Final update from Dave MacLeod on his and Alan Cassidy’s attempts to climb Bellavista in the Italian Dolomites:
However, we had one day left. I just wanted to get the gear back and get home. Everything was wrong and I felt a bit fed up to be honest. My ankle hurt on the walk-in, I couldn’t do certain movements with it on the rock, I’d had my fill of climbing wet rock or frozen rock, we’d not had even one good day to try it properly. Worst of all, it was baltic.
I was desperately blowing warm breath on my hands with every single move, pressing them against the warm flesh of the back of my neck and getting none the warmer. About 15m up at peg 3, I had a little moment, outwardly expressing my dissatisfaction with where I was:
– “It’s F**%$%^ so cold”
– “I don’t want to be here”
– “F%^* sake, this is so $%&t, nothing gets my hands warm”
– “these pegs are all so F%&*@£$”
They sent, obviously.
Bellavista, Alex Huber’s route with difficulties up to 5.14b on the north face of Cima Ovest in the Italian Dolomites, got a lot of press earlier this summer when Sasha DiGiulian did the FFA of the route with partner Edu Marin. At the time I didn’t feel as though I had a real sense for what this route must be like though. I mean, what does a climbing on a big wall of limestone like this really look like?
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Fortunately, Alan Cassidy and Dave MacLeod are in Italy right now trying the route, and Cassidy posted this report after day 1:
So that was it we were there, under that big roof. I am truly struggling to convey the feeling of being perched on the belay seat under that enormous roof as I watched Dave disappear round the corner out of sight to equip the crux pitches (8c, 8a).
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It was eerily calm and the warmest I had been all day. I heard little from Dave but was well aware of the constant trickle of falling stones coming from the gully at the side of the cliff an the chatter of tourists ambling their way round the Tre Cime. Looking at the void under the roof I felt a strong unease, not fear, just that sense of there being more comfortable things to be doing with your spare time. All of a sudden a yelp, followed by a falling rock, followed by a falling Dave appeared. The first time either of us had succumbed to the almost inevitable hold failure.
MacLeod has also updated his blog with a post on their efforts with some pictures that give you a good sense of the challenge they’re up against.
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