Type: Trad, Alpine, 900 ft, 9 pitches, Grade III
FA: L. Decima, P. Brustolon, S. Della Santa, F. Todeso 1976
Page Views: 458 total · 7/month
Shared By: Tim Wolfe on Sep 9, 2014
Admins: Tim Wolfe, Shawn Heath

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This is a fantastic, clean line directly up a steep/overhanging black water streak on the South West aspect of Pala delle Masenade. It is full of jugs, flakes and threads. You will have difficulty finding cleaner more solid rock anywhere in the Dolomites. The upper pitches are some of the most enjoyable climbing at this grade I have ever done in 35 years on the rocks - steep/overhanging with huge jugs and many threads for protection– making this feel like a warm up route in a gym that just keeps going. This is a perfect route for an introduction to trad climbing in this range. The approach is very reasonable from the car and very short from the nearby Refugio. At the end of the climb on the walk out you can stop at Refugio Carestiato and have a carafe of wine (1 liter 9 euro in 2014) or a beer and some food to end a perfect day. It is a busy route so either start early or wait until about noon for the crowds to back off. If it is too crowded there is a 6c+/7a bolted/mixed route 30 meters to the right of this line. Be sure it has not rained for 2 days prior to getting on this route as it is a waterfall in wet conditions.
Pitch 1: 5.5 25 meters. Traverse up then directly left under an under cling along slabby rock all the way to the corner. There is a fixed belay 5 meters right of the corner or go to the corner, clip a piton, step down and put in some gear for an alternate belay below the next pitch.
Pitch 2/3: 55m 5.8 – Climb the small overhang into the corner. Climb the corner using the crack to face holds – the second half of the pitch is cleanest out on the face to the right of the corner. Belay to the left. You can split this into two obvious half pitches if needed.
Pitch 4: 5.8 35 meters – There are multiple options here. The easiest is probably to go up, then left then up and left again. Steeper juggy climbing is available if you go left first to a ledge, left again then pull over the steep overhanging section to the belay. Belay at a huge thread on a small ledge.
Pitch 5: 5.6 30 to 50 meters depending. Move right from the thread belay and climb into the water streak directly up until you decide to belay.
Pitch 6: 5.6 30 to 50 meters depending. Above is some shattered appearing rock with many small overhangs and some yellow rock to the right. Climb up the right side over these features and step left onto a large protruding ledge below the steep black rock.
Pitch 7: 5.7 30-50 meters depending: This is the money pitch. Climb overhanging jugs with endless opportunities for gear and threads. Climb as far as you want or until the rope runs out and you find a spot to belay. A real hoot!
Pitch 8/9: 5.6 30-50 meters depending: Climb up, eventually staying to the right. Finish up to the right of the slot and belay at a huge ledge covered with boulders. Belay by wrapping a long sling or your rope around one of the boulders (no gear or bolts are available).


Parking – Park at Passo Duran (North East of Agordo, South of Cortina).
Approach – Walk up the hill behind Passo Duran along a well worn path to a road. Turn left and hike along the road until you reach Rifugio Carestiato in about 45 minutes. Hike past this rifugio along the path towards Refugio Vazzoler. After about 15-20 minutes you will pass under a small cliff below the face of Pala Delle Masenade. At the left end of this cliff is a gully that goes up towards two rock towers. Leave your pack and poles here, gear up and hike up the talus towards the tower, skirting it on a path to the left. At the col of the tower you will be looking at the main face – the route is the black streak up the wall down and to your left 200 meters.
Descent – Follow the path left (West). After a few hundred meters keep your eye out for the path dropping down (painted red dots) bumping into the wall and zig zagging down the side of the mountain. Eventually you intersect the main path and turn left heading back towards Refugio Carestiato. Grab your pack, hike to the hut for a drink then wander down the road back to your car.


Protection: Single set of cams from 0.3 to 3.0, a few wires, many threads, many long slings to reduce rope drag so you can do full pitches.