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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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2:52:00 PM
Will be in Dolomites for a couple of weeks late August. Anyone have any tips on particular gear they have found useful when climbing there? Mid range grades.

2:55:03 PM
Lots of long slings for threads and extensions + a really mixed range of trad - there is no splitter cracks, so its better have one of every brand and type of gear. It's probably more wire territory than cams. A small hammer to re-seat the manky pitons wouldn't go astray! Helmet absolutely a must.

2:55:38 PM
Oh and a decent rain coat.

Eduardo Slabofvic
3:06:03 PM
A helmet

3:14:33 PM
A small daypack that fits your approach shoes and that you are comfortable to climb with. Its rare to rap back down a route you've climbed up, and long walk-offs and scrambles are common. A credit card is useful to buy beer and snacks from the refugios on top of the mountains...
3:24:01 PM
An Italian, or at least an Italian dictionary for Guidebook translation. If I'd understood the phrase "Solo con condizioni asciutte" I would have avoided an epic

3:36:54 PM
A German dictionary might be more useful in the Dolomites.
3:47:45 PM
On 30/07/2010 bones wrote:
>An Italian, or at least an Italian dictionary for Guidebook translation.
>If I'd understood the phrase "Solo con condizioni asciutte" I would have
>avoided an epic

Oh.... That's what she meant.

Eduardo Slabofvic
4:46:21 PM
Get yourself some sort of shock absorbing lanyard. Not 100% necessary, but you might want/need to do a via Ferrata to access/descend a route. They are fun in their own right as well.
8:23:21 PM
The dolomites is an amazing place. You wont want to leave.

Stay in Corvara in Badia or La Villa or San Cassiano, its cheaper, easier to get to the climbing and has some of the best walls east and west of it and has shoppping centers as opposed to tourist markets. (the markets are expensive) La Villa has loads of accomodation and is cheap, about 20 euro a night which includes breakfast. Most places include a good breakfast as part of your stay.

Definetly get a Y-lanyard for the days off climbing to do the via-ferratta. Do the Tofana di Rozes, guaranteed you will shit yourself. Definitely get a y-lanyard to get off the climbs by coming down the ferrata's. You will need one. Dont use your rope on a ferrata to lower off you will get dirty looks and hold people up. Expect to be hussled on climbs if your moving too slow. Most dont wait and will push past. Get used to sharing belays alot..!!!

Best places to climb - near rifugio lagazuoi - park at top of hill near old war museum, then take your pick. 40 to 90m sport climbs on right side of road looking down hill, 300 to 600m walls to left. Great climbs to the left, which are sport and trad. Walk back down tracks or climb to top and have lunch at Rugio Lagazuoi
Corvara - Take you pick. Surrounded by Piz Da Lech, Sassongher and others. Climbing shop at top of main street in Corvara, has all the books and info you will need.
Pian De Gralba - amazing big big walls. Quite a bit of sport also.

Learn Italian, they will love you for it , if only to ask for dinner or a beer. Most all speak english or german. Big mix. I found most spoke Italian and knew German.

Take a rain coat or softshell. It is still cold in the mountains, even during a hot sunny day. Storms blow in pretty quick, but also blow out pretty quick. You are pretty high up to start with, so treat it as apline not the Gramps.

Gear, long rope, lots of slings, and nuts of various types. Many many chicken heads, good weaknesses on major climbs. Cams yes, but you will always be extending the sling. Grades are average compared to australia, but are long. Not many climbs under 30m. Rock looks shitty, but is bomber. Its is secreted dolomite, basically coral cemented. Polished holds on popular areas, but friction is awesome.

Talk to the locals, they are always happy to help and particularly like Australians. If you are a pom or german then forget it.

Have fun, its a great place for big climbing or via-ferrata or long long walks into the alpine fields.
9:16:03 PM
Awesome shorter(120m) routes on much better than average Dolomites rock at Cinque Torre outside Cortina. Think about the North West Ridge of the Cima Della Madonna called the Schlierkante I think, absolutely fabulous. Also its great climbing in the Cattinacio, we did Via Fantasia and you must climb Torre De Vajolet while you are there. Best pizza of the trip was from the Five Torre Cafe at Cortina. We bivied illegally off the road, hiding the hire car as best we could rather than pay extortionate rates at camping grounds. Take your own favourite energy bars from Australia for the big routes, we couldn't find anything decent over there, and the superlight climbing sack and approach/decent shoes are essential. Don't take the friendly way we treat foreign climbers in Australia as your standard, maybe they have too many visitors to be very friendly. Have a great time!
1:29:11 AM
"tante scusi, ma mio italiano molto male, sono di Australia" made one bloke want me to marry his daughter (I did go and meet her.... hmm). The number of german speakers who realised I wasn't italian and then suddenly were able to speak perfect italian was amazing.

