Sappada, new icefalls in NE Italy
Mountain Guide Riccardo Del Fabbro introduces the most recent icefalls at the historic ice climbing area Sappada in NE Italy.
The gorge Orrido dell'Acquatona at Sappada has always been held in high regard by ice climbers. From beginners to experts alike, there is something for everyone to train and hone their techniques before progressing to bigger climbs in the mountains. The easy access, consistently good ice quality, in-situ belays and abseils are the basis of Sappada's success.
Sometimes though the success comes at a price: long waits at the base of the icefalls due to the numerous ice climbers wishing to ascend the drips which all of a sudden seem far too few. It is for this reason that I have equipped a series of single pitches to increase what is on offer here: three sectors with routes which are short but offer some interesting, at times technically difficult climbing. The mixed routes are equipped with bolts but the pro needs integrating with ice screws.
Access: from the road descend to the bed of river Piave. Cross the river by using the Tyrolean traverse. Once on the opposite side of the river continue to the obvious icefalls. The new routes are located just before these.
1. M. Mona . Grade: I, 5, 35m
2. + Cabernet Internet. Grade: I, 5+, 35m
3. Molluschi. Grade: I, 5, 35m
4. Picche no picconi. Grade: I, 5, 35m
Access: this is located on the opposite side of the First sector. From the road ascend through the forest towards the icefall Futura. Ascend the first two pitches or avoid these by scrambling up through the forest and quickly reach the new icefall.
6. Ritorno al futuro. Grade: II, M5 , 5 , 65m (possibile belay at 35m) Descent: Two 35m abseils.
Access: this drip can be made out on the right from the wooden bridge which crosses River Piave above the deep Acquatona gorge. Access the icefall from above by carefully abseiling off the bolt belay located beneath the bridge on the main road that leads to Sappada. Highly recommended: leave an abseil rope in-situ just in case you encounter difficulties climbing back out. Warning: do not lower off a partner as he may finish off in the river.
5. Acquatona. Grade: II, 6 , 35m