Ruggero Zardini, free ascents in Tofana and Becco di Mezzodì
First free ascents of the routes Nicola Molin on Becco di Mezzodì (7c, 285m) and Via Benjamin (7c, 290m) up the Pilastro della Tofana di Mezzo in the Dolomites by Ruggero Zardini.
One doesn't hear much about Ruggero Zardini, but the silent 31-year-old is certainly another prime example of that strong Cortina group of climbers who, when they set their sights on a rock face, don't come home empty handed. Proof of this can be found in his fast repeats of Jean Couzy (8a+, 2007) on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Cattedrale (8a+, 2009) on Marmolada , as well as two recent first free ascents on rock faces closer to home.
The first to fall was the route Nicola Molin sul Becco di Mezzodì, established in 2009 by Carlo Alverà e Federico Svaluto with one section - the fearsome roof - of aid which now goes free at 7c. Similar story a few weeks later for the route Via Benjamin on the Tofana di Mezzo pillar; first ascended by the Scoiattoli Luigi Majoni and Davide Gaspari during the summers 2002-3, the route now boasts two 7c pitches and a superbly comfortable descent... via cable car. "The route ascends fantastic rock and is certainly worth repeating" were Zardini's thoughts after his successful redpoint.