Climbing in the Dolomites

Or as a subtitle – Sport day and Trad day

Gemma and Bash arrived safely on Monday in time for tea and wine but a little too late for any detailed planning. The drive up from Venice is apparently easy but still tiring. So we decided to take it easy on Tuesday and head out when we were ready.

Tuesday – Sport day – Climbing boulders

Citti dei Sassi – City of stones, is a ‘boulderfield’ beneath the Sassolungo. At over 30m some of these ‘boulders’ are bigger than many Crags in the Peak district! Perspective is distorted here, the mountain rocks loom above and behind every vista, strenuous routes become short warm ups (although it turns out that that is in length only – not grading!). 2 pitch routes are hard to come by and 3 pitch routes are few and far between. Then you jump up to the 6-7 pitch routes and from there beyond to routes that can surely be only cloudy wishes of vast endeavour (there’s a route on the Marmolada South face that is 38 pitches!) Anyway, I’m going off topic, multipitch is for Wednesday.

Citti dei Sassi and the Sassolungo


So Gemma and I trundled up to the Sassolungo (the mountain I had seen from, not Canazei but Campestrin the day before). Where we were quickly overwhelmed by the complexities of navigating randomly distributed heaps of rock on a massive slope. After going off track to try and get where we wanted I finally got my navigation head back, up a steep walk to the 10th sector Sasso Gabriel.

20150804_130039  20150804_174058

I started and did a 4a/5a lead – Doi pas (ukclimbing does not agree with Rockfax on grading?) scaring myself all the way up. Seconded Gemma easily up a 5a (why is that?!), then belayed quietly as she did the hardest 6a I have seen.

20150804_145114Lesson number one – look at your rock face from a variety of perspectives, what looks quite slabby may turn out to be a massive overhang if you’re not careful (my climbing friends will now all hang their heads and refuse to be associated with me…)

We did two more climbs, a 5c and a 6a and I seconded both, whoop! For none climbing bods the higher the number the harder the grade and a is easier than c – I have only ever climbed to a 5b outdoors, so it was a very successful day. Wierdly we shared the boulder with a climbing group from Birmingham and a lovely couple from Swansea/London who also climb at the Reach (essentially the climbing wall via which Gemma and I met!) Wierd world.

A 6a climb and a ‘boulder’


Heading home before the storms roll in.


20150804_212404The day was awesome and ended very well with a lovely pizzeria dinner, lightening over the mountains and the best pudding – on the menu as icecream and a lemon, which turned out to be icecream in a lemon! So trying this at home..

Wednesday – Trad day – Cinque Torri

As I’ve just realised what time it is and as I want to write this up properly, Trad day will be written up tomorrow. But, suffice to say, I saw a photo of Cinque Torri on pinterest, said ‘I want to climb there! Where’s there?’

Booked a holiday and today, I climbed on Cinque Torri… to be continued

0 thoughts on “Climbing in the Dolomites

  1. Scenery looks amazing. Photos indicate all is going to plan: coffee, ice cream, pizza and climbing!

    Looking forward to the next instalment (now hat I have finally overcome my technophobia ).
    Lots of love,

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