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Published: July 20th 2011
Seriously, even looking back now a few weeks after, easily the bestest day EVER! This route was what I imagined when I signed up for this week. The route has sustained and steep climbs, continuous exposure, a bridge just before the end and is an absolute cracker. On the downside it's a busy, but probably because we were there quite early in the season not as bad as we were told it could get.
VF Brigata Tridentina also known as the Pisciadu Climbing Path (Grade 3B, 750m ascent, 400m wire) runs from about midway up the Gardena Pass up the north wall of the Sella Massif. It's great as you basically kit up in the carpark walk for 10m or so and hit the first short section of wire. Easy walk in then a combination of wire and stemples to reach the first little plateau.
The main VF is another 10 min or so walk in where it rises next to the Pisciadu Waterfall (if the winds blowing in the right direction you even get a refreshing spray) and then you climb and traverse and climb and traverse and cli ... you get the picture. We did get 'overtaken'
by some of those serious climbing people which was perfect for me as I had a great rock to lean on and admire the view while a dozen people clambered around me.
In total it took us a couple of hours to reach the top and it was FUN! Reality is I was having such a good time with the occasional moments of 'thinking about my next move' that I wasn't really conscious of how long we were on the wire. The route is straight forward most of the way with a few tricky bits, but generally wasn't difficult. Apparently there was a point mid way that you can bail out and walk up to the refugio, must have missed it as not a hope in hell I wasn't finishing this sucker.
The best bit is right at the top, where it gets a bit more awkward with a bit of a tricky stemple section (think giant staples in the rock) but then you have the ultimate VF prize a suspension bridge which actually when you get to it ... is just a slightly rickerty bridge over a really big drop. From the bridge it's a short climb
to the top for lunch, victory photos and then off to the Refugio for coffee and strudel (yes again!).
It was then a long walk out down the path 666 via Val Setus a steep path which at this time of the year still has snow in places and is basically scree for the entire length. Though well marked it can be a challenge to find the path on occasions as you can see where snow and landslips over winter try and hide it from you.
I put it to you again ... Bestest Day EVER!
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