Seconda Torre del Sella (2,598m), via Glück, 250m, VI

For our second climb in the Dolomites we chose the second Sella tower. Convenient approach and descent and a route that the guidebook describes as "itinierario splendido e arrampicata elegante. Le fessura verticale è ben chiodata". My Italian is pretty much non-existant but "splendido" and "elegante" surely imply good things. The well protected aspect of the description only applies to the single crux pitch that the book grades as V+ A0, implying most people pull on gear to climb it. We free climbed it as a VI.

Sella towers with the sun coming up behind them. From right to left: "the locomotive", "1st tower", "2nd tower". So the sun is just peeking around our objective. We climbed the West face, in the shade for most of the day.
Dolomites anchor. Sling your rope around a fridge. Put a sling around it as a redirect. Done.
Me leading a grade V traverse.

Just like our previous route, this one had a bit of a slow start on easy and crumbling terrain. Not very promising. But once the climbing got harder it luckily deliverered on its promise and turned into a super nice route. A slight blemish may be that it doesn't always follow the most logical line and sometimes goes a bit out of its way to seek out challenging terrain.

Luigi scouting the way out of the traverse.
An unusually large number of pitons clearly identified this as the crux pitch. Steep moves out of the slab.
Me having a good time following the crux pitch.

We were alone in our route but at some point I chose the wrong anchor and we had to wait for another party to pass us before I could downclimb five meters back to the correct one. It may have been for the better - the party passing us had a woman leading comfortably and quickly. But the guy following her was fumbling around and got stuck at the exact spot I was hanging around. So we could provide him with some assistance, coaching him through that section. Turns out he was a paying customer and she was a professional mountain guide.

Gaining height. Shadows shrinking below us as the sun rises.
Me waiting for the guy to work up the nerve to attempt the overhanging move again.
Trust an hourglass like this? The guidebook pointed out this anchor consisting of three natural hourglasses. Luckily the other two were more solid...
The route swung out around the corner just so we got to enjoy these 200 meters of exposure. Climbing wise it would have been easier and more natural to go straight up, but the first ascensionists obviously couldn't resist this view.
Me in front of the Sassolungo on the other side of the pass. We've climbed quite a few routes on that one too...
Summit selfie.
Dolomites descent trails. These ones serve quite a few routes. The most notable we climbed there was the amazing Spigolo Abram.
This is the descent "trail". Unprotected scrambling over an abyss.

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