Antelao, Dolomites: Enrico Paganin makes solo first ascent of Via Mamabi
Climbing alone on Saturday 30 June 2018, Enrico Paganin made what is likely to be a first ascent up the SW Face of Antelao in the Dolomites. An 'exploratory' climb that ‘doesn’t concentrate on the grade' and which, via a hidden series of diagonal ledges, enters into the heart of the large amphitheater to the right of the historic route established by J. S. Phillimore & Co in 1898.
The route comes about due to my curiosity to discover a simple way into the amphitheater to the right of the historic Phillimore route, which up until now, had no other climbs. Last year, after having repeated Riccardo Bee’s climb with Luca Vallata, I returned to examine the complex SW Face.
After some visits to the mountain on my own, and one with my good friend Francesco Lamo (CAAI), I returned alone on 30 June. The route is exploratory, doesn’t concentrate on the grade and ascends a logical line through the mountains weaknesses, following the old dogma of “searching for the easy way through difficult terrain.” Once in the amphitheater I’d planned on joining the Phillimore route and therefore exiting easily, seeing that it’s only grade III scrambling from there. In truth though as I crossed the Philimore climb without realising I’d one so and exited left, via an independent line of chimneys and cracks. At two-thirds height, on a traverse, I was forced to abandon my rope because it was jammed.
Following the highest arete and other cracks I reached some chimneys that enabled me to reach Pian del Lenzuò, therefore avoiding the yellow slabs. From down below this exit is hidden to the eye. In doing so, I rediscovered the joy and satisfaction of climbing through the hidden folds of the mountain, managing to scope a simple line without forcing things.
The rock is good on the lower part of the pedestal. Poor in the central part of the amphitheater and up to the first chimney. After the traverse on the left it improves significantly and is good once again.I dedicate the climb to my 3 daughters, enclosed in the acronym Mamabi.
Via Mamabi, SW Face of Antelao, Dolomites
Solitary ascent by new climb (to be confirmed), which via a hidden series of diagonal ledges, enters into the heart of the large amphitheater to the right of the historic route established by J. S. Phillimore & Co (John Swinnerton Phillimore, Arthur Guy Sandars Raynor with the guides Antonio Dimai, Zaccaria Pompanin, Michel Innerkofler 16/ 08/1898). The new route crosses the Phillimore climb, then exit to the lefts. A great adventure on a big mountain. 6 belays were left with insitu gear.. Another two hours required to reach the summit. Descent via the normal route, still covered in snow. Summit at 15.45