CIMA GRANDE DI LAVAREDO COMICI-DIMAI ROUTE
A masterpiece by Emilio Comici
An out of ordinary view of Tre Cime di Lavaredo North faces seen from Landro Valley
Comici-Dimai is an extreme world famous rock climb, the first route realized on the amazing North face of Cima Grande di Lavaredo after some years of attempts. Comici – Dimai Route, emblematic of rock-climbing style in Eastern Dolomites and maybe in all Dolomites, is really a logic and bold climbing route, searching a weakness’ line inside the overhanging wall; the lower section of the route is the hardest. Rock quality (not always good), exposure (North overhanging wall) and trad climbing on very espaced normal pegs contributed to preserve till today an adventurous mountain ground. Due to the overhanging structure, an abseiling retreat seems virtually impossible.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo Group (“Drei Zinnen” in German, “Tré Thime” in ladin dialect) is just running along the border between Bolzano Province in North side and Belluno Province in South side; the three colossal towers’ secluded situation – far from other peaks – magnifies their beauty.
During the First World War (1915 -1918) Tre Cime di Lavaredo were situated on the war’s front between Austrians on North Side and Italians on South Side; even at present several military ruins are visible inside the massif and especially on the nearby Monte Paterno. After the war, the italian dolomitic mountaineering ran quickly towards the mythical and heroic “Sixth Grade’s Age”, maybe a unique historic period; Emilio Comici was one of the leading representative of that climbing way. First ascent of Cima Grande’s North wall - for a long time believed unclimbable – had a great echo in that period and was maybe the most symbolic ascent inside the golden “Sixth Grade’s Age”.
The ideal starting point is Misurina mt. 1752 with its romantic lake, the last village before Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which can be reached from Trento or Bolzano (Adige Valley) taking Brennero Motorway - exit Bressanone - and then following Pusteria Valley as far as Dobbiaco; from Dobbiaco follow on the right the road rising inside Landro Valley, reaching Carbonin mt. 1432 and at least Misurina. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Group can be approached also from Belluno via Longarone, Boite Valley, Cortina d’Ampezzo and Tre Croci Pass. From Misurina a private toll - road (22 euro) leads to Auronzo Hut mt. 2330, situated at the end of the road in a spectacular position below Tre Cime di Lavaredo South faces. Parking.
From Auronzo Hut a good path, from which you can take some unforgettable views over majestic Lavaredo South faces and the amazing Spigolo Giallo on Cima Piccola - another route signed by Emilio Comici leads to Lavaredo Hut mt. 2344 at Forcella Lavaredo (15 minutes walking). From here a little track heading to left, traverses towards the base of North faces (45 minutes from Lavaredo Hut, 1 hour from Auronzo Hut) and skirts the base of Cima Grande to its right-hand side.
COMICI – DIMAI ROUTE (NORTH WALL) REPORT
Summit altitude: mt. 2999
ED inf., UIAA VII, or VI and A0
Climbing length: 550 mt.
First ascent: Emilio Comici – Giuseppe Dimai – Angelo Dimai 12-13-14 august 1933
First solo ascent: Emilio Comici unroped 2-9-1937
First winter ascent: Fritz Kasparek and Sepp Brunhuber 19/20-3-1938
First female ascent: Elda Bianchi Bertaglia with the guide G. Dimai 23-9-1943
First free ascent: attributed to Jean Claude Droyer in 1978
Starting point: Misurina (BL) mt. 1752
Huts: Auronzo Hut mt. 2330 - Lavaredo Hut mt. 2344
It’s convenient to overnight at Auronzo Hut or at Lavaredo Hut, because it’s required an alpine start to climb this route. The climbing line is situated in the right-hand side of the impressive face.
Starting point is close to a grey pedestal.
L1 - Climb an easy ramp, then go towards left to enter a dihedral, formed by the ramp and the main wall, and finally go slants towards left to a stance over a ledge – III
L2 - A dihedral-crack on the left leads to a small ledge. IV.
L3 - On the left-hand side of the stance climb a thin crack (peg), then traverse left to another peg. Straightly along a yellow wall (VI and A0), then slants to left and finally straight up to a stance on the right.
L4 - Straight up over the stance heading to a flake; climb it on the left, getting to a stance. VI and A0.
L5 - Traverse left to catch a yellow corner and climb it. VI and A0.
L6 - Climb another dihedral-crack, then exit towards right to a small ledge with two pegs. Another corner leads to a stance on the right. V+, VI
L7 - Traverse right to enter a little corner and climb it. VI and A0.
L8 - Slants to right towards a little roof, traverse right under the roof and then climb straightly a grey wall leading to a stance over a ledge. VI and A0 (Costantini variant starting point).
L9 - L 10 From this ledge Comici original Route traverses left, reaching a chimneys’ system, rising towards an huge black roof 100 mt. above, while Costantini variant rises straightly. The chimneys’ system leads to a terrace below a characteristic dihedral-crack yellow and black. IV+
L11- L12 Two pitches along the dihedral-crack; in the second one a little roof is avoided climbing the crack on its right-hand side. Stance over a terrace. V+
L13 Climb a black chimney, leading above the huge black roof. IV+. (Aschenbrenner variant starting point).
L14 – Original route traverses left 30 mt., while Aschenbrenner variant rises straightly. A long traverse, a short descent and a new traverse towards left. IV
L15 –L16 Climb a new chimneys’ system leading to the large circular ledge. IV
Follow the ledge 20 mt.towards right.
L17 – L18 – L19 A chimneys’ system on some loose rocks is leading to the summit.
Descent (2 hours): climbing South-Side Normal Route (UIAA II and III) – some equipped abseils
From the summit scramble down along cairned tracks reaching the great circulare ledge.
Then descent by climbing (2° grade UIAA) and make some abseils, gaining the gully dividing Cima Grande from Cima Piccola and shortly reach the path to the parking.
Essential gearRopes 2 x 60, helmet, a full set of wires, friends, slings and several quickdraws.
HutsRifugio Auronzo mt.2330 - Forcella Longeres (CAI Club Alpino Italiano Sez. Auronzo)
Rifugio Locatelli - Innerkofler m. 2450
Guardians: Milka & Hugo Reider
RIFUGIO LOCATELLI - INNERKOFLER
ClimateIn the Dolomites sometimes the weather is very changeable, with frequent thunderstorms especially in the afternoon. An alpine start is required!
When to climbNormally the best period to climb North wall goes from middle June to middle September.
Even in summer it’s better to choose not too cold days.
No particulary restrictions in climbing; all the group is situated inside Northern Dolomites Area, one of the nine dolomitic areas admitted in the year 2009 in the list of UNESCO NATURAL SITES.
DOLOMITI METEO Phone +390436780007 fax +390436780008
CENTRO VALANGHE DI ARABBA Phone +390436755711 fax 043679319 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidebooks and maps
“Dolomiti Orientali” Vol. I Parte II by Antonio Berti – Guide dei Monti d’Italia CAI-TCI
Map: Tabacco n. 010 – Dolomiti di Sesto 1:25.000
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