On August 7th and 8th, 2020 Silvan Schüpbach and Janluca Kostner succeeded in the third repetition of the Colonne d'Ercole (1200m, max IX, obl. VIII +) at the Civetta Punta Tissi in the Dolomites.

The route doesn't have a single bolt, the first ascent was ground-up with wedges, friends and hooks. Accordingly, a repetition requires strong nerves, a lot of experience and perseverance.

Even if the pure difficulties do not appear excessive from today's perspective, it is nevertheless a significant achievement to open such a line without bolts.

I personally think that this route should be on the wish list of ambitious alpine climbers

Silvan Schüpbach

After the first climbers, two young South Tyroleans got the first repetition. Last year Symon Welfringer was able to book the first onsight ascent and the second repetition.

Climbing route Colonne d'Ercole in the Dolomites.

A personal report from Silvan Schüpbach

We got in early in the morning of August 7th, 2020. The first pitches are relatively easy to climb, but this makes pulling up the haul bags a lot more difficult. We are grateful for the following, steeper pitches.

Janluca climbs the difficult pitches (12-15). Unfortunately he overlooks the crucial grip in the first 7b + length and thus misses the onsight ascent. I benefit from his chalk traces and can flash climb in the ascent.

It is already getting dark when we reach the bivouac belt at pitch 16. This bivouac is anything but comfortable. We abseil 30 meters and find a small but flat ribbon on which we spend the night half lying on top of each other.

I wasn't sure anymore whether I would be recovered enough to finish this route.

Silvan Schüpbach

The next day I mostly do the lead. Finding a route is not easy and tiredness depresses the mood. On the last steep ascent of the piers, the sun comes out and suddenly I am fully motivated again. The last pitches offer spectacular climbing and we enjoy it to the full. With the last rays of the sun we are happy at the exit. What a journey! Hours later we celebrate the successful climb back in the valley. Many thanks to the first climbers for this huge line.


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