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La Piera

First ascent: First ascentionists unkown
By: Beppe Ballico
Area: Dolomites, Group: Val Gardena-Vallunga, Peak: Dlacion de col dela Pieres, Height: 2350m, Country: Italy

Compared to the nearby Val Gardena, Vallunga is more suited to more adventurous ice climbers, those who love a pristine alpine ambient. Vallunga is a lonely valley, criss-crossed for a bit by a cross-country piste, marked by 600-700m high faces and as such is it definitely one of the most fascinating places in the South Tyrol. As you skin your way up through the valley you’re more than likely to encounter beautiful ribbons of ice, often of considerable length, behind every corner. Despite being made somewhat easier by the cross-country piste, the approaches are always fairly long. And as it happens, ”La Piera" is one of the icefalls which has the longest, most arduous approaches.


Coming from the south, exit the A22 motorway after Bolzano at Val Gardena. Drive up the beautiful valley, passing Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva di Val Gardena. At a junction, follow signs for Vallunga and after a few kilometers the road ends near the start of the cross country piste; follow this into the valley.


From the car park at 1650m, ascend through the valley along the path to reach the CAI trail #16 for for Rifugio Puez and Col dala Pieres. Where this heads decisively right, continue straight up following a steep canyon to its end. From here continue left, across the exposed ledge foreach the base of the icefall (2350m). Calculate 3 h.


P1. Climb the first vertical section to reach the snowy ledge. 25m, 90°85°, ice belay.
P2. Great ice pitch, up drips to a small niche. 30m 90°, ice belay.
P3. Climb the column on the right or left, depending on conditions, to exit onto the slop that leads to the base of the final pitch. 30m, 90°, ice belay.
P4. Final, beautiful vertical pitch, receives the sun until late. 30m, 90°, ice belay.


Abalakov abseils down the route

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