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On the upper section of Via Cappellari - Timillero North Face, Sass d'Ortiga (Pale di San Martino)
Photo by archivio Ivo Ferrari
Searching for the most logical line
Photo by archivio Ivo Ferrari
Searching for the holds...
Photo by archivio Ivo Ferrari
Sass Maor and Cima Canali
Photo by archivio Ivo Ferrari

La Perla Nascosta on Sass On Ortiga by Ivo Ferrari


Ivo Ferrari and the beautiful rock climb La Perla nascosta (500m, TD) first ascended in 1972 by Renzo Timillero and Ludovico Cappellari up the North Face of the Sass d'Ortiga (Val Canali, Pale di San Martino, Dolomites). A real hidden gem.

This part of the "journey" focuses on the Dolomites and begins with a hike during which my sweat makes no effort to leave me. Destination Sass On Ortiga. Right in the midst of the shadow lies a fantastic route. Far removed from the classics there's a real "classic". You need to walk a fair bit to get to it and... I'm walking up with a Friend, scrambling up the Sant'Anna gully, beneath an almost unreal blue Sky, while the silence that envelopes the valley instills peace and tranquility!

We reach the base of the North Face, I look upwards, to the fantastic rock face towering above us, it's warm today even on the North Faces and this is something we've got to take advantage of. I set off as usual, determined and happy, numerous holds appear, it's a vertical dance, and if I've never danced before then surely there's a good reason...

One pitch follows the next, one more beautiful than the other. I stop at the belays and ask myself why certain routes as "pleasant and climbable" as this one are rarely repeated, but Silvano explains this away easily "You don't simply need strong arms, here you need to use your brain."

Slabs and vertical cracks come and go, no pegs, no belays, onwards upwards, following logic dictated by our minds to our arms, I climb placing Friends and small threads, moving left then right, my arms helped by the feet, it's a game of harmony... how nice to be on a North Face on such a hot day.

As time passes we climb higher and higher, I hear a team on the famous Spigolo Ovest, the Western Arête, after each pitch I plant two of the six pegs I own and belay... My eyes scan the horizon and marvel at Mountains I know well and never cease to "love". Today we're lucky to get off the "beaten trail" and "rediscover" such a beautiful climb.

In the early afternoon, anticipating the "usual" Dolomite storm, we reach the summit of Sass D’Ortiga, below us 500 "unique" metres... we take some photos, eat an energy bar and head back down to Rifugio Treviso where we're greeted by the "usual" Dolomite thunderstorm.

I don't really know what's considered a classic nowadays. I don't know whether to recommend an unprotected, vertical gem that has just one in-situ peg and thread, but we were certainly happy to have climbed it, happy and content. I'd also like to congratulate a friend from Bassano who, a few years ago, all alone and in the middle of winter, embarked on a three-day journey up this forgotten gem. Bravo Claudio (Claudio Moretto ed), truly bravo!

Now that I think about it, more lines spring to mind... I think I'll give them a go as soon as I get the chance.

24/07/2013 - Diamante pazzo on Becco Meridionale della Tribolazione, by Ivo Ferrari
09/07/2013 - Alpinists who make the difference: via Stenghel at Torre d'Ambiez by Ivo Ferrari
01/07/2013 - Alta Val Masino and Venti Polari di Ivo Ferrari
12/04/2013 - Sperlonga, rock climbing, memories and beauty by Ivo Ferrari
03/01/2013 - Hellzapoppin', a journey through the history of climbing Ivo Ferrari





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