Tuesday 1 September 2009

Sat 22nd Aug, VF Vallon and Piz Boe

Our last day in the Dolomites and we decided to head back over to Corvara and up towards the Refugio Vallon for another VF route that would take us toward Piz Boe, the highest peak in the range at 3152m. According to the Cicerone guide this route has been closed for many years but we had discovered locally that it has now been fixed and was reopened recently. Because of this it was a very quite route and the only other team we seen was starting the route as we finished.

The route crosses over a waterfall by means of a wire bridge before climbing steeply up some good rock to a high hanging valley. From here we gained the ridge line and enjoyed a pleasant scramble to the summit and the comforts of Refugio Piz Boe. Shortly after we sat down in the Refugio the only bad weather of our trip passed through the area with a heavy downpour of hailstones. However by the time we had finished our drinks the sun was out again for a pleasant walk back down to the valley. A good mountain day highly recommended.

Friday 21st Aug, Piz Da Cir V and Gran Cir

This morning we drove back over to Passo Gardena to explore two short routes near the top of the pass. As we headed up the first route, Piz Da Cir V, we saw a number of large groups just ahead of us. Fortunately we managed to get geared up and started before them and were able to enjoy this route to ourselves ahead of the crowds. The top 5m of the route is a steep climb onto a platform which supposedly can hold 10 people but seemed rather busy with just the two of us on it. This was a pleasant route on good rock with a few fun moves.

At the foot of the descent gully we followed a contour path across the slopes to the start of our second route of the day on the highest peak in the range, Gran Cir at 2592m. This is not quite a VF route but is a mixture of fixed lines and scrambling to reach the top. It is a pleasant route and worth combining with Piz Da Cir V to make a short day.

Thursday 20th Aug, VF Piz Da Lech

We opted to walk up through the alpine meadows to the start of this route high above the valley on the Sella range. Again this proved to be a very popular route and we had to wait to get started on the route. This was also quite physical and technically more demanding route.

The location was amazing and the route follows an obvious fault line to the ridge. Part way up the route has two 30m ladders that need to be climbed to cross a steep wall that has no breaks. After this it is an easy walk to the summit at 2910m and some amazing 360 degree views.

Wed 19th August, VF Brigata Tridentina

This morning we drove over to Passo Gardena to the next route we planned on one of the classic VF routes in the Dolomites . Despite having made an early start the car park was almost full when we arrived.

The route starts a short distance from the car park and is broken into three sections. The first section is straight forward and finishes between two very large boulders on a balcony above a line of crags. A short walk took us to the foot of a waterfall and the main section of route. The rock was good and it had a number of interesting exposed moves following the line of a waterfall.

The final section is much steeper and strenuous it was also very busy as the other teams on the route had been moving slowly and became bottlenecked on this section. The route finishes with a short bridge across a deep ravine which can be seen from the main road to Corrava. From here it is a short walk to the Refugio.

This is a big long route but very enjoyable.

Tuesday 18th Aug, Lagazuoi Tunnels and Via Ferrata Averau

We are in the Dolomites enjoying the sun and sampling the via ferrata’s, these are mountain routes which are equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders and bridges, to help you climb the route.

We opted to start with one of the more unusual via ferrata’s in the eastern part of the Dolomites, the Lagazuoi Tunnels. During WW1 whilst fighting for control of Mount Lagazuoi the Austrian and Italian troops built a series of tunnels through the mountains. Some of these tunnels have now been restored, with a via ferrata, which starts at the top of the mountain, and follows the route of one of these tunnels down into the mountain back to Falzarego Pass.

It is an interesting route which needed helmets and head torches but did not have any technical sections.

After a short lunch break we headed back up for our second route of the day on an area known as Cinque Torri. This is a group of more than 5 rocky towers that lies on the south slopes of Falzarego Pass above Cortina. This was a short but pleasant route, Averau, on good rock and gave Jane a good introduction to the technical skills needed on Via Ferrata’s. The route finished on the summit of Averau at 2649m

Monday 10 August 2009

Friday 14th Aug, Dolomites and Via Ferrata

We are off to Arraba in the Dolomites for a few weeks to do some walking and scrambles on Via Ferrata's. Details of our trip will be posted when we get back from Italy.

Sun 9th Aug, Part 2, Ingleborough

After our climbing session, Jane and I decided to take a short walk up onto the top of Ingleborough. As we set off the skies became very dark and cloudy however within 10 mins it was hot and sunny again. The route from Ingleton offers fast, easy walking on good tracks and we soon reached the steeper section onto the summit plateau. Visibility from the top was good and we enjoyed 360 degree views of the surrounding area. As we approached the top the wind had picked up and made it much cooler and not good for standing about, after a short break for a drink we headed back down the same route to the car.

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