A topo of the route.
The "Steger" route is a classic climb on Punta Emma. Directly facing the Vajolet Hut, it offers a 15 minute approach for 11 pitches of excellent Dolomite rock climbing, 3 of them quite sustained in the crux.
It was first climbed by Hans Steger and Paula Wiesinger in 1929.
Excellent climbing on pitch 6.
From the Vajolet Hut, take the trail up to the Vajolet Towers. After just 5 or 10 minutes, follow a side trail to the left which takes you easily to the base of the climb: a long, left leaning ramp which makes up the first few pitches.
- P1: III+, 45 m. Easy climbing along a natural ramp.
- P2: III, 45 meter. Continue along the ramp to it's terminus at a grassy point with many belay pitons. Confident climbers might begin roped travel here.
- P3: IV, 45 m. Climb a nice gray dihedral/crack to a piton belay at a yellow notch on the (apparent) ridge crest.
- P4: IV-, 25 m. Traverse left from the belay on a ledge, then up a gray chimney/crack passed a piton (I missed it).
- P5: V, 15 m. Exposed face climbing, going a few meters up then right and eventually down at a "yellow niche." The crux is a few face moves before climbing down passed the niche. Belay in a shallow gully right of the niche.
- P6: V, 30 m. Really fun face climbing, well-protected by pitons. Generally straight up, though a bit left and up again at the halfway point to end up in a yellow niche beneath an overhang. The crux is escaping this niche on the right with slabby footholds. A well-fixed nut protected those moves nicely!
- P7: V+, 25 m. Our topo describes the crux of this pitch as "continuously difficult." It was definitely continuously enjoyable. Step right to avoid an overhang, then continue out of sight of your belayer for the whole pitch, up a steep face festooned with holds. Finish via an obvious crack to a hard-to-see belay station. I missed it and only found it later thanks to some cigarette butts!
- P8: IV+, 35 m. Traverse left then up a very nice gray corner crack. Protects well with cams and the occasional fixed pin.
- P9: III, 50 m. Scramble up gullies and crests, with the best climbing on crests (solid).
- P10: III, 50 m. Continue as before. We combined P9 and P10 with simul-climbing.
- P11: III, 50 m. A short vertical step (III) accesses solid but low-angle scrambling terrain. We soloed this pitch to the summit.
Descend as described on the main page. Follow the West Ridge down a bit (cairned), then leave it for a cairned scramble on the north side of the ridge to a short (III) downclimb to a solid steel rappel anchor. Make a 25 meter rappel into the gully between Punta Emma and the main (Rosengarten) summit. Then downclimb the gully easily (II).
Starting the traverse on pitch 5.
Double ropes are a good idea in case retreat is required.
Bring a set of nuts, cams and slings to back up the occasional pitons.
The crux pitches are quite well protected with pins.
Here is the view, typical on this lovely route.