Pordoi Joch

Highest Point:
Western Approach:

from Arabba (1602m) 637m 9km
Eastern Approach:

from Canazei (1456m) 783m 21km


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This pass has a high cult status with cyclists. For some it is also the starting point of a long planned day ride over the Sella Loop. Hotels and a veritable pass village on top make this possible.


From North. Coming up from Araba, the valley up towards pso di Pordoi appears like a sloping, large ditch, which is different than the sheer cliff face backgrounds on other Sella group passes. But this large ditch is very steep indeed, and so the road utilizes scores of switchbacks (I count 19 on the map, but the amount of labeled curves may be different) to stay at half height of this crease in the sloping surface. Once at the spacious top there is an unusually large and comprehensive circus of mountain pass businesses. To the scores of hotels and souvernir  sellers, add also a cable car from 2238m to 2950m. It accomplishes this by ascending on single cliff face. As specialty for cyclists, there is also a relief monument to Italian Tour de France legend Fausto Coppi (pics 4 and 6).

From South. (described downwards). The road has to negotiate one of the sheerest dropoffs in the Sella Group, , and the amount of switchbacks are a sign of this. From the top there are 28 numbered and elevation labeled switchbacks to the town of Canazei. But if riding the Sella Loop, who's still counting switchbacks ? Instead it may be just as enticing to count ski overruns. This descent has its share too. The buildings at the top of Sella Pass look especially interesting from this vantagie point, perched like a bird nest. Sella Pass is located to the right of the three Kofels in pic 2.



Dayrides. A first loop ride over the Sella Group passes, plus a short approach, with lots of stops to take pictures: Fontanac > Canazei > Sella Joch > Groedner Joch > pso di Campalongo > pso di Pordoi > Fontanac measured  45 miles with 6900ft of climbing in 5:0 hours.


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