Dolomites 2013; Part 3: Torre Quarta Bassa, via Normale

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Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 2, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
This concludes my multipart Trip Report, but in a non-standard and disjointed format.

Torre Quarta Bassa, via Normale is rated UIAA Gr. IV- in the guidebooks, but it's also VERY "abgespeckt." The overall slick and slimy feel of the holds on p.1 makes it feel more like 5.5/5.6. Incidentally this is the climb featured by Fred Beckey in the You Tube video that was circulating here about a week ago.

Anyway, it's a very fun little climb of 3 pitches. Unfortunately for me, the weather was changing rapidly that morning: temperatures falling, clouds moving in, and a very penetrating dampness that raised hell with my sore knee. There were 3 other routes on our "dance card" for the day: Torre Grande, W. Summit, Bergfuehrerweg; Torre Quarta Alta, via Normale; and Torre Inglesi, via Normale. These are now all for "next season."

Torre Quarta Bassa, via Normale; UIAA III+/IV-.
Torre Quarta Bassa, via Normale; UIAA III+/IV-.
Credit: Brokedownclimber

There are a few pictures on the first lead:

First pitch. Concentrating on footwork...
First pitch. Concentrating on footwork...
Credit: Brokedownclimber

Nearing the first belay stance under the roof.
Nearing the first belay stance under the roof.
Credit: Brokedownclimber

Cramped belay stance under the triangular roof. Great anchors, but jus...
Cramped belay stance under the triangular roof. Great anchors, but just a couple footholds for the belayer.
Credit: Brokedownclimber

Not much more in the way of photographs; it was getting colder andwe speeded up in order to just get off the climb.

And yes, it really snowed that night!

klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 2, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
it's remarkable how different the cinque torre feel from the stuff on the groeden side of the pass.

i have to confess that i'm not crazy about the cortina side. im sure it was really different before mussolini revamped it for the olympics, but going from the german/ladin valley s to the big italian valley is a huge transition. i always go at least once when im there. but im always happy to get back to selva.

guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Oct 2, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
bump
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
KLK-

The rock in Fanis group is quite a bit different from that found in the Cinque Torri. The Kleiner Falzaregoturm possibly had the best rock I've ever climbed. As you noted, however, the Sella Towers are quite different from, say...Punta Fiames?

I had several routes pointed out by Mauro Bernardi: "Kleiner Lagazuoi, via del Buco," for one. Another peak that really interests me is the Exnerturm, near the Groednerpass, in the Northern Sella Group.

Too bad I got old when I wasn't looking!

Sigh!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 2, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
Exnerturm, near the Groednerpass, in the Northern Sella Group.

yeah, on my list, too.

really miss that place, and i really like those ladin valleys best. but i still hope to do a route on marmolada suedwand.


if i couldnt climb id go back just for the folks and the hiking and the art and the food and some grauvernatsch.

Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Oct 3, 2013 - 06:17am PT
But... but...

...this isn't in Yosemite!?
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Oct 3, 2013 - 06:45am PT
Bonus points, the Italian government is not shutdown so you can still climb there.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Oct 3, 2013 - 06:48am PT
the Italian government is not shutdown

Yes, they suffer from different forms of dysfunction. ;)
hb81

climber
Oct 3, 2013 - 07:16am PT
Another peak that really interests me is the Exnerturm, near the Groednerpass, in the Northern Sella Group.

I don't think there are any climbing routes on Torre Exner due to the popular via ferrata "Pisciadu" that ascends it.
(which is absolutely stunning by the way and well worth doing even if ferratas aren't your thing usually)

There is plenty climbing on the walls right next to it, however according to the guidebook I'm looking at right now it's pretty much all 5.10 and harder.

Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2013 - 10:31am PT
There are 2 routes on the Exnerturm; one on the NE Face, the "Via Kostner" (UIAA Gr.IV+), and a more recently established line by Mauro Bernardi and Lukas Runggaldier, "Zwei Generationen," at UIAA Gr.V. The Bernardi route follows the right margin of the NE Face, sort of on the arête.

