It’s almost unbelievable that I’ve never climbed anything at the Cima Grande before. I’ve only been at the top of the western brother once and I decided to do something about that…
By the evening of the 8th of July I’m driving to Italy together with my climbing partner Klemens Holzleitner. My aim is to make a free ascent of the Camillotto Pellisier. The next morning we stroll across the gravel plains beneath the impressive north faces to the start of the route.
I climb the first pitch. It’s only graded 7b+, but I just have to break myself in climbing on dolomite again. The north faces of the Tre Cime del Lavaredo are extremely steep and exposed. The countless diagonal lines and cracks characterize the climbing and in the beginning you can never be sure which holds you can trust in and which will bust out. My fingers are getting cold, but for all that I climb the pitch without falling to the belay.
While my fingers are slowly getting warm again, Klemens is jumaring up the ropes and taking out the quickdraws of the countless rusty bolts placed by the first ascentonists. In 1967 they fought their way through the wall with more than 50 pitons and far more than 300 bolts.
The second pitch came already much more naturally to me, although it’s graded more difficult. The pitch is just a little bit overhanging and more than 30 metres long. Chalk tracks of former free ascents help me to find the holds, rubber tracks from climbing shoes reveal the hidden footholds. I’m climbing through the pitch at my first go and also all the other pitches I manage to climb onsight.
After about 5 hours Klemens and I arrive at Dibona ridge, which leads us across easy terrain up to the peak.