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Il Mito della Caverna

First ascent: Nicola Balestra & co. P1-4; Luca Auguadri & Matteo della Bordella P5-9. FFA: Matteo della Bordella 12.06.2011, Luca Auguadri 14.06.2011
By: Matteo della Bordella
Area: Alpi Lepontine, Group: Ticino and Verbano Alps, Peak: Gendarme di Gramüsèd, Country: Switzerland

The Gramused gendarme is one of the gems in the narrow Bavona valley in Switzerland, and recently a difficult multi-pitch route has been added to it, "Il mito della Caverna". The route climbs up the central part of the face, firstly overcoming the evident and initial dihedral, tackling the central overhang directly, to then continue along the evident and marked yellow dihedral all the way to the summit. The route was established by Nicola Balestra up to the fourth pitch, and then completed by Matteo Della Bordella and Luca Auguadri in April of this year. On 12 June Matteo made the first free ascent, with difficulties up to 8a and an obligatory 7c, while Luca repeated it two days later.

Della Bordella describes the ascent as "quite atypical for a granite face, the harder pitches are on an overhanging wall and on slopers; a "modern" style climb similar to the nearby Cevio crag, so much so that at the beginning of the second pitch and at the end of the sixth, the rock never gets wet. This route which brings together alpine characteristics with sports climbing, is highly recommended! Thanks to Luca for including me in this project and I congratulate him for having established the hardest sections."

Matteo Della Bordella points out "Establishing this route was very difficult: by avoiding completely the use of aid and bolts to progress (A0) meant that the rock dictated its rules, testing us with its difficult to interpret moves and extreme difficulties. Every single metre was lived to its fullest, giving us great emotions which I hope will be passed on, intact, to future repeaters!"


Valle Maggia, Cavergno, Val Bavona, park at the water fountain dominated by the crag.


Ascend the gully above with difficulty for circa 500m, past an obvious steep narrow section. Now traverse right along exposed ledges (do not trust the old in-situ ropes) to reach the forest clearly visible from the car park. The route starts in the obvious dihedral directly beneath the gigantic corner/crack system which marks the first third of the rock face.


Traverse right for 20m, then carry out two abseils away from the line of ascent (the first off a tree). Then belays P6-P4-P2. Attention: you must fix at least the second part of P6 during the ascent in order to abseil later (bring 20m rope)


Serie of camming devices BD (up to #4), set of Micro camming devices, small and mid size nuts, 10 quickdrwas, 2x55m rope, 20m rope to fix the abseil (see above)

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