Baule and Bilico, Manolo's new routes and climbs
Maurizio Manolo Zanolla and his new routes at two small, lost crags, Baule and Bilico high up in the Dolomites, for a climbing which is far removed from the usual perspectives.
What climbing is, and what it really gives us, is difficult to explain. Perhaps because each one of us, between those folds in the rock, manage to find their own reasons. And so, when Manolo talked to us about the magic of those two little gems lost and almost hidden high up in the mountains, the question seemed natural. Where do their secrets lie and, above all, what do they tell us about climbing? He replied with a few sentences only and a couple of photos. But this seemed ample to free our, and hopefully also your, imagination. The crag Baule (located in the Vette Feltrine where in 2001 and 2009 Manolo established and freed the famous Appigli ridicoli and Eternit) and above all the new and incredible Bilico (which translates as pivot, so watch out!) high up in Val Canali are two "distant and different" places. And in some ways extraordinary. It is here where Manolo established and freed some new routes of late. Three to be precise, plus a project at Bilico and five at Baule. "All really beautiful" according to Mago, the wizard... We've published the essential information. Take it as a suggestion for the future, as well as a treasure map which still needs to be discovered and conquered... what sort of treasure would it be otherwise?
BAULE AND BILICO, DISTANT AND DIFFERENT by Maurizio Manolo Zanolla
They are two small islands, immersed in a sea which isn't that large and which you feel you can cross, but not without that subtle restlessness which always accompanies a journey. But sometimes these suffice to satisfy the desire to travel further still.
Facing the sea and with its bright rock, Baule resembles a gentle sail, ready to quietly and confidently drift away, wherever. Perhaps simply because you perceive the safety of anchor, moored in a port which is sheltered from storms.
Bilico on the other hand, with its yellow, squared stone seems a shipwreck which might emerge from a surging sea, at the mercy of the storm and winds. All you can do is try to grab it and drift along with the currents which might take you anywhere.
They really are two very different crags from all points of view and they cannot be mistaken for other rocks nearby. They are marked by the strong and wild character of those places where climbing allows itself to permeate through the colours only. Even if time increasingly asks for the bill which the mountains and life have spent, returning to these crags during beautiful, warm autumns such as this one is always a pleasure. Despite being small, without having to travel to far away places they provide me with a balsamic breath of "climbing free" which every now and then helps to "relieve" some things in life. And I've also discovered that these is still room for something new.
The routes from left to right:
1) El Junca 7c/8a
2) Oidualca 8a/b
3) In bilico 8b/c
> see the map
Getting there: From the car park in Val Canali coast the stone wall along the large meadow and when this ends continue via a gully in the forest (track) to reach the large scree slope. From here follow cairn markers and the track to reach the large boulder in circa 45/50 minutes. Gear: 50m rope
The routes from left to right:
1) Osteria Tacicavallo 8a
2) Il cane veste Bvlgari 6b+
3) L'orso boz 7c
4) Garibaldi 8b
5) Crosnobel 6a+
> see the map
Getting there: from Val Noana follow signs for Rifugio Boz. After having crossed the river bed (shortly after the start of the tramway) instead of continuing towards the refuge head right. Reach the meadows and ascend these eastwards to join the path which leads from the hut, shortly before Passo Finestra. Continue left (track and markers) to reach the crag. Allow 1.30 hours from the car park, or 30/40 minutes from Rifugio Boz.
ROCK CLIMBING AT BAULE & BILICO
Both crags are recommended for expert climbers as they are located at circa 1800m in an alpine environment. A 60m rope is needed for Baule while a 50m rope suffices for Bilico. The climbing at Baule is technical but also rather simplistic; Osteria Tacicavallo is the shortest route but possibly also the most beautiful. The climbing at Bilico is similar but also completely different; in 15m you might be forced to do more than 50 moves. The climbing is truly different here and the first impression may be "destabilizing" and throw you completely.