Tommaso Cardelli introduces a series of classic and new ice climbs in the Valle di Fassa, right in the heart of the Italian Dolomites.
When you hear the words "Val di Fassa" during the winter season, the first thing that certainly springs to mind is an unforgettable valley in the heart of the Dolomites, with some of the most famous pistes and off-piste itineraries in the whole world! It is highly likely though that few people associate the valley with its splendid ice climbs and dry tooling pitches... Well, they couldn't be more wrong!
Apart from the classic and superbly famous icefalls ideal for all abilities (Fontanazzo Sx-Dx, Rio Pelous, Cassiopeo...), a series of new, fun and interesting climbs have been established in recent years, thanks above all to the excellent winter conditions. Some of these new routes climb ice all the way through and do not come into condition regularly, while other routes climb sections of ice followed by modern mixed, combining dry tooling with classic water ice.
Published below is a series of climbs first ascended recently and which have not been published before in guidebooks. The photos represent the current mid-February cold conditions and it goes without saying that each icefall must be judged carefully on the basis of the temperature, avalanche danger, ice quality etc.
I would like to add that finding the information regarding the first ascents is a difficult task and some routes may contain some incorrect first ascent information. have fun climbing!
Tommaso Cardelli, Aspirant Mountain Guide
Thanks to: SCARPA, Northland Shop, Peak Performance for the gear.
The Grotta di Pian was bolted by Mario Prinoth and Renato Bernard, with the help of other local climbers. It is is an ideal training venue for bigger climbs in the mountains and to learn the subtleties of "dry-tooling". The routes are fully equipped, the sun is guaranteed all day long and cave is located in relaxing and beautiful surroundings. Thanks to the huge variety of routes on offer the cave is ideal for both beginners and experts. Take particular care when judging the solidity of the central drip, above all on warm days! A helmet is obligatory!
Tupac Amaru - Carpe Diem is a fun and very beautiful three-pitch ice climb. After an easy first slabby pitch the icefall steepens and alternates delicate mixed sections with vertical, articulated ice. A bolt and peg were placed on the first mixed section, while two bolts were placed on the second section.
Vecioti e Zovenoti offers two fun and varied pitches; drips and vertical ice at the start provide beautiful moves in search of the easiest line, while the angle eases off on the second pitch but the ice becomes thinner and more delicate...
A beautiful and psychologically demanding outing as many sections require trad gear for protection... This latest addition to the valley, during a Mountain Guide training course in 2011, offers difficult ice and delicate mixed climbing!
A great gully set in a quiet and beautiful environment which is reminiscent of the gullies in the Western Alps, more than the classic icefalls in the Dolomites. The route alternates vertical ice, short snow patches and mixed sections which at times are hard to protect. In some sections the ice is very thin and pro can be found on the rock nearby.
The "unnamed icefall" is located to the right of the classic "Rio Pelous". Climb the first pitch up a chimney/gully past a wedged tree trunk and continue up a further two pitches of weathered ice. The route is clearly visible from the road which leads from center of Campitello to the cable car.