Ra Gusela

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.49131°N / 12.05056°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Via Ferrata
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8504 ft / 2592 m
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The Averau-Nuvolau Group

Nuvolau group from east Gabriele - Ra Gusela
Gusela above Passo Giau Ejnar Fjerdingstad - Close-up

Between Passo Falzarego, 2105 m, and Passo Giau, 2236 m, there lies a nice and popular mountain group, usually referred as Averau-Nuvolau group. It consists of a handful of lower, but typically dolomitic mountains, which are due to their good accessibility, nice look and great panoramas very popular. This is the playground of the nearby Cortina d'Ampezzo town. In order not to have too many levels of grupation, I shall post separate pages, one for each major mountain of the group. Here is a more extensive list, in the east-west direction:

> Ra Gusela, 2595 m. A sharp, picturesque tower above Passo Giau.
> Nuvolau, 2574 m. A ridge summit with the hut on top.
> Becco Muraglia, 2271 m. A less important pek, rising from the plateau, E of Nuvolau.
> Cinque Torri, 2361 m. The famous five self-standing rocks, very popular for climbing.
> Averau, 2649 m. A dominant, tower-like mountain in the centre of the main ridge.
> Croda Negra (Punta Gallina), 2518 m. A ridge mountain west of Averau.
> Monte Pore, 2405 m. An elevation on the very south.


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Explore the map - guidebook on the left for also other summits!

Passo Giau from Ra Gusela Passo Giau from the top

Ra Gusela is that great-looking tower, rising just above Passo Giau, which thousands of tourists, driving over the pass, admire and photograph. The broad, grassy saddle, with the triangular mountain, towering with the sharp Ra Gusela, is one of the most popular post-cards of Dolomites.

Like the whole main ridge of this small group, also Ra Gusela has steep, vertical walls towards the south and a fairly gentle northern slopes. Ra Gusela and the nearby Nuvolau are connected with a ridge, wich descends between the two only a litte, and they have a common southern wall. But as soon as from Passo Giau we cross the slopes towards the right and reach the N slopes, we can get high on the mountain by a good trail, climb over a short, some 30 m high rocky wall (ferrata), reaching the northern plateau of Ra Gusela. It is a slightly inclined karst plateau, getting steeper and steeper towards the summit of Ra Gusela. Just below the summit there's an interesting feature - a deep crack in the mountain indicates that it's perhaps only a moment in a life of this mountain, until a big mass of rocks will fall down towards the Passo Giau side.

Late spring nice bloom near Gusela
Ra Gusela and Torre Luisa from the E

From the summit we have a striking view down on Passo Giau and all around on the giants of Dolomites. The view on Nuvolau with the hut on top is probably most interesting from Ra Gusela side.

And finally, east of the summit there's another, lower tower. It's called Torre Luisa and has an elevation of 2428 m. The eastern wall is almost vertical, hosting a popular Via Ghedina route (UIAA V+)

Getting There

For a broader picture, see the pages: Cortina Dolomites and Dolomites!

Falzarego pass, 2105 m, lies on the main Dolomites panoramic road. From this road a mountain road, closed for public traffic, deters up to Rif. Cinque Torri, 2137 m. The nearby Rif. Scoiattoli, 2225 m, is reachable by the cableway, which has its bottom station by the Cortina - Falzarego road.

Passo Giau, 2236 m, lies on the road, connecting Pocol just above Cortina and the lower Cordevole valley. By the Cordevole side of Passo Giau road, at Rif. Fedare, 200 m, lies the bottom station of the chair-lift, which goes up to Rif. Averau, 2413 m, on Forcella Nuvolau. In winter in this mountain group also many ski devices operate.

Routes Overview

Ra Gusela The upper slope
Nuvolau ferrata On ferrata

Non-climbing Routes

Two marked trails are passing Ra Gusela and Nuvolau around the southern and northern side. Around the southern side the trail No. 452 goes on Forcella Nuvolau, around the northern side the trail No. 443 goes to Rif Scoiattoli.

1. Ferrata from Passo Giau. Around the eastern and northern side of Ra Gusela the trail No. 443 goes. Easy walk. On the map, the trail to the ferrata entry is drawn closer to Passo Giau, but as that path is much deteriorated it is better to continue around the mountain till the well marked crossroad, where we deter left. Now we ascend over moderately steep slopes in many turns, finally reaching the Gusela walls. Through a ravine we ascend on a small notch, where the ferrata starts. It is very short and fairly easy. Over the first rocks we go up towards the right, cross by a ledge shortly horizontally towards the right and through a short, again steeper ravine exit on the upper plateau. A nice view on Nuvolau and right behind it on Averau opens. The summit of Ra Gusela rises towards the left above the karst plateau, but we must first cross the plateau almost to the point, where the trail starts ascending on Nuvolau. There we leave the marked path, deterring left and ascend the summit of Ra Gusela by a still clearly seen trail. Only in the upper part the trail requires some care and a safe step. 1 h 15 min from Passo Giau.

2. From Rif. Nuvolau. By the summit ferrata of Nuvolau we descend 10 minutes and on the first occasion take the trail, which crosses the slopes below the connecting ridge. Below the summit of Ra Gusela this trail hits the trail, coming up from the left. Some 20 minutes.

Ra Gusela South Wall The south wall
Via Ghedina on Torre Luisa topo
Via Ghedina on Torre Luisa topo

Harder Climbs

Gusela SW wall (Via Dallago). UIAA V- (one detail), mainly IV. 8 pitches, 320 m of climb itself. Approach: From Passo Giau.

Torre Luisa E wall (Via Ghedina). UIAA V+, 115 m, 4 pitches. Approach: From Passo Giau.

If you have more data about Ra Gusela climbs, please post!

Mountain Huts

  • Nuvolau
    Rif. Averau, 2413 m, on Forcella Nuvolau. See the chapter above how to reach it!
  • Rif. Nuvolau, 2575 m, on top of the neighbouring Nuvolau. From Rif. Averau reachable in 20 min, from Passo Giau in 1 h 15 min (easy ferrata).
  • Rif. Scoiattoli, 2225 m, near Cinque Torri. Reachable by cableway (or 1 h from the Falzarego road).
  • Rif. Cinque Torri, 2137 m, below Cinque Torri. Reachable by a mountain road in 1 h from the Falzarego road.
  • Rif. Fedare, 2000 m, Rif. Piezza, 2175 m, Rif. Passo Giau, 2236 m, by the road on Passo Giau.
  • Rif. Bai de Dones, 1889 m, Rif. Col Gallina, 2054 m, by the road on Passo Falzarego.

When To Climb?

The best months are in summer and autumn.



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Cortina DolomitesMountains & Rocks