|After 5 days of climbing, from 14 January to 18 January, and in temperatures as cold as -20° C, the Italian Marco Anghileri made the first solo winter ascent of the Northwest Face of the Civetta, Dolomites, via the Solleder route. |
This route, first climbed 7 August 1925 by Emil Solleder and Gustav Lettenbauer, is a milestone in climbing history since it was the first grade VI ever. In addition, considering the date, it was climbed in an impressively fast 15 hours.
Anghilieri’s winter ascent comes 37 years after the first winter ascent, completed by the climbers Ignazio Piussi, Giorgio Radaelli and Toni Hiebeler from 28 February to 7 March 1963. They were followed almost immediately by another team of climbers, Roberto Sorgato, Natalino Menegus and Marcello Bonafede, who started on 4 March and topped out just 3 days later. The first solo ascent was made in 1952 by Cesare Maestri, well known to many for his first ascent of Cerro Torre in Patagonia.
Solleder climbs the plum line through one of the finest and most imposing walls in both the Dolomites and Alps. The freezing cold Northwest Face is 1200m high and graded VI-.
(Civetta’s magnificent Northwest Face in winter shroud - photo Nicholas Hobley)