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Interview by Nicola Tondini

A quick word with Dario Segato

Dario, can you tell us about your first ascent of the large, free standing drip?

    The first time we went to Val Pramper was in December 1998. We were a strong group of ice climbers who had heard so many rumours about the valley. When we first saw the icefall we were gobsmacked.

    On that first day we divided up into two groups and climbed some quite difficult falls. Marcello and I returned the next day to try this fall, but we hadn’t climbed much ice because it was still early on in the season. So we decided to leave it for a better day.

When did you return?

    Conditions were good in February so we returned then. Marcello phoned me on the 18th and by nine oclock we were in Longarone having a pizza.

How many days did it take to climb the route?

    Just one! I’d initially thought of trying only the first pitch since I didn’t think we could do the whole thing immediately.

But you did.

    Yes, even though after 1 1/2 hours I didn’t feel like it at all. Marcello was just half way up the first pitch, but thankfully he managed to finish it off in about two hours. I then set off and led through immediately.

Up the hanging drip?

    Exactly. From the belay the route continues up rock for about 4 meters before traversing onto the exposed lip of the icicle. The resulting 30m pitch was demanding we graded it 6+. I was close to the top but the sun was really glaring down and loads of water was flowing down the easiest section. I wasn’t sure whether we’d be able to climb further but when Marcello arrived at the belay he pointed out a possible finish to the right of the drip and so that’s where I finished off the route.

Can you tell us a bit about the first pitch?

    We graded it 6/A2 and it requires some drytooling. It’s 25m long and we placed one peg and a bolt. Friends and ice screws are needed since there are some small drips of ice on the pitch.

So all you need to do now is free that first pitch. Any plans?

    Yes. We had thought of trying it last year, but the weather turned warm and the ice melted. We want to go back soon and free it, or at least give it go.

Thanks Dario and good luck!

The Mountain Guide Dario Segato can be contacted directly by tel. 0368/927136

Dario Segato, Mountain Guide from Valdagno, who, toghether with Marcello Scarpellini, made the first ascent of this impressive icefall.
The large, free standing drip clearly visible from the road. It is climbed in three pitches, the first mixed.

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