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Simon Gietl making his solo winter ascent of Grande Muro, Sass de la Crusc, Dolomites on Thursday 4 March 2021
Photo by Simon Gietl
Simon Gietl making his solo winter ascent of Grande Muro, Sass de la Crusc, Dolomites
Photo by Simon Gietl
Simon Gietl paragliding back to Val Badia after his solo winter ascent of Grande Muro, Sass de la Crusc, Dolomites
Photo by Simon Gietl
Simon Gietl after his solo winter ascent of Grande Muro, Sass de la Crusc, Dolomites
Photo by Simon Gietl

Simon Gietl completes winter solo of Große Mauer on Heiligkreuzkofel, Dolomites

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Yesterday Simon Gietl made a winter solo ascent of Große Mauer / Grande Muro on Heiligkreuzkofel / Sass dla Crusc in the Dolomites. The mountaineer the South Tyrol, Italy, returned to valley by paraglider.

Precisely a week after his winter solo ascent of Mittelpfeiler, aka Pilastro di Mezzo on Heiligkreuzkofel / Sass de la Crusc in the Italian Dolomites, Simon Gietl made his way back into Val Badia to climb Große Mauer on his own. First ascended in 1969 by Reinhold Messner and Hans Frisch, this exposed line with its famous flake and traverse is also referred to as Grande Muro.

Last Thursday Gietl had taken his sleeping bag, stove etc for a bivouac but this turned out to be superfluous since he made faster progress than he had originally thought and reached the summit that day. This time he left his bivy gear behind and instead packed his lightweight paraglider, which enabled him to quickly descend back down into the valley after tagging the summit.

Having left the car at 5:30am, at 8:00am Gietl started climbing at a steady pace and he reached the summit at 12:15. The first pitch was climbed with crampons strapped to his mountaineering boots, all the rest with climbing shoes. At the summit he was met by his friend Manuel Hofmann and after identifying the right place for take-off, at 14:00 he was back at the car. "I can hardly believe it myself" Gietl told planetmountain.com "also because I've only been flying for just under a year! Combining a solo climb with paragliding is a new step forward for me."

Heiligkreuzkofel is special to the 36-year-old mountain guide who in the past has climbed 14 different routes on this mountain, including the first ascents of Stigmata in 2016 and Voodoo-Zauber in 2014 with Andrea Oberbacher, and Vergissmeinnicht in 2013 with Peter Manhatsberger.

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NEWS / Related news:
Simon Gietl makes winter solo ascent of Mittelpfeiler on Heiligkreuzkofel in the Dolomites
27.02.2021
Simon Gietl makes winter solo ascent of Mittelpfeiler on Heiligkreuzkofel in the Dolomites
On 25/02/2021 South Tyrolean alpinist Simon Gietl completed a solo ascent of Mittelpfeiler / Pilastro di Mezzo on Heiligkreuzkofel / Sass dla Crusc in the Dolomites, via the Mariacher variation.
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Over a four-day period in August 2016 Simon Gietl and Andrea Oberbacher made the first ascent, ground-up, of Stigmata, a multi-pitch rock climb up Heiligkreuzkofel / Sass de la Crusc in the Dolomites freed by the duo on 17/07/2017 with difficulties up to X-.
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Simon Gietl and Andrea Oberbacher have made the first free ascent of Voodoo-Zauber (IX-, 180m) on Heiligkreuzkofel / Sass de la Crusc (2718m) in the Dolomites.
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On 22 and 23 December 2014 the South Tyrolean alpinists Simon Gietl and Adam Holzknecht made the first winter ascent of Wüstenblume, Sass de la Crusc, Dolomites.
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The Messner slab on the Sass dla Crusc, Dolomites
The famous section climbed by Reinhold Messner on the Pilastro di Mezzo on Sass dla Crusc (also referred to as Sasso della Croce or Heiligkreuzkofel), analysed by Heinz Mariacher. Plus the history, a video and an on-site report by Nicola Tondini.
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On Saturday 12 February the two moutain Guides Nicola Tondini and Adam Holzknecht made the first repeat and consequently also the first winter ascent of "Loss lei, heb schun" on the massively exposed Sass dla Crusc, Dolomites.

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