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Illusion

First ascent: Cristian Candiotto, Ezio Lualdi, 05/01/2013
By: Cristian Candiotto
Area: Central Alps, Group: Livigno Alps, Peak: Val Budria, Height: 1750m, Country: Italy, Region: Lombardy

Great 2-pitch icefall set in a beautiful gully in Val Budria climbed on 5 January by Cristian Candiotto and Ezio Lualdi. Why Illusion? "Because from down in the valley you simply can't believe that it's up there, when you first see the drip it looks huge, but as you approach it becomes shorter and shorter. But when you finally start to climb you realise it's not so short after all. An illusion therefore that continues to shift reality."

GETTING THERE

Val Tartano is comprised of two main valleys, Val Lunga and Val Corta. Reach Tartano and drive down right to Biorca (car park, 1100m).

ACCESS

From the car park a good road leads up the snowy valley (Val Corta) to another hamlet. It splits at this point: left leads into Val Corta, straight on leads to what becomes Val Budria. Continue up the road and enter this wild and lonely corner past some more hamlets and on upwards. There is no real path; continue on the righthand side of the river to reach the icefall. Circa 2 hours from the car park. Snowshoes recommended.

ROUTE

P1: 30m, climb the ice petals and 90° ice past technical 95° ice. Belay in the cave on the left formed by the drip.
P2:
  delicate moves lead out onto the drip, first fragile and poorly protected, then up superb ice. After 20m the ice eases off to 80°, then becomes even less steep. Belay on tree on the right, in-situ sling and carabiner.

DESCENT

A 60m abseil leads to 5m off the ground. Carefully downclimb these final metres to reach the base of the route.

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Details / Icefall
BEAUTY

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DIFFICULTY

5/5+

LENGTH

90m

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