A superb and impressive route, undoubtedly one of the best climbs of its grade in the Dolomites. The climb weaves its way along the edges of the large black water steak that dominates the face. This constant trickle of water has scrubbed the rock clean and sculpted a veritable jug ladder up the steep face. As you might expect, it is advisable to wait for a dry period to tackle this beautiful climb. The route crosses the black steak several times, most infamously on pitch 14, which is usually soaking at best and an impassable waterfall at worst.
For those up to the challenge the Dibona Upper Wall provides the logical continuation. Combining the routes gives almost a kilometre of climbing up one of the most impressive faces of the Dolomites whilst never exceeding upper grade IV.
Start 50m left of the prominent black streak, directly below the huge boulder on the upper ledge. Climb easy scree and rocks to a scree basin.
1) III+, 50m. From the scree, traverse slabs right to reach the base of a corner-gully. Follow this, trending right, moving up the slabs reach a small ledge.
2) III, 40m. Continue right then move back left up a ramp to reach a crack.
3) IV-, 30m. Climb the short crack direct, then follow a ramp rightwards easily to the base of a corner-crack, just left of the black streak.
4) IV-, 45m. Climb the corner-crack then follow a ledge right to the right side of the black streak and a thread belay below a crack.
5) IV, 40m. Climb a black chimney-crack about 5m to the right of the black streak to reach a vertical crack. Climb this to reach easier ground and follow this diagonally right to a ledge.
6) IV+, 45m. Climb direct just right of the stance up a vertical wall to a yellow niche. Traverse right underneath this then climb a steep crack direct.
7) IV-, 45m. Follow a gully left to a stance below a crack.
8) IV, 30m. Ignore the crack directly above and instead continue diagonally left up fractured rock to a comfortable stance below a crack.
9) IV, 25m. Climb the black crack above - often wet but with good holds - to reach a ledge. Follow this right for a few metres to a good stance.
10) IV+, 45m. Continue right along the ledge for a few metres to a peg, then climb a vertical crack and a steep slab, stepping left at the top of a belay below flakes and corner-cracks leading left.
11) IV-, 25m. Climb the open corner, using the flakes on its edge.
12) IV, 35m. Continue in the same line to reach the centre of the black streak, and climb this for a few metres before exiting out right again to a stance below a compact slab.
13) IV, 25m. Climb the slab then continue direct to a stance in a niche.
14) IV, 30m. Exit left from the niche onto the black streak - often providing a refreshing, albeit unwanted, shower. Climb this on the left then move onto the right before following a rising traverse on its left side, escaping the deluge following a diagonal crack.
15) IV, 50m. Follow the continuation crack to enter a chimney-gully, and follow this up and left. To avoid a second shower, it is possible to climb vertically to the right of this before moving left on easier ground to the back of the chimney. Continue to a good stance.
16) IV, 40m. Continue more vertically in the chimney to reach a crack leading out and right. Follow this to exit onto the large scree ledge, and belay to the left of a large boulder. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Pordoi - Northwest face. Awesome climb up this huge wall. Very few pegs in place and not a small amount of resolve required in picking the best line. The upper section immediately before the huge terrace at three quarters height has two sketchy pitches on loose rock that lead to the "wet belay" in the bed of a water course, where one of the pegs was actually underwater when we got there..
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