A Winter Ascent of Bellavista
Some hours later we succeeded in the first four pitches and only one last pitch separated us from the beginning of the big roof. It would be my turn to lead but I’m too tired and I don’t have any motivation left. And I have a good excuse: we haven’t drunk since the beginning of the climbing, because at one point our rucksack clashed towards the cliffs and our Thermo can broke…. In a very diplomatic way I suggest to abseil and to continue the next day, because it would get dark soon and we would have plenty of time the next day… But Martin has no sympathy and says that until the darkness there was still one hour left! So I accepted my destiny and started. Cramps accompany me through the whole pitch, but I manage to set a few good friends into the overhanging crack. And I feel secure in some ways. Together with the darkness I reach the belay. Unbelievable! The roof starts exactly next to my head and ends in the deep night. We sort and fix the material, eat a few crunches and abseil the five pitches with the torch.
Here a piton, there a mini-nut, and with the speed of a snail I move higher. I have to use a very strange formation of pitons – a U-piton put into a whole, and there in the middle a small piton – and I just hope that the whole roof is going to break out… I cannot stand the tension anymore… but nothing happens!
These 35 meters seem to be longer then eternity… Towards the end I don’t have enough carabiners and I produce a linkage like on a bad-jokes party! But I reach the end! Martin follows quickly and enters in the last pitch. Two roofs and one traverse, in total 20 metres, are waiting for Martin. He speeds up, because it is already late. Just a few metres below the belay he stops! What has happened? I hear him swearing and see him sweating… but it takes him only few seconds to overcome the passage and he fixes the belay with loud jodlering. I follow him but because of the traverse I have to jump a few times into my jumars. It doesn’t matter, because the only direction I want to go is upwards. Immediately we start to abseil because our torches are in the rucksack at the beginning of the roof. Partly abseiling and party hanging, partly still in brightness and partly already in the darkness we reach the rucksack! A gulp of tea and down we go! At the end the rope gets in a muddle and we have to leave it there… we reach the bottom of the wall in the pitch-black night, where Martin Kopfsguter, is already waiting for us to help with the transport of all the material!
We are tired, and very happy to be down!