471 847222|
|Ütia de Trausines||+39 335 8036184|
|La Brancia||+39 0471 836895 / +39 0471 847291|
|Las Vegas||+39 0471 849355 / +39 335 7633756|
|Pic Prè||+39 329 4369568|
|Piz Sorega||+39 0471 849434|
|Pralongiá||+39 0471 836072|
|Scotoni||+39 0471 847330|
|Ütia Saraghes||+39 380 5136865|
|Gardenacia||+39 0471 849282|
|Lèe||+39 347 2383927|
|S. Croce||+39 0471 839632|
|Skihütte Nagler||+39 0471 839830|
|Sponata||+39 0471 847847|
|Ranch da Andrè||+39 0471 843174 / +39 338 6098704|
As for Webcams (also weather) you can look at
While hiking and climbing the group I have used quite an impressive number of books but only one map. All of them are in German, however. Any other language publications are welcome to me, please just add an additional info post.
I have been using the maps by Kompass Verlag. They are very good, the Puez-Geisler group is at the edges, however. Therefore I include three maps here (all 1:50000):