Prezzi Pazzo Canyon, Val Pettorina
This is as far as we know a completely new sector for ice climbing with a large number of worthwhile routes. Access is quick and easy and the routes are of a more traditional nature compared to other routes in the Serrai di Sottoguda – they are mainly in gullies.
Park at a car park in Palue, which is obvious and on the left hand side as you go up the valley towards Sottoguda, or from Col di Rocca where a new bridge has been built.
From Palue, cross the river and follow the track east towards 2 large holiday condominiums. When you reach the condominiums start to climb the hillside through the woods on a wide track towards a deep and obvious canyon marked on Tabacco maps as Ru dei Minieri. After 5 minutes walking through the woods you will approach a stream bed, walk and scramble up this to the mouth of the entrance to the left of the summer climbing crag, L’Ander.
From Col di Rocca, cross the large steel bridge with Roccia written in its side and walk up the track to the west, past a small play area until you reach a field. You will see the large and newly constructed flood defence on the other side of the field. Either cross the field if the snow is not too soft, or walk until you reach the condo’s and follow the track up as above.
1) Prezzi Pazzo 2+/3+
2) Low Price 4-
3) Crazy Price 3+/4-
4) RIP Crazy Dog 3+/4-
5) Ralph told me what price to charge 4
6) Right Price 2+
7) Underpriced 3
8) Cascata Boscoverde 4
1) Prezzi Pazzo WI 2+/3+
Climb the stream bed. From the mouth of the canyon you will enter a large bowl and encounter a short 20m ice fall WI2. This fall becomes banked out after snow and more or less disappears. However under these conditions be careful as the water may still be running beneath the snow. Continue up various smaller steps easily for 150m to reach a longer pitch to the right of an obvious loose yellow cave. This we believe used to be a pirite mine. Climb a 45m pitch WI2+. Now you will reach another large bowl in the valley where you will see other icefalls, manily descending from climbers left. Climb another short pitch and start to climb right towards a stream coming fown from the right. Climb this indirectly at WI 2/2+ fo 50m, or cut the corner up a short vertical wall at 3+. Now cut through the woods diagonally right to find a very faint track to descend.
2 )Low Price WI 4- 40m
This climbs the first large ice fall on the left in the upper valley. It is very obvious and follows a groove from left to right and then back left. There is a second pitch above at a lower grade and which is less worthwhile.
3) Crazy Price WI3+/4- 40m (150m)
The second ice fall on the left flank of the gully again climbs a right trending groove to a final steep step. 50m after Low Price, climb leftwards directly up to the ice falls. to take a belay at the start of the groove. Potentially you could climb more steeply in a direct line, (WI4?). Above, the stream bed is less steep but can be climbed for it’s full length giving around 150m in total of climbing. At the top you can continue with difficulty through trees to walk down to Ca’Sciota, a small barn and from there return to the valley via a steep short path down through the woods. Or abseil from trees after the first pitch and continue up Prezzi Pazzo.
4) RIP Crazy Dog WI3+/4- 60m
Climb Prezzi Pazzo into the upper canyon until you reach the split where the main route climbs right. Now continue up a short steep fall to continue up the canyon into an upper amphitheatre. Here you have three water courses. RIP Crazy Dog follows a line up the middle of the central gully. Start by climbing to a large terrace up a short step and take a screw belay. There is a short easy angled piller to the left of the falls, and then a groove. Climb the groove to a ledge, then continue up directly to the top of the stream bed. To decend abseil from a tree on the right, but be careful under heavy snow conditions then your ropes make become stuck due to rope drag in the snow. Or go up through the woods to the right of the stream, then descend into another stream bed and follow the rim of the gorge to rejoin the main path back to the valley.
5) Ralph told me what price to charge WI4 50m + 70m for approach
To the left a long stream bed climbs up to the left most waterfall in the amphitheatre. Mostly low angle with a short step of WI2, this leads to an upper bowl with a steep and continuously difficult fall. Taken in the centre below a groove, you climb the groove and then move back left up the final buttress of ice. It’s a long walk in to get here but worth the effort.
To descend to the valley, it’s easiest to make your way up to CAI path which returns you to the valley floor near Col di Rocca, via Malga S’ciouta.
Other possibilities in the upper amphitheatre
There still remain several possibilities for new routes Between Ralph told me what price to charge and RIP Crazy dog, there is a wide fall of approx 80 degrees which finishes before the rim of the gully. And to the right of RIP Crazy Dog, there is another steep fall, probably 25-30m high, I’m guessing in the region of WI3+/4. Please let me know if you climb any of these lines so they can be reported here. Indeed we climbed a line to the right of RIP Crazy Dog on top rope which under good conditions would I expect to be WI4 or 4+.
6) The Right Price WI2+ 200m
This route climbs a gully to the right of the main Prezzi Pazzo canyon. It’s visible from the road by De Grandi sport in Boscoverde. Start by entering the canyon and when you reach the first bowl, climb up a ramp to the right following a very faint path. When the ramp runs out you will reach a clearing – go steeply up diagonally right until you find the path going through trees. It narrows to pass along a rock terrace and at the end of this you will find yourself in a second gully. Follow the stream with several steep steps up to 75-80 degrees. A really enjoyable climb at the grade. After 4 pitches the gradient becomes shallow and you can climb into the woods to the left. Countour around the mountain to find the path back down the mountain (very faint) to return to the start of the route and then the canyon.6
7) Underpriced WI3 150m
This cascade climbs from the valley floor to join The Right Price. It is usually quite thin with some sections where hooked rock placements are made.
Approach from the condominium climbing the hillside to the right of the L’Ander crag. After 10 minutes you reach the cliff where a striking slit in the cliff provides a few pitches of sport.
Climb the thin pillar to the right of the falls into a niche where some rock protection can be arranged, (medium cam or tricam) and then traverse to the left to climb into a bowl.
Continue by following the stream bed eventually taking a right hand branch to reach the start of the Right Price beneath a series of impressive falls.
Either descend to the left from here back into the Prezzi Pazzo Canyon, or continue up The Right Price for a long, moderate adventure!
8) Cascata Boscoverde WI4 60m
When you drive through Boscoverde you will see an ambulance station on the right side of the road. Pull in here and you will be able to see the falls. To reach the falls go over the bridge just down the road near Col di Rocca (at time of writing this is missing – there is a smaller bridge 100m further down the road in Col di Rocca – follow the path back up to meet the road on the far side of the Pettorina) Follo the road to the first shallow stream that crosses the road and a path on the left. Follow the streambed steeply up the hill to the start of the cascade. Climb in 3 pitches, 3+ 20m, 4 20m, 3+ 20m.