Traverso al Cielo, Simon Kehrer and Christoph Hainz add new rock climb up Peitlerkofel in the Dolomites
In autumn 2015 the two mountain guides Simon Kehrer and Christoph Hainz made the first ascent of Traverso al Cielo, a new multi-pitch climb up the South face of Peitlerkofel, Dolomites. Simon Kehrer reports.
"Whatever did you have in mind?" exclaimed my friend and climbing partner Christoph Hainz two days previously, with a hearty laugh, when he received my text message with the words "at Peitlerkofel there’s a new, interesting project for us." After seeing a photo of the perfectly south-facing wall he couldn't quite make out a line up through the face, but nevertheless he was immediately drawn to the project!
Now we were there, packed down with gear like two mules, below that magnificent yellow wall! Motivated and armed with all sorts of equipment I embarked on this new adventure, and when I finished the first pitch I set about belaying Christoph. He joined me and immediately started up and equipped the next pitch, a sheer delight.
The line we followed was logical and obvious; we breached sections of original climbing up good and rough rock. Swinging leads we climbed higher and higher. I reached an uncomfortable and repulsive small niche, but was delighted to have my drill with me and quickly equip a third belay. But then I remembered with horror that I’d removed the tip of the drill and left it in a hole a couple of meters below me...!
"Oh, oh! Okay!" Keep calm, try to quickly hammer in a peg or find some natural pro. But after a few attempts I realised that the only option was to down-climb past the slopy holds and reach my last bolt… I succeeded! Somewhat angry with myself for having wasted so much time and energy I exchanged some friendly banter with Christoph. He took the lead and we ended our first day 15 meters later.
On day two we only managed to equip the 4th and 5th pitch as we both have to be home early in the evening. On day three, as we ascended our fixed ropes, we wondered whether it would perhaps be less tiring climbing up the actual route ; -) Christoph was motivated and started up the next pitch, finding his way past the steep and technical sequences without falling. Done! My turn, and by now I gathered that this pitch wouldn't give in easily, being both technical and requiring stamina. Quite rightly so!
Christoph continued upwards and equipped the eighth pitch on excellent rock, but as I followed his line, I wondered to myself, "why didn’t he climb directly up for 10-20 meters, that way we would have exited the face?" As I got closer I saw that the rock above was very poor, perhaps from some old rockfall, so we decided to continue traversing easily leftwards for one final pitch, which led us to the top and the summit cross. Happy with our new route we wished each other "Berg Heil''
TOPO: Traverso al Cielo, Sas de Putia, Dolomites