Zauberberg on Ciastel de Chedul: Riegler brothers first free ascent
On 2 June 2011 Florian and Martin Riegler freed "Zauberberg" (the Magic Mountain) 8a max on Ciastel de Chedul, Vallunga (Val Gardena - Dolomites).
Yet another great climb for Florian and Martin Riegler, one of the most famous South Tyrolean brother partnerships. This time the Riegler's freed "Zauberberg" (named after The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann) which takes a 400m line up the North Face of Ciastel de Chedul in Valle Lunga (Dolomites). The route had been established in 2009 by Val Gardena climbers Stefan Comploi and Ivo Rabanser with difficulties estimated at 7-/A2 and a beautiful crux pitch: the third, across a 10m roof.
Florian Riegler compares this pitch to the great "ceiling" on Italia '61, only far longer and more alpine than the famous route on Piz Ciavaces. It is unsurprising therefore that the brothers attempts were concentrated mainly on this section, also because the roof was often wet. Furthermore, although the first two pitches ascend friable rock, this improves significantly after the roof.
The Riegler's freed Zauberberg without modifying any of the original pro: a mix of pegs "made thicker" with wooden wedges (in true Rabanser-Comploi style) and some pegs . The protection is certainly "traditional" therefore and it's worth reporting Rabanser's words that "the route solved the problem by adapting to the rock face."
During the 2 June free ascent the Riegler brothers swung leads and needed 5 hours to send the 15 pitches which they now believe are as follows: 7+, 8, 9+/10-, 8-, 6, 6, 7-, 6, 6-, 5, 7-, 6, 6, 8+, 4+.
A curious detail of the winning free ascent: Florian dried the three wet holds prior to the redpoint. And what is even more interesting is their opinion of the route which they define as being "not only demanding but also really beautiful, just like the name suggests". Ivo Rabanser for his part "congratulated Florian and Martin for their climbs and this free ascent which is certainly worth underlinging."