2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
This mountain is so perfectly situated it is almost as if it was purpose built for observing some of the most famous peaks in the Dolomites.
From the summit you can see for miles but closer up you have a spectacular view of the Lagazuoi cliffs, and in the middle distance are the spectacular Cinque Torre. Start by parking just east of the Valparola Col, next to the fascinating Forte Tre Sassi ruins.
Start by climbing up the west ridge of Hexenstein/Sass de Stria, which is initially quite grassy but soon becomes rocky and slightly tougher to hike up.
The route is fairly indistinct and even after climbing the peak a few times you'll likely go a slightly different way every time! The upper section has some trenches to walk through, which add a great deal to the ambience and atmosphere of hiking up the peak.
There are also some brief sections of metal ladders and very easy scrambling.
Eventually the paths, ladders and trenches lead to the summit of Hexenstein/Sass de Stria itself.
The view is utterly fabulous, and it is highly recommended to sit on the summit and study the vista, picking out the famous Dolomites peaks.
Descend back down the ridge and then cut north off it to reach a large path directly beneath the north face of the peak.
Turn right on the path and follow it as it swings around underneath the Hexenstein/Sass de Stria east face.
Climb up to the south-east corner of the peak and take some time to study the wartime ruins you'll find there.
The stories of what occurred in the Dolomites in the First World Way are incredible so spend a few hours reading up on it when you get back from your hike.
From the south-east corner of the peak, make a long, descending traverse across a scree slope to a small area of forests at the north-west end of the mountain.
This traverse is slightly awkward in places and requires some care if you're to avoid slipping over. From the north-west end of the mountain, make the short climb back to the carpark.
A good idea once you've done this walk is to ride the Lagazuoi cable car and study the ruins it is home to.
After that, pizza and gelato await in Cortina!