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jmace

[TR] Dolomites-Wilder Kaiser 7/19/2010

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Trip: Dolomites-Wilder Kaiser - Many

 

Date: 7/19/2010

 

Trip Report:

 

Part 1

 

Last winter my work asked me to work 18 hours a day for the duration of the Olympic games, I agreed under one condition; that I get all my overtime pay in time off.

 

At the end of the games, including my regular vacation time, I managed to accrue two entire months of paid leave. And even though I had no plans I quickly booked off the entire summer before my bosses had a chance to change their minds.

 

I knew I wanted to go back to the Dolomites, I have made two trips prior and I have fallen in love with the range. The rock, the length of the routes, no glaciers to deal with, no crowds, the history and the amazing food all make for me the ideal mountain playground.

 

Immediately after hearing of my vacation windfall one of my best friends who had climbed in the Dolo's with me before commited 10 days of his vaction time for an adventure to the Brenta range.

 

My girlfriend wanted in as well so I decided to take 10 days and with her go visit her Turkish parents at their home in Southern Turkey.

 

After that I couldnt believe my luck, my buddy Dom who recently had a baby magically managed to pilfer 10 days away from work and family for another grand motorcycle trip. Although not as grand as the Morrocan trip, this time we rode from his house in Spain to the beginning of the Alps in France and camped our way across 3500 km of famous passes until their end in Slovenia.

 

I still wasnt done, over the last couple years I managed to keep in touch with a cascadeclimber and flickr user who had moved to Munich around 5 years ago. He had started to climb in the Dolomites and so his TR's and photos kept us connected. Unbelievably without ever meeting in person he agreed to invest 10 days of his vacation time with me. The final piece of the plan had finally come together and Mike and I made plans to meet first with a start in the Wilder Kaiser of Austria and then move to Italy.

 

Mike turned out to be an awesome dude, we clicked right away and it was a good thing because the warm up route Mike chose was the 600m Westwand of the Totenkirchl 25 pitches VI+

 

 

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This route turned out to be everything you could ask for, loads of adventure excellent rock, spectacular views and pushed both Mike and I to our limits.

 

 

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The route gave us both a healthy dose of kick ass but the fact that we were still laughing set my mind at ease and I looked forward to the rest of the trip. Mike introduced me to Spetzi at the hut and the next day we drove off to Italy.

 

 

Forecast for afternoon thunderstorms made us choose a smaller route but still an amazing line. We decided to try an run up the South arete of the Tofana Di Rozes V 14 pitches, the smaller arete on the right

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Once again the setting and the line were spectacular!

 

 

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We made the summit and as promised the afternoon thunderstorms set in and the next day we drove off towards the Pala region

 

 

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The plan is to link the 15 pitch V NW ridge of Pala Del Rifugio to the 9 pitch VI- Sasso D'ortiga, the obvious ridge line from left to right in the photo.

 

 

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The route turns out to be quite fun, some grass here and there takes away from the line but all in all a very nice route.

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Unfortunately the weather doesnt hold and after climbing the Pala we turn down the Sass in favour of a dry walk off.

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We both wanted something a lot bigger and more commiting, but it was also getting near the end for Mike and I didnt want him to leave me in some far away place. So we made plans to head over and try the Comici on the Cima Grande. I had already climbed the Cima Grande via the Dulfer but obviously the North face is THE line.

 

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Knowing it was a popular route, belonging to the 6 great North faces, we made plans to get up early and get on this thing. The day stared poorly when we were overtook on the approach trail by two parties racing each other to the start. Mike and I both hate crowds and if we were not already at the start I am sure we would have turned around, instead we found this at 5 am on the first pitches. 8 or more parties all strung out over the place.

 

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So we packed up walked around the corner and set our eyes on the other Comici route, The Yellow Edge. The line is obvious, straight up the arete at VI 14 pitches. IF you have ever climbed limestone you know the yellow stuff can be much harder to climb. We did not find one other person on the route

 

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As promised the route is steep and sustained! The hut below offered amazing polenta

 

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I drew the crux pitch and it turned out to be pretty reasonable yellow rock. I would do this route again!

