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Chimera Verticale, Civetta, Dolomites.
Photo by arch Alessandro Baù
Chimera Verticale, Civetta, Dolomites.
Photo by arch Alessandro Baù
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Chimera Verticale, Civetta

13.08.2010 by Planetmountain

Chimera Verticale (IX, 600m + pedestal at base), established over a series of summers up the NW Face of Civetta, recounted by first ascentionist Alessandro Baù.

Chimera Verticale is an extremely logical and elegant line up the legendary NW Face of Civetta, established between the summers of 2007 and 2009 by Alessandro Baù with a series of climbing partners between the famous routes Via Aste and Via Andrich. Due to work commitments at present Baù is a thousand kilometers from home, but this wild face is closer than ever before and, making the most of short break and perhaps overcome by homesickness, he has now sent us the following report and details about Chimera verticale...

Although it might seem superfluous we'll say it nevertheless: the NW Face of Civetta is beautiful, wild and legendary and therefore also extremely severe...

Chimera Verticale by Alessandro Baù
Lost on an island off the Korean coast, I'm currently waiting for the typhoon to die down to go back out to sea. I find myself thinking about the great adventure I had during the first ascent of Chimera Verticale, of my fear of failing on the first free ascent, at the satisfaction of reaching the summit, at the “usual” party at Torrani and... I can't wait to get back on mainland and back up the NW Face to climb more kilometers of rock. In the meantime, I'll have to make do with what is on my laptop.

Chimera Verticale was my first experience of establishing a new route and I'm curious to see if someone goes and repeats it to find out what they think. Last year, despite knowing the route, I found it harder than I had expected and, compared to other routes on the Wall of Walls, it is second only to Nuvole Barocche by Venturino De Bona and Piero Bez. It's is an extremely logical and elegant line (the words of a first ascentionist don't count) which weaves its way through all the weakpoints on the the pillar. The route boasts a series of pitches up fantastic rock, while others "need understanding". In short, this is a full alpine outing. During the first ascent we gave it all we had, doing without fixed ropes and bolts, climbing up and down our pillar and descending, whenever possible, down Via Aste. On one occasion we climbed half way up the face to add a mere 3 meters... what patience was needed! But the NW Face is fantastic for this, too

If you plan on repeating the route in a day you have to climb extremely quickly otherwise, for those in search of an adventure, we recommend the excellent Hotel Transcivetta located at the end of the 8th pitch; a fantastic balcony with splendid views onto the Marmolada where we bivvied on numerous occasions.

The 10th pitch needs to be freed once again after I broke a crux hold which I used as an undercling after having climbed through the crux.

Thanks to Scarpa, Camp, Kiwi Sport and Montura for the gear.


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