Last weekend, the German alpinist Michi Wohlleben and the South Tyrolean Simon Gietl realized the first winter ascent of the five peaks on the Drei Zinnen.
The two started on March 17, 2017 at 06.45 a.m. below the Scoattoli edge and reached about two and a half hours later they were standing on the west pinnacle. They dismounted on the normal route and climbed the Grosse Zinne via Dülfer. After another descent via the normal route, they climbed the Kleine Zinne via the normal route and reached this summit at 13.20:14.50 p.m. Then they rappelled down the Innerkofler route and came to Punta Frida via the west ridge. The next step was the Preuss Tower, which the rope team reached at XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.
After a total of 9 hours and 15 minutes, the two alpinists again reached a wider range.
Michi Wohlleben and Simon Gietl on the Preussturm
The report by Michi Wohlleben
When I, together with Ueli Steck, made the first north face of the Three Peaks in winter in 2014, I assumed that the peaks would not have any more projects to offer me until now. Two months later, however, when I was fascinated by the “Fitz Roy Traverse”, this image shot into my head of the Three Peaks and their overall winter crossing. I wanted to cross all 5 peaks of the Zinnen group, this time without support. At this point, however, the winter was over and so Plan went into the ideas cabinet.
Found the right rope partner with Simon Gietl
I met Simon Gietl by chance in 2015, told him about my idea and he was enthusiastic pretty quickly. A few years ago he and Roger Schaeli had already crossed the Three Peaks summit, i.e. the Western, Large and Small Peaks. But in two days and without the two peaks Punta Frida and Preuss Tower. In the winter of 2015/2016 it didn't work for either of us and we postponed the implementation to 2017.
December offered no real winter conditions
When in December with the "winter beginning" in the Dolomites almost no snow was, it was clear that the conditions for our project would have been perfect, we had both time, but I was not really motivated in these conditions a "winter climb" too do. That may sound a bit presumptuous, but it is not. I respect all Winter Walks that have been made in late December 2016. Winter is winter without compromise. It was simply not a "number" in the route book to enter, but an experience. And that's it for me only if it feels like "real" winter.
In January the snow came
The winter came in mid-January and therefore no option for us to try again. Time passed. Towards the end of February we came back in contact and fixed the first weeks of March to try. After looking at the 16. In March, when we reviewed the avalanche situation and conditions and deposited some material at the entrance, we started the next day at 6.45 clock in the "Scoiattoli edge" at the Western Pinnacle. Since we both did not really know the route well, we expected heavy terrain and bad hooks, but somehow things went better than expected and we were able to climb everything on the rope in 3 stretched pitches. So we found ourselves after 2 hours and 20 minutes on the summit of the western pinnacle again.
Keeping moving is the key to success
We laughed and said: “Well, we were both not good at math when the planned 5h suddenly turned into 2h. But it just works in climbing. ”We quickly descended the normal route and entered the“ Dülfer route ”on the west face of the Große Zinne. It was windy and cold, but here, too, we were able to climb at the same time - staying in motion all the time seems to be the key to success on difficult winter ascents - and so after an hour in the sun we stood around on the ring belt shortly afterwards 11.26 a.m. at the top of the great pinnacle. We didn't stay long and took the normal route. In the gap between the Großer and Kleiner Zinne we boiled a liter of water and then climbed the normal way to the Kleine Zinne. Slowly we also realized that it won't be dark today until we were finished, which gave the whole story a bit of relaxation. Nobody likes to climb into the night. From the Kleiner Zinne we rappelled down the “Innerkofler” route and climbed over the west ridge to the “Punta di Frida”.
The most exciting part begins
We realized that it was actually the most exciting part of the route. We had to get to the gap between Punta Frida and Preussturm. An adventurous area of the battlements, dark, cold, exposed and few temptations. Even though we had checked it out in November, that was a bit expensive. While rappelling, we noticed that we had a longer rope in the fall with 8m, which caused us a bit of trouble, but luckily it disintegrated well. The last few meters to the Preussturm were almost a pleasure. We were happy, but had to abseil the "Preussriss" to stay on the perfect crossing line, which worked well despite the short rope.
Credits: Artwork Michi Wohlleben and Fritz Miller