Corno Grande Summit Log (#1341)
- Signed By: guido freddi
- Date Submitted: June 16, 2003
- Date(s) climbed: 15 of June, 2003
The "DIETRO QUESTE MURA" Route to the summit: (2000m/6600ft, EE/F, 2 days, Guido e Pietro Freddi 14/15 of June, 2003).
A very long route from the North side of the range to reach the summit: 2000 vertical meters (6600 vertical feet)! My brother Pietro and I started from the tiny village of San Nicola (850m) @ 8:20 am of June 14th 2003. 20 min later we reached the small old church of San Nicola (Synchronicity: that day was celebrated the oly annual mass. The spirituality of the situation was very touching). After a beautiful walk through the forest we reached the timberline, where green fields covered with any kind of flower was lying at the bottom of "Il Paretone" ("The Big Wall" 1500 meters of vertical Rock), from wich a faterfall was the only sound to brake the buzzing of the bees. Soon we reached the "bivacco S.Nicola", a sheperd hut vandalized inside but a good refuge in case of storm (1560m). From here, instead to follow the track to the skilift hut straight above us, we decided to enter a large and steep gully to the left of a large rock "fin", We where looking for the most direct route to the "Franchetti" refuge wothout rock climbing. Into the large gully at the first fork we kept the left, we crossed the new small gully and we finally reached 2000m. From there we coud see the flag of the refuge. We kept going up and left until we crossed the path to the refuge. There we climbed a snow field (max 40-45%) with crampons and axe and we followed the snow all the way up. At 3 pm we reached the refuge "Franchetti" (2450m). Since we knew it was packed (June 14-15 was a week-end) we brought with us a tent. We found a perfect spot a hundred meter above the refuge, just below the spring that feeds the refuge kitchen. The dinner was great: Pasta e ceci, spezzatino con pure', crostata fatta in casa, vino rosso e grappa(I can't translate, just try it!). For this and for the friendliness I thank Luca Mazzoleni (the refuge manager) and his crew (wife and 10 years old son...). After a great sleep and breackfast, we moved again: the goal was the summit from the classic Calderone glacier. The beauty of the mountain equals the best of the Dolomites. The route was easy (good snow max 35-40%). The only difficulty was the exit to the summit crest: the last 10m where a mix of snow and ice on loose rock at 50-55% (quite easy to manage and not very dangerous if you know the self arrest move). We followed the crest and we reached the summit after less than 2 hours (2912m). There you feel the heigth of a great summit. Like on a plane, nothing else is even near as high as you are... The same day we were back in Rome (after a quick and tasty lunch "Chez Luca"). The best way down is the normal path from the Franchetti to the Skilift Hut using the snow fields anytime it's possible. Form here you can pick between a couple of path to the "S. Nicola herders hut" (ask the skilift workers). From the S. Nicola hut is hard to find where the path enters the woods. Don't go too low on the fields. Look for rocks with red/yellow red/white marks. (We entered the wood on the left at a red and yellow sign on a big boulder. We crossed a small creek up to the other side then ...we followed the GPS until the path marked in red/white or red/yellow appeared). This has been one of the most beautiful and rewarding hike/climb I ever did!
Warnings about the route: 1) The route is veeery long but you can brake it in more segments. 2) The route is easy (EE/F: hikers with basic mountaineering skills) but going trough the wrong gully could be risky. 3) The hazard of avalance is very high after a snowfall. 4) 1600 meters in a day could bring some dizziness, nausea or headhace. 5) Contact Luca ahead to make sure to find a spot in the refuge (0861.959634, firstname.lastname@example.org). We brough a tent. 6)The darkness of the night in the woods comes earlier than usual and there are many unpredictable rockwalls. On the way up double check your exit from the forest to be shure to find it on your way back. Keep the path!