Pan Aroma on Cima Ovest di Lavaredo by Iker Pou
On 14/08/2010 Iker Pou repeated "Pan Aroma" 8c on the North Face of Cima Ovest di Lavaredo, Dolomites
Evidently this summer the Pou brothers are on a mission: savour some of the hardest symbolic routes in the Dolomites. After the super slab Solo per Vecchi Guerrieri at the start of June, this time they turned their attention to the super overhang of Pan Aroma. This route, first ascended by Alexander Huber in 2007, breaches the enormous overhang on the North Face of Cima Ovest di Lavaredo and was in the spotlight a few weeks ago thanks to Hansjörg Auer's first repeat.
After three days of checking out the route, on 14 July Ike and his brother Eneko set off at 7.00am for the decisive attempt. At 10.00 they reached the first hard pitch, the 60m 8b+ which Iker freed straight off after a 45 minute battle, despite some wet holds. Next up the crux, the intense 8c which Iker hadn't worked as efficiently as possible: he needed 5 attempts to redpoint these 20m which barred the way upwards.
Even if the difficulties ease off considerably at this point and the weather began to worsen, the two Basque climbers wanted to reach the summit at all costs. Two pitches later they reached the Via Cassin - Ratti, but 12 pitches and some 300m of climbing still separated them from the summit. It was 18:15, with few hours of daylight left. What should they do? They opted for an improvised bivvy, just like the first ascentionists, Alexander Huber, Max Reichel and Franz Hinterbrandner three years ago.
So: few warm clothes, practically no food and an extenuating wait in the middle of the north face prior to setting off once again at 5:30. At 9:00 they reached the summit and then, as Iker writes: "even if we were very tired, we managed to reach the car park by 11:00. That evening we really celebrated in Rifugio Auronzo."
Cima Ovest di Lavaredo, Dolomites
The pitches: 7b, 6c, 6a+, 6c+, 7a+, 8b+ (60m, 7 bolts), 8c (20m, 4 bolts), 6c, 6c+, then exit via Cassin.
Gear: set of quickdraws. Friends and nuts not necessary