Matterhorn, Via Casarotto - Grassi on Pic Tyndall climbed by Farina, Cazzanelli and Ferraris
On 17-18/11/2012 Marco Farina, François Cazzanelli and Roby Ferraris made a fast and great repeat of the route first ascended by Renato Casarotto and Gian Carlo Grassi in 1983 up the South Face of the Matterhorn which exits onto Pic Tyndall (ED / 1300mt ). This is likely to be only the third repeat of the route after that carried out in February 1984 by Barmasse-Cazzanelli-Tamone and the 2000 repeat by Hervé Barmasse. The report by Marco Farina.
The Matterhorn once again, once again the same team, Francois, Roby and myself. It's the third route we've climbed together in the heart of the "Gran Becca" as it's known locally, within this immense south face. This time it's the route established in 1983 by Renato Casarotto and Giancarlo Grassi up the triangle, which acts as a shield for Pic Tyndall, in the middle of the face.
After having gained some fragmented information about the route (it's only had two repeats in 29 years...) we set off the next day at 5:00am from Cervina with skis. We all knew just one thing: it was going to be a long day!
Once at the base of the mountain we started up a gully which led to the face proper, a 600m funnel of rock and ice up to 70°, not particularly difficult seeing that we found the time to chat about this and that... After two hours of mixed terrain we took off our crampons and ice axes, ready to tackle the rock above us, a 400m face which jutted out into the sky.
The first section, numerous verglassed slabs, led to a steep face where we discovered the route's first peg. After having got past this hardest section we made a long traverse rightwards to reached the base of a marginal corner. This was breached by climbing right, past better quality, but more difficult and hard to protect rock, to reach a terrace, a crack and corner and two red pegs circa 10m off the deck.
After exiting the corner the angle of the face eased off, but the second section led to the right, in the face proper, past fairly demanding climbing due to the terribly poor rock quality. We slowed down due to an unforseen event and then reached the crest at 16:00, knowing that we still had an hour of daylight left to ascend to the top of Tyndall and descend back down to valley.
As we exited onto the De Amicis ridge the final rays of sunlight provided a spectacle of light and shadows onto all the mountains that surround the Matterhorn. Down the Normal route (the Lion Ridge) the beam of light from our headtorches accompanied us to our skis and then all the way down to town. What can we say... it was a long day, but we've certainly gained a wealth of emotions and it was excellent sta