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Scharfe Helene (VIII-, 320m, Simon Gietl e Mark Oberlechner), Crep de Boè (2465m), Dolomites
Photo by Simon Gietl
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Crep de Boè, new Dolomites rock climb by Simon Gietl and Mark Oberlechner


In late September and Simon Gietl and Mark Oberlechner established Scharfe Helene (VIII-, 320m), Crep de Boè (2465m), Sella, Dolomites.

In two days this September the South Tyrolean climbers Simon Gietl and Mark Oberlechner made the first ascent of Scharfe Helene, a 320 line up the centre of Crep de Boè on the Sella massif in the Dolomites. The new route climbs difficulties up to VIII- and was forged ground-up and onsight. All pegs used during the ascent were left in-situ, namely at least two pegs at each belay and 5 along the pitches. This also explains the name of the route - spicy Helen - because as Gietl told Planetmountain "with so few normal pegs, you really need to be good at using natural pro. The rock on the first two pitches deserves attention, but after that it just gets better and better, so much so that at the top it's the best I've ever climbed in the area!"

by Simon Gietl

While observing the massive pillar just above Corvara I've always wondered if it was still virgin. All it took was a pleasant phone call to local mountain guide Andrea Oberbacher to find out, and he confirmed that two routes existed on either side of the face, but no direttissima had ever been forged through the centre of the wall. That's why we met in the morning of 10 September 10 at his home, admiring the pillar from his window. He provided me with information about the other routes and since we hadn't seen each other for a while we chatted and I almost forgot why I'd gone there in the first place. To make up for lost time Andrea kindly drove me to the face with his jeep.

I was joined by Mark Oberlechner, a talented young climber from Val Pusteria and so we set off, careful at first since the rock was far from ideal, but we continued to climb upwards nevertheless. We knew that the weather forecast was bad and it started to rain heavily so we abseiled off the sixth pitch. Despite not having reached the top, we returned home satisfied with what we'd achieved.

The bad weather passed and in the meantime snow had fallen down to 2000m. We returned on 26 September and after repeating the first six pitches we continued up into new terrain. A new world opened up before us - the yellow rock looked really promising! Each metre was a dream and it seemed incredible that no one had ever climbed up here before us. In the end, an overhanging crack graded VIII led to almost the very top of the route, and we both succeeded in climbing everything onsight. We returned home overjoyed to have made the first ascent of a route like this!

TOPO: Scharfe Helene, Dolomites





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