The Sella, Pordoi, Fedaia, San Pellegrino and Costalunga Passes are the five mountain passes around the Fassa Valley
Using one of these passes in the Dolomites is not difficult in mild weather conditions; we might say that they are more or less within everyone’s capabilities. However, some people suffer from car sickness and need to take the necessary precautions before undertaking the steep climb of a pass. It is also important for each vehicle to be in perfect condition (especially tyres and brakes). In fact, the many bends, hairpins and the steep climbs and descents subject vehicles to unusual stress. If you intend to organise a trip, such as for example, the “Giro dei quattro Passi” (a tour of the Pordoi, Campolongo, Gardena and Sella passes), you must take into account that you will encounter more than one hundred hairpin bends. This may seem difficult to those who are used to driving on flat city roads but those of us who live in the mountains are used to this type of road and certainly won’t be put off by a few sharp bends.
Conditions are more critical in winter, in the presence of ice, snow and snowstorms. It is obligatory to be equipped for winter with chains or, better still, snow tyres and antifreeze in the radiator and windscreen wipers. The temperature is always below zero in the passes, even during the day and therefore, every bend can be dangerous. Always take the utmost care and what is more, during and after heavy snowfalls, it is necessary to wait for snowploughs, which often take up most of the road. Before attempting the climb up to a pass during the winter months, always find out (also from the Traffic Police), if it is open to traffic. In fact, it may occur that some passes are closed – even temporarily – to traffic during heavy snowfall or during thaws, due to the risk of avalanches.
In order of altitude, the passes are: Costalunga (1,745 m) linking Bolzano with Vigo di Fassa, San Pellegrino (1,919 m) linking Falcade with Moena, Fedaia (2,056 m) linking Malga Ciapela with Penia di Fassa, Pordoi (2.239 m) linking Arabba with Canazei and Sella (2,244 m) linking the Val Gardena with Canazei.