In my mountain experiences as a climber and mountain guide I never had the chance to climb with a pregnant woman before this last summer. Norie, like me, she made her passion to become a profession, as she is a AMGA certified rock climbing guide in Boulder, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, a guide too. She went through several meetings with doctors before finding the one who confirmed what you want to hear – Be careful but yes! you can go rock climbing – and so they came to the Dolomites for a climbing and relax holiday and she contacted me to plan a couple of climbing days together. It was only when I first met her that I realized she was really pregnant (oh yes she was), in between the 5th and 6th month, her belly said. Holy cow!
Few days before I met Norie, she climbed Finlandia on Cinque Torri (a beautiful multi pitch route up to 6b French grade, and steep!) and she had enough of hanging belays (or maybe her baby had more than enough?), so for the first route we went for the Dibona on Falzarego Tower , where the belay stances are always comfortable. This time, I say “unfortunately”, I found out some restyling on the last 3 pitches . After the exposed traverse right to left on the upper part, in a niche where there was only a 8mm bolt, now you find 2 big bomber 12mm bolts, same story on the next belay where you have always had a bomber thread. On the following exposed chimney, where 2 pitons were in situ more for the brain than for real protection (fortunately they’re still there, to remind us how it was before), there are now 2 of those bolts which might let you feel a bit more comfortable… and at the end of the chimney 2 more bolts before the crux move on a steep slab. Is this the sign that time has changed? Are we running towards the maximum safety on adventure terrain? Thankfully, you are still pretty committed on that pitch, if I want to try and see the other side of the coin.
Anyway, our climb went so quick and smooth, Norie enjoyed the morning as much as I did that we both decided to climb the Micheluzzi on Piz Ciavazes for the next stage. What can I say more about this great classic climbing route, I have done it many times and I can never get tired of it. The Climb is technical, there is that 90 meter traverse right in the middle of the face that seems never ending and it is so fun and unique. Norie climbed the whole route without pulling any gear, with calm and patience she sent every moves, while on the traverse she followed that sequence of small holds and edges, where sometimes you need to down climb as well if you don’t wanna pull on the pitons. We had a blast! And nobody was following us, the whole route was just for ourselves.
Now I know that you can climb even if you’re pregnant, all you need is to buy the right harness (MadRock sells the perfect one), and keep follow your climbing passion!