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North West Arete - Kasnapoff 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 820', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Anton Zelger, Frau Baronin von Kasnapoff. 1913
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,176
Submitted By: e Dixon on May 25, 2007  with updates from Joost van Halm

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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Near the top


Good, fun route on steep face and corner climbing.

Pitch 1 - Climb up and to the right to reach a small niche above a crack. (40m)

Pitch 2 - Start up face and continue up through a corner/chimney. Then move to the right to gain a small ledge. (50m)

Pitch 3 - Climb up the loose-looking, black chimney to gain a ramp. Follow the slightly chossy ramp up and slightly left. (45m)

Pitch 4 - Follow the chimney up to below some yellow overhangs. Move right under the overhangs to just left of the arete. (35m)

Pitch 5 - Move around to the right side of the arete and face climb up to a large ledge. (25m)

Pitch 6 - From the ledge, climb up the crack then move back to the left side of the arete and continue up a groove and crack to below a small overhang. (50m)

Pitch 7 - Move right under the overhang and back to the right side of the arete to a ledge. Continue up the crack and groove to a stance on the shoulder of the arete. (50m)

Pitch 8 - Continue up easy face just to the left of some cracks to get to a notch with some blocks. (45m)

Pitch 9 - Face climb up easy terrain to the top of the formation. (50m)

Descent - Follow a climbers trail east into the gully leading south between Second Sella Tower and Piz Ciavazes. Follow the gully to the base of the face and Sella Pass.


The route ascends the north-west arete of the Second Sella Tower.


There are a number of pins in place. A rack of nuts and some slings are also useful.

Photos of North West Arete - Kasnapoff Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers on the Kasnakoff route on the Sec...
Unknown climbers on the Kasnakoff route on the Sec...
Rock Climbing Photo: Route Topo.
BETA PHOTO: Route Topo.

Comments on North West Arete - Kasnapoff Add Comment
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From: Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
Mar 21, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The Kasnakoff is a great shorter day climb with an easy approach. Better and longer than the Messner North Face and with the exception of Messner's first pitch, about the same in difficulty. Stay close to the arete and make sure to move around to the right-west side at the right place. Upper pitches are fantastic.
By Rodger Raubach
Nov 27, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This was a pretty popular route, even in 1964 when I climbed it.
By Emmett Lyman
From: Somerville, MA
Sep 28, 2015

Easy to accidentally go too high on Pitch 4, avoiding the crux V+ pitch altogether (you actually cut a pitch - getting to the Pitch 5 belay at the end of Pitch 4). Still, pitches 6 and 7 are fantastic. Great climb and well worth it, but try to hit it on a warm day as it follows the left (north) side of the arete most of the way.

Per RKM's comment - make sure you hit up the super exposed dihedral on the right to start pitch 7 - spectacular!
By Rodger Raubach
Feb 10, 2017
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

There seems to be some issue regarding the correct name of the Route: Kasnapoff OR Kasnakoff? The current guidebooks produced by Mauro Bernardi of Wolkenstein/Selva Gardena have it as KASNAPOFF! The Guideook publishe back in the 1990s by Koehler and Memmel have it as KASNAKOFF. Common use in the local area should prevail, which is Kasnapoff. When I climbed the route in 1964, even then it was Kasnapoff.

Either way you spell it or pronounce it--this is a steep and spectacular climb. One of the most worthwhile I've done in the Dolomites.

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