|900m, 25 pitches. Yet another route which has reached classic status, Schwalbenschwanz tackles the face to the right of Don Quixote, sharing with its more famous neighbour the same excellent quality of rock and climbing. Whilst of comparable technical difficulty to Don Quixote the route is not as well pegged and is consequently more run-out. In its lower part the route reaches a series of seemingly unsurpassable huge roofs, which are overcome thanks to a characteristic squeeze through a small hole which leads directly to the halfway ledge. The upper section presents route-finding issues because of the slightly wandering line which crosses numerous harder routes. Because of their proximity, it is not uncommon to climb the lower half of Schwalbenschwanz before diverting at the ledge to finish on Don Quixote.|
From Rifugio O.Falier, follow path 610 for 20 mins to where the path bends sharply left to lead more directly west towards Passo Ombretta, just after a large boulder. Just right of this, by a smaller boulder with a faint grey 'R' painted on the side, take a climbers' path and traverse upwards, ascending east. Cross a scree gully then scramble up slabby rock to reach a rightwards trending grassy ramp. Follow this upwards to reach the start of the route below a large leftwards-trending ramp. Be sure to take the correct one - it's the right-hand of the two parallel ramps. The start of the route is sometimes marked with a stake.
1) III, 40m. Follow the gully from right to left to a ledge below a continuation gully.
2) III, 20m. Climb the continuation gully to a chockstone, then step down and move across a ledge to enter a wide chimney.
3) III+, 20m. Continue up the chimney to a small ledge on a little pillar.
4) III, 45m. Climb rightwards on slabby grey rock and belay below a deep corner/chimney.
5) III, 40m. Climb the cracked corner/chimney on the right (Don Quixote goes left here) pull through a small bulge to a tight stance on the right.
6) V, 40m. Continue in the same line, passing a second bulge on the left to a stance below a deep crack.
7) IV, 40m. Follow the deep crack, keeping a series of yellow roofs on the left.
8) VI, 40m. Continue climbing two successive cracks to a stance below the large and imposing roofs above.
9) V, 40m. Continue to the roofs, keeping left, then squeeze through the tight hole which breaches them. Belay immediately after this.
10) III, 35m. Follow a gully right then bear left to enter a second, wider gully.
11) II, 35m. Scramble up the gully which gets steadily narrower before exiting easily onto the large half-way ledge.
Cross the ledge to reach the base of the upper face, 20m left of the prominent water stripe in the middle of the upper wall.
12) III+, 20m. Climb easily up a slab to a narrow ledge at the base of a large corner.
13) IV+, 40m. Climb the corner to a stance below a small bulge on the left of the corner's exit.
14) VI, 35m. Exit right, move back left then climb direct to belay below a long roof. © ROCKFAX
Starting as for Don Quixote, climb the left fork of the "Swallow's Tail" groove lines to the huge roof, passed by squeezing through a little hole. From the terrace wander up the immaculate pocketed slabs (many possible variations), exiting via chimneys on the right. Beautiful climbing, perfect rock, varied in style and continually interesting. Best climbed late in the season as the hole can be blocked by ice and the chimneys wet early in the year.
L. Rieser, R. Schiestl 19/Nov/1978
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