Marmolada Bruderliebe first repeat by Alessandro Rudatis
On 12 and 13 August 2015 Alessandro Rudatis and Massimo Torricelli made the second ascent of the beautiful and difficult Bruderliebe (800m, 19 pitches, max 8b/8b+) the difficult multi-pitch climb established and freed, in 2011, by Hansjörg Auer and his brother Vitus on the South Face of Marmolada (Dolomites).
This past summer Alessandro Rudatis, the talented Italian rock climber and mountaineer from the Agordo Dolomites, carried out a stylish first repeat of Bruderliebe, one of the most demanding and beautiful alpine outings, not only on the South Face of Marmolada in the Dolomites but elsewhere, too. After the first ascent of Bruderliebe - brotherly love - Auer enthusiastically told planetmountain.com about the route that winds its way between the two great pillars on the South Face. At the time Auer had given in to temptation: despite crossing the routes “40 anni per il Falier” and “Verena Vinus”, he simply couldn't resist climbing those 19 pitches, the hardest of which are all at the start, in particular the 6th pitch which at 8b/b+ forms the route's technical crux. But there’s much more to this line then simply the grade, and Auer underlined that he had used a mix of trad gear, pegs and bolts to protect the outing. “Almost all the belays on the lower part have one bolt and peg” he explained, adding “while on the upper section I placed three pegs, which I left in-situ. I have to say though that some of the climbing is fairly run-out.” Is this perhaps one of the reasons why Bruderliebe had to wait 4 years for its first repeat? What is certain is that this climb is not only demanding technically, a psycholically complex full alpine outing. And what is certain is that we greatly appreciated the manner in Rudatis repeated the route, taking all the time to savour the line, as he explains in his report published below.
BRUDERLIEBE MARMOLADA SOUTH FACE IN THE DOLOMITES by Alessandro Rudati
We’d climbed Bruderliebe up to the large ledge last year, and I have to admit it was by no means easy. Even if there are bolts on the hard pitches, you still need a good dose of courage. Furthermore, the weather wasn’t the best and so the dream of a free ascent remained unfulfilled.
We returned to the route in mid-June, intent on checking out the first part and the hardest pitches. The three hard pitches are truly unique, the rock is outstanding and climbing them was a real delight. I also really like the route’s location, on a section of the South Face that is usually ignored, high above the lush alpine meadows of the Ombretta valley.
After having carefully checked out the third and fourth pitch I then concentrated my efforts on the sixth, where a series of long moves put me to the test. It was then that I realised a free ascent would be no walkover.
Five days of attempts, spread out over almost two months, were needed to make this dream come true thanks to Macci who, apart from sharing this climb with me, always really motivated me.
On 12 August, the day of the free ascent, we set of nice and steady. It was extremely hot and so we decided to start climbing at 10 in order to reach the sixth pitch just as the shade hit.
The first section ran smoothly, after pitch four we settled down for a short break… we enjoyed the sun as we sat comfortably on top of the pillar, marveling as always at the beauty of this place. After a brief rest we set off once again.
One more pitch and then the time came to concentrate fully.
I started up utterly convinced, but fell off the crux. Macci lowered me to the belay, we pulled the ropes and I rested for half an hour. I then set off on another attempt, fortunately the successful one! Nevertheless I really had to fight my way through the long reach and on the traverse that leads to the crack, and when I finally reached this I whooped with delight. I couldn't believe it! Another couple of easy meters now led to the belay. I was so happy it all seemed unreal.
Another two pitches led to the ledge, by now it was 17:30... we could have made a dash to the summit and exited in the dark, but I preferred not to rush things. We prepared a good place to spend the night, and although we only had a few energy bars we started to put the kettle on the boil as they say…
The next morning we took our time to reach the summit, topping out at 11. We hugged each other, happy as we savoured the moment.
Alessandro Rudatis and Massimo Torricelli
TOPO: Bruderliebe, Marmolada, Dolomites