Mount Civetta (El Zuìta, as it is called in the local Ladin language) is a mountain group belonging to the Dolomites, separating Val di Zoldo from the Agordo area.
Climbers refer to it as the “wall of the walls” or the “realm of the 6th grade”. There are several routes up its face which have gone down in mountaineering history. Among them: the Solleder-Lettembauer, the Philip-Flamm, the Via dei 5 di Valmadrera, and other demanding challenges, highly coveted among climbing enthusiasts.
The origin of the name is not clear and has long been discussed. Two hypothesis seem to prevail upon others: some claim that its name refers to the Latin word “civitas” (town) as the rock face which overlooks Alleghe reminds of a “city of towers”; others refers to the owl, the nocturnal bird of prey, which is know as Zuìta (“civetta” in Italian) in the Zoldo area, also because in the past it was considered as bad omen or enchantress.
Officially, the first mountaineer to reach its summit was the British Francis Fox Tuckett, in 1867. Actually, the summit had already been conquered at least once in 1855 by Simeone De Silvestro, nicknamed “Piovanel”, from Pecol. Mount Civetta was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.
Writer Dino Buzzati is the author of one of the most famous quotes about this massif in his book “I Fuorilegge della Montagna” : “the most beautiful rocky wall in the Alps”.