Tempi Moderni on Marmolada, a young adventure in the Dolomites
18-year-old Marco Cordin's retraces his recent repeat, together with the 16-year-old Pietro Garzon, of Tempi Moderni up the South Face of Marmolada. First climbed in 1982 by Heinz Mariacher and Luisa Iovane, this is one of the most famous rock climbs in the Dolomites.
Tempi Moderni in Italian, Moderne Zeiten in German, Modern times in English, is situated on the huge South Face of Marmolada in the Dolomites and was repeated recently by 18-year-old Marco Cordin and 16-year-old Pietro Garzon. Admittedly we do not know if this is the youngest partnership to repeat this climb, but in any case it seemed like a great adventure up one of the most famous and sought after routes in the Dolomites, first ascended by Heinz Mariacher and Luisa Iovane way back in 1982.
MODERN TIMES by Marco Cordin
I had a dream for a while: to climb Heinz Mariacher's famous Tempi Moderni up the South Face of Marmolada and become the youngest climbers to do so. The route is 29 pitches long and 900 meters high. A challenging task lay in store
On Thursday, June 8, 2017, after a night at the winter bivouac at the Ombretta pass, Pietro Garzon and I started climbing at 6:30 am in the cold dawn. I onsighted the first pitch, the hardest on the entire route, and at that point we started our race against time. We knew that the route was very long and that route finding on the upper section would become difficult due to only a handful of insitu pegs to guide us upwards. We also had to keep some energy reserves for the last demanding section of the climb, after about 25 pitches. It was hot and at 2:30 pm we reached the ledge at half height. We were disheartened, progress had been slow as we'd lost and then found our way again.
15 pitches separated us from the summit, my partner was tired because he was less trained and experienced than I was, and I felt the weight of the responsibility of reaching the top. At that point we seriously evaluated the possibility of retreating but then, thanks to Pietro's tenacity we continued upwards, battling against the fatigue and cold which, despite the sun, accompanied us all along the way. The immense face seemed never-ending and the summit miles away but finally at 21:10, after 15 hours of climbing continuously, we reached the top of Punta Rocca. We'd done it!
At this point we couldn't care less about the cold, about night falling, our headlamps forgotten down at the bivouac, the glacier that needed negotiating as we descended and the long path back to Passo Fedaia. We'd soon be helped by the full moon.
We started down, happy about this great adventure and proud to have become the youngerst partnership to have repeated Modern Times on Marmolada, the Queen of the Dolomites.
TOPO: Via Tempi Moderni, Marmolada