Brenta Base Camp 3 - the new climb Attraverso il Tempo on Campanile Basso
The third and final dispatch of the Brenta Base Camp, the small 'expedition' into the the heart of the Brenta Dolomites during the Discover Brenta Dolomites event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first traverse of this massif. The report by Alessandro Beber and Matteo Faletti about the first ascent of Via Attraverso il Tempo (420m, VIII) up the SW Face of Campanile Basso, a new route climbed in August 2014 together with Alessandro Baù and Matteo Faletti.
Semi-serious dispatch from the Brenta Base Camp – episode #2
VIA ATTRAVERSO IL TEMPO by Alessandro Beber
When we came up with the idea of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first alpine exploration of the Brenta massif with a series of new climbs, we thought of many different lines, but not this one. It's hard to fathom that, in 2014, there's still enough space for another logical route up the most famous tower in the massif, let alone the entire Dolomites.
Having said that, popular local tradition has it that when there's a party you certainly shouldn't hold back, and so we began to carefully study the existing routes and unclimbed sections of rock between them. Because a new route on Campanile Basso, the true symbol of the Brenta Dolomites, really did seem to be the best way possible to celebrate this rather unusual anniversary.
We had only one binding clause: "don't mess things up!", i.e. not forge a new route at all costs. Instead, we wanted to check out carefully whether something sensible and new could be climbed and, if not, we were more than willing to back off.
Of course, a logical line is something relative when it comes to climbs, but we believe a climb deserves this adjective when it follows the weak points up a face that may happen to be very difficult indeed, weaving in and out of the natural flow of the rock. Just to make things 100% clear: once you're tuned in with the route's style and era (a route first climbed during the 1930's will definitely adhere to a different form of logic than one climbed during the '90's), you should be able to follow the route blindfold, without even needing to check the guidebook instructions.
Having said that, we returned home empty handed after our first attempt; a beautiful 70m crack which drops directly down the lower section of the SW Face unfortunately turned out to have already been climbed, so we abseiled off disheartened. But we didn't even have the time to touch the ground and Ale Baù seemed to be enraptured by the massive red face just to the right ... "It seems damn hard" I told him. "Maybe, but perhaps it's worth a try..." was the answer "... if only it were dry." If only, because the smooth red slab looked more like a soaking wet T-shirt hung out to dry on a clothes line, so the next day we came up with a somewhat unusual battle plan: in the morning we decided to climb up the Fehrmann corner to check if the section we wanted to climb higher up was unclimbed or not, and then return to the lower section at a later stage. Our reccie took longer than expected but revived our hopes: virgin terrain up above meant that we added 4 beautiful new pitches to reach the summit... it was a strange feeling reaching the top without having finished a climb, aware that we'd only just begun, but there was no time for sentimentality because it was almost dark and we still had to rap off.
The next day we set off early, climbed two beautiful pitches on the T-shirt that in the meantime had almost completely dried out, then we got caught in yet another downpour and this stopped play. It was the 7th of August, our time had come to an end and so we returned home with the match still unfinished.
A few weeks later, in order to mark the official end of the Brenta Base Camp and to honor the friendly atmosphere of the event, we organised a meeting between various generations of climbers at the Croz dell'Altissimo refuge. This proved a great opportunity to discuss things with those who have deeply loved and fully experienced the Brenta Dolomites and these included: Valentino Chini, Alessandro Gogna, Piero Ravà, Marco Furlani, Danilo Bonvecchio ... a thousand stories worth listening to in a genuine, pleasant atmosphere. to and a nice atmosphere genuine. In the evening there were some films and the party moved on to Molveno, then it was off to bed.
Three hours later the alarm clock went off, it was 4:30 am we were heading back to Campanile Basso. We were joined by Francesco Salvaterra and Marco Pellegrini who had their sights set on Punta Jolanda since they were keen on repeating our newly added Prua degli Onironauti. Once we reached Campanile Basso we followed the via Armani ledge system across the South Face, abseiled down the Stenico-Navasa route and pendulumed to the last belay we'd equipped the other day.
From here we set of determined, but carefree, like those who enjoy the first day of stable weather after weeks of terrible weather. The pitches were all beautiful, some p compact, good quality rock, others that needed “cleaning”. Matteo took the lead on these ones, he's the undisputed king of getting rid of chossy rock! Come dinner time we'd finished the route, and so too our journey on the wonderful Brenta Spire.
What remains is the satisfaction of having left our mark on a peak which is shrouded in history, where many alpinists of all different eras have attempted to elude time by leaving a small testimony of their passing.
BACK TO THE FUTURE by Matteo Faletti
This certainly wasn't the perfect summer for climbing routes in the mountains, even less so to climb new ones, but for me this season has come to represent a true "back to the future."
For a few years now I've failed, due to health problems, to "see" the routes, of understanding the secrets of a face when scrutinizing the lines. Well, thanks also to the inspiring Brenta Base Camp, this year I've succeeded in seeing through the eyes of former days... maybe it's thanks to being up in the mountains, far away from the hectic pace of everyday life, the fact of the matter is that I've finally managed to feel at one with the mountains, like I did a long time ago.
The route Via Attraverso il Tempo, the route through time, wishes to reiterate the concept that even today, despite all the contradictions of modern mountaineering, it's still possible to climb cleanly, using traditional means, without canceling the achievements of those who preceded us and, in particular, by emphasizing the importance of human relationships and the rapport of a climbing partnership, as it has been since the birth of alpinism.
All routes climbed during the Brenta Base Camp were first ascended using 2 complete sets of Friends (from micro - #3, plus just one Friend #4), a rack of nuts and traditional pegs. All pegs, placed along the pitches and at the belays, were left in-situ, as were the threads. All pitches were first ascended free; trad gear of cliffhooks were only weighted to plant pegs, but not used as aid for progression
THANKS by Alessandro Beber
I would like to thanks Molveno Holiday and the Molveno Tourist Board, in particular Francesco Frizzera, for having believed in this project and for his precious practical support.
The wardens of Rifugio Selvata for their kindness in looking after us every time we walked past with enormous rucksacks on our backs.
The Taxi-Jeep service that connects Molveno to Rifugio Croz dell'Altissimo, for having drive us even in the middle of the night and for having accepted all our sudden program changes!
All our friends who came to see us, for the simple pleasure of being with friends.
The alpinists of all ages of came to the closing party at Rifugio Croz dell'Altissimo.
Alessandro Baù, Matteo Faletti and Alessandro Beber thanks their sponsors Scarpa, La Sportiva, Millet, Montura, Climbing Technology and Camp.
Naturally all my climbing partners for the great moments spent together in the mountains.
DISCOVER BRENTA DOLOMITES 2014
25/08/2014 - Brenta Base Camp #2 - two new routes up Punta Jolanda
18/08/2014 - Brenta Base Camp #1 - meetings, new climbs and lightening bolts
25/07/2014 - DoloMitiche 2.0: Brenta Base Camp time
09/07/2014 - Discover Brenta Dolomites 2014
>> DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAMME DISCOVER BRENTA DOLOMITES SUMMER 2014
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