Jan 13, 2013

L'Ago di Money et directement

The greatest line in Cogne; L'Ago di money lV 4+/5b A 100m A totally obvious strike of ice at Valnontey Cogne

As an extra bit of enjoyment the approach is about 1 1/2h from Valnontey, but mostly on, at this time, very good track. No snowshoes or skis neccecery, pure walking. The only hassle is the very ice path caused by the horse sled, caution!
Walking up the valley there is two obvious ice routes that direct takes the focus, Monday Money and L'Ago di Money. Beautiful lines both of them...
First pitch of L'Ago

The first pitch has a couple of meters of thin hooking, but after that it's thick ice, almost thick enough to put ice screws in...a couple of nuts is probably nice to bring as well as some shorter screws.
Risto on following on pitch one, l'Ago di Money, WI4/5b

Second pitch is a short on with no suprises, except maybe that it's very short...and new bolts! Hoppla!
Moss it up, giving a bit of that Scottish feeling, not to bad!

And then the third is actually a bit trickier then it looks, with a short vertical section but very good protected at this time. The anchour was almost coverd under the ice, but since my goal was the upper ice taps I just clipped one of them and continued to full tendu of the corde. A nice belay just at the full rope length at a small tree. Then the last bit to the top, up some steep moss and a briljant ice rideau, le sommet! Potentially a new line at Moss 5 , l'Ago di Directement, Wl5/M5
Upper part of l'Ago, maybe a new line L'Ago Directement WI5/M5

An Abalakov to rappel of from and back down the same way and since it was just about lunch time we had a new focus, lunch...!
But my mind was already on the next line, Colonnato di centrale, which starts at the same place as Di fronte al Tradimento. But gives a sustained lV 6 for the first 80m before it easies off but gives a total of 240m interesting climbing
Colonnato di centrale WI6

Arriving at the base it even looks dry, no water dripping down it. At least not so much. With Repentance fresh in memory which was more like climbing in a shower. This looks...nice!
First pitch is more of a grade 4, I aim on the right side of the upper pillar to put a belay in under the ice rideau to keep out of the iceicles above. No anchour on this side of course so I have to use to of my few ice screws for the belay...hmmm
Risto swings his way up and the war is on keeping the rope out of the dripping water, yes it was wet!

Next pitch looks more then interesting and I can't wait to get on with it. Hooking, weighting on the tools and constant changing hands, its most technical climbing. Just great! But soon I realize that my remaining ice screws, three plus one won't make it a safe one. Saving one for the belay just in case theres no anchour again. But what to do? The focus is on the climbing anyhow and the ice isn't just to good to put screws in to often either.

Since I had been watching the pillar most of the day from our previous climb I had seen that the sun only hit the ice for about one hour, so compared to Sogno di Patagonia this felt much safer and better ice
And, to my joy I find solid placement most of the times, so when I place my last pro just before the last steep section, the next upper part comes with a bit lower angle
Again I stretch the full length of my 55m corde and get a perfect belay with two abalakovs and the ice screw, ready to haule in.

No day is complete with out an Italian style coffe/pattesiere

For L'Ago and Directement you need
2x50m rope, ice screws, ice hook, mid size nuts and good ice at the start/top
For Colonnato di centrale
2x50m rope, ice screws, Abalakov key

//Visst måste man tro på turen. Hur skulle man annars förklara sina kollegors framgångar

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