The north face of Mt. Adamello (3554m), Central Alps, Italy. The warm, dry winter has facilitated approaches to the face, with unprecedented results. Routes are as follows: 1. Un Mondo Difficile (V/4+, 500m, Inselvini-Sandrini, 2007). 2. I Cerchi di Grano (V/5, 600m, Inselvini-Sandrini-Volpi, 2006). 3. Hallo Woman of My Dreams (V/5 M5, 700m, Mutti, 1989). 4. Aldo Parolari (V/5 mixed, 700m, Mutti-Parolari-Bonvicini-Salvi, 2007). 5. Senza Chiedere Permesso (V/5, 750m, Mutti-Salvi, 1992). [Photo] Courtesy of www.intotherocks.net
Well-traveled mountains in the Alps don’t see many new first ascents, but recent activity on the north face of Mt. Adamello (3554m) has proven an exception. Despite a fifteen-year lull in interest on the north face, numerous second and third ascents, as well as three new routes, have filled in its friable limestone–all since December 2006.
Adamello is one of the highest peaks in the Lombardy region of the Central Italian Alps. The pyramidal summit has seen heavy traffic over the past century because of its spectacular views, relatively short approach and ease of climbing in the summer and winter along the Adamello Glacier, the Alps’s largest ice flow. The 750-meter north face, however, was not climbed until 1989, when Andrea Mutti opened Hallo Woman of My Dreams (V/5 M5, 700m) in a solo push.
This winter’s minimal snowfall facilitated approaches to the mountain’s base, renewing interest in Adamello’s north face, particularly among a group of alpinists from the northern Italian city of Brescia. The interest began on December 3 when Claudio Inselvini, Dario Sandrini and Franco Volpi established a new line, I Cerchi di Grano (V/5, 600m). Inselvini and Sandrini returned on January 5 to put up another first, Un Mondo Difficile (V/4+, 500m), which departs I Cerchi di Grano to create the face’s leftmost line; it was repeated by Volpi and Elisabetta Pogliaghi eight days later. The most recent new climb, Aldo Parolari (V/5, 700m), was established on January 15 by Andrea Mutti, Roberto Parolari, Guido Bonvicini and Rocco Salvi. Aldo Parolari is primarily a rock route that requires a few moves of mixed climbing.
Before this season, Adamello’s north face had seen only one ascent in the past fifteen years. Mutti’s first ascent of the wall, Hallo Woman of My Dreams (1989), went unclimbed until this year, when it received four ascents. Similarly, Mutti’s other classic, Senza Chiedere Permesso (V/5, 750m, Mutti-Salvi), saw only one ascent since it was established in 1992; this season it has seen six. This concentrated activity that yielded three new routes on Adamello in two months is a reminder of the untapped potential on even the most conspicuous peaks.