Last year in Vipiteno I took part on a meeting for the upcoming Adidas Terrex event as a “local” expert of the Dolomites. These mountains were chosen for their beauty (of course!) and the opportunity to combine multisport activities (hiking, running, rock climbing and mountain biking) accross the valleys without using cars or any other “mechanic” help. 14 different starting points were set for the 14 teams ( each made of 2 participants and one mountain guide) that in 4 days in early July reached the Rifugio Re Alberto at the feet of the Vajolet Towers. Adidas received over 13,000 applications to participate at the Adidas Terrex Mountain Project, and it was such an hard work for the staff to choose the candidates.
I had the pleasure of sharing this adventure together with two strong girls, Michela and Franzi, whom I met at 6:15 am at the Rifugio Dibona, our starting point in Cortina area.
Our first goal was the south face of Tofana di Rozes,I know the classic Eotvoss Dimai route well and we managed to send the climb pretty quick, we even got a bit of snow on that cold day. At lunch time we were already at the Rifugio Giussani to wolf some food down, and at 3 o’clock in the afternoon we were ready to get on the MTB and hit the road, with the plan to get as close as possible to Arabba. Biking is not my sport (I’ve ridden it once only few years ago..),and it was tough (especially for my … you got it,uh?), but we were so excited that we got to the Hotel Al Forte for the night, just few km far from Arabba.
Day 2 was meant to be a tough day on the MTB as we had climb two road passes, Pordoi and Sella Pass. I have driven those windy roads so many times I know the number of turns by heart, so I thought we would have needed all day to go through that stage on the bike… but luckily I was wrong as we got to to the top of Sella Pass at lunch time already. Weather was on our side, so after lunch we spent some time climbing the Schober Rossi route on the First Tower of the Sella, a beautiful and challenging line (the first pitch is a solid 6a+ with classic pitons) although is so short that once you top out you’d like it to be few pitches longer. Franzi led the climb and she did great, it was a bit weird to me to be a second… but I kinda enjoyed that.
On Day 3 we went for a classic climb, I had never go the chance to climb the Kiene route on Cinque Dita before, so we went to check it out. The route follows that obvious big crack from right to left on the Cinque Dita east face, you get to climb a system of impressive chimneys up to grade V- (be aware if you’re not comfortable on this kind of climbing technique), the rock is often dirty of some rock sand but overall I found the route so exciting. The yellow rock on the chymneys against the gray rock all around together with some very exposed pitches … the Kiene is a must for climbers who love classic routes.
We spent the afternoon of Day 3 hiking along the beautiful trail from Passo Sella to Rifugio Alpe di Tires, which has been renewed for few years and its’s such a beatiful example of modern architecture, not to mention the food – so awesome! On the last day we hiked up and down the Molignon Pass and Passo Principe to go climbing the Punta Emma via the Steger route, another popular climb I already knew, that features 3 beautiful pitches of a solid V grade, exposed and with great rock. Once we finally got to Rifugio Re Alberto at lunchtime we were almost ready to start the party with all the other participants.
What else to say? For me, it was perhaps the most interesting and fun work I’ve ever been involved into, and I have to thank my two fella for these 4 intense mountain days, we helped each other out showing a true team spirit. Once again I want to thank Adidas for giving me the opportunity to take part in this beautiful event.