Late October climbing in the Dolomites

Grohmannspitze: Michael climbing up a steeper pitch.
Michael and I wanted to do one last alpine climb for the season. For the northern Alps the weather forecast wasn't great, but for the southern Alps it was much better. So the initial idea was to climb the Campanile Basso in the Brenta group of the Italian Dolomites. But since it was already late October, gondolas had stopped running and the huts had shut down for the season leaving us worried about logistics, long approaches, and about being able to get enough drinking water. So instead Michael suggested the Langkofel group with short approaches and long and interesting alpine climbs.

We took off in Munich at 9pm Friday evening, arrived at Sella Pass near Wolfenstein half past midnight, and slept right by the car. The next morning, just after sun rise, we where on our way toward Grohmannspitze (3126 m) where we wanted to climb a 13 pitch route up the south face called "Dimai/Eötvös" (IV-). Compared to other routes in the area this route is fairly short but it seemed perfect for a short autumn day.

Grohmannspitze: Michael on the Dimai/Eötvös
Since Michael wrote an excellent pitch-by-pitch trip report of our climb I can be short: The climb was a blast, the summit views spectacular, yet the descend interesting and demanding: After rappelling a few times we had to down climb long sections of the normal route (III). Since there where some snowy and icy patches this took a lot of time. When we finally arrived at the notch between Grohmannspitze and Fünffingerspitze (Fünffingerscharte) it was getting dark and so we had to descend the scree slopes back to the car in the light of our head lamps. We finished the day with a hearty Italian dinner in Wolfenstein before we drove to Groedner Joch. There, we spent the night outside of a closed hotel.

The plan for the following day was to climb Sas Ciampac (2672 m) via "Adang" (12 pitches, V-), but when Michael was leading out on the first pitch it started to rain and we decided to retreat. Instead, we climbed Piz Miara (2964 m) in the Sella group via the Pößnecker Klettersteig, an old Via Ferrata put in place in 1907! Now, usually I'm not a great friend of Klettersteigs, but this one was very enjoyable and full of variety: steep walls, narrow chimneys, rusty ladders, and not overprotected. After tagging Piz Miara we strolled over to Piz Selva (2941 m). A long hike over the high plateau and down brought us back to the car where we arrived after nightfall. We finished another great day with yet another delicious dinner in Wolfenstein and were on the road back to Munich where we arrived well after midnight.

  • Oct 28, 2006
  • Grohmannspitze via Dimai/Eötvös
  •    with Michael
Grohmannspitze: Langkofelgruppe with Grohmannspitze, Fünffingerspitze, and Langkofel (from left to right) in the early morning
Grohmannspitze: Langkofelgruppe with Grohmannspitze, Fünffingerspitze, and Langkofel (from left to right) in the early morning
Grohmannspitze: First light: Langkofelgruppe with Grohmannspitze, Fünffingerspitze, and Langkofel (from left to right)
Grohmannspitze: First light: Langkofelgruppe with Grohmannspitze, Fünffingerspitze, and Langkofel (from left to right)
Grohmannspitze: Fünffingerspitze lit by the raising sun
Grohmannspitze: Fünffingerspitze lit by the raising sun
Grohmannspitze: Michael on the Dimai/Eötvös
Grohmannspitze: Michael on the Dimai/Eötvös
Grohmannspitze: Michael on the Dimai/Eötvös
Grohmannspitze: Michael on the Dimai/Eötvös
Grohmannspitze
Grohmannspitze
Grohmannspitze: Earlier, I was teasing Michael because he went right past 2 shiny bolts without noticing them.  When I came to this belay stand I was disparately looking for anchors and didn't see anything except 2 very rusty old pitons.  When Michael came up he pointed out this new bolt that i hadn't seen.
Grohmannspitze: Earlier, I was teasing Michael because he went right past 2 shiny bolts without noticing them. When I came to this belay stand I was disparately looking for anchors and didn't see anything except 2 very rusty old pitons. When Michael came up he pointed out this new bolt that i hadn't seen.
Grohmannspitze: Michael climbing up a steeper pitch.
Grohmannspitze: Michael climbing up a steeper pitch.
Grohmannspitze: On the summit with the incredibly Langkofel south wall in the background.
Grohmannspitze: On the summit with the incredibly Langkofel south wall in the background.
Grohmannspitze: On the summit looking toward the Sella group and Piz Boe.
Grohmannspitze: On the summit looking toward the Sella group and Piz Boe.
Grohmannspitze: Marmolada (3342 m), the highest peak in the Dolomites
Grohmannspitze: Marmolada (3342 m), the highest peak in the Dolomites
Grohmannspitze: south face of Langkofel
Grohmannspitze: south face of Langkofel
Grohmannspitze: On the summit looking toward the Sella group and Piz Boe.
Grohmannspitze: On the summit looking toward the Sella group and Piz Boe.
Grohmannspitze: On the awful descend down climbing over icy and sketchy parts after a bunch of rappels.  We reached the pass between Grohmannspitze and Fünffingerspitze just before nightfall.  Then we descended in the dark down terrible scree.
Grohmannspitze: On the awful descend down climbing over icy and sketchy parts after a bunch of rappels. We reached the pass between Grohmannspitze and Fünffingerspitze just before nightfall. Then we descended in the dark down terrible scree.
Grohmannspitze: Sella pass area, Sella group with the Sella towers and Piz Boe in the background.
Grohmannspitze: Sella pass area, Sella group with the Sella towers and Piz Boe in the background.
  • Oct 29, 2006
  • Pößnecker Klettersteig
  •    with Michael
Sas Ciampac: looking at the routes "Südwestkante" and "Adang-Führe".  We did the first pitch of the Adang when the rain started and we decided to retreat.
Sas Ciampac: looking at the routes "Südwestkante" and "Adang-Führe". We did the first pitch of the Adang when the rain started and we decided to retreat.
Sas Ciampac: Heading down from Sas Ciampac to the Grödner Joch before taking of for the Pößnecker Klettersteig.
Sas Ciampac: Heading down from Sas Ciampac to the Grödner Joch before taking of for the Pößnecker Klettersteig.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: On the via ferrata looking toward Wolkenstein and the Geislergruppe.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: On the via ferrata looking toward Wolkenstein and the Geislergruppe.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: Michael ascending a ladder.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: Michael ascending a ladder.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: Looking toward the Geislerguppe.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: Looking toward the Geislerguppe.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: On the big ledge halfway up.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: On the big ledge halfway up.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: looking toward the Marmolada
Pößnecker Klettersteig: looking toward the Marmolada
Pößnecker Klettersteig: Looking down at the Langkofelgruppe with Grohmannspitze (that we had climbed the day before), Fünffingerspitze, and Langkofel.
Pößnecker Klettersteig: Looking down at the Langkofelgruppe with Grohmannspitze (that we had climbed the day before), Fünffingerspitze, and Langkofel.