Maleficent, new route on Cimone della Bagozza

Fulvio Zanetti and Francesco Beni (320mt, 8L 7c+, 7a+ obbl. rs4)

07 September 2015 Cimone della Bagozza (Orobic Alps) is the main mountain of Val di Scalve, it’s a rather eye-catching peak, made of limestone rocks arranged in sloping layers. The south face, towards Val Bione, is steep with slopes mainly covered with vegetation. Instead, the north face falls on the Val di Scalve with a wall of 350 mt. On this wall, over the years, different lines have been climb. The first one, in chronological order, is route “Bramani”, climbed in 1930. It follows route “Cassin”, in 1934. For the third line, we have to wait for the 80s, when the route “Val di Scalve ’81” has been traced, known also as “Pukajirka”. A little later, the route “Mary Poppins” has been opened. In 2000 the wall has been climb in a modern way and on the Bagozza appears the first bolts on the route “100 anni di solitudine”.  I don’t know why, but I’ve always had the feeling to have a liaison with this mountains, maybe it’s because it’s one of the first mountains I’ve climbed when I was young, maybe for its shape reaching towards the sky, maybe because it looks like a dolomite peak or simply because of the funny downhill on the scree. I’ve been several times on the Bagozza and I’ve climbed also different routes.  A special memory is about the route Cassin, about 15 years ago, on which at the latest pitches I’ve found myself out of the line and, going in the wrong way, I climbed a pitch that now it the late pitch of “Maleficent”. At that time, this pitch has been hard for me, I still remembered the two big tunnels that at today we have left with cords on. I remembered it as an very awesome pitch, the most beautiful of that day and it gave me a lot of satisfaction. With this remembrance, I’ve proposed to Francesco to open a new route which goes through the central line of the wall in the more compact slabs, ending in the upper part with that pitch climbed 15 years before.  Francesco says yes immediately, he feels somehow tied to this mountain because it is one of the first peaks climbed. His uncle is also one of the openers of the route Mary Poppins and Francesco has often heard telling tales about the adventure dated 1986. We start in 2014 climbing strictly from the bottom using bolts just when we hanged on cliffs. In 4 days from August to October, we end the route. We arrive at the top crossing just one the route Cassin at 2/3 of the wall, where this route traverse on the right. We let the winter goes by and in June 2015 we go back to redpoint it. Our way to operate is like a team game, we have two demanding lengths to make, Francesco works on the third pitch and I work on the fourth. Goal done! At the end of the day, we are both extremely satisfied!!! Up to us, finding a line as “Maleficent” on a wall like the north-west of Bagozza has an added value. This wall is often forgot, the only route that sometimes is repeated is the route “Cassin”. Bagozza is not a mountain that cannot be tamed easily. On its lines, grades don’t care so much, because they are exceeded from the total commitment required to climb them.  Zanetti Fulvio and Beni Francesco thanks: Zamberlan, Grande Grimpe, Gabel, silverskin and DM Sport Bergamo and NRC occhiali for the technical support and our friend Gambarini Gianandrea for pics and videos.  Cimone della Bagozza (alpi Orobie) Maleficent route (320mt, 8L 7c+, 7a+ obbl. rs4) First ascent Zanetti Fulvio e Beni Francesco General Access: from Clusone throught the Passo della Presolama, or from Boario up to via Mala, go into Val di Scalve till Schilpario. Go on towards Passo del Vivione and after 4 kilometers park the car in the nearby of Baracca Rossa. Access: Follow the dirt road for Passo dei Campelli for about 15 minutes until a Madonnina. From here take follow path n. 417 which first passes the pond Campelli and then towards the scree of Bagozza. On the scree follow the trail that leads under the wall. Go up the couloir Bramani for about 60 mt up to a large tunnel (S0) Itinerary L1: 6a +, 30mt. From the tunnel S0 go up vertically for about 10mt till a tunnel with cord. From this point go up towards right. Go up through the hole-slab with delicate output to the left to reach the anchor belay L2: 6a, 30mt. Go over a roof on the left, vertically till a tunnel with cord, after that always oblique to the right   L3: 7b +, 50mt. Easy starts, then from the second tunnel it start the difficult part. Technical slab with two difficult and obliged sections (long pitch, use the ropes in offset) L4: 7c +, 35mt. The more beautiful pitch of the route. Follow a line of small holes and small cracks on 30 mt of slab with two steep sections.  L5: 6a, 35mt. Oblique towards left till the ledge where the route Cassin pass by. Go for some meters to the right and then up vertically, you can see the belay.  L6: 5c, 55mt. Go up first oblique to the right, and after to the left pointing a little terrace at the bottom of a crack visible from the belay.  L7: 6b, 35mt. Follow the crack, vertically of the steep part, after towards left on a good rock, holes and tunnels till the belay.  L8: III, 50mt. From the belay go up and traverse to the right. Go in the dihedral-couloir, end of the route Cassin and through this ne till the top.  Descent: From the top follow the normal route (path n. 417). From the S7, it is possible to retreating with rappel (pay attention to the ledge between S6 and S5 for unstable rocks).  Material: 10 quick draws, 2 half ropes 60mt, cams from micro to n°2 BD, cords. Note: Maleficent goes through the central part of the north-west wall in a modern style in comparison to the other older lines, and it goes through the more compact slabs. It was open from the bottom and nail is mixed. Few bolts have been put where the climbing needed a rest on cliffs. On Maleficent the rock is almost always good except two short part before and after S5.   
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