Ice climbing in Malga Ciapela

Malga Ciapela is a beautiful spot. Currently it is dominated by the ski lift to Marmolada, but look carefully and here there lies some potential for ice climbing but also Dry Tooling. I will split this area into two sectors, west and east. The west side of the valley consists nearly entirely of very hard dry tooling, in the Tomorrows World cave, first climbed by Tom Ballard. On the east side, the climbs are easy ice climbs, ideal in the early season when it is cold, as they nearly all catch the sun in the afternoon for a while.

Tomorrows World Cave

This sector holds one of the highest concentration of drytooling routes in the world. First discovered by the alpinist Tom Ballard, the routes climb through the roof of a huge limestone cave. The holds are natural and the routes are generally long stamina fests. Park by Capanna Bill and cross the ski piste to the cave.

Real Steel D9

Fear Index D12

French Connection D15-

Let them eat Cake D13+

Edge of Tomorrow D13

Tomorrows World D14/+

Oblivion D14

Je ne sais quoi D14+

A line above the sky D15-

Invocation D14

War without end D15+

Parallel World D16

East Side Sector.

The routes on the east side of the valley are located around Capan Bill. They follow natural water courses and under heavy snow would become impractical. But for the last few years when the start of the season has been snowless, they provide good sport and are useful for beginners as they have short pitches and are at maximum WI3. As they are a little higher than the gorge, they can be reasonably reliable in the early season when the sun barely touches them. They are very close to the road so you can easily find them and see what sort of condition they are in.

Minion WI2+

Park in a small layby below Capanna Bill from where you will see three streambeds descending the hillside. The right hand most forms Minion. Walk up to where the stream splits in two and climb the streambed easily, with a couple of trickier steps no more than 4-5 mtres long. Take the left branch and bash through bushes a little to reach some more vertical ice. Take the obvious line of weakness, 25m. Then descend by either ascending the right bank of the gully and abseiling and down climbing from trees or possibly more sensibly, set an abalakov and abseil the last step and walk down the hill.

Ituuk, il cattivo malamute WI3 *

Park in the layby near Capanna bill and walk up to the middle streambed. Currently you have to start by climbing up behind a fallen tree which provides some interest. Then continue up a stepped fall with one steep section around 10m high. Continue for another 1-2 pitches where you can then either abseil down from the right side of the gully or continue to the hillside above and walk around and down to the road.

The third streambed often looks dirty and rotten from the sun and as yet I have not climbed it.

Piccolo pillar WI2+

A short free standing pillar high on the hillside above Capana Bill. Drive up the fist few hairpins of the pass until you reach a barrier on the right and some small cabins. Park here and take a track into a small re-entrant and then strike out left up to the falls.

The climbing is brief at around 15m but kind of fun and in a nice location. Almost ice bouldering, and a good opportunity to climb a short vertical pillar for the first time. Descend the hill side.

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