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First ascent: Albert Leichtfried & Dougal Tavener, 24/01/2006
By: Planetmountain
Area: Dolomites, Group: Val Gardena-Vallunga, Peak: Vallunga, Selva di Val Gardena, Height: circa 2000m, Country: Italy, Region: Trentino Alto Adige

On 24 January 2006 Albert Leichtfried made the first ascent of "Illuminati", a 5 pitch mixed outing located in Val Lunga, close to Selva Gardena, N. Italy. The 30 year old Austrian has put forward the impressive grade M11+/WI 6+.

Leichtfried told us that Illuminati was "the route for which I had to put more effort in then for any other climb ever before. This mixture of hard mixed-climbing and serious ice-climbing is very demanding. Climbing over the curtain and the last ice pitch is dangerous and serious, the last pitch I don't ever want to climb again. I'm glad everything worked so perfectly."

As can be gathered easily, Illuminati is a severe and dangerous undertaking, to be climbed only when conditions are more than perfect. But let's hear how Albert prepared to seize his day.


From Selva in Val Gardena reach the Val Lunga.


On the left side of the valley, 10 minutes after parking the car - walk up the grassy hill to close to a rock cave . 1.5 hours


The route was climbed in "reloaded"- ie without spurs. Grading and a free ascent apply to this style only.

P1: M11- 30m, 12m overhanging. Endurance, crux at the upper part
P2: M11+ 25m, 10m overhanging. Demanding, hard mixed-climbing
P3: M8- 30m, 3m overhanging. Nice, over the curtain
P4: WI4 30m, vertical parts. Perfect ice, easy going
P5: WI6+ 50m, vertical. Free-standing pillar with very poor quality ice


3x50m on the right side, lower part down a via ferrata


12 quickdraws, complete ice-rack. The route is partly equipped with bolts.


This route is a serious alpine undertaking, retreat is almost impossible. The upper ice section should be climbed only on cold days in the shade or on cloud-covered days. Whilst climbing the curtain make sure that your rope does not run below the curtain.

Route setup: Albert Leichtfried & Dougal Tavener on 14. and 15. January 2006
First RP: Albert Leichtfried & Dougal Tavener on 24. January 2006. All pitches led by Leichtfried.

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M11+/WI 6+




165m circa


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