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Routes in Cima della Madonna

Scarf Arete, a.k.a. "Spigolo del Velo." T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Type: Trad, 1350 ft, 10 pitches
FA: Guenther Langes and Edwin Merlet, 19 July 1920
Page Views: 963 total, 13/month
Shared By: Rodger Raubach on Nov 20, 2011
Admins: Tim Wolfe, Shawn Heath

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The climb attacks the arete directly and soon passes over the famous "organ pipe holds." The climbing is exceptional and continuously steep. After reaching the top of the initial buttress, continue up the crest of the arete to a second buttress top; a long stretch across a gap to the final headwall is required. The climbing is astounding, on rock resembling a big petrified sponge

Descend via the Winkler chimney between the Cima della Madonna and Sass Maor by a marked 2nd and 3rd class scramble over the summit and down to the rappel anchors. All anchors are fixed and cemented in place. There are a series of four abseils of 20 meters each, with some scrambling and traversing between the second, and beginning the third. Additionally, a short travese is necessary to reach the rings for number 4.


Reach the start from Rifugio del Velo by a track for a via ferrata leading into the big gully left of the peak. Where the trail turns left, climb up some low-5th class rock to a terrace leading to the base of the arete.


All necessary anchors are fixed and most protection is by fixed pitons. Bring a light rack and several slings for threads through natural anchors.
My previous comments are based on a very "Old School" interpretation of the equivalence of the rating scales; i.e. : UIAA versus YDS. I've discussed several of the ratings with other climbers who have repeated these UIAA Gr. V+ routes, and it's more likely that it equates to 5.8+ or possibly even 5.9-, instead of just "hard 5.7." Sep 28, 2015
This route is listed in Anette Koehler and Norbert Memmel's book "Classic Dolomite Climbs," as Route 77. The UIAA Grade assigned: Grade V+. Nov 25, 2011
This was my first-ever climb in the Dolomites in 1963. The Spigolo del Velo is also known as "die Schleierkante" in German. Translated, this is the "edge of the wedding veil." Herman Buhl made the climb famous by his reference as "the heavenly ladder made by God for the climber" comment in Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage. Other authors have stated that the climb is the most beautiful rock climb in the Eastern Alps. Take it from me: they weren't lying about it! Nov 20, 2011