San Martino di Castrozza (Dolomites, Italy) to host Piolets d’Or 2024

The 2024 edition of the 'Piolets d’Or, the prestigious mountaineering award, will be held in San Martino di Castrozza, in Trentino, Italy, from 8 - 11 December 2024.
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The prestigious Piolets d'Or mountaineering award
Piotr Drożdż

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The Piolets d’Or 2024 will be held in San Martino di Castrozza, in Trentino, Italy, from 8 - 11 December 2024. This will be the first time that Piolets d’Or will be organised in the Dolomites, a major mountain range in the Alps and in the world.

World class alpinists such as Angelo Dibona, Reinhold Messner or famous climbers such as Manolo are from the Dolomites; this big range with thousands of peaks – the Pala group, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Marmolada, Sassolungo, Catinaccio and Civetta are probably the most famous - has attracted climbers and alpinists from all over the world; in the evolution of the art of climbing mountains, remarkable ascents in the Dolomites by figures such as Paul Preuss, Giovanni Piaz, Michele Bettega, Luigi Micheluzzi, Emilio Comici, Riccardo Cassin, Cesare Maestri, Armando Aste, Georges Livanos, Pierre Mazeaud, Lino Lacedelli have marked the history of Alpinism.

It was thanks to the travellers (geologists and botanists mainly from England and later alpinists also from the Netherlands and Germany) who came to the Dolomites in the second half of the 19th Century with the aim to discover new peaks, that San Martino di Castrozza was born as a tourist destination, with shepherds and hunters working as alpine guides. At the time, they were the only ones who could take visitors up to the mountains, knowing them better than anyone else. The first alpine guide of the area was Michele Bettega, followed by Giuseppe Zecchini, Antonio Tavernaro and Bortolo Zagonel. They started to be recognized as the ‘Eagles of San Martino’, a sort of legend for the wealthy climbing tourists. Michele Bettega, for example, climbed the Cimon della Pala more than 250 times.

At the time, San Martino di Castrozza was appreciated also by famous visitors, such as Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler, who wrote a novel ‘Die Fraulein Else’ located exactly in San Martino, the King of Belgium and Dino Buzzati.

"If you don’t know San Martino di Castrozza, you don’t know the Dolomites" claimed the well-travelled Alpinist and author Gunther Langes. He probably was the best climber in the Pale di San Martino during the years between the two world wars. Among his many important climbs in the ‘Pale’ the two most famous ones are "The Spigolo del Velo (the well-known Schleierkante in german)" which means the ridge of the veil on cima della Madonna and the Gran Pilastro (great Pillar) at the Pala di San Martino.

San Martino di Castrozza is situated in the heart of what is perhaps the wildest part of the Dolomites, at 1.450m. The Palagroup (in Italian Pale di San Martino), which is the widest group of the Dolomites, fascinates visitors with its unique skyline, which is recognized as a symbol of the Dolomites mountains all over the world. Its most important peak is the Cimon della Pala (3.184m), also known as "the Matterhorn of the Dolomites" because of the similar shape, when observed from the Passo Rolle. The Cimon della Pala, conquered by the english alpinists Francis Fox Tuckett and Edward Robson Whitwell, is not the highest peak of the "Pale", which is the Vezzana peak, with its 3.192m.

San Martino di Castrozza is an ideal basecamp in all seasons for mountain activities such as hiking, bike, climbing, running, orienteering and canyoning in an authentic spirit, where a unique hospitality can be experienced.




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