Stena is one of the big rock faces overlooking the Val Rosandra/ Glinscica canyon in the Carso near Trieste.
Some of the history of italian climbing was made here, and it is still one of the places to go if you climb and are around this area.
Attention has slowly shifted to sport climbing routes, and many can be found, but there are still a few of the multipitch ones that are frequently repeated, while some are almost forgotten, living on in the memory of older climbers and dusty books.
Many of these routes go up the face of Stena, but we discovered this later, after we had already set eyes on the dark scar that can be seen from high up into the valley on the top of stena's face.
It is a slanted dihedral, a perfect passage to the eye of any climber, attracting anyone with a rope on that face, just as a drain and gravity attract water. It called to us while we were starting to think we had made a mistake. We had decided to go looking for some new route in the valley, but all areas apparently unclimbed had really bad rock, or were too smooth for us, so we were losing hope, when we saw it and decided to try.
End of the climb on a grassy slope
On the fist day we only got the first pitch done, but it would be a big satisfaction for us, as there was no sign of passage except for the last five meters, where two pitons, probably from another route are stuck. Further investigation led to no information, so we consider that pitch to have been opened by us.
Sadly on that same weekend a person i knew died in the mountains, and we decided that if we could finish the route it would be dedicated to him, so a few weeks later we were back to finish the job.
As it turned out there were old pieces of protection on the rest of the route, and we learned the last pitch, the dihedral had been climbed in 1910 by Napoleone Cozzi, a strong pioneer of climbing in this area. It was an honor to walk some historical steps, add something new and remember someone who left us, so here is the description of the route.
Difficulties are around IV+ V, that is our opinion, but we found no information on the two existig pitches, and know nobody who climbed them, so our opinion must be taken as it is: an opinion...
If coming from Basovizza, leave the car shortly before the town of Hrvati (after which it is prohibited to transit by car), walk along the paved road that descends to a junction where there is a small building. Take the gravel road on the left. Coming from Bagnoli instead, drive in the direction of Hrvati, park and take the pedestrian-bicycle path to the right as soon as you cross it.
Continue on foot for about ten minutes, until you pass the wall of the "Grande
", and until you can see the big slanted dihedral staring on the right, looking at Stena. Go up the steep slope covered in trees until you reach a low overhanging wall equipped with bolts. Follow the wall to the left, to the entrance of the cave “Grotta delle Gallerie”. The start of the route is to the left of the cave and of the smooth wall on the outside of the cave, and is indicated by a some rocks on the ground.
Go up along the left edge of the wall, leaving a secondary entrance to the cave on your left.
Conquer a short and exposed dihedral (one piton present) and continue slightly right of the overhangs that are on the top of the wall. Near the overhangs, move slightly to the left, (hourglass and two pitons) and then to the right for the last few meters before stopping on a big terrace. Belay on roots or tree trunks.
Recently other two alternatives were added to this pitch. they both start between the pitch i described and the antrance to the cave. The first one goes up pretty straight, the second turnes right after a few meters to tackle the slab right over the cave roof. There are a couple of bolts, further protection must be added.
The two pitches are graded 5.10a/b.
A bolted belay has been added on the terrace where all three pitches end.
The first pitch
Small dihedral rising straight up on the left of the big tree on the terrace. Continue straight until the belay point that is in an awkward, slabby position slightly to the left. Along this pitch there are a few pitons, but protection can be integrated on the trunk of the tree that grows right next to the pitch. Belay is on pitons that are already present, but it is possible to integrate.
Go up a couple of meters from the belay point, and follow the wall with an easy traverse that leads to the “Camino dei veci”. Go up the chimney following present pitons up to a recent bolt on which you can set a belay. Otherwise continue for a couple of meters and then walk up the grassy slope and set up a belay on roots and trunks of shrubs and small trees. (beware of rope friction in this case).
The second belay
Very straightforward and logical route, certainly has the potential to become a nice one if cleaned of dirt, dead grass and unstable stones. The last pitch is historical, first climbed by Napoleone Cozzi in 1910. The rock on this pitch is excellent. On the first two a little less.
Warning! Although part of the route has been existing for years, it should be noted that it is not very popular, few if no climbers go there, so all the dangers of not “cleaned by use” climbing apply here.
From the first belay point, at the end of the first pitch, it is possible to exit the climb, and scramble up to the top of Stena avoiding the other two pitches.
Time of approach
30 minutes from Hrvati or from the gravel cycling road.
From the top of the Stena, take the path towards Hrvati (left with your back to the valley). After a few minutes, a stretch of steep descent leads to the forest, and from there to the path.
Basic alpine climbing equipment, some runners, a few pitons and chocks.
End of the climb on a grassy slope
External linksItalian version here/a>