Monte Monaco, San Vito Lo Capo

History and routes of north side

19 June 2014 "Monte Monaco’s northern wall, reddish and overhanging is carved out by slightly overhanging oblique cracks, interrupted by curved caves streaked with bird droppings in a few sections. The solitary sparrow lives here, with the wild pigeon, the kestrel and the peregrine falcon, in peaceful harmony with the climbers who climb the routes described in this guide. When there is no wind, it is possible to here the hum of the planes taking off at Punta Raisi airport: a vague and distant rumble which at first seems menacing but then our rational mind easily accepts it, without remembering that the first sensation is the one that counts and the threat is real.   On S.Vito’s Sballo we almost had to bivvy: we woke up late, soaking wet after an extremely damp night with a warm scirocco wind. Our nomadic party, five in a van, had camped out in the garden of a villa under construction and only after a long time were we ready to climb the pillar. On Pizzo Monaco, the ropes didn’t want to be recovered. I climbed up the rope using a prusik knot, fixed the abseil point, abseiled down but it was useless. Marco Bonamini climbed up successfully and managed to recover the ropes, which did not budge due to the rope drag of an unusual rock."   Visible from the centre of San Vito this long ochre coloured wall, carved out by long cracks, deep chimneys and bold overhangs attracts the attention of those who love heights. The first route which appeared on this wall: Il Bugiardo comes after 10 years from the first routes opened on the sunnier east spur. The climbers from Palermo Roby Manfrè and Davide Ruvolo, opened Il Buguardo in 1993 in the middle of the face along an evident and logical crack-chimney, rigorously opened trad (for this reason it was not included in this guide which only deals with modern and sport routes) with difficulties up to VI. Many years will pass before its first repetition and many more will pass before this face will see new and exciting itineraries running up it, this time in modern key, opened with the systematic use of the bolt. A number of factors attract climbers who want to open new routes or bolt them. The face is always in the shade, its height makes it possible to enjoy sufficiently long routes but not too long, alternating cracks, chimneys, compact slabs with athletic overhangs expressing various climbing styles. Delimited to the right of the Pizzo Monaco spire from which it is divided by a carved out section, the wall ends on the extreme left with a vaguely triangular shaped and characteristic sector CATTEDRALE NEL DESERTO, which as well as the many single pitch routes, it offers some of the best multi pitch routes of medium difficulty. Thanks to the easy access and the availability of free spaces on the wall it is not difficult to see that there will be new lines in the future, we recommend you do not go near the old trad routes present which we have just mentioned, so as not to incur into unintentional overlapping which would create many controversies.   The routes of Monte Monaco North Side 1. L’ORACOLO DEL SUD 7a (6b+ obbl.) /RS2/II R. Capucciati and C. Cerretti, 2011-2012 Between1 and 2 TRA VENTO E VERTIGINE 7b (6c obbl) RS2/II R. Capucciati and G. Tagliabue, 2012 2 FIORI STRAPPATI 7a (6b+ obbl.) /RS3/II C. Simoni and F. Testa, 2011 3 PARE SIANO TRENTINI 6c (6c obbl.) /RS3/II M. Brunet and M. Canteri, 2011 4 WALKING ON THE MOON 6c (6b obbl.) /R2/II M. Monaco and T. Tamagnini,  2010 5 IL VOLO DI PEGASUS 7a (6c obbl.) /RS4/II A. Leichtfried and R. Ranner, 2010 6 LA LINGUA PURA 7c (6c obbl.) /RS3/II A. Leichtfried and P. Mair, 2009 From first pitch You Cannoli Die Once begins 7 BLOW IT UP ON THE INTERNET 7b+ (6c obbl.) /RS3/II K. Kalous and J. Thesenga, 2011 8 LA COLLINA DEI CONIGLI 6b+ (6a+ obbl.) /RS2/I M. Giglio and I. Iemmi, 2007 Sicily guides DI ROCCIA DI SOLE, climbing in Sicily Massimo Cappuccio, Giuseppe Gallo ENG or DEU, 2012 456 pag Ed. Versante Sud SAN VITO LO CAPO, climbing map 850 routes  Massimo Cappuccio, Giuseppe Gallo, Daniele Arena ITA/ENG/DEU, 2014 Ed. Versante Sud      
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