Sass Pordoi is one of the giants of the Sella group located in the western part of the Dolomites. It rises in a massive high cliff at 800m from the west, from the Lasties Valley and from the south. This is probably one of the most visited peaks in the Dolomites, due to the easy access by cable car from Passo Pordoi or an easy, marked trail leading to the summit without difficulties from the same pass. Its height reaches almost 3000m and the lunar landscape characteristic for the Sella Plateau, also attracts the tourists there. Nevertheless, both the western and southern walls of Sass Pordoi offer beautiful, exposed classic climbing routes. I climbed on one of the classic routes there three years ago. Me and my climbing partner, we decided to climb the south pillar of Sass Pordoi - Arete Piaz (VI / VI +). The route is 10 pitches long and it's a beautiful climbing on continuous difficulties and generally solid rock. Only on the first pitch the rock is not really good, some grips remain in your hands and you have to be careful about what you grab and where you place the protection gear. Arete Piaz was opened in 1933 - quite long ago, so sometimes you can find an old, rusted piton, which makes you sure to be on the right route.😉 You can't count on bolts and spits, you will not find anything like that there. A set of cams, standard set of nuts, a few kevlar slings and classic nylon slings are enough for that route.
After 400m of climbing, the road ends up on the top of the tower, from which one should make a big step on the wall, where you continue climbing on to the summit by another route Via Maria (IV +).
Now there is still 190m of easy climbing (4 pitches) to the summit. Then just a step through the railstation's barrier and here we are.
A bit of rest, cleaning up the equipment and we are following the trail down to the Passo Porsoi. After about an hour and a half off the trail leading through the sheed, we are back on the pass. The views before sunset were fabulous. If it comes to the grades of classic climbing routes in the Dolomites, they are often quite harde, what is good to remember when choosing a climbing goal. The topo of the routes combination will be published soon. 🙂