Sass dla Luesa 2603 m is a dolomite tower a short distance from Passo Gardena and belonging to the Sella Group, Subgroup Murfreid. The Sella Group extends towards Val Gardena a long rocky bastion, the Murfreid, formed by several towers, spurs and buttresses with a distinct individuality and mostly exposed to the North, very interesting for climbers in reason of the rock quality and the fast access. Just above the Gardena Pass it’s located a massive buttress beginning near Sass da Lec and bordered by the Val Setùs and the Val Culea. The central sector of this buttress is the beautiful tower of Sass da la Luesa, which towards the Gardena Pass projects a vertical and compact yellowish wall about 300 meters high, cut by various cracks and chimneys.
The tower is flanked to the right by a slender tower, named Piccolo Sass dla Luesa, while on its left is located a small triangular bell tower called Campanile della Luesa, between Sass dla Luesa and Torre Campidel. The summit is a large and panoramic scree terrace welded to the middle Sella plateau, easily accessible just walking from Rifugio Cavazza. The setting is lovely and the views are breathtaking over the Sassolungo group and the surrounding peaks located in the Sella group.
The closest place to approach Sass dla Luesa is Passo Gardena 2.121 m connecting Val Gardena and Val Badia.
- From Trento or Bolzano: take the Brennero motorway, exit Bolzano North, then follow the road leading to Ponte Gardena. From here take the road to Val Gardena, pass Ortisei and reach Santa Cristina and Selva di Val Gardena. Pass Selva and at the following crossroad take to the left the road to Passo Gardena. Parking.
Via Vinatzer report (UIAA scale)
Summit altitude: m. 1645
Difficulty: V+, VI-
Equipment: equipped belays, pegs along the pitches
Climbing length: 290 m.
First ascent: G.B. Vinatzer - L. Riefesser 1933
Starting point: Passo Gardena
Beautiful route on great rock, athletic and challenging climb. One of the masterpieces by Giovan Battista Vinatzer
Walking approach - From Passo Gardena 2125 m take the path n. 666 towards Rifugio Franco Cavazza al Pisciadù. When the path bends to the left near a grassy ridge - big cairn at the fork - leave the main path and ascend the scree towards a wide chimney between the main wall and the pillar to its right. Before reaching the chimney, where the scree becomes very narrow, it appears on the left the first pitch crack. Starting pointof the climb below the crack.
L1 - Climb the dihedral on the left of the scree-gully, closed by a small overhang. Pass the overhang to the right and belay above, V+, 30 m.
L2 - Up the dihedral to another small overhang. Exit left and directly to the stance below a yellow wall, V, 25m
L3 - A few meters directly, then traverse right under a small roof, then up directly and traverse right again to the stance, V+, 20m
L4 - Climb the crack above the stance, overcoming some small overhanging moves. Getting the ledge that interrupts the crack it's possible to continue vertically along the crack (athletic, old wood-wedge) or alternatively climb a slab without protection on the right, V, 30 m. Belay inside a yellow niche, pitch needing to be protected with nuts and friends.
L5 - Pass the overhang over the niche and continue on a vertical wall for a few meters to an area overhanged by yellowish rock. Traverse right about 10-15 meters, overtaking a pillar and to the right again towards the sance below a crack, VI or A0, 30 m
L6 - Take the slightly slanting left crack that becomes increasingly vertical to the stance, V +, 30 m
L7 - Up the crack again to small black overhang, pass it 1 meter left and belay above, V+, 20 m
L8 - Up directly than slightly to the left to take a deep chimney, climb it at first on the left, then inside, getting a scree-terrace. Small niche with the route-book to the left, V, 30 m
L9 - Continue up the chimney at first in the center, then on the right edge to another scree-terrace, IV+, 30 m
L10 - Up again on the chimney, gradually less steep, to the summit, IV, 45 m
Descent - From the exit head south (on the opposite side) and follow traces of passage leading to the path n. 677. Follow it and before getting the Rifugio Cavazza take on the left the path n. 666 (some stretchs half equipped with metal ropes, then scree and trail) coming down along the Val Setus towards the Passo Gardena. 1h and 30.
There are other three routes on the same wall, not very frequently attended:
- Via Battisti-Bertoldi
- Right Chimney (Demetz)
- Left Chimney
The ascent to the Sass of the Luesa is a walk with an easy stretch equipped by fixed iron ropes in the upper part. The trail can be attended starting from Passo Gardena with a difference of level of about 400 meters and it is quite advisable for the hikers thanks to the beauty and the breadth of the summit panorama. A possible point of support is:
No permits, no fees required
Best period goes from middle June to middle September
The closest places to stay are located on Passo Gardena and along the road to Passo Gardena. Otherwise you can stay in Selva di Valgardena or in Corvara in Badia, this latter on the Val Badia side.
"Arrampicare Dolomiti Nord-Occidentali" vol. I by M. Bertolotti, L. Galbiati, F. Vascellari - Vividolomiti
“Arrampicare in Val Gardena e dintorni Le vie più belle nelle Dolomiti” Vol. I by Mauro Bernardi, Ed. Athesia