Posted on: July 1, 2006

A mountain guide from Ortisei in the Dolomites (Val Gardena), I started the season June 1 with an onsight ascent of Via attraverso il Pesce (the famous "Fish Route") on the south face of Marmolada (3342m). On July 2 I enchained, solo, the Costantini-Apollonio (6c+), the Costantini-Ghedina and the Alvera on the Tofana di Rozes (3225m), running up and down the wall three times in five hours and thirty minutes (starting from the Rifugio Dibona and returning to the same place). I free soloed everything (including the two difficult roofs with slopers on the "Costantini Apollonio"), without pulling on gear. The total climbing length of the three routes is 2180 meters, and the highest grade is 6c+. The last time I did the three routes had been about three years before.

The same day, I drove to my favorite sport-climbing crag at Pian Schiavaneis on the Sella Group, where I managed Ciapa e Tira (7c+), also free solo.

At the end of July, again at Pian Schiavaneis, I climbed Linea Mortale 8b+/8c (this time with a rope) and on Piz Ciavazes (2828m) I free climbed the Via Italia (8a) on the second try—the fourth and fastest redpoint of this 200-meter long former aid climb over a four-meter roof. On August 12 I onsighted Ottovolante (7a+) on the Torre Brunico (2494m; Sella Group). The route is eleven pitches long (360m) and I climbed it totally free without a rope, using a long sling to self-belay one move (on bad slopers; totaling 1.5 meters). It was one of the best climbs


I've ever done.

On October 1 I climbed two routes on the Tofana di Rozes, Good-bye 99 and Da Pozzo Vecchio Pazzo, onsight in the same day. In total there were twenty pitches up to 7c with mixed natural and bolted protection.

I did a few more interesting climbs in the warm autumn, including the first free ascent of Via della Giraffa (7c+, 8 pitches) on Sass Ciampac (natural protection and some pitons) and Via Luciano da Pozzo (7c+, 10 pitches) onsight on the Cima Scotoni (2874m; natural protection and some bolts, loose rock). On October 28 I soloed the six-pitch Via Rossi (6b) on the first Sella Tower (2533m) and then the six-pitch Via Bertoldi (6b) on the same face in one hour. I did everything free, without a rope. The second route was an onsight.

Manfred Stuffer, Ortisei, Italy

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