Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Climbing in the Dolomites, Italy

Here's the excitement from two weeks of climbing in the Dolomites. My sister and I nearly got wiped out by a truck-sized rock fall on the 3,000' south face of the Marmolada, on the route Don Quixote, 5.10c. We got hit by a few of the smaller rocks but the bigger rocks passed over us and to our left. We went off route on the 2,700' Fedele on a nearby mountain called Piz Pordoi, and ended up establishing a new variation on the final 1,000', with big runouts on terrain up to 10a. I took a wild backwards fall on Schubert when a rock broke. I burned skin and muscle on my left arm when it got tangled in one of the ropes on the fall. I'll have that scar for a while. We rapped the route and took the day off after that one. The Detassis, our first route of the trip, proved to be a magnificent 1,800' line up the Brenta Alta not far from Verona, a super classic route up a vertical wall with hidden caves along the way. We just barely finished at dark and, because of snow on the established descent, had to find our own rappel route. The manager at the refugio found us some bread and cheese to eat when we got down.

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