Rain, rain, rain sums up this summer in Germany. Continued Covid restrictions means not meeting many friends and bad weather means less opportunities. Lucky for us we got down to Italy for a weekend in the Dolomites.
This was my first time in the Dolomites section of the alps I had been told many times about. The skiing paths cut though big walls perfect for climbing and ski touring.
We came in on a Friday night from Munich, arriving at Cortina d’Ampezzo Camping after dark. In this case one parks outside finds an open spot to camp on foot, pitches tent, sleeps, and checks in in the morning.
The next day we went as a group to Tre Cime. Here we split into smaller parties, Masha and I joining an experienced climbing friend of ours for an attempt on the middle tower, Cima Ovest.
Another part of the group did more hiking and got this picture of the three towers from a distance.
We followed the path from the bus drop off around the towers to the right half way then set up a trail to the base of the walls.
Once to the wall we geared up and prepared for climbing with the following guidelines.
How the simul climbing worked for us was always keeping two pieces of protection or so in-between the party members. Looking ahead you can start climbing as soon as the next person has placed a second piece of gear. It was important while climbing to keep the line headed backwards in hand, in order not to pull the person behind when you felt tension you slowed.
We climbed to where the ridge met the main Cima Ovest tower before decided conditions and time required turning back.
Though we didn’t summit it was still a great climb. Seeing the other towers though the fog was magical. Next time with an earlier start I hope we can make it further.
Going down we unpacked a second rope and made a double rope rappel, my first time using this technique. I was surprised how difficult it was. The weight of the two 60m ropes handing down makes the first half of the rappel very slow. Each meter of decent pulling up a heavy meter of rope. In the future I’d like to explore the technique of rappelling with a normal 60m rope and a smaller line to assist in retrieving it.
We made it down the scree field just before it started raining confirming the decision to turn back. Also shows that simul climbing though it seems less safe allows faster movement though easy terrain making it easier to avoid dangerous rain conditions / slippery rock.
Ever heard of Triop? We were packing the climbing gear away when I saw the shoes of a woman in our party. It turned out her grandfather runs a climbing shoe company in the Czech Republic. How cool is that! Definitely somewhere I’ll check next time I’m in the market for shoes.
On Sunday it was two wet to climb so we went on a group hike / via ferrata.
I’ve posted in the past how I perfered climbing over via ferrata because of the crowds and some bad experiences I’ve had in the past. This trip however, going with friends, it was fun.
Not having a proper via ferrata set with the ripable expanding cables I improvised something from static climbing rope. This does not provide the elastic safety but still prevents a large fall and I think is a fine solution for moving quickly though steal cable assisted terrain.
On the way back to Munich we stopped by the climbing gym in Innsbruck for some sport routes.
Wow was I impressed! Wish we had such a gym in Munich. I’ll defently come back next time I’m passing through.
Besides multiple outdoor sport route and bouldering walls they have huge interior section, including one of the longest boudering problems I’ve ever seen! We didn’t even get to the indoor sport routes; next time.