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Francesco Rigon on 29/01/2017 making the first ascent of 'Night Love' (WI5, 35m) in Val Ansiei, Dolomites
Photo by Elena De Lazzero
'Night Love' (WI5, 35m) in Val Ansiei, Dolomites, first ascended on 29/01/2017 by Francesco Rigon
Photo by Elena De Lazzero

Dolomites Val d’Ansiei: the new icefall Night Love

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Francesco Rigon reports about his ascent of 'Night Love' (WI5, 35m), a probable new ice climb in Val d'Ansiei (Cadore, Italy).

It was meant to be a quiet Sunday, a quick training session followed by lunch at Rifugio Città di Carpi ... On the drive from Auronzo to Misurina we stopped off at Palus San Marco, I wanted to show the beautiful dry tooling crag to girlfriend that has recently been developed by local mountain guide Simone Corte Pause. Because although there wasn’t enough time to climb there, just looking at all those drips and daggers is fascinating.

After parking the car we met Giorgo Corte Coi who asked us if we wanted to see a frozen waterfall. We followed him along a winding path through the forest he’d made and reached the thirty meter drip in a matter of minutes. Wow.

Giorgio reckoned it had never formed before. I immediately started thinking about how to climb this icefall that rarely, if ever, comes into condition; the base looked solide enough and although the upper section appeared a little precarious, it nevertheless seemed safe enough to give it a go. Unfortunately we couldn’t say no to lunch at the refuge, my brother had come specially from Treviso for a quick day out in the mountains…

Back at home I immediately phoned Simone, who confirmed the drip had probably never been climbed before. Unfortunately he already had plans for the next morning, and I’d have to return to Treviso, so I ended up convincing my girlfriend Elena to belay me. By now it was almost 17:00 and darkness was beginning to set in. After drinking a quick cup of coffee we returned to the icefall following the lights of our headlamps. I set up a belay behind the drip and started the climb, demanding but not extreme; I climbed the 35m on the left, then belayed off the trunk of a fir tree and abseiled back down to the base, satisfied and happy. I believe the difficulties are somewhere in the region of WI5+

If mine really was the first ascent, then I’d like to call the route Night Love. The frozen waterfall is located behind the hotel "Il Cervo" at Palus San Marco, about 12 km after Auronzo di Cadore when heading up to Misurina, at an altitude of about 1100mt.

by Francesco Rigon

TOPO: Night Love, Val Ansiei, Dolomites

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