Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.47670°N / 11.84112°E
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8369 ft / 2551 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Sass Capel in front of the Sella Group
Sass Capel seen in front of the Sella Group

The Padon Ridge located close to the geographical centre of the Dolomites appears to be completely out of place. While the surrounding "pale mountains" are made up from dolomite or limestone rock and often dazzle brightly, the mountains of the Padon Chain put up a stark contrast with their black summits posed above brightly green meadows. The crest is made up from volcanic rock - you see black basalt and lava or tuff formations - and thus tells a story about the geologic upheavals which created the Dolomites ages ago. Indeed, the Marmolada Group, of which the Padon Chain is the northernmost part of, includes at least two other volcanic ridges: Buffaure and Monzoni. But nowhere is the volcanic heritage as pure as here.

The Chain divides in two parts, a grass-covered round-topped western part and an impressive basalt section in the east. The western part of the chain is best known for its Bindelwg hiking trail (Viel del Pan in Ladinian) which runs from Passo Pordoi to Porto Vescovo to the south side of the ridge and which is visited by crowds of hiker during the summer season. A less known and far more difficult trail (called Alta Via della Cresta) runs across the proper ridge, touching most of the summits on a steep and often exposed path. Right in the middle of that ridge a small piece of rock stands out: Sass Capel (Sasso Capello in Italian).

Sass Capel
Sass Capel (2551m) and Sas...
Sass Capel
Sass Capel

Sass Capel is an almost circular outcrop on top of the meadows which make up most of the Padon Chain in this part of the ridge. Unlike its neighbours it is bounded by vertical walls on all sides, walls that are low (30m) in the south but much higher in the north and east. Even Alta Via della Cresta does not lead to the summit of Sass Capel but rather passes by on the southern side. From there a traverse through the south face and the climb of a short chimney take you to the plateau on top.

Piz Boè
Piz Boè
Marmolada and Gran Vernel

Sass Capel's location in the middle of the Padon Chain couldn't be better. Wedged between the Marmolada Group in the south and the Sella Group in the north, it still offers wonderful views towards the groups of both the western and the eastern Dolomites as well as the Zillertal Alps in the far north. Thanks to the mildly difficult ascent route you'll usually find only few people on top adding to the enjoyment.

In general the mountains of the Padon chain also look like good tour skiing destinations. However, the south sides of the chain are avalanche prone and the most dangerous section is right at Sass Capel. There huge funnels have been installed, to induce avalanches by small explosions. To come across one on these funnels while it is firing jets of flame is dangerous in itself.

Summit Panorama

180° summit panorama to the south


180° summit panorama to the north

Getting There

Zillertal Alps Main RidgeZillertal Alps and Rieserferner Group

There are several possible trailheads for Bindelweg and Alta Via della Cresta.

  • Passo Pordoi
    Most hikers start from this pass which can be reached from Canazei or Arabba by SS48. A dirt road leads to the huts along the Padon Crest.
  • Canazei
    If you prefer to get to the trailhead by lift and cable-car you can start from Canazei, where a two stage lift takes you close to Passo Pordoi
  • Porto Vescovo
    Another cable-car starts at Arabba and takes you to the Porto Vescovo Saddle. Here both Bindelweg and Alta Via della Cresta have their eastern end.
  • Lago Fedaia
    Though located about 800m beneath the Padon Crest, Lago Fedaia is still a good starting point. There are two paths, one leading to Porto Vescovo, the other traversing up the Padon south slopes until it reaches Bindelwegbetween Belvedere and Le Forfes.

    Red Tape

    Vipera AspisVipera aspis

    There's no red tape here. Be prepared to pay fees for parking lots, especially at Passo Pordoi. The lot there can also be overcrowded. On Bindelweg, take care of the avalanche devices. When fired, they create a thunder-like boom and long jets of flame issue from their mouths.


    Val di Fassa

    Grödner Tal / Val Gardena

    Weather Conditions

    Sella GroupSella Group

    Maps & Books


    • Höhenwege in den Dolomiten
      H. Dumler
      Bruckmann Verlag
      ISBN: 3 7654 3860 X
    • Dolomiten
      P. Fleischmann
      Kompass Verlag
      ISBN: 3 8705 1409 4
    • Dolomiten 3
      F. Hauleitner
      Rother Verlag
      ISBN: 3-7633-4060-2
    • Dolomiten 4
      F. Hauleitner
      Rother Verlag
      ISBN: 3-7633-4061-0


    • Val di Fassa, Marmolada, Gruppo di Sella
      Kompass Map WK 686
      ISBN: 3 8549 1768 6
      Scale: 1:25000
    • Sellagruppe / Gruppo di Sella
      Kompass Map WK 59
      ISBN: 3 8549 1066 5
      Scale: 1:50000
    • Val Gardena & Alpe di Siusi
      Tabacco Map 05



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Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Marmolada GroupMountains & Rocks