On the NE Face of Ortles, the highest mountain in the South Tyrol, Daniel Ladurner, Hannes Lemayr and Aaron Durogati climbed what might well be a big new mixed climb.

According to all the research carried out so far, Daniel Ladurner, Hannes Lemayr and Aaron Durogati have climbed what could well be a new line of ice, snow and rock up the northeast face of the Ortles, circa 250 meters to the left of the classic Schückrinne. Ladurner told planetmountain.com „I had noticed this line some time ago and after Hannes told me he’d already tried it with Herbert Plattner and failed due to poor conditions in 2017 – on 18 October we decided to try this obvious line again up the NE Face, directly below the serac. The route starts at around 2700m. We climbed unroped for the first 300 meters, passing very friable stepped terrain up to a crack . From there I took the lead, climbing over delicate slabs, corners and ledges leftwards towards the impressive drip of ice. From there we followed the ice that emerged from beneath the serac. Super cool ice climbing for this season. We ended in style by climbing an easy but beautiful line to breach the 80m serac.“ The three reached the col at about 3550 meters and while Lemayr descended on foot down the classic Hintergrad ridge, Durogati and Ladurner flew down by paraglider to Sulden in a mere 10 minutes. Of the 17 pitches, 6 are on pure ice, and the overall grade is rock IV+; ