/ Dolomites, best areas and Guidebooks?

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Martin Haworth on 26 Oct 2012
Considering a trip to the Dolomites next year to do multi-pitch around UK HVS to E3 standard. What are the classic must do routes,the best locations and guidebooks?
GrahamD - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I really enjoyed every route I did in the Kohler guidebook and found it really clear. I know others disagree and it is getting long in the tooth. We have based ourselves in Canazei or Campitello in the past.

To kick off with the Sella group is a good introduction with good long routes, easy access and relatively easy descents.
ripper - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to GrahamD: +1 to the above - I've organised two group trips to Canazei now and will probably do another next summer. There's loads in the Sella Group, the Rosengarten/Catinaccio area is also very close and there's more stuff not far away too (plenty of my lot who've already done two weeks there are itching to get back as there's still loads they haven't done). I've used the Memmel/Kohler 'Classic Dolomite Climbs' too and found it fine, although just occasionally it pays to rely on your own eyes and common sense when route finding. Worth pointin out that most of the routes in there are at the lower end of the range you mention though - roughly HS to E1. If you search on here there was an article a while ago about another newer guide which some of my group bought and got on with fine - from what I saw it offers quite a few alternative routes on the same crags as the Memmel/Kohler.
James Rushforth - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Cinque Torri - Finlandia (VII)
Marmolada South Face - Moby Dick (VII-/ A0) - make sure your really up to it.
Grande Muro - (VII) Santa Croce face on the Fanis
Messner route, North face of the 2nd Sella tower (VI) - Don't underestimate it, very little gear.
Comici / Brandler Hasse (VII / VIII) on Cima Grande at the Tre Cime.
Egger - (VI) on Cima Piccola at the Tre Cime, a good alternative to the busy 'Yellow Edge'.
Pilastro (VII+) - Tofanda di Rozes. A long undertaking, not to be underestimated.
Vinatzer (V+) - Good route on the 3rd Sella Tower.

All accessible and great routes.

Postpone your trip for a year and I'll have the guidebook finished!

James
ripper - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to James Rushforth:
> (In reply to Martin Haworth)
>
> Postpone your trip for a year and I'll have the guidebook finished!
>

Really? I'm interested in that... when do you think it'll be out?
davidbeynon - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:

There are some relatively new guidebooks to the western dolomites that are excellent.

http://www.cordee.co.uk/book-list.php?search=mid+grade+trad+rock+western+dolomites&schcat=0&...
davidbeynon - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Martin Haworth)
>
> I really enjoyed every route I did in the Kohler guidebook and found it really clear. I know others disagree and it is getting long in the tooth. We have based ourselves in Canazei or Campitello in the past.
>
> To kick off with the Sella group is a good introduction with good long routes, easy access and relatively easy descents.

There seems to be a new(er) edition of that one in the shops. I have been meaning to take a look and see if it really differs from my 2003 vintage copy.
prog99 on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> There seems to be a new(er) edition of that one in the shops. I have been meaning to take a look and see if it really differs from my 2003 vintage copy.

I saw a newer version of the German edition but not the english one.
Erstwhile on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:
The Dolomites is a massive and varied zone, and each area offers its own special charm.
Millions head for Canazei and Sella Towers, which is fine but very busy in high season.

Not many foreigners seem to know that Val Canali has the best rock of all the Dollies, and overall the Pale di San Martino (a massive group in its own right) is probably the single area that offers the best of everything (in my view, obviously), with possibilities for some absolutely "out there on your own" multi day trips, "normal" Dolly one dayers, incredible peaks to scale, and (wait for it) trad climbing on massive rhyolite style cliffs (porphyry, but similar) and even pink granite walls nearby (roadside or hut based).
For an idea of what this group offers see the recently translated Trad Climbing in the Dolomites guides by Montagna Nuova and the new Versant Sud Lagorai guide. If you are good at Italian then see the 2 new CAI guides for Pale di San Martino and the one for the Lagorai.

Having said all that, my favourite are is the Brenta, probably because it starts from my back door - all very poorly documented, but keep you eyes open over the next year or so ...
The new route options are still more or less infinite - in fact with modern climbing standards the Dollies offer no end of crazy overhanging rock.

If it rains you want to go to the Sarca Valley, but that is another story.
davidbeynon - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Mike_Watson_99:

It seems to have arrived in english now. I'm sure I saw it in Outside a couple of weeks back.
James Rushforth - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to ripper: Summer 2014 with any luck, though obviously not set in stone.

The books David mentioned are very good as well though. Just aimed at the slightly easier end of the spectrum.

The Pala dolomites are also worth a look. Longer walk - ins but some stunning routes. I don't know the area as well but Erstwhile who posts regually lives there I think and is a big fan.

Some articles:

Chris on VF's: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=86
Mine on summer climbing: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2708
Mine on the Comici: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2696
Jacks on the BH: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=459

Winter climbing: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4437

The articles are a bit out of date as everything changes so fast, very up and coming area. Particually with regards to guidebooks.

Hope that helps!

James
James Rushforth - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Erstwhile: You beat me to it! See above message :D
davidbeynon - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to James Rushforth:

> The books David mentioned are very good as well though. Just aimed at the slightly easier end of the spectrum.

That's my climbing all over these days unfortunately :(
ripper - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to James Rushforth:
> (In reply to ripper) Summer 2014 with any luck, though obviously not set in stone.
>
Thanks - not in time for my next (summer '13) trip then, but maybe for the one after! good luck with it...
Martin Haworth on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: Thank you everyone for your feedback, its very helpful. I will study the articles that James and others have written. Certainly the Comici route is one I would like to try but at E3,6a I will need to be on better form than this year.

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