As I came back home from my guiding week in the Western Alps, I met in Cortina Robert and Aika Yoshida, an incredible talented climber who just won the gold medal in Innsbruck during the Paraclimbing World Cup. Our program was to climb some classic multi pitch routes in the Dolomites, with comfortable, easy approach and descent.
The good and sunny weather was on our side, so we drove up to Cinque Torri and climbed Miriam on the Torre Grande, the ultra classic route of Cinque Torri, up to grade V, once we got back on the ground after the rappels we did a bunch of single pitches near the route “Finlandia”, and finally I took them on the most popular and photographed rock climbing pitch of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the “Franceschi” crack (6b french or 5.10c).

Aika climbing the “Franceschi” crack, Cinque Torri.

The south face of Piz Ciavazes, in between Passo Sella and Pordoi, is very popular for great climbs and the super short approach. It only takes 10 minutes to get to the base of the wall from the car park next to the road. We climbed another great classic there, the Micheluzzi till the beginning of the 90 meter traverse, and from there we followed the thin yellow crack of the Buhl variante (VI+ max, 5.10b alpine), a masterpiece from the 50’s first climbed by Hermann Buhl, the famous austrian alpinist and climber. These 5 pitches feature and exciting climb, pretty exposed, following a system of slabs on crack till that big 60 meter diedrhal right below the “Cengia dei Camosci”, where the technical climb finishes. Due to its popularity ,the rock on the Buhl is a bit polished, still very doable, protected with few old pitons on the key spots, and bomber bolted anchors on the belays. For the descent we just walked just one minute on the big ledge and rapped down the “Parmigiano Reggiano” route (it requires two 60 meter ropes), and landed few meters far from the start of the Micheluzzi, where we left our backpacks.

Aika Climbing the Buhl, Piz Ciavazes.

Aika on Cengia dei Camosci, Piz Ciavazes, tired but happy.

For our last climb I took Robert and Aika to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and we headed to the Spigolo Giallo (VI+ max, 5.10b alpine), another great classic climb in the Dolomites with a short and easy approach, and rappels for the way down. The Spigolo Giallo route is rated more difficult than Buhl on Piz Ciavazes, but easier overall. You find lots of old pitons on the difficult pitches, the climb on Piz Ciavazes is generally more technical than the steep walls of the Tre Cime, generally full of good holds. It was a great experience for Aika and Robert, and quite tiring since they are not very used to multi pitch climbs.

Robert climbing Spigolo Giallo, Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Climbing Spigolo Giallo, Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Here you find some nice pictures from these 3 days of rock climbing in the Dolomites.