south face buttress of tofana di rozes is classic IV-, 18 pitches, 500m, awesome stuff. there's nice climbing also in tre cime, but cinque torre is good if you've not got the weather for long routes (unless you've got a big high pressure system just come through, there'll be thunderstorms often in the afternoons in august).

agree that ferrata kit is useful for getting off routes; also that la villa is easily the best place to stay if you don't like the rifugi (which are good value if you're a member of pretty much any alpine club - and to be fair, they did even accept my swedish touristforeningen card as being a 'member' and therefore sometimes as cheap as EUR10 per night, includes a very basic breakfast). plenty of legal bivvy spots are also about but most require a walk-in, they're marked on the maps. coop in cortina is the biggest supermarket around.
8:00:18 AM
Great to read all the info!

On 30/07/2010 nmonteith wrote:
>Lots of long slings for threads and extensions + a really mixed range of
>trad - there is no splitter cracks, so its better have one of every brand
>and type of gear. It's probably more wire territory than cams.

We'll be there last week of August - if you're keen to meet up, I don't have every brand and type of gear, so we could mix & match...
Would be nice to climb with an Aussie for a change!
(The reason for less than enthused locals is because there are 25 times more climbers here than in Aus)
2:07:01 PM
I went to the dolomites during the sydney olympics. Saw the standing under the sprinkler act in Bolzano in what was about as close to a pub as italy has.

I forgot my rain coat. I did take a helmet and wore it. I took a head torch. The climbing shop in Cortina is cool.

If you are a budget kinda person I believe you have 2 choices:

1. Rent a car and sleep in the valleys.

2. Move around on public transport and sleep high. The rifugios when I was there were expensive and there was a general culture of not setting up a tent next to one but thats not law.

The local beer if I remember is Forsters. It is good. Takeaway beer in the dolis is cheap but the cafe prices are criminal. There is some law that stops shops selling chilled takeaway beer!

Don't take a hammer unless you are doing some serious new shit.

The Laverado Hut missus has relos in Liverpool.

Have fun. Jealous.

Eduardo Slabofvic
4:07:54 PM
My girlfriend and I spent a week at one of the high refugios. It was the best climbing trip ever. Great routes, and as we were already up there we had a couple of hours head start on the hordes. Got on every route first and stayed first (very important).

Cold beer on the balcony in the afternoons while checking out tomorrows routes with the telescope. A menu to choose from at the restaurant, a room to ourselves and hot showers.

It's fantastic, but you gotta like loose rock.
11:48:53 AM
Thanks everyone for the advice. Another question - rope? Length, single/double? Is 60 the go, or will 50 be adequate (weight issuues on the plane!)

12:02:49 PM
Double ropes for sure. If one gets cut by rockfall (common!) you can still keep climbing. Also handy for wandery nature of climbing and rap descents. 50m would be fine for multipitch - but 60m is the standard for sport climbing in Europe so you might get into trouble on single pitch crags with lower-offs.

Eduardo Slabofvic
12:03:30 PM
My opinion is to take two, as there are a lot of routes that wander around all over the place so as to avoid sections of crap rock. Also when rapping off, I found that from time to time I could skip a rap station and go down to the next as I was using two 60m ropes.

Obviously there are also routs that go direct, and not everything is loose, and maybe you might want to do some shorter routes/sport climbing, and blah blah blah, but the last time I looked it was possible to do a single pitch route with double ropes.

I wight is a big issue, buy the ropes over there and then post them home when you leave.

12:40:04 PM
On 2/08/2010 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>I wight is a big issue, buy the ropes over there and then post them home
>when you leave.

In my experience the cheapest climbing gear prices in the world appear to be in the town of Arco - a few hours south of the Dolomites. There are at least 15 climbing shops, all very competitive and they stock every brand under the sun. I'd be tempted to bring nothing and buy it all on arrival!
9:56:52 AM
Definitely buys ropes over there. Arco is a great place for gear and an amazing place to climb. Do shop around when you get to Arco to get the best price. Its not a big place.

Buying ropes over there will see you get back on the plane to return home without much hassle, however leaving Aust' might see you pay more in lugage costs. I guess it depends who you are flying with.! A bit more freedom to move easier while you get your bearings is always good. Then post them home after you finished. We posted gear and it didnt take long at all.

I meant to say earlier , that renting a car is the best way to go. Not only is it probably cheaper, but getting around the dolomites is a dam site easier. I say cheaper if you are over 25years old, the train tickets for over 25 are expensive.

You may be able to join the Austrian Alpine club, if you can post the membership to someone you know in Austria, or join the NZ Alpine club. You will get discounts in the rufigos with it.

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