by Via Normale, from Bivacco Fiamme Gialle
The Via Normale to the Cimon della Pala is a classic of the Dolomites. Although not difficult, as it does not exceed the III degree, one should not underestimate the possibility of losing orientation, both uphill and downhill, and the environment, that is potentially severe. The views and scenery along the climb and at the top are outstanding.
The starting point is the Bivouac Fiamme Gialle, which can be reached by climbing the Ferrata Bolver Lugli or along the Valle dei Cantoni; see the specific tours.
The stops are equipped or easily fitted out, the same holds for protections.
Author's Note: Thank you very much to my friends Roberto and Patrik, who shared with me this climb and who appear in several photographs. I also thank Patrik for providing me with some photographs.
Cross to the left on gravels, taking care not to go up along misleading trail traces:
Pass under a niche and keep crossing:
Only when you reach almost the border of the Cimon, turn right and start going up, following the cairns:
Proceed in a zig-zag pattern, taking care to follow the cairns and not lose the track:
This way you reach a clevis:
Cross it, and go down along a ledge:
You enter the Bus del Gat (hole of the cat), which is nothing more than a small cave (pay attention to the possible presence of ice inside):
Get out through the narrow hole, passing the backpack first:
Climb up the gully on your right, until you reach a clevis:
Climb up a wall on your left, equipped with a cable:
Then, to the left of the cable end, you pass a short step of IV and climb more easily the rest of the wall, up to a small terrace of gravel, between two walls:
Climb up the left one, called Schena del Mul (back of the donkey):
This way you reach yet another clevis, from where you climb up the rocks on your left:
This takes you to the ridge. From a boulder cross along the ridge, including a very narrow and exposed stretch, until you reach the Terre Rosse (red ground):
From there, you shortly reach the summit cross.
Follow back the path forward, with a couple of double ropes, less than 30 m in length. The first nail can be found at the top of the Schena del Mul, another one a few meters below:
The second one is ore convenient. You double rope down into a well, located bottom left. Then, a few meters apart, you will find yourself on the terrace of gravel, where there is a second nail:
With this you double rope along the wall below, and possibly a part of the equipped section. For the rest, proceed along the forward path.
In the gully above the Bus del Gat there is a third nail, useful for another double rope only in the presence of snow or ice. In this gully, anyway, be careful not to go down too far, or you will miss the Bus del Gat; a cairn on the left indicates the position of the hole.
■ gb, 2010-08-29
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