References are: 4. Grad Westliche Dolomiten 1, Emiliano Zorzi, p. 86, Idea Montagna Editoria e Alpinismo., and

Klettern in Groeden und Umgebung, Band 2, Mauro Bernardi, p. 102, Athesia.

Granted, neither of these books is widely available in the USA, but routes other than the via ferrata DO exist on the Exnerturm! The Bernardi route was established in 2010, and the older Kostner route was first done in 1930!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 3, 2013 - 11:55am PT
thanks for the TR Roger!
it is an inspiration to us "young" that there could be climbing in our future too! and the sweetness of repeating climbs 5 decades apart...

the other two parts:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2235053/Dolomites-and-a-50th-Anniversary-Climb
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2235732
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Ed; the other "good news," is Mauro Bernardi is also nearing Senior Citizen status.

I'm already making my plans for next season, since the weather seems to be closing things down early this year.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Oct 3, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
There's only one thing missing from this three part trip report, Brokedown - pictures of the FOOD!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Phyl--

There aren't any food pix, since I ate it ALL!

The 2 different Pensions where I stayed had similar style foods, but the second one had a much nicer salad bar. It was standard "3 courses" in addition to the salad and breads: (1) pasta of some variety, (2) entrée with either potatoes or kartoffelklosse (dumplings), and (3) dessert. I thought I'd lose some weight during the harder climbing sections of the trip, but I came home exactly the same as I left. The weight did seem to be slightly rearranged into the upper back and shoulders, though.

Tirolean cooking is interesting, a cross between Austrian and Italianized Austrian. The Schnitzels were wonderful!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Oct 3, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
My paternal grandparents were from that area of Italy, Rodger, only 50 km from the Austrian border. We grew up eating gnocchi and polenta (potato and corn based). The pasta recipes came from my maternal grandparent's side. Too bad my waistline only allows me salad and protein these days!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
Phyl-

My maternal grandfather was of Austrian descent, and maternal grandmother German. I grew up eating Sauerbraten, Kartofelpfankuchen, and Rotkohl. That's the problem with MY waistline! BITD my "best" climbing weight was 178 pounds, and here I am many years later struggling to stay right at 200. I suppose I could drop about 10-15 pounds and my "limit" would be back up to around 5.9. Even with the 25 pound pack I'm carrying on my midsection, I had no strength issues on any of the climbs. The Health Club gets a lot of credit for rebuilding some upper body power!
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Oct 3, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
Nice tr. Hey brokedown and phylp, my ancestors also come from that region. My father is an Italian national who grew up in the German speaking side of Switzerland but his family (Tomaselli) are from the Italian part of the Dolomites that used to be Austria until WW I. They're still pissed about it.
Climberdude

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
Oct 4, 2013 - 12:09am PT
Brokedownclimber,

Glad you got to check out this nice climb. I did this one and many others in the area last year. I was going rope solo, but enjoyed this climb so much that I did it several times. BTW, the I also did the Torre Alta, which has a distinctly different feeling from the Torre Bassa. I loved climbing in the Dolomites and cannot wait to get back there.

Yes, pictures of food are definitely needed. I spent five days at the Cinque Torri hut below the climbs - the food was to die for!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 4, 2013 - 12:43am PT
^^^^
We had Torre Quarta Alta planned for our next climb, but the weather really was changing fast and getting cold! The sequence we had planned for the day: Torre Quarta bassa, Torre Quarta Alta, Torre Inglesi, and finish off with Torre Grande, West Summit via della Guida. I was pretty bummed, because it snowed that night and the Cinque Torri (as well as the Sella Towers)were impossible for several days. I had to leave for home too soon!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Oct 4, 2013 - 02:01am PT
TT, interesting story! Family lore says that my great-grandfather on that side was an Austrian soldier who defected from the fighting during one of the constant skirmishes between the Austrians and the Italians in that border region. I think that's where my blue eyes came from...

What a trip it would be to organize an Italian-American supertopo trip to the Dolomites at some point! The Tre Cime area is gorgeous and I also loved the area around Madonna di Campiglio. Maybe we could get that Donini guy to come! It's fun to dream...

We just have to keep Rodger from eating too much schnitzel between now and then.
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