Pressknödel, first winter ascent by Simon Gietl and Roger Schäli
Simon Gietl and Roger Schäli ahve carried out the first winter ascent of Pressknödel (7c, 400m) on Cima Ovest, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites.
Simon Gietl from Italy's South Tyrol and Roger Schäli from Switzerland are currently training hard for a Himalayan project, and this resulted not only in an extremely rapid ascent of the Heckmair route up the North Face of the Eiger on 9 February - read a mere 4 hours and 25 minutes - it has now taken them to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo where just a few days ago they carried out the first winter ascent of Pressknödel up the North Face of the Cima Ovest.
The 400m line was established by South Tyroleans Kurt Astner and Christoph Hainz and then freed by the same questions in July 2010 at 7c. Gietl and Schäli narrowly avoided an slab avalanche on Saturday 5 March and the next day opted to avoid the traditional approach up the northern slopes by ascending the steep gully on the south side of the mountain and then dropping down North coloir.
They set off at circa 8.00am and initially the climbing ran surprisingly smoothly up the first six pitches which contain the technical crux. The duo were taxed however by the easier angled upper pitches which were plastered in snow and, being on easier ground in summer, fairly run-out. Gietl and Schäli reached the massive ledge and then abseiled down the route at circa 14:45 to carry out the first winter ascent.