On 17 October Mario Prinoth carried out the first repeat of "Solo per vecchi guerrieri", the route first ascended by Manolo on the "El Colaz" rock face above Aune in the Feltre Dolomites. The difficult and aleatory line ascends 200m of fantastic rock and the first three pitches had been graded 7c, 7b+, 8b which is then followed by the final (crux and above all aleatory) pitch which according to Manolo could be somewhere in the region of 8c/9a. Obligatory difficulty was rated 7b/c and now, after this repeat (which came about after various attempts) Mario Prinoth substantially confirms the difficulties. Above all though he confirms that this is undoubtedly a beautiful route which literally bewitched him. A very "particular" route where nothing can be taken for granted which is for old (and true) warriors only.
by Mario Prinoth
Last summer I started to try a route which I then had to set aside for work reasons and because of the difficult weather conditions. Together with Riccardo (Scarian Editors note) we decided to try “Solo per vecchi guerrieri”, the route established and freed from the ground up by Manolo.
Between 1990 and 1995 I often took off with my paraglider from the summit of Monte Avena to then fly over the Feltre Dolomites, but I never thought that one day I'd have the possibility to climb them receive so much satisfaction from them.
In September we engaged in our first attempt, but the climbing was severe and our sensation when climbing on this "virgin" tock, without the slightest traces to follow except for the line of bolts, resulted in us that we didn't make a integral ascent.
After circa 10 days, with fresh skin and new fingers, we tried the route again and Riccardo, on great form, managed to clip the rope into the belay on the last pitch.
Despite the fact that I had to travel 400km each time, waking up early and returning home later and later, the route continued to reveal new aspects and different methods. Each time we managed to entangle it just that bit more, and it enticed us to return.
After training my fingers specifically I began to "feel" the route, even though its main characteristic is its uncertainty and the on-off moves which keep you with baited breath right up to the belay. Nevertheless I felt that the time was almost ripe for a good attempt.
On Sunday 15 October I noted that the weather forecast was good, and this is an element which should not to be underestimated on this type of route. This time Riccardo couldn't be my climbing partner as he was busy doing his mountain guide course. So on Tuesday morning at 5.00 am I climbed into the car with Bruno Pederiva once again.
At 9.00 am I put on my climbing shoes, set off climbing and noticed with pleasure that Bruno was highly enthusiastic about the route, comparing the rock to that in Verdon. After having climbed the 8b pitch I'm content, despite the fact that I'm well aware of the hardest pitch which still lies in store. I'm content because this 8b pitch had proved a hard nut to crack since the outset, and on my first attempt I had also fallen badly.
Now though the time has come for the final pitch and while I lace up my shoes I begin to feel like a warrior preparing for battle. The fear of making a mistake lies in ambush, is nursed in those decisive moves on tiny footholds which don't get you pumped but can make you dream of winning vanish in an instant.
The pitch is long and has some rests which you have to use well to be able to confront, with a lucid mind, the next moves without ever losing concentration. This has to remain focused for the final, decisive moves. I clip the rope into the belay and I feel satisfied, even if I'm aware of the fact that the "Grande guerriero", the great warrior, is he who first sensed and freed this beautiful route.
Finally, I'd like to thank Heinz for the new Scarpa, Grivel and Red Point in Arco for their support.
Photos: Mario Prinoth climbing "Solo per vecchi guerrieri" (arch. M. Prinoth).