/ Sella Pass camping + Dolomites queries.
A few other questions:
* Some of the routes we've got an eye on suggest taking pegs in the Emiliana Zozzi Mid Grade Trad Rock guidebooks I've got - how essential are pegs in general? We have a full rack including micros and small cams.
* Any route suggestions between Severe/IV & HVS/VI- would be appreciated in the Sella area particularly, but elsewhere if they are worth driving for (we have wheels).
* What is the situation with wild camping? I'm assuming it is tolerated in the mountains as long as you are not on a hut doorstep, correct??
Thanks for any pointers,
He seems to base his routes on 60m ropes as well. We decided against one route because of that and the necessity to carry pegs.
You could pop into the local guides office and ask there, the chap in St Cristina was pretty helpful and seemed to know the area really well.
Best route we did last week was Little Micheluzzi which comes in around IV+ (the Zozzi book gives it V-). Big Micheluzzi looked ace but we didnt quite have the courage to have a go.
Get out of bed early to avoid the queues obviously.
We're just back from the area.
If you want a campsite your options are basically the campsites in Canazei or Colfosco, Canazei being somewhat closer to the Sella Pass. A few folks were camped (tents + campervans) at the roadside on the way up to the Sella Pass between Pian dei Schiavaneis and the area below Piz Ciavezes. I don't know whether camping here is actually allowed but folks seemed pretty blatant about it.
Route wise on Piz Ciavezes Little Micheluzzi is very nice, Rampo Del Torso is nice enough. The Fünffingerspitzen is good too. If it's busy be prepared to bail after the thumb though. Mariakante on Piz Pordoi is good too. The Zozzi book has a different start - I'm guessing his start avoids the hellish polished chimney that we went up. The Cinque Torri (about 1.25 hours drive from the pass) are nice but can be very busy.
I'd also be interested re. the pegs. We decided against doing one route from the Mid Grade Trad Rock book because it said pegs were useful.
It's a lovely area, have fun.
We stayed at Camping Marmolada recently, which was decent with hot showers. The ground doesn't lend itself too well to tent pegs though!
We climbed the Messner routes on the 2nd Sella Tower which was excellent with good quality rock. It's about HVS 4c, but reasonably sustained at that and some decent runouts. Good holds but I wouldn't want to puch my grade on it. We also did the tissi route on the 1st tower which I didn't think was that great, maybe 1 star.
I wouldn't bother with pegs on anything remotely popular. There are embarrassing numbers of in situ ones of varying quality, on the whole surprisingly good (but we didn't test them!) Rack wise a set and a half of nuts and 6-8 cams up to size 3 friend/gold camelot was plenty. A couple of small cams isn't a bad idea.
Wild camping isn't officially allowed, but we saw quite a few dossing in the numerous lay bys on the way up to the pass. Most didn't look like climbers.
The guidebook times we found fairly accurate, but you need to move together on the easy pitches. If you pitched everything you'd add a lot of time.
The pegs issue is a Murphy class contender. Carry them and never use them or leave them at home and find yourself in a sad and lonely place with a knifeblade crack in front of your nose.
We're just back from the Dolomites (via ferrata-ing rather than climbing). We spent a week at Camping Colfosco (Corvara) which was alright and relatively handy for the Sella Pass - it's got the cleanest toilets and showers I've ever seen at a campsite! Take a hammer for your tent pegs though; as mentioned above the ground is quite hard. We also spent a week in Cortina at Camping Dolomiti which is nicer campsite and has a swimming pool and lots of good routes at around VS like the South Arete on the Tofana di Rozes and the South-East Arete on the Punta Fiames.
Luckily we bailed off after my little freak out due to a big thunder storm approaching.
The majority of routes have a fair few pegs in them but it all depends what guide you read. Route finding can be pretty difficult at times, especially if the italians have plastered the place with pegs when they've gone off route.
I'm sure we can play it by ear to a large extent, the best laid plans tend to get altered anyway! Have guidebooks ...will travel!
> The pegs issue is a Murphy class contender. Carry them and never use them or leave them at home and find yourself in a sad and lonely place with a knifeblade crack in front of your nose.
Maybe Ballnuts are a good idea then?!
There's a good campsite south of Canazei along the main road by a cablecar up to the Rosengarten - not near any shops though from memory.
I'd recommend Camping Colfosco too. It's a nice site, with good bathrooms and a short walk from Corvara (where there are plenty of restaurants, a couple of small supermarkets and some gear shops). The ground of the campsite is full of rocks though and I bent a few tent pegs.
I wrote a review of Camping Colfosco for my blog a few weeks back and to save me writing too long a reply, you could just look at http://thesevereclimber.com/via_ferrata/review-campsites-for-via-ferrata-in-the-dolomites/
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