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Psyco Killer

First ascent: Probable first ascent: Beppe Ballico, Marco Milanese and Andrea Gamberini il 12/01/2013
By: Beppe Ballico
Area: Dolomites, Group: Tofane, Peak: Tofana di Mezzo, Height: 2650m, Country: Italy

The icefall is clearly visible when descending from Forcella Col dei Bos (2331m) towards beautiful Val Travenanzes: look up westwards just before Malga Travenanzes (1965m) to see the drip.

Psyco Killer is a "perfect" line which, when in condition, stands out clearly against the surrounding yellow rock. The fact that it rarely forms, is remote and at altitude (2650m) and reached via an avalanche-prone approach certainly doesn't make things easy and all this factors combined make it - when in condition - a true pearl of the Dolomites.

Beware:
before repeating check the ice formation carefully. Not only the quantity of ice but above all its solidity as the drip is often very precarious.

ROUTE

P1: A first easy step leads to a flat section.  WI 3+, 60m, 65°70° ice belay.
P2: A short wall at the start is followd by some stepped terrain which leads to the first vertical face. WI 4, 55m, 80° 70° ice belay.
P3: Now climb the crux pitch. A vertical wall with little ice offers the occasional cauliflower ice formation, then exit delicately past thin ice. During the first ascent the vertical section was no longer attached to the rock and the ice was 5 cm thick. WI 7-, 35m, 90° 95°, ice belay.
P4: Climb delicately up the large ice petals, past the thin curtain completely detached from the rock face and reach the section with "octopus" formations which seem to bar the way to the final pitch. Climb this rightwards, past overhangs to belay behind the drip. WI 6+, 35m, 90° with some sections 95°, ice belay
P5: Continuous final wall, some overhaning sections WI 6, 40m, 90° 95°, ice belay.

DESCENT

Abalakov abseil down the line of ascent.

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IV+, WI7-, D5

FACE

West

LENGTH

225m

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