American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Colorado, Longs Peak, East Face, La Dolce Vita

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

Longs Peak, East Face, La Dolce Vita. During three days in June, the famous Italian Renato Casarotto and I established a new route on the east face of Longs Peak. Starting from Mills Glacier, we took a line up the huge right-facing comer system just left of the North Chimney. Three long pitches of mixed climbing, aid, free, rock and ice, led to our first bivouac on Broadway Ledge. On the third pitch Renato slipped on verglas, ripped out his protection and pulled out one of the two belay pitons. I was left hanging from one piton half driven in, holding Renato and the sacks. Too much excitement! From Broadway we climbed with aid and free up the prominent pillar above and to the right of the North Chimney. A small bivouac stance was shoveled out of the snow at the top of the pillar. We finished the day by fixing a few more pitches. Our last day on the wall was strenuous and spectacular. We followed a single crack system to the top, a line which was overhanging for eight pitches. Continuously difficult aid on crumbling rock led to a niche at “Table Ledge.” Here the weather broke and bad luck befell Renato. He had the misfortune of hanging out at the last belay on the tremendously exposed headwall, shivering and suffering while I led the last pitch and kept warm. On top, the ropes were frozen useless, the haul sack was coated with ice and Renato was near hypothermia. He suffered through the last bivouac, while I made brews late into the night. The next day was perfect and calm. We thawed out and stumbled home. (Grade V, 5.8, A4.)

Charles Fowler, Unaffiliated

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