Last week we got an e-mail from Martin Moser telling:
it's everything ok...
As you can see I left the crash pad in the cellar fro a while, but not for long..."
That crazy Martin didn't only left the pad in the cellar, but even the drill, the pegs and the bolts, and with Arnold Senfter he started a new trilling adventure (...have a look at the video
...) of TRAD CLIMBING.
A kind of a personal reaserach of a CLEAN CLIMB without using bolts and pegs.
They were dreaming the cracks of Patagonia, but read what did they manage on Dolomites!
CLEAN E' MORTO
Arnold Senfter with the jumar
by Martin Moser
"To open a new route on the Croda Rossa di Braies, Dolomites... The idea has first born thinking about a trip to Patagonia. Perfect cracks, perfect for a "clean" trad approach: we therefore decided we to don't make use of bolts or pegs.
The idea of a trip to Patagonia has then vanished, but not that of a winter ascent!
I found in Arnold Senfter from San Candido (Italy) a motivated and strong partner for this project: he loves crack climbing!
We then left to go to the Croda Rossa wall. Arnold started the adventure leading the first day. Despite the -13 degrees Celsius and a strong wind, Arnold managed the first pitch, and, more important, he managed to set a belay with nuts and friends.
Few days later the skin of Arnold's hands started to literally melt due to the cold!! Therefore I started to lead the second pitch.
The crack I started from ended in the middle of the second pitch in a kind of niche, but before getting there I had to face a not really solid pillar.
The problem was that I had to protect myself with nuts and friends relaying on them!
In case of a fall, I would have taken out both the pillar and the protections. Shit!
After a bit of sweating cold, I passed by this difficulty. I wanted like to put a friend in a small pocket, but I didn't have the right size, and I started sweating again due to the fear.
I was already imagining to fall down along with the pillar, but... I luckily found the oldest friend of my bunch of equipment
Yeah! After managing this scary bit, Arnold belayed me down. We had enough for that day even if we had just 3 meters in order to complete the pitch: this challenging bit had dragged all my energies!
The following day I tried to avoid the difficulty and the pillar moving on the left, but then I had to go back to the right on the pillar.
Luckily, this time I had enough gears to protect myself much better that the day before.
I then reached a more relaxed point on the wall, I put a green camalot in a small pocket, and I put it into work pulling a sling with my foot.
It had to carry all my weight. I started feeling that the edges of the camalot pocket were breaking...
Now or never I thought: I left myself a bit and I managed to place a further friend in a pocket, without even seeing it.
Without thinking too much, I pulled the friend and I overcame what has then revealed to be the crux of the route. I made a belay with some protections: none of them was really solid, but it was already getting dark, and we had to get down. The following days Arnold attached the next pitch, and first of all completed my precarious belay. We were on the more overhanging section of the wall, and therefore the snow couldn't get to us. Nevertheless the humidity made a small icy layer on the rock making it even more difficult to make the nuts and friends solid. But Arnold progressed quickly and set another good belay. We were out of the most overhanging bit now: just two slabby pitches to go! It was my turn and I did a 60m pitch. The snow covered every crack, and my fingers started to blood while I was in a really sandy chimney. Luckily, due to the cold, the sand in the chimney was frozen, and then I didn't fall. But, again, my belay was a shit... I put a static rope in order to allow a quick ascent of Arnold. We realised that this was a dead point and that we couldn't go back: we absolutely needed to get to the top by that day and it was already late.
Arnold Senfter and Martin Moser
I held the static rope with one hand and I belayed Arnold with the other with the fear that the belay was going to break apart. Once up, Arnold didn't stop to check the belay and carried on in order to quickly face a delicate section covered by the snow brought by the wind.
Well, the only missing thing was an avalanche... Therefore Arnold speeded the action up... Luckily no avalanches and he got to the belay of another route, with a bolt!
Both the wall and our route were finished.
We abseiled in the night from a bolted route. Our houlbag was full of nuts, friends, quickdraws... the skis folded under the weight like if they were made of plastic. At 10pm we got at the bottom of the valley.
We had absolutely no energies to afford a big party in order to celebrate such an adventure as we usually do: we were destroyed!
The route has 6 pitches, the first and the second really overhanging. We climbed the all route just with nuts and friends, no pegs at all.
The attach of the route is located 10m on the right of the north crack of Gargitter.
We climbed this route with the aim of not using pegs and bolts.
We are aware the it is easier to auto-protect a crack rather than a slab, nevertheless we think that the actual trend of new hyper-equipped routes with bolts, should be reconsidered.
The comfort of bolts is for several climbers an open door to a new wall. We believe that the use of bolts should be critique and justified.
Climbing "Clean is death" we tried on our probed ourselves that a route, even not at the top-end of the difficulty range, but without fixed protections, can still be really engaging and provide great satisfactions!
A special thank to SCARPA®
Name: "Clean è Morto" (Clean Isch Tot - German)
(Clean is dead - English)
Location: Croda Rossa (3.146 mt),
Dolomites of Braies - High Pusteria
Opened by: Martin Moser and Arnold Senfter -
Pitches: 7 (200m in total)
Difficulty: VII/A3 e8A
Gears: nuts and friends of every size (two sets).
Double rope. Friends of big sizes.
Absailing: double rope on the belay of the route,
on the right, of
Steiner/Felderer (bolted belay) or walking.
Note: the route has been opened from December to
March, requiring 5 days on the wall.
The openers didn't use pegs or bolts.
Nothing has been left on the wall (belays included).