Cinque Torri, Torre Grande (2361m) via Cima Ovest, 180m, IV+

Mark and Kai left back for Zürich and we moved our base of operations to a campground in Cortina. This would open an entirely new climbing area to us. As a first trip we took the families up to the Cinque Torri. A nice but very touristy area where the kids could play in the alpine meadows by the restaurant while Luigi and I would do a quick sprint up the largest tower.

The towers. You can see the highline and shawls on the left.
Summit selfie. We didn't even pause to take any climbing pictures this time.

We had gotten quite cocky and didn't even bring a topo. Instead we talked to random climbers at the base of the wall. Unfortunately they were all just sports climbing on the bolted single pitches while we wanted to go all the way up. So we just eyeballed what looked like the route and went for it. Turned out to be easy to the point of being boring. Anita and Silvia later told us it was easy to tell us apart from the other climbers on the tower because we were running ;-)

Summit cairn.
Limestone slab. A rarity.

We met two Austrian guys on the summit. Almost from the moment I topped out they started whispering to one another, commenting on our technique. Two know-it-alls who didn't think I understood them because Luigi and I were talking English. They were decked out in brand new sparkling gear and probably did everything exactly by the book using the only technique they knew. Not my fault they didn't know what a Munter hitch is and thus thought I didn't actually belay Luigi but just pulled up the rope. Or scoffing at me setting up my rappel because I was undoing my self belay carabiner with one hand while simultaneously closing the rappel biner with the other. This would be a bad idea if I hadn't already tied my backup prusik. Anyway. I appreciate climbers watching out for one another and if there are legitimate safety concerns - by all means, speak up! But whispering among themselves and shooting disapproving glances helps no one. In the end these two idiots actually endangered us by dropping a whole bunch of rocks down on us during their rappel. Go figure.

Leonie picking wild flowers in front of a more worthy climbing wall - an objective we chose for the following days...

There was a highline set up between two of the towers with giant white shawls hanging off it. Artists were practicing vertical dance moves while the ground crew was setting up light and audio equipment. Unfortunately we were told that the show was still a few days out and would only be after sunset - too late for the kids anyways. I don't know who the performers were, but it looked similar to the project Bandaloop vertical ballet. Too bad we missed it. The backdrop scenery is hard to beat and the acoustics and visuals up there must have been amazing.

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