6th Outing: 9 June - L'occhio che vide rosso
Via "L'Occhio che Vide Rosso" ("The eye that saw red" Route) → Pilastro dell'Orso → Northern Brenta Group (length 270m / diff. 7b / opened by R. Larcher, F. Leoni and M. Cagol in July 1997)
Lake Tovel last turned red in the summer of 1964, after which its waters ceased to put up a show, perhaps tired of the excessive attention from visitors...
Rolando Larcher did not have the privilege, due to his young age, to witness this rare phenomenon but was able to capture on rock the memory of such fiery reflection, imagining an ascent line on a handsome, unlisted pillar that looks right onto the lake.
Moving in the direction of two characteristic niches showing up near the summit, he thus created the "Occhio che vide rosso", a splendid climb in this secluded corner of the Brenta Dolomites, and renamed the summit itself "Pilastro dell'Orso ("bear pillar"), dedicating it to the elusive master of the place.
Of the many routes opened in the Dolomites by one of the undisputed sports climbing protagonists in the world, we chose this particular one for the unusually affordable difficulties, hoping to entice prospective repeaters...
Together with Rolando and Gianpaolo "Trota" Calzà, alpine guide and photographer, we went to climb the "Occhio", while friends Daniele Geremia and Andrea Speziali threw themselves at the more difficult "Attriti verticali...zero!" ("Vertical friction...zero!") which runs nearby.
All day we climbed deep into the fog, in a surreal atmosphere where the only sound was our enthusiastic kids chat: gratified by a dream rock, we let time run away between one photo session and the next, and only in the early evening took the return route to Malga Tuenna... Judge for yourself from Trota's shots if it was worth it or not!
*Thanks to Francesco Gubert of the Chartagena team for helping to film, and to forest ranger Marco Nicolodi.
Access: starting from the village of Tuenno in Val di Non, follow the signs to Lake Tovel, then at the Capriolo bar-restaurant take the unsurfaced road on the right going up to Malga Tuenna (9km). From the "No Throughfare" sign continue on foot along the path to the mountain dairy (15 min) and then along trail mark 380 to Val Gelada. Once out of the wood, continue in a south-westerly direction, past 3 water tanks and then down into the deep narrow valley where the pillar is located (marked by 2 unmistakable niches in the upper left). Cross further in the direction of the face, then climb up freely on steep meadows to the base (1.30h and 700m difference in height).
Return: abseiling along the route.