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Andrej Grmovsek and the massive Torre Trieste, Civetta, Dolomites
Photo by Tanja Grmovsek
Luka Krajnc on the first 7b+ pitch of Donnafugata, Torre Trieste, Civetta, Dolomites
Photo by Andrej Grmovsek
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Donnafugata on Dolomites Torre Trieste by Andrej Grmovsek


Andrej Grmovsek from Slovenia has carried out the first repeat in a single day of Donnafugata on Torre Trieste, Civetta, Dolomites.

Donnafugata is an emblematic route on Monte Civetta in the Dolomites. As many will remember, the route was first ascended by Christoph Hainz and Roger Schaeli up the enormous Torre Trieste missile in 2004. At the time the crux 15th pitch resisted all attempts and three years later Mauro Bubu Bole solved the problem and proposed 8a overall for these 750m.

Andrej Grmovsek from Slovenia has now carried out the second free ascent and while his partner Luka Krajnc led the first five pitches and a couple between the 10th and 15th pitch, Andrej led all the others to the finish. His report is published below. What is noteworthy is that the ascent was carried out in a single day: the two set off at 6:30 am and topped out at 23.00 pm.

Donnafugata, touch and go on Torre Trieste by Andrej Grmovsek
"I often climb in the Dolomites, they are just 5 hours drive from home and are perfect mountains for hard, long free climbs. For me they are the best limestone walls in the world! To be honest Donnafugata wasn't really my goal. I wasn’t motivated to climb a hard route in the Dolomites, especially at the start of the season. I didn' want to study pitches and moves only to have to return for a free ascent, to fight the psychological stress of a free ascent.

But in the end the enthusiasm and determination of my young climbing partner Luka Krajnc won me over. We went to the Torre Trieste last Saturday. Since Mauro Bubu Bole and also Erik Svab (who attempted the route last year) told us that the hardest pitch is very technical, we went there more to attempt the route then to climb it. We climbed on-sight to the key 15th pitch. But than I spent more than 2 hours figuring out all the moves on that really technical and long pitch. Then Luka spent even more time studying the pitch.

I was sure I wouldn't be able to link all the moves on my second try, but I tried nevertheless and managed to send it! I was super happy, but now we were confronted with another problem. It was already 5.30 p.m. and 9 more pitches separated us from the the top. The crux pitch was too hard for Luka that day and I then continued leading as fast as possible. But I fell on the 17th pitch (7b) and climbed it free with my last energy on my third attempt. It was 9 p.m. There was another 7a/a+ pitch just before the top – a total slab without holds, which I managed on my second try, with headlamp. We reached the top at 11 p.m!

I feel the route is graded a bit "soft" as most of the multi-pitch free climbs, but the crux pitch is hard because of its technical nature. I'm really happy to have climbed it in the style I did. I believe there is a huge difference in "first try" (one day) free ascent and multi visit (i.e. more days) free ascents on multi-pitch free routes. This ascent means a lot to me personally, especially because of our fight to the end, the race against time and the totally unexpected free ascent in a single day! What is more, Luka managed to climb the route free just five days later!"





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