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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Calicula - Dent d'Oche

difficulty: 5b
altitude: ~2000
month: April

The topo above is taken from:
The map above shows two tours in this region. This article is about the one marked red, which was multi-pitch climbing tour. The tour marked blue was one of my exercise tours for UIMLA course. I will say also few words about that one although we promised not to publish information about UIMLA course at social networks.

The access to the multi-pitch is little bit tricky, only very small path leads there. But we found it after few loops. Calicula starts with few 'easy' pitches, at least according to the topo. But in my opinion, somebody had to be very drunk when giving grades to the beginning of the route. One can feel it at first pitch, 4a - "well it is not difficult but if this is 4a, then I don't want to see the 5b" were my words after first pitch. And it is getting worse and worse. The 5a was really bad. There is very difficult section one quickdraw above belay station (if I fell, then directly on my brave friend). When we finished this pitch, we stood below 5a followed by 5b. We were seriously considering rappelling down, but even that would be very difficult, since there is many traverses in the route. 

We climbed. And it was surprisingly easy. The 5b was very nice and very easy. Uf.

After climbing Calicula, we had to cross entire ridge, which is nice tour at max II grade UIAA. But you have to use your skills in route finding. Views are astonishing.

It would be nice to do it to the hut, but it is not really possible. There is fixed rope installed at one point on the ridge, which is worth to use for rappel down. After rappeling it, one has to be little bit careful on the grassy slopes leading down to the valley from the ridge. I can imagine that falling there means somersaults on the whole length of the slope.

Couple of words to the touristic path to the hut. One has to expect some small technical difficulties there at last 100 meters bellow hut, again I-II UIAA. These sections are usually equipped be fixed ropes, but most of them where under snow when we climbed this in May. There are some reports on doing this as a ski-tour, but it wouldn't be my choice at all. But generally the are is somehow different from other parts of the Alps. White towers are rising up from the meadows and with little bit of snow and blue sky, it can make remarkable scenery. I could enjoy it with couple of friends and thunderstorm somewhere far.

Beginning of steep section before the hut

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