Cima Catinaccio, by Via Ampferer, from Rifugio Re Alberto
Unfrequented but very nice climbing route, a very good alternative to the Via Normale, although much longer, to Rosengartenspitze / Cima Catinaccio.
The less experienced climbler will go up much of the way on pitches, while the more experienced one will proceed without stops or untied, and this will result in substantially different rise times.
The views on the whole group and the surrounding mountain groups are truly remarkable, both on the way up and from the top of the ridge. Stops and protection are easy to establish, thanks to tunnels, spikes and cracks.
Author's Note: I thank the friends Flavio and Armando who shared with me this climb and who appear in several photographs.
From Rifugio Re Alberto, go down the path that descends to the Refuge Vajolet, but soon divert from it, to head for the initial wall on the north side of Rosengartenspitze / Cima Catinaccio:
The starting point is about 50 m right of the rift between Punta Emma and Rosengarten, on a ledge, just right of the point where it ramps up:
Author's Note: I found it difficult to follow, and I find it difficult to indicate, the exact line of ascent along the initial wall. Then I will give general indications, to be used alongside the photos and a bit of insight, aiming at looking for the easier steps and better quality rock. I also recommend to consult other reports, in case one feels the need for more detailed directions.
Initial wall: Climb straight up initially, until the wall slope decreases slightly, then oblique to the left:
In some places even cross left:
You find a chimney, that you climb up entirely:
Continue in oblique or traversing to the left, until you raise vertically above Punta Emma:
Around 150 m, II, III, and steps of III+.
Gully: A long, wide couloir, which faces north-east, consisting mostly of excellent rock, appears in front of you:
Climb it up entirely, with an extremely pleasant climb:
Higher up, following the natural line of the route, the gully tends to mutate into a cracked dihedral, that you also have to climb up:
Around 180 m, mostly II.
Exit chimney: continuing, the dihedral turns into a chimney:
Face it sometimes in split and sometimes on the left wall, as convenient, on beautiful rock:
In the final part, a little more crumbly, bypass to the left a boulder, and exit on the left side of the crack, on rocks with some debris:
This way you get to the ridge:
Around 120 m, III and III+.
Ridge: follow the ridge:
Until you reach the north summit:
The continue on the ridge, or somewhat to its left:
To be mentioned, the passage of a particularly pronounced clevis, with a point of stop/descent, which is the exit point of the Via Normale. At the end of the ridge you reach the main summit:
Around 200 m, I, II, and a short stretch of III.
Return to the clevis where is located the exit of Via Normale, with an optional intermediate double rope along the ridge, at the portion of III. Taking advantage of the double rope points present at the clevis and in the gully, go down with a number of double ropes between 2 and 5, depending on the length of the descents, and depending on how long you possibly de-climb.
You land upstream of the Refuge Santner, which can quickly be reached. If you want to return to Rifugio Re Alberto, simply go down the path that connects the two refuges.
■ gb, 2013-07-20