Monaco di Clausura, new rock climb at San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily
On 02/06/2012 Fabio Failla and Luigi Filocamo made the first ascent of Monaco di Clausura (5 pitches, 6c max, 6b+ obligatory) up the north face of Pizzo Monaco, San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily.
The 9am Rome - Palermo flight landed, Luigi phoned to ask where we'd meet and I told him I'd pick him up from the El Bahira campsite in about an hour. As soon as I got there I told him about a new line I'd noticed some time ago on Pizzo Monaco. Without me needing to repeat it he agreed so we prepared our gear and set off.
At the base of the route we racked up and started the climb beneath an overhang and tried to use as little in-situ gear as possible. We dashed up the first 30 metres and reached the base of a chimney, where we set up a bely on the left out of the way of falling stones.
We climbed easily up the chimney for 35m to reach the top of a pillar and set up belay on this beautiful natural balcony. From here the route continues with another 3 pitches, the grades are fairly similar and the climbing varies from cracks, corners, slabs and overhangs. The rock is particularly good quality apart from a few sections where it is still somewhat loose. The central section of the route is extremely exposed but offers plenty of good holds.
All the belays are equipped with bolts, as are the crux sections of the climb. The gear needs backing up with natural pro, nuts and camming devices. The climb faces north and can therefore be climbed even in intense heat as it remains in the shade for most of the day.
by Fabio Failla
ROUTE TOPO: Monaco di Clausura, San Vito Lo Capo