Roda del Diavolo, by Sperone Gross, from Rotwandhütte / Refuge Roda di Vael
Nice climbing route, not particularly difficult, on rock almost always excellent. Excellent views from the top.
The stops are equipped or can be easily equipped, there is also some nail, for the rest you can establish protections on tunnels, spikes and cracks.
Author's Note: I thank very much my friend Armando, who shared with me this climb, and who appears in several photographs.
From Rifugio Roda de Vael, take the path signposted Torre Finestra. The trail initially goes up on lawns:
Then, when the trail comes close to the base of the Croz di Santa Giuliana, there are some cables, and finally a peculiar ladder that goes up inside a narrow tunnel:
At the exit, you will find yourself at the base of a large grassy basin, and at a fork. Take the trail that leads horizontally to the west (the upper one in the picture):
The starting point is located in correspondence of a blackish niche:
L1, L2: Go past the rocks above the attack, keeping the ridge, until you get into a basin, beneath a yellow pillar, not to be confused with the yellow base of the tower to the left. Cross to the left under the pillar, thus finding yourself at the base of a long and steep gully, along which the climbing route goes up.
If you climb in pitches, you can establish a stop and protections on hourglasses or spikes.
60 m, max III.
L3: Climb up about fifteen meters on the right of the channel, where the rocks are easier, and then move to the left side and reach a large tunnel, on which you establish a stop:
30 m, max III+.
L4: Climb obliquely to the left, thus bypassing the overhanging crack-dihedral located above the stop:
Then back to the right, reaching and exceeding a stretch of easy rocks. Then go up on a slab, until you reach a dihedral with crack, where there are two nails on which to stop:
50 m, max IV-.
L5: Climb obliquely to the right, thus avoiding to continue in the dihedral where this becomes more vertical, and go up until rocks start to get yellowish, then oblique to the left, and then climb up to get actually out of the gully, on the right side:
Go towards the clevis at the top, where you will stop on a spike.
50 m, max IV-.
L6: Cross to the left until you reach the final spur, on which you proceed first sideways, then diagonally, then definitely going up, on the most exposed stretch of the route:
Then go up on more modest difficulty and establish a stop on a spike:
30 m, max IV.
To the summit: On an easy slope you will reach the top in a few tens of meters.
Head north, and following tracks and cairns, go down to the Forcella dal Diaol. There you take the path that goes along the foot of the Croz of Santa Giuliana, to find shortly after the approach path, and following it back, return to the starting point.
■ gb, 2013-08-04