Bellavista in the Dolomites for Luka Krajnc
Slovenian climber Luka Krajnc has carried out the fourth complete free ascent of Bellavista on Cima Ovest di Lavaredo, Dolomites, first ascended by Alexander Huber solo during winter 1999 with difficulties up to A4 and then freed by German at 8c in July 2001. Urban Golob provides the report.
"Luka started to work the route at the end of June this year, but conditions during the first half of the summer were not favourable. Bad weather and moisture under the roof caused him a lot of problems and made the hardest pitches very slippery for most of July. On three of his visits Luka couldn't even seriously try the hardest pitch since, impossible to see from the start of the route, the rock was wet.
Luka spent 10 days working Bellavista and then sunny August finally came along. August 21st was a very hot day, the air was surprisingly dry and it all came together perfectly. Leading every pitch Luka climbed the hardest (8c) pitch on his first try and the next - 8a pitch - on his second, since he had not devoted much attention to it while working the route. Everything else went smoothly including the following pitches on the Swiss and Cassin route right to the top of Cima Ovest. Luka says: "Even the wildest dreams can come true, but only if we wish them hard enough."
But Luka will not rest much after his Bellavista success: next week he will be boarding a plane for the USA and after two months climbing in the "Wild West" he will join a small Slovenian expedition to the big walls of Venezuela.
Luka Krajnc, who just turned 25, is not really a newcomer when it comes to hard multi-pitches. He spent much of his last summer's climbing on the Tre Cime where he repeated several hard routes including Camillotto Pellesier (8a+, 500m), Superdirettissima (7c, 500m) and Sandro Pertini (FFA, 7c,200m) on Cima Grande, Akut (7c, 500m) on Cima Ovest and others all over the Dolomites including Donnafugata (8a, 750m) on Torre Trieste, Vint ani Do (8a, 350m) on Meisules, Via Italia (7c+, 350m) on Piz Ciavazes and many others.
His season this year started on Triglav North face in January where he and his partner Andrej Grmovsek managed to climb Sanjski Joza (M7+, 1000m, 3days), producing one of the hardest winter testpieces in Slovenia. In March he continued by free climbing Alain-Leininger (M7, 900m, 2 days) on the Dru. After the winter season he focused on sport climbing and multipiches including a one day ascent of Spider (8a, 350m) in Croatia, and repeated the hardest Slovenian trad route, Vrazji Robert (8b, 150m) in Osp.
During the past years Krajnc has travelled all across Europe and also made trips to USA and Marroco. His ability in the mountains in both summer and winter conditions, sport climbs up to 8c and mixed climbs up to M13-, make him one of the best Slovenian all-rounders."