Gini, Sandy and Audrey in the Dolomites • September 6-10, 2010

Gini Kramer and Sandy Bartell were back climbing with Kathy, this time in the Dolomites, and they brought along their friend, Audrey Suseno.

Other Trips with some of these folks

Gini, Alps - September 2009
Gini and Sandy, Alps - August 2008
Sandy, Alps - September 2007

Return to all recent trips

Les voilà, the Trad Trio. Left to right, Sandy, Gini, and Audrey, gearing up at the base of Hexenstein.


The forecast wasn't brilliant for the week, but our first day stayed dry for our climb of the South Rib of Hexenstein. Sandy follows the first pitch, while Gini leads the second rope team as mists roll in below.

The sun began to break out as we reached the halfway point on the climb.

Gini again in the lead on pitch 3.

Re-united, we are one big happy family! The switchbacks near the Falzarego Pass far below.

Sandy figures out the tricky step into the chimney beneath a huge wedged block.

Looking up the last moves to the summit, where a hiker has spied us below.

On top, summit register signed, and we're ready for the walk-off.

Our second day began too wet for the longer objectives we had in mind, but it dried out long enough to get in some sport climbing near the Falzarego Pass.

When it began raining again, we took the cable car up to the Lagazuoi hut for lunch.

Yummmm! Italian mountain junk food!

Then we braved the freezing sleet to descend via the historic Galleria del Piccolo Lagazuoi, where Italian and Austrian troops waged repeated battles during the first world war, struggling for control of a huge system of tunnels blasted into the walls of this peak. Gini hurries by tangles of barbed wire in the wet and chilly wind.

Though dark, steep and slippery, the tunnels at least provided shelter from the rain and wind. As well as some informative placards, and unique entertainment.

Exiting the tunnels, the weather had dried out a bit, though it was still dank and cold.

There was not much improvement on our third day, but at least it was dry as we started up the Torre Piccolo di Falzarego. Sandy is bundled up here as she tops out on the first long pitch.

Audrey is all smiles after leading the strenuous cave pitch. But look out, the rain is coming back! No, it's worse, hail arrived with gusty winds.

After this pitch, Sandy gets the "screaming barfies" as her numb fingers return to life. This is only supposed to happen while ice climbing, for cryin' out loud!

The squally weather chased us away from the last, easier pitches to the summit. We bailed off and headed back to recover with a hot shower.

Just in time to avoid another soaking, it would appear.

One of the many pleasures of rock climbing in the Dolomites, you can be screaming in a cold rain in the afternoon, but sit down to a terrific dinner in your cozy hotel a couple of hours later.

Though still very cold, the sun at least came back for our last day of climbing together, at the Sella Pass. Here we approach the base of the Steger route on the First Sella Tower.

Sandy follows the slippery off-width pitch, flirting with numb hands once more, while Audrey strikes out on lead below her.

Lovely views across the pass to the Langkofel, Fünffingerspitzen and the Grohmannspitze.

Gini finishes up the last pitch of the route.

Sandy takes in the view over toward the Val Gardena.

It's time for ice cream!

Heading home, the gals are ready to start planning their next adventure. Ciao for nao!