New route “For Nio”

August 2000

I was due to start the Alpine guide’ s course with Patrick Poletto very soon and we were eager to train for it. As we had to start somewhere and since the Matterhorn was the mountain we knew best, we obviously chose the ‘ Gran Becca’ as the scene of our adventure. On 14 August we set off with thepurpose of opening up a new route on the ‘ shield’ , a 300 m high rocky spot between the route ‘ De Amicis’ and the route ‘ Casarotto Grassi’ .It was very late when we left the Oriondé and due to the lack of experience also our rucksacks were definitely too heavy. But luckily we were in high spirits all day long!
Once we climbed the route with a final length of rope on an easy terrain leading to the route De Amicis, we began the descent. However the real adventure was to start shortly after. During the abseiling something mysterious happened and we were not able to retrieve our ropes. So we decided to climb back with the ‘ jumar’ in order to check and see what was blocking them. Everything was perfect, nothing out of place. But the ropes got held up whenever we tried to pull them from beneath. At nightfall, without a head torch, wearing just only a shirt and a pair of light-weight trousers, we set our minds at rest setting up a belay and waited for the dawn. The early hours of the morning unveiled us the mystery: our ropes did not slip simply because they were thoroughly frozen. That incident made us realize how inexperienced we still were.