 

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The next day we decided to take it easy and just blast up the NW ridge of the Paternkofel, IV 7 pitches. You can just make out some climbers near the top.

 

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A very famous mountain top during the war, it was a pretty neat place to visit. You can just make out some barb wire in front of me on the ridge. Some fierce fighting happened on this summit.

 

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So Mike now had to decide what to do, extend the vacation so we can have a go at the Cassin on the Cima Ovest or head back to the fam. I didnt want him to go but when we woke up to rain and his kids were missing him Mike decided the trip was coming to an end. I was not too stoked to see him and my ride leave but I was getting pretty tired as well. So I wished Mike safe travels and I set my eyes on the Cadenspitzen range as a place I could go to solo and wait out 5 days till Toby showed up.

 

The range in the distance looked too good to not go check out so I packed my now massive amount of gear out of Mikes car including both ropes and the rack and got set to leave the next morning.

 

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The trail over there was amazing, you can just make it out as it crosses the face about half way down the face. The Tre Cime in the distance

 

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This place tunred out to be a very cozy place to spend a few nights, the hut lady made sure I was well taken care of

 

Rifugio Fondo Savio

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Hiking around here was pretty awesome, they dont make trails like this back home.

 

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I even tried my very first Via Feratta

 

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After 3 days I decided it was probably a good idea to head into town and top up my supplies do some laundy and rest up for Toby. I knew he would come with guns blazin and I wanted to make sure I was rested. So I took off for Trento, at first I thought one night would be enough but after a shower in a air conditioned room I was more than happy to spend a second night.

 

Mike and I polished off 73 pitches and 5 peaks

 

Not sure if I can fit my whole trip in my TR here, so maybe its best to break this thing into parts.

 

Here is my slide show of all my photos for this part of the trip

 

Slide show

 

Here they are individually

 

Individual pics

 

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...there should really be a new word for "awesome," just to describe this report. Thanks VERY much for sharing!

 

:tup::tup::tup::tup:

 

 

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Great trip report, Jesse, and I liked the chance to see your photos again. That via ferrata is the Via Merlone; we turned around on it after the first roll of thunder. Too many ladders to be a good via ferrata; the best ones are where you clip the cable and climb on the rock entirely.

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Thanks for the great TR and pictures. I love that area too...been too long since I was there (1992). Now you've given me an idea for my next climbing trip! I need some gelato!

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Thanks guys

 

So this being my third big trip to the dolo's I think I have a pretty good handle on how it all works.

 

IF you are planning a trip or want to plan one give me a shout I would be happy to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made when I first went.

 

Also this portion of the trip with Mike is the first time I have ever had a vehicle, the next part as with my two prior trips have all been done using public transit. It is very easy and well laid out, besides being very economical it has the added bonus of being able to enter and exit the ranges wherever you choose, sleeping in huts along the way.

 

There is even a service that will collect your "tourist type" luggage at the beginning of the climbing trip and meet you at the end so you dont have to lug around clothes that may be more suitable for beaches and/or sight seeing adventures.

 

Be warned though, I have now spent the last 3 of my 4 summers in Italy...

 

Part 2 soon, the magnificent Brenta Range!

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So this being my third big trip to the dolo's I think I have a pretty good handle on how it all works.

 

IF you are planning a trip or want to plan one give me a shout I would be happy to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made when I first went.

 

Simply amazing place. I want to go. My husband and I are taking 14 months off after grad school before we hit the grind of real life, and we're going to spend a lot of time in Europe. I might send you a PM and get some advice!

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In dark, dreary November it's awesome to be reminded of those long warm days! Thanks for a great partnership Jesse and I can't wait for you to come back!!

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Thanks - great trip. Please parse out the other photos to beat the dreary season. I'd love to get back there - spent three weeks there and consider it the recon trip. My wife even loved the climbing. Will hit you up for advice.

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very cool Jesse!! great photos/memories sure help with the shit weather. according to MVS, we missed each other by about 2 days in the tre cime region this year. Comici on Cima Grande is worth your return trip (don't let the crowds sway you away).

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