The Hardest Free Route On Cima Grande
Camilloto Pellesier's route was climbed in 1967 by Mauro and Minuzzo and was probably the peak of a dead-end street taken by diretissima aid climbers on the walls of the Tree Cime. With 340 bolts and about 50 pitons, it is in fact more a bolted "via ferrata" than a climbing route, and runs in a direct line from the bottom to the end of the overhanging left part of the Cima Grande north wall. But in the summer of 2003, this route took on a new dimension with Mauro Bole's first free ascent. He graded his free climb 8b and inspired some of the best alpine free climbers. My friend and climbing partner Marko Lukiè made the second free ascent only a few weeks after Bubo.
After my successful free ascent of the Couzy Memorial Route (8b or 8a+, 550m) on Cima Ovest last year, I decided to try Camilotto. But the weather this summer was really poor and with only my weekends off I needed luck to find days with good conditions on the wall. A free repeat of this route still has quite an alpine character; the rock is loose and rotten, bolts are not in good shape anymore and sometimes you have to skip them while free climbing - it's adventurous like most routes on the Tre Cime. After two separate days of studying the route, I thought I could redpoint it. But on my third visit the rock on the hardest pitch was completely wet. Water was dripping through thin cracks in overhangs and I didn't succeed. On my fourth visit, which was on 6th of August, I led the whole route without a fall. After twelve hours of climbing, I stood happily on the summit of Cima Grande in an evening snowstorm, with my wife Tanja, who climbed and supported me in my project (she is the best wife on the planet!).
I think grades given by Bubo are too hard. My suggested grades for the first six pitches are 7b+/c, 7c/c+, 8a/a+, 7c/c+, 7a, 7c+/8a. See also the topo!
Andrej Grmovšek, Maribor, Slovenia, September 2005