New Dolomites mixed climb in Val Lasties by Aaron Moroder and Alex Walpoth
On 16/02/2016 Aaron Moroder and Alex Walpoth made the first ascent of Freit dl mond (120m, M7, VI+), a new mixed climb in Val Lasties, Sella, Dolomites.
On 16/02/2016 the young South Tyrolean alpinists Aaron Moroder and Alex Walpoth established, a new mixed climb in the Sella massif, Dolomites. Climbed onsight and in 5 hours, route tackles one of the many faces on the left-hand side of Val Lasties, circa 400 meters below the classic Cassiopeo icefall. The climb breaches interesting rock and ice. The first ascentionists used a series of Friends, ice screws and two pegs to protect the first belay (subsequently removed). Two abseils led them back at the base of the route.
Cold is just an illusion by Aaron Moroder
"Watch me here Aaron", Alex shouts down from above. I clinch the ropes tighter ropes and watch his every move. An overhang separates him from a beautiful crack, which he might be able to use for a belay. The cold wind has stolen not only our body heat, but also sprinkled the rock with a layer of powder snow, making the holds slippery to touch. Alex tries to breach this obstacle one more time: he places his crampon precisely onto a high crimp, pulls himself up and quickly reaches the holds above that allow him to climb through the overhang. Once again I’m impressed. His precision and technique are perfect and he seems to have a massive margin, even on these delicate sections.
In some ways I was hoping he wouldn’t reach the belay, the low temps and strong wind had chilled me down to the bone. I was toying with the idea of abseiling off and returning to the car, instead of having to deal with the sea of rock above us which, we hoped, would lead to the hanging drip suspended above the void. But there was no real reason not to continue and as soon as I start to climb my motivation flows right back, just like the warmth back into my body. On reaching the belay I rack my harness and start to climb an overhanging crack. Even though rock climbing, with climbing shoes and warmer temperatures, is far more elegant, mixed climbing seems much more exciting here. We always opt for the most efficient technique depending on the terrain we’re on. This result in a mix, of climbing mainly with bare hands and crampons, but sometimes we also resort to using an ice axe with one hand. It simply depends on the terrain we have to deal with in a given moment
On this pitch, too, many holds are plastered with snow and need to held carefully. After the crack I traverse right, find a solid thread and use this as a perfect belay, ready for the next pitch which should lead us to the ice. The moves onto the drip are grueling yet delicate and pave the way to the top of our route.
We shake hands and look around. All that’s left to do now is descend, we’ve done what we’d set out to do. Two rappels lead us back down to our rucksacks, we then scrutinize the line we’ve just climbed. All the doubts and uncertainties I’d had just a few hours earlier now turn into memories: delicate moves, decisive holds and good pro. We walk down to the car under the evening sun. The relief and the joy of spending the day up there makes us think about our next goals, because reaching our summits isn’t only satisfying, but also an incentive for new challenges.
TOPO: Frëit dl mond