Tyrolian gang in Sicily

While surfing trough the internet last chilly winter I got stuck on some eye-catching pictures of amazing and sunny rocks in Sicily. Some weeks later my motivation to have an even closer look on those rocks grew with the appearance of the new guide book “Di roccia di sole”. Already some days after our last winter activities Vroni, Mira and I checked in at the ferry boat from Livorno to Palermo. We spent two relaxed weeks in pleasant temperatures, gorgeous springlike landscape and perfect rock. After the first visit there was one thing I was sure of, the amazing rock potential at the north-western part of the island is worth coming again.

Huge tufa walls

It was not very hard to convince some friends for another southbound trip. Our stories about spanking walls covered with numberless tufas brought not less than ten Tyrolean climbers to the walls around San Vito lo Capo this October. In springtime we were the only climbers most of the time, but now the situation changed and we weren’t the only attracted. Equipped with a couple of hundred bolts we searched for suitable rocks on our first days already. I had the objective to establish a whole sport climbing sector, as well as a multipitch route. The goals were set very quickly – at the incredibly structured and up to 100 meters high wall in Custonaci and at the north face of Monte Monaco.

Never sleeping wall

Located directly next to the famous Grotta Mangiapane and a mere 500m from the seaside the almost surreal Never Sleeping Wall cannot be overlooked. You need a fair while to realize the beauty of the great limestone wall with its incredible tufas and streaked, grey and orange rock. At sunset the entire crag glows bright red and the atmosphere couldn't be more impressive when you climb one of the 50m routes at last light. We spent many hours at this magic place. Several new lines were developed, all stunning and unique. Vroni expressed her newly found love for climbing with „Conscious change“ (6b+). In Paul’s routes „Silent sleep” (6a+) and „Long sleep“ (6b+) you won’t fall asleep. I succeeded in the first ascent of an 8a-triple. At the doubledyno of “Superman” (7c+/8a) you seem to be able to fly, even if only for a short time. More than 80 moves are essential for the long journey in “Evil lurks behind every man’s heart” (8a) and a tricky black tufa makes the crux of „Il patrone nero“ (8a/a+) quite demanding. An obvious line stretching along a more than 30 meters long tufa I bolted already in spring. „Tears of Freedom“ (7a+) was the result and from my point of view the route should be ranked to be the most beautiful 7a+ in the world. Nevertheless we spent a good time at the well developed walls west of San Vito - Salinella Camping and Scogliera di Salinella. Inspired through Horst and his inspiration to find new lines we toproped a new technical line. The solution was found quickly and as quickly was bolted the route. Now you can find another aesthetic and slightly overhanging 7c+ at the Pineta sector – „Horstl’s vibes“ turned out to be positive!

La lingua pura - the pure language

After all this action it was time for a rest day. But my motivation was unstoppable and instead of resting I wanted to start a new route on the North face of Monte Monaco. Two pitches were done rapidly, but of course I didn’t get enough rest on the rest day. Already at our arrival I was fascinated by a roof full of stalactites at about 120 meters off the ground. With my binoculars I spotted a logical line, heading to the roof. Climbing ground up was very exciting, not least because hardly any structure was visible above the roof from the ground. When I had a look around the lip of the roof I was lucky to find a hold, exactly in the right distance from the lip. Relieved and happy that the line was climbable I bolted a belay on the ledge. In the darkness, only in the glint of the headlamp we reached our base at the camp site. A couple of days later I was glad to be able to climb my probably most beautiful multipitch ever. „La lingua pura“ (7c, 6c obl., 200m) is of perfect rock quality, with parts on amazing tufa formations and compact corners. As usual, when the atmosphere is brilliant, time is running fast. Having a gorgeous barbecue direct at the Grotta Mangiapane, organised trough our dear Sicilian friends, an amazing climbing trip found its adequate end.

Topo "La lingua pura" (jpg 779KB)

Topo - Never sleeping wall (jpg 716KB)

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