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'98 - '00

Val Lasties

The icefalls on the steep Sella walls are regarded by most as something truly special. The mountain environment is fantastic and rendered all the more special by the fact that the falls are accessible only with ski mountaineering equipment.
The falls form along seepage lines, so plenty of snow needs to have settled beforehand. Col Aut and Ossessione are the only two that never receive the suns warming rays; the others become unstable earlier therefore and need careful examination in warmer weather.

Getting there: for Meisules and Meisules right either from Val Gardena by following signs for Passo Sella, driving down towards Canazei and parking at Pian dei Schiavaneis, or from Val di Fassa by following the road for Passo Pordoi, then Passo Sella and parking at Pian dei Schiavaneis. For the other icefalls drive up to Passo Pordoi.

- Intro
- Val Gardena
- Southern Sella
- Val di Fassa
6) Meisules 70m III, 4+ E 2200m
2 abseils
7) Meisules
40m III, 4+ E 2200m
These two icefalls are the most severe, because of both the walk-in and the actual climb. Examine carefully the snow conditions in the steep gully that leads to the base of the falls.

Approach: leave the car at the two houses at Pian dei Schiavaneis. Walk up north for 200 m to reach the forest track: this leads shortly to the steep slopes and the base of the cliff and the summer path. Follow this to where it meets Val de Sela. The icefalls now come into view and are reached by walking up this steep gully. Allow 1hr 30 mins for the walk-in.

8) Gulottina 90m III, 3+ E 2650m Traverse right along the ledge to Cassiopeo
9) Cassiopeo 135m III, 5 E 2600m
2 abseils
10) Col Aut 70m III, 4 NW 2700m
11) Ossessione 130m III, 4+ NW 2700m
On foot
Cassiopeo is without a doubt one of the most characteristic and tempting icefalls in the Dolomites: it's silvery grey streak splits the yellow dolomite neatly in two. The other three icefalls are excellent outings, too. Pay particular attention not only to the state of the icefall but also to the snow conditions when walking in with skis.

Approach: leave the car at Passo Pordoi and take the cable car to the top of Sass Pordoi 2900 m. From the top descend (usually on skis) to Forcella Pordoi. From here continue north along the small valley that leads to the wider Val Lasties. Ossessione and Col Aut are on the right when descending this small valley. Cassiopeo and Gulottina are now visible beyond the plateau on the walls opposite.
After having climbed Ossessione and Col Aut return to Forcella Pordoi and ski down to the pass. For the other two (Cassiopeo and Gulottina) we recommend descending right down to Pian dei Schiavaneis and hitchhiking back up to Passo Pordoi. Alternatively, if possible, leave one car there beforehand. Be careful when descending from the plateau: keep to the extreme left-hand side of the valley (when facing it) and walk when beneath the NW Face of Sass Pordoi (descent recommended for good skiers only). Allow between 45 mins to 1hr.

12) Pilastrino 40m II, 4 S 2500m
13) O Sole mio 90m II, 5 SE 2500m On foot
These icefalls are clearly visible from Passo Pordoi. O sole mio is the best and most famous: its ice is almost always good. As it faces SE the ice tends to get soft more quickly - beware of warmer days when it could collapse!

Approach: on foot or with skis from Passo Pordoi. Walk up the large couloir that comes down from the Pordoi col; the icefalls are on the right. Allow 40 mins for the walk-in.


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