La lingua pura 7c, new multi-pitch climb on Monte Monaco, Sicily
Austrian Mountain Guide Albert Leichtfried has made the first ascent of La lingua pura (7c, 6c oblig, 200m) on the North Face of Monte Monaco close to San Vito lo Capo in Sicily, Italy, together with Paul Mair.
A few days ago we reported about the recent developments at Never Sleeping Wall, the almost surreal little crag close to San Vito Lo Capo on the north-western tip of Sicily, Italy. During their holiday to this Mediterranean gem, the Austrians Albert Leichtfried and Paul Mair also made the first ascent of "La lingua pura", a 200m 7c on the North Face of Monte Monaco. Leichtfried describes this route as "perhaps my finest multi-pitch route to date"and how it all came about is published below
A dream climbing holiday in Sicily by Albert Leichtfried
While surfing through the internet last chilly winter I got stuck on some eye-catching pictures of amazing sunny rocks in Sicily. Some weeks later my motivation to have an even closer look at those rocks grew with the publication of the new guide book "Di roccia di sole" and just a few days after our last winter activities Vroni, Mira and I checked in at the ferry boat from Livorno to Palermo. We spent two relaxed weeks in pleasant temperatures, gorgeous springlike landscape and perfect rock. After the first visit there was one thing I was sure of, the amazing rock potential at the north-western part of the island was worth coming again.
It wasn't very hard to convince some friends for another southbound trip. Our stories about spanking walls covered with numberless tufas brought not less than ten Tyrolean climbers to the walls around San Vito lo Capo this October. In springtime we were the only climbers for most of the time, but now the situation had changed and we werent the only people attracted to these walls. Equipped with a couple of hundred bolts we immeditaly searched for suitable rocks. I aimed to establish a whole sport climbing sector, as well as a multipitch route. The goals were set very quickly at the incredibly structured and up to 100 meters high wall in Custonaci and at the north face of Monte Monaco. Located directly next to the famous Grotta Mangiapane and a mere 500m from the seaside the almost surreal Never Sleeping Wall cannot be overlooked. You need a fair while to realize the beauty of the great limestone wall with its incredible tufas and streaked, grey and orange rock. At sunset the entire crag glows bright red and the atmosphere couldn't be more impressive when you climb one of the 50m routes at last light. We spent many hours at this magic place. Several new lines were developed, all stunning and unique. Vroni expressed her rekindled love for climbing with "Conscious change" (6b+). In Pauls routes "Silent sleep" (6a+) and "Long sleep" (6b+) you wont fall asleep. I succeeded in the first ascent of an 8a hattrick. At the doubledyno of "Superman" (7c+/8a) you seem to be able to fly, even if only for a short time. More than 80 moves are essential for the long journey in "Evil lurks behind every mans heart" (8a) and a tricky black tufa makes the crux of "Il patrone nero" (8a/a+) quite demanding. In spring I had bolted the obvious line up the 30 meter long tufa: "Tears of Freedom" (7a+) was the result and from my point of view the route should be ranked to be the most beautiful 7a+ in the world. We also had a fun time at the crags west of San Vito - Salinella Camping and Scogliera di Salinella. Inspired through Horst's ability to scope for new routes we toproped a new technical line. The solution was found quickly and so the new route was bolted just as quickly. Now you can find another aesthetic and slightly overhanging 7c+ at the Pineta sector "Horstls vibes" turned out to be positive ones!
After all this action it was time for a rest day. But my motivation was unstoppable and instead of resting I wanted to try a establish a route on the North Face of Monte Monaco. Two pitches were done rapidly, but of course the planned rest day turned out to be anything but a rest. Since our arrival I had been fascinated by a roof full of stalactites at about 120 meters off the ground. Through my binoculars I spotted a logical line, leading to the roof. Climbing ground up was very exciting, not least because hardly any holds were visible above the roof from down below. When I had a look around the lip of the roof I was lucky to find a hold, exactly at the right distance from the lip. Relieved and happy that the line was climbable I bolted a belay on the ledge. In the darkness, only in the shine of the headlamp we reached our base at the camp site. A couple of days later I was glad to be able to climb what is probably my most beautiful multipitch ever. On "La lingua pura" (7c, 6c obl., 200m) the route quality is outstanding and alternates a series of tufas and compact corners. As usual time flies when you're having fun and we finished our dream holiday with a gorgeous barbecue direct at the Grotta Mangiapane organised by our Sicilian friends.
- La lingua pura, Monte Monaco, Sicily
- Never Sleeping Wall, San Vito lo Capo, Sicily