Caddymania, new Dolomites winter climb up Langkofel by Alessandro Baù, Giovanni Zaccaria
Winter mountaineering in the Dolomites: on the NW Face of the Innerkofler Tower, Langkofel / Sassolungo, Alessandro Baù and Giovanni Zaccaria have made the first ascent of the mixed climb of Caddymania. Zaccaria reports.
Mid-December. The days are short, like the ice screws we’d never like to use.
At five o'clock in the afternoon, while elsewhere people close the office door, take their children to the pool or have a cup of tea, on the Innerkofler Tower the climbers place head torches on their helmets and race down the ropes, trying to reach the base of the wall as quickly as possible. The first step towards somewhere warm and dry, with food on a table and plenty of beer: paradise.
"On the ground at last!"
"As you abseiled off the last belay, my phone happened to get reception and I managed to call the dealer and order the car: a white Caddy is coming my way!"
"Great Ale! I may be wrong but I reckon at the XMountain guides we’ve got more Caddy’s than other cars!”
"Yes, apart from us there Gelmo and Lorenz have got one... Four Caddy-driving mountain guides! What rope needs pulling?"
"Purple: We should get some kind of sponsorship with Volkswagen ..."
"Yeah, that would be great... You coil while I pull the ropes?"
“What a day! What a way to kick off the winter season."
“It’s absurd. It seems like days ago that we left my Caddy at Caprile..."
"And yet it was only four o'clock this morning!"
"Last week, when you climbed Mystique, I bet you returned to the car far earlier"
"Yeah, I was back home by now, but you know, when you make a first ascent you’ve always got to reckon with the unexpec…"
"No, don’t tell me"
"The yellow rope’s got stuck."
“Shit. What now? This is the last thing that we need!"
"What a pain in the arse. D’you know when the last time was that one of my ropes got stuck?”
"It's always like that, always at the wrong moment. As if there ever was a right moment... Give me the purple, I'll tie back in and get the yellow."
"Yes, ok, I'll call Claudia and tell her we'll be late... and that I've ordered the Caddy!"
“Have a quick sip of tea ... Anyways, it could have been worse had I not found those cracks while digging away with my ice axes ... there was no way I’d have completed that pitch without other pro!"
“We’ve finished the tea... Make sure you’re knot is OK, when you’re tired you risk making silly mistakes."
"I'm off... if only the rope hadn’t got stuck on the bloody traverse ..."
"And if only the snow had been a bit more consolidated..."
"... We’d be drinking beers already. But what a cool day nevertheless!
be much closer to our beer, but what a cool day! Don’t keep the rope too tight when I’m on the traverse."
"We'll be at the car at 10 pm, I hope we'll find somewhere to eat."
“Yeah, otherwise we’ll turn on the heating in the Caddy and cook some pasta..."
"Okay ... D’you know what I was thinking?"
"No tell me…."
"How come after a day like this we want to get out again into the cold?"