tiistai 7. elokuuta 2012

Denied multipitch and evening at the Muro dell'asino

Mika Huhtamaki
We had a solid plan to climb a short multipitch early in the morning and then head to the Muro dell'asino to climb some sport routes. Weather was great in the morning and we headed towards Monte Colodri's south face in time. Once we arrived we saw a warning note that the whole south face has been closed since 2008. Idea for the route came from Sarca Walls book that has been printed 2007, but we didn't checked the latest access information, what a bummer. A lesson learned, from now on we check the access upfront from the Arcowall.com web site and we do not trust on old books that lists the routes.

Best part of the failed multipitch was the beautiful sunrise.

Santa Maria di Laghel and trail 431.
That left us then only one option, to wait until early evening to let the temperature calm down a bit. At 17:00 we decided finally to head towards Muro dell'asino that is located almost on our back yard. "Almost" means that the approach took an hour and a half. We followed the instruction provided on the Arco Rock topo book. First part of the approach went well but once we turned right to instruction became confusing. But eventually we found the crack.

Heta clips a quickdraw.
To avoid similiar confusing experiences I'll try to write briefly how to navigate the last part of the approach correctly. I expect that readers can find Santa Maria di Laghel where from my instructions starts. From church Santa Maria di Laghel turn right and follow the trail number 431. Same path is used as an exit trail from the via ferrata. Follow the main trail up to 310 meters from sea level. From time to time the approach is rocky and relatively steep. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get up there from Santa Maria di Laghel . Then the trail splits into two, take the left and follow it for a slow descent until you can see wooden steps which lead up to La Placca sector.

We were quite happy once we got there. Routes were high, between 15 to 30 meters and on the highest routes a 70 meter rope is recommended. Topping the routes was also great, because the view was rewarding. Grades of the routes varies between 4c up to 7b. Majority of the routes are between 5b to 6b. Because of our late schedule we only climbed between 2 to 4 routes per person but the late day temperature was definitely a pleaseant experience.

Top view was great when the sun was setting behind the opposite mountain

Jarkko holding on an x-position.
Muro dell'asino is also one of the rare places that has a dedicated sector for kids or true beginners. Baby Wood sector has routes where altitudes varies between 8 to 10 meters and grades starts from 2c and end up to 4a. Environment is pleasant and I can imagine that this is a suitable crack for a whole family. Still approach might be hard for the youngest climbers.

Additional notes:
We noticed that on La Placca sector routes number 29 "Testo Finito" - 5c and number 32 "Lo Spazzacamino" - 6a had loose bolts. We noticed one bolt on both routes that was moving slightly sideways (few millimeters). Be cautious out there.

Mika Huhtamaki / Author & Editor

Mika Huhtamäki is a part time amateur rock climber, mountain biker and a snowboarder from Finland who travels often in Italy.

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