by Via Demetz, from Grödner Joch / Passo Gardena
Beautiful climbing route, rather popular, on very good rock, viable early enough in the season, thanks to its good exposure. You may find snow in the channel on the return.
All stops are well equipped. You will not find many nails along the way, but you can integrate with fast protections.
Author's Note: Thanks a lot to Francesco and Alessandro, who shared with me this climb, and who appear in most of the photographs.
Park at Grödner Joch / Passo Gardena:
Take initially the direction to Via Normale, but before you approach the canyon, turn to the right in the direction of a scree followed by a visible ramp, leading to the starting point:
The starting point is located near a small buttress, with a stuck rock:
L1: Climb vertically along the slit. A projecting block, located at the mid-length, is the key step. 25 m, IV+, tunnel.
L2: Climb up, then go right (nails), until you pass the key step of the route; shortly after you find the stop. 20 m, V, nails.
L3: Climb a little to the left of the stop, then cross a few meters to the right, and climb straight up, up to the stop. 20 m, IV+, nail.
L4: Climb on the slabs to the left of the stop, near the chimney, then pass a yellow niche, enter the chimney, where you stop. 20 m, IV+.
L5: Climb through the chimney and emerge on the left before the end, on a yellow plate with small holds; possibly turn belly downstream and use the other wall as a contrast; then a good hold in the right place allows you to exit without great difficulty. Climb through the gully and stop on a large tunnel. 30 m, IV, nail.
L6: Climb easily on the edge, up to the top of the pinnacle.
Descent: From the pinncale, double rope for about 20 m, and stop on a stuck rock between the pinnacle and the main body of the mountain.
L7: Go up initially in split, then on the main body oblique to the left, then go up the yellowish rocks up to a block (nail below right), that you bypass on the left, then just above you stop. 40 m, IV+, nail, tunnels.
L8: Cross to the left going around the corner, up to the stop. 25 m, II.
L9: Climb along the natural line. You can keep as a reference a black niche, keeping on the right, and then stopping on a balcony with two tunnels. 35 m, IV-, tunnels.
L10: Climb again along the easiest line, pointing to the apparent dihedral, after which you stop on a comfortable pitch. 25 m, IV-, nail.
Now go right along a horizontal ledge that goes around the secondary summit, so you can reach the fork between this and the top, and on an easy trail reach the main summit.
Take the trail that descends to the west, and follow the equipped trail of the normal route, which descends along easy rocks with two sections of cable until you reach the gully west of the Great Cir. After descending the canyon, go towards the pass, and with various possible trail variants you get back to the starting point.
■ gb, 2013-06-15