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Published: July 25th 2011
I planned, in the interests of the term holiday to have a rest day before finishing the week off with a super effort on a VF. Unfortunately with the only routes being proposed for the last day being grade 4s and me feeling like a bit of a 'grade 3s are good enough for me', I had to rethink that plan. When the option was raised to do a relaxed Grade 3 with an easy walk in and out and back to the chalet in half a day, rest day relax was out the window and it was time to go play.
VF Col Rodella (Grade 3A, 2,484m) is a rocky peak in the Val di Fassa part of the Dolomites with a nice little refugio perched on the top. It's actually a very easy walk up to the Refugio or you can do what we did and drop down behind and climb up the sheer cliff face instead (so much more fun).
Not the most technically challenging, but as I was a bit weary with 5 days on the trot (most I've ever done is 2 day hiking weekend) I was excited but had more spots where I
had to 'think' my next move. Usually that thought led to me 'walking the wire' which is fundamentally using the wire and upper body strength to compensate for a lack of footholds.
This worked quite well for me most of the time, but I did reach one point where I needed a little bit of something extra ... the Fausto foothold. this is a very technical move where you pull yourself up so that you are stuck halfway over a ridge on your stomach with no decent footholds and a sensation of sliding backwards. Reach your foot back and find a hand available for you to leverage off giving you just enough oomph to drag your butt up to the next ledge. Of course it does require you carting around with you your own Italian/Manc, but if you can sort it I find it is highly recommended.
From there it's a climb to the top, strudel and coffee before back to base camp for a late but leisurely lunch rapidly followed by dinner and a relaxed evening of socialising.
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