Via Normale al Sass Maor


A classic ascent to Sass Maor (2814 m) from the Velo Refuge. A grade III Alpine-style climbing. From the Hut, get to the entrance of the gully between Cima Madonna and the Campanile Luigia (15 minutes). The first part of the climb is on a grade III slab on the left-hand wall (this is the most demanding section); at the end of this section you will find a large anchor ring for the descent. Go up on the gully weaving from side to side with a zigzag movement (red markers), then move to the second leap through the left rib. Go to the right where the deep gorge between Sass Maor and the Campanile Luigia branches off. Here, head to the col between Sass Maor and Cima Madonna.

Go round to the right of a large rock wedged in the gully or pass underneath it. Continue on easy terrain to the col. Now scramble up the rocks of Sass Maor for around 120 metres – a few sections of grade II and III on good rock – until you get to a series of steps: go up the steps which run around the peak to the East face where you will find a sloping terrace. If you lean out carefully you can enjoy an amazing view of the impressive spectacle of the East face and the Val Pradidali below.

A final 50 metres pitch (grade III) leads you to the peak. Ascent – around 2 hours.

On the top, don’t worry about the descent and forget it for a moment if the weather is good: relax and enjoy the spectacle that only Dolomites and mother nature can offer. Don’t miss the best part of the day. Sass Maor is, among the mountains which surround it, one of the tallest peaks of this area: from this height you can enjoy  breath-taking views in all directions. In particular, the southern face of Cima Canali is a remarkable splendid sight.

The normal route is easy to find as it is well traced and signed with red markers. From the top, head East and abseil down a step (1 long and 2 short 27m pitches).  You will reach a large slanting terrace which you will traverse down and around the North face above the col with Cima Madonna. With other two short abseil pitches or a long one you will reach the col. Go down the left-hand gully (South) until you get to a rock wedged in the gully. Go under it, you will quickly find yourself at the junction with the Pissotti gully. Take the well-marked route to the right and go down to the last rock face which you will abseil down (with a short pitch). From there it’s just a few minutes to the Hut. Descent – 1,30 hours.

Duration: 3,30 hours for the entire route.