An excellent and slightly harder alternative to Via Maria. The rock is generally sound and less polished than its neighbour, and the climbing is varied and quite exposed at times. Another justifiably popular route.
Begin in a yellow corner-crack, 10m right of the gully which separates the subsidiary pillar of Via Maria from the main buttress.
1) IV, 35m. Climb the corner-crack on its right side, then continue more easily, trending right to a good stance.
2) IV+, 35m. Ignore a crack above and instead move right to a corner. Climb this direct, passing a niche on the left, and exit right to reach the large ledge.
3) V-, 30m. Move right to reach a ramp which leads back left. Climb this, overcoming a bulge, then follow a narrow chimney to reach a crack system. Climb the left-hand crack and belay below a niche.
4) IV, 30m. Move left along a ledge then climb a well-featured wall direct to reach a small ledge. Move left then continue back right to reach a larger ledge.
5) IV+, 15m. Move left on the ledge then, level with a thread, climb a crack which trends right. Belay below a niche.
6) IV, 20m. Climb direct through the niche on loose rock then traverse right below an overhang to a stance on the right of the arete.
7) III+, 35m. Climb a series of flakes direct to reach a niche on the right. Continue direct to a short corner and climb this to reach the top of a small pillar.
8) II, 55m. Move up then traverse left over ledges to a chimney. Climb the chimney direct to reach the plateau with a large cemented peg.
9) As for the final pitch of Via Maria. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
This route starts about 20m to the right of the classic Via Maria. Its a little harder and more sustained and is recommended as a grand day out. The rock is very good apart from on pitch 3 where it is suspect. With climbing at V we thought the HVS grade is merited. It appears in 'Mid Grade Trad Rock - Western Dolomites 1 route 15 - Emiliano Zorzi'.
Approach is as as for Via Maria and about 1 hour walk from Passo Pordoi. You finish on easy scrambling as for that route at the cable car station with an easy walk off (or lift down!).
Aldo Gross, G Momoli 03/Sep/1963.
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