Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pale di San Martino, Dolomites F/A + Self Rescue After100 ft Alpine Fall Injury + North Ridge of Todi (Swiss Alps) +

Beauty and the Beast in the Pale di San Martino, Dolomites  First Ascents- from
Climbers Self Rescue after 100 foot alpine fall injury - from Gripped Magazine
Choss defies gravity - North Ridge of Todi , Swiss Alps - Trip report with pictures -
Vitaliy M in Patagonia (Cerro Torre) - down below in the Facebook section -- Beauty and the Beast in the Pale di San Martino, Dolomites -- Climber's self rescue after 100 foot Alpine Fall Injury     --  North ridge od Todi in the Swiss Alps

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A tough and satisfying journey with a solid climbing partner. On the second day of approaching, starting from the snowiest Niponino one can during the summer months, we broke trail for hours, through knee deep snow, over the Standhardt col and established a camp below the dreamy Cerro Torre at 6pm in the evening. That was about 11 hours of hard work right there! 
At 1:30am we were already waking up for the climb. Where the snowy soloable ramp used to be, now was a huge snow crown which required roped climbing to get to and over. Where a few years ago we soloed more steep snow, were threeish pitches of cool mixed climbing which we did by headlamp. More elevation gain took us up to Col De Esperanza, where we grabbed a bite and drank our electrolyte mix. We started simul climbing over the bergshrund and after about 650 feet of simul climbing on hard brittle ice we begun to pitch it out, as the follower was getting showered by ice. After four pitches, we did two tough pitches of rime covered ice and reached the top of Elmo, after which a 60 meter exposed ice ridge traverse lead us to an approach pitch below the mixed pitches and the headwall. We climbed the mixed section in 3 long pitches and tackled the two difficult pitches of steep ice on the headwall proper. Topping it out during beautiful evening colors, we noticed ominous clouds in the distance and rushed on. An hour of tunnel digging hell took us to a spot where we were getting beat by the winds. Another pitch took us to a protected ledge where we waited out the night, hoping for less wind in the morning. Lots of crunches, sit ups, leg raises etc got us through the night and after a very cool tunnel pitch we were just below the summit pinnacle with a short but exposed ridge leading to it. Both of us tried to put on the goggles and crawl to it, but the winds were so hard that rime pellets prevented us from seeing or breathing, while trying to crawl. It was way too crazy to tag the summit, so we made the hard but only normal decision one without suicide tendencies can make. What a ride and what a beautiful climb. On the way down, we took the long way around the Marconi glacier, which was a journey in its own. From hours of monotonous glacier walking while getting blasted by the winds, to waist deep river crossing and climbs over big ice formations, somehow we made it out after all. Appreciating all those little things the city comforts offer and appreciating all the people we have in the family and the friend circle. Journey with a happy end. 
People (me including) somewhat underestimate this route, but it is huge, sustained, committing and tough overall. Especially in conditions it is in now - no easy snice around.

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