A Dolomites’ Dozen: Italian Solo-Traverses 12 Peaks In 3 Days

Simon Gietl has once again proved himself a master of the Alps.

The 38-year-old Italian alpinist has just completed the first solo winter traverse of the Villnösser-Geisler range, located above the Villnöss Valley in the Dolomites.

Tackling any mountain range in winter comes with added difficulties and dangers, especially when climbing without a partner. According to social media, Gietl took three days and two nights to link the peaks.

He pulled off the feat in a lightweight, modern style, carrying only a small pack, a tent, a 60m rope, and a stove, Gripped reported.

“After three days full of concentration and tension of pure joy, it was a very emotional moment to be here and…experience this crazy adventure,” he wrote on Instagram.

Summits Gietl nabbed during the historic traverse include:

  • Torre S. Zenòn (2,599m)
  • Sasso S. Zenòn (2,610m)
  • Sass da l‘Ega (2,924m)
  • Odla di Valdussa (2,942m)
  • Furchetta (3,030m)
  • Sass Rigàis (3,025m)
  • Grande Odla (2,832m)
  • Camp. di Fùnes (2,834m)
  • Grande Fermeda (2,814m)
  • Piccola Fermeda (2,640m)
  • Cima di Brògles (2,590m)
  • Seceda (2, 518m)

Previous challenge: linking the 6 North Faces

It’s just the latest accolade in the Alps for Gietl, who partnered with Roger Schaeli in 2021 to climb the Six Great North Faces of the Alps.

The ambitious pair added a significant element to their take on this classic mountaineering challenge by linking the peaks through “human power.” They trekked, cycled, and occasionally paraglided between mountains.

At the time, Schaeli gave Gietl credit for not backing down during their most daunting moments.

“It took us a long time,” Schaeli said. “The first few pitches were really tough. Fortunately, Simon was very motivated to climb through the thick of night, despite the constant spindrift at the start.”

Schaeli called the journey “probably my best mountaineering experience ever.”

We will be publishing an interview with Gietl in about two weeks. It will include the full details of his traverse of the Villnösser-Geisler.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.