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moderate adventures in Europe?
john s
9:42:44 AM
I'll have a week's climbing holiday this northern summer. We are thinking of the dolomites for big moderate adventure climbs. Where else should we consider?

What are the 'cornerstone rib'-type classics of central Europe???

10:11:23 AM
I'll get it started:
Snoopy - Ailefroide (6a)
Motorhead - El Dorado (6aish?)
SW Ridge - Salbit (5c)
Aguille de la Gliere/La Chapelle - Chamonix (5c)
no doubt there are loads of others.
10:41:20 AM
We did the North Ridge of Piz Badile in the Bregaglia a couple of years ago. A couple hours walk to the hut, a day going up, a night in the bivy hut, a day coming down. Most people descend the other side to another hut and walk back around - I think you need crampons and an axe for that option. You could get up and down the ridge in a day but you'd have to be good (30+ pitches). An absolute classic.

Ps. We're in a similar age bracket to you.
10:42:12 AM
What's moderate John? There's quite a world of difference between the Chapelle de la Gliere and Motorhead that 1 or 2 grades difference doesn't convey! The Chapelle is a super cruisy day out with one hard pitch that can be avoided. Motorhead is reasonably sustained with some quite committing bits - and that's despite being the least committing route on El Dorado!

There's a stack of easy big reasonably bolted slabs lower down the valley from Eldorado the names of which are escaping me at the moment, and lower down again, a gneiss cliff with some 400m 5a-c, again well bolted. The Miroire d'argentine is 500m of cool limestone, with a few routes around 5b, pretty much all trad. They are all in Swiss Plaisire ouest. Do you have gear for glacier travel? That will get you to a bunch of awesome stuff around Cham. The Aiguille dibona is an amazing peak, has a few options in the 5s.

If you only have a week, follow the weather! I'd make a last minute decision based on that.
Cam McKenzie
11:00:06 AM
Fedele - Dibona on Sass Pordoi (Poroispitze) 20ish pitches IV+ (about 16ish)
Good fun day out, amazing position and face. Do it late in the season though as it has a big waterfall going down it.

Anything on the Marmolada is bound to be pretty awesome, but there's not much under sandbag 6a+

North ridge on the Piz Badille looks pretty awesome. Bit of a pain in the arse logistically though, as you'd have to be very fast to do it in a day (abseiling back down the ridge is the descent which is meant to be pretty epic if you haven't done it before). Most people actually seem to descend down into Italy and stay at the Refugio there and then walk down to public transport back around to Switzerland to pick up the car.

Eduardo Slabofvic
11:03:28 AM
My wife and I spent a week based in the Refugio Alberta which is just near the Vajolet Towers. It was excellent. I highly recommend going up to one of the higher huts in the Dolomites and hanging out there for a week or so. Dolomite Huts are 5* compared to French. Everywhere in the Dolomites will have routes like what you're after. Plus the walking/scrambling/via ferrattering is also a great day out.

Motorhead is great. You will have to go above your runners. Take wires and cams as well. It's a must do.

If you're going to be in the Berner Obland, then go to Englehorner and near by. It's the best limestone around. Excellent 6a's to be had. Silver finger and Silver Majic (both a little run out in places) are easily done in a day from the car park. There are heaps of others as well, but again, stay up in the higher hut for really nice food, cold beer on the deck after climbing, and cutting an hour off the approach for sucesive days - highly worth while. The aproach can be a little necky -I wouldn't want to do it if it was wet.

john s
11:46:42 AM
On 31/01/2012 Wendy wrote:

>What's moderate John?

the North Ridge of Piz Badile that prb mentioned looks just the sort of thing - lots of spectacular ground and technically no dramas

>Do you have gear for glacier travel?


Thanks all for the quick replies - plenty of good googling there already. Can you get enough info from online guides - can manage German (or a bit of French) ...
Cam McKenzie
12:24:49 PM
The only guide for the Piz Badille is in german I believe. I had a quick look at it had pretty decent topos. I couldn't find any online.

The Cassin route on the North West face looks absolutely stunning as well, and there are some topos for that online. About the same length, but about 6a I think.
12:45:02 PM
The Plaisir guides mentioned above which are published by Filidor are quite good. Ailefroide is in the Plaisir Sud one for example.
1:52:40 PM
From memory we borrowed Chockstoner robb's Bregaglia guide, I think it was Alpine Club. The North Ridge was a terrific climb and a good choice to do before tackling the harder Cassin Route (and it gets you to the top of the mountain!) But you'd probably need 2.5 days car-to-car.

The route-finding was quite straightforward. The ridge proper is gained from the L. Stay on it all the way to the summit. We detoured L I think a bit below where the Cassin tops out but that was a mistake - we had to climb a cruxy (5c?) pitch to get back on top. Mike pulled a big rock out of that pitch which missed me by a whisker but the rock up on the ridge is excellent. (Mike did a similar trick on the Dent du Geant a little later but that time I had to crawl off the mountain - long story!)

