La sor blanche, new Dolomites mixed route by Riegler brothers
On 26 December 2008 the brothers Florian and Martin Riegler mande the first ascent of 'Sorella biancaâ (M9 WI6-), a new drytooling and mixed route in Val Lunga (Val Gardena, Dolomites, Italy).
Boxing Day full of action for the Riegler brothers! Christmas meals obviously didn't weigh the two Italian brothers down as they carried out the first ascent of a difficult new route through rock and ice formations high in Val Lunga on 26 December 2008. Their 'white sister' weaves its way upwards for 5 pitches, first via some dry tooling, then past a series of slender drips to a ledge which is exited by two splendid ice pitches. The South Tyrolean duo used only normal pegs and camming devices for protection and believe their latest offering weighs in at M9 WI6-. A glance at the photos confirms that the 'Sorella bianca' is not only extremely difficult, but also stunningly beautiful.
La sor blanche by Martin Riegler
'You can see the drips sparkle from way down in the valley, but it takes two hours to reach them. I feel ill as I trudge uphill behind Florian. I didn't tell anyone I had a fever. To tank up on enough energy for the vertical journey ahead we eat the entire day's rations.
It's a new experience for us to climb up mixed terrain using only pegs, but Florian reaches the first belay surprisingly unimpressed. Now it's my turn. I sweat like in a sauna, but find a good climbing rhythm and a short while later I reach my brother, fairly pumped.
The next pitch is easier but somehow my axes scratch around on nothing very much. The flu makes my head boil and I throw off my steamed-up glasses. I reach the belay and am happy that it's Florian's turn next.
Today I'm not really up for an ice curtain like this one, and I can see his shadow through the ice. I remind him that our belay and therefore our lives are linked to three camming devices and that he should therefore climb extremely carefully...
Florian climbs as if walking on eggshells. After a few intense minutes we finally reach the ledge above. We know that the greatest difficulties lie behind us. What now follows are a few meters of mixed climbing and the final two beautiful ice pitches. The last rays of sunlight warm us as we climb the final meters. These are unforgettable moments.'