CITTà DEI SASSI


There are three main paths through Città dei Sassi that branch out from the Sasso Levante lift station. Confusingly the upper track and middle path are both marked 526, however the upper route is a large track and the lower is a smaller path weaving between the rocks. For the purposes of this guide they will be referred to as 'track 526 upper' and 'path 526 lower'. Path 657 is the lowest of the three and runs just underneath the main area of boulders, heading directly between the Sasso Levante chairlift and Rifugio Malga Sella. It is recommended that you to stick to the tracks to navigate between sectors as the much of the centre of the site looks similar and shortcuts invariably lead to greater confusion! There is nearly always a collection of bewildered-looking climbers to be found in the area between sectors 4 and 9. Each sector has a detailed approach description, but below are a few useful points of reference whilst using the paths to navigate your way between sectors in the boulderfield. Sector 1 is a small stand-alone boulder which is easily seen from Rifugio Malga Sella, set a little way from the main boulderfield. Sector 2 is the largest of the nearby boulders seen directly opposite Sector 1 on the other side of the path. Sector 3 is directly behind (to the west of) Sector 2. Sector 4 is located directly on path 526 lower. Following the path for 5 minutes from the lift station brings you directly under the climbing face of the boulder. Sectors 5 and 6 are the most difficult to find as they cannot be seen easily from any of the paths. Sector 7 is difficult to see from the path but is located just west of the more obvious Sector 8, which is the largest boulder visible on the right walking uphill on track 526 upper. Sector 9 (and the east face on which you climb) is easily located as it stands right beside track 526 upper thus making an excellent point of reference. Sector 10 is the largest block on the left beyond Sector 9 going uphill. Sector 11 is located uphill and behind (to the west of) Sector 10. It is the closest sector to Sassolungo. Città dei Sassi is a huge sprawling boulderfield located directly under Sassolungo on the Sella Pass. From a climber's perspective this 'City of Rocks' has an incredible amount to offer and is one of the best sport and bouldering venues in the Dolomites. The views are stunning and the location idyllic. The larger boulders have been developed with a number of excellent sport routes. Though often reasonably modest in length, the climbing is fantastic offering a wide range of climbing styles. There is plenty on offer across the grades and an almost unlimited scope for difficult bouldering. All the sectors are well equipped with lower-offs. Whilst being a popular venue for climbers, queuing for routes is rare thanks to the scale and complexity of the site. There is also a small car park immediately outside Rifugio Malga Sella. Please only use this if you plan on using the rifugio as parking spaces are limited. Formation It is believed a huge rockfall from the Sassolungo massif is responsible for the formation of Città dei Sassi, though there is much academic debate as to how this occurred. Some believe the rockfall was caused by seismic activity, others attribute it to lack of support following the retreat of the glaciers. Either way, the collapse of the rock faces undoubtedly occurred after the last major glacial expansion, around 20,000 years ago, as otherwise the boulders would have been carried down to the valleys and there would be no trace of them below their original location. The complexity of the boulderfield makes Città dei Sassi notoriously difficult to navigate. Once off the main tracks all the boulders look the same and finding your desired sector can be infuriating at best. For this reason it is best to use the main paths for navigating to the various sectors. 'Taking a short cut' through the middle of the boulderfield is not advised.

Routes

160 sport routes (3a...7c+)
Graded List of Routes
List of First Ascents
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Buttress (click for routes) No. of Routes Route Type Sunshine
or shade
Approach walk Other
Sector 1 - Michl - Martl Stoan
Whilst this small boulder features a handful of short but enjoyable routes the main attraction is...
9
Sport
Early morning sun
Level

5 mins

Sector 2 - Sasso della Malga
Sasso della Malga is an excellent sector characterised by steep climbing on many small pockets. The...
10
Sport
No sun
Uphill

10 mins

Sector 3 - Sasso delle Ortiche
Sasso delle Ortiche is a huge boulder that has climbing on three of its faces. The rock on the...
22
Sport
Sun and shade
Uphill

12 mins

Sector 4 - Sasso della Palestra
Sasso delle Palestra is composed of two separate boulders both facing southwest. The routes are...
10
Sport
Afternoon sun
Level

10 mins

Sector 5 - Sasso Annalisa
Despite only having a handful of routes, Sector Annalisa has a lot to offer. A top-rope can easily...
5
Sport
Morning sun
Uphill

12 mins

Sector 6 - Sasso Cucchi
Sasso Cucchi is a small leaning slab hidden away in the centre of Città dei Sassi. The routes are al
6
Sport
Morning sun
Uphill

12 mins

Sector 7 - Sasso Renato
The large boulder that forms Sasso Renato is undoubtedly one of the best sectors at Città dei Sassi
38
Sport
Sun and shade
Uphill

15 mins

Sector 8 - Sasso Murdok
Sasso Murdok features a number of short technical climbs that can feel stiff. The holds are very...
6
Sport
Evening sun
Uphill

15 mins

Sector 9 - Sasso Spaccato
Sasso Spaccato has some superb climbs but they can be a little inconsistent, often featuring...
6
Sport
Lots of sun!
Uphill

12 mins

Sector 10 - Sasso Gabriel
Sasso Gabriel is the largest boulder and arguably the best sector at Città dei Sassi. It is split in
46
Sport
Sun and shade
Uphill

15 mins

Sector 11 - Sasso Piccolo Cervino
Perched towards the northwest corner of Città dei Sassi, Sasso Piccolo Cervino is the most distant a
7
Sport
Lots of sun!
Uphill

20 mins

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