The cozy bivy hut on top slept 6. We had it to ourselves as most people head down to the refugio on the Italian side. But the word was that ice gear was necessary to walk back (clockwise around the mountain) to the Swiss hut. Abseiling back down the ridge was a long day but, hey, what a beautiful place.
5:27:51 PM
On 31/01/2012 john s wrote:
>On 31/01/2012 Wendy wrote:
>>What's moderate John?
>the North Ridge of Piz Badile that prb mentioned looks just the sort of
>thing - lots of spectacular ground and technically no dramas

Didn't get onto this, but I believe it's only 10 or 12. It will take up half the week, then you'd have to drive somewhere else for more good stuff at that grade. If that's the sort of grades you are after, probably the Grimsel Pass area will get you the most options for a week, although not so much speccy peak bagging. If you like actually getting to the top of peaks, the aiguilles rouges has a few options, but again, not as speccy as PB. The Dibona is very speccy, and you can get up it at that grade, but again, not much else in the immediate vicinity. Not too far drive to Cham or that other popular bit of the Ecrins that someone mentioned earlier but I'm having a mental blank on.

If the weather's dodgy, look over the italian side of the alps. The Valle Dell orco and d'aoste often have better weather. Can't suggest any easy stuff there though.

>>Do you have gear for glacier travel?
>Thanks all for the quick replies - plenty of good googling there already.
>Can you get enough info from online guides - can manage German (or a bit
>of French) ...

I scanned quite a few bits of Plaisir Ouest into my old computer, i can probably find the time to dig them out before the euro summer. And i found to have more than sufficient info for lots of stuff (the dibona for example). Most of the stuff is in french, but they do have some in english and german.
john s
8:46:10 PM
On 31/01/2012 prb wrote:

>The cozy bivy hut on top slept 6.

So, I guess its not a beer and sausages sort of a hut? what gear did you have to carry?
5:20:58 PM
Definitely gotta get on the Eiger! Le Chant du Cygne is not too bad at 7a - plus there is only one pitch of it! All the rest is heaps easier! Its basically a sport route, though some of the easier pitches are a bit more runnout.

It is one hell of an awesome day out though!
1:49:16 PM
The Eiger would be great and I might be getting on it later this year, but rockfall in summer? Anyway, here are some of our shots from the north ridge of Piz Badile. From memory, the steeper slab sections are bolted but you need to take a small rack. We would have taken a few cams from 0.5 to 2 or 3 and a biner's worth of medium to large wires. We climbed as 2 pairs so had 2 x 60m ropes for descent. 2 ropes can speed things up on descent but if it's breezy it's just more rope to blow off the ridge and get tangled!

The Sasc Fura hut

Looking back to where we detoured L, following other parties. Better to stick to the ridge the whole way like the guide coming up behind did.

The bivy hut.

View from the hut.

Looking across to Pizzo Cengalo.
2:16:49 PM
On 2/02/2012 prb wrote:
>The Eiger would be great and I might be getting on it later this year,
>but rockfall in summer?
For the particular route we did the rockfall was fine. It followed a right trending arete leading towards a final vertical pillar. There was plenty of spontaneous rockfall around but the particular route was naturally protected.
john s
4:34:04 PM
On 2/02/2012 prb wrote:
> Anyway, here are some of our shots from the north
>ridge of Piz Badile.

great pics!

I guess you carried sleeping bags etc??
12:30:03 PM
No, they were down in the car. We stayed at the Sasc Fura hut then got away for an Alpine start (along with everyone else). We intended to tick the North Ridge and return to Sasc Fura that day. We were trying to save a day by not going into Italy and having to walk back around, thus our crampons and axes were down in the car as well. We were on the mountain proper by first light but issues like (a) small route finding decisions (b) occasional delays due to other parties, and (c) being not that quick anyway meant if was after 4pm by the time we summitted. The Italian refugio isn't far down the other side but seeing the bivy hut was empty and had a good supply of blankets (although no water supply), we decided to stay up top. I had a reasonable amount of water and half a box of toasted muesli but the other boys were on rations!
12:36:44 PM
I should add that a popular alternative is to head down to the Italian refugio, do a route back up to the ridge the next morning and then descend to Sasc Fura.
small dick
10:25:42 PM
Eiger .. get ya hand off it. Hardily moderate unless you get on the soft sporty stuff on the right hand side.I tried the Nth face in 1990 and it was grim. Piz Badile is nice, Nth face Ok at about grade 14-15ish (Cassin Routre) but if you want fun and moderate alpine style rock stick to the Dolys . walk ins with trainers and normal rack. Have fun

There are 19 messages in this topic.


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