Arguably the Dolomites' most famous route, this outing is more accessible to most than the Hasse-Brandler. Tremendous climbing with some very memorable situations. Because of its reputation it can get very busy (particularly on the weekends) and an Alpine start is recommended.
There is a lot of fixed protection of varying quality. Take plenty of quickdraws and a small rack for the upper chimney pitches which are often wet.
Start in the centre of the black rock dominating the right-hand side of Cima Grande at a large, loose-looking ramp heading up rightwards. The upper black streaks which the route follows are a good reference point.
1) III, 80m. This pitch is often soloed but take care on the loose rock if you choose to do so. Climb the black rising ramp from left to right to reach a large ledge below a prominent crack.
2) IV, 30m. Climb the crack and go left onto a good ledge.
3) VII-, 30m. The start of the difficulties, so make sure you're warmed up. Climb the steep crack off the left-hand side of the ledge before traversing left a few metres on shallow pockets. Then climb direct at first before stepping right onto the first of several uncomfortable belays.
4) VI+, 30m. Leave the belay on the right, making a delicate traverse right for a few metres, until you reach a shallow corner-crack. Climb this to another small stance.
5) VI+, 40m. Traverse left a couple of metres before going direct towards the bottom of an overhanging corner. Climb this and exit on the right at the top.
6) VI, 30m. Climb the next steep corner above and exit right.
7) VII-, 40m. Continue up the next corner before trending right and up on a compact wall to a belay on the right.
8) VII, 40m. Climb the corner (but not to the top). After 10m or so step out right and traverse on compact rock to the base of another corner. Climb this to a belay at the top.
9) VI-, 40m. Climb up towards a small roof and pass it on the right via a small crack. Continue until you reach easy ground. The Costantini Direct Finish now continues up the chimney system above you.
10) IV+, 30m. Trend leftwards up easy ground.
11) III, 40m. More of the same continuing leftwards heading for the large open-book corner.
12) IV, 30m. Continue left then up until under a corner-crack.
13) V+, 40m. Climb the corner, move right and climb another corner (which is often wet and can feel hard for the grade). Belay at the lower of the two belays above.
14) IV+, 20m. Continue up the corner and belay at the lower of the two belays above.
15) V, 40m. Traverse left following the logical line around the corner to a stance.
16) IV-, 40m. Climb the following crack leading up a slab.
17) III+, 40m. Continue on easy but loose ground to the Ringband Terrace. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
A spectacular and deservedly famous North Face climb. The first 8 pitches are gently overhanging and whilst the climbing is never desperate stamina is a must!
Comici, Dimai, Dimai 1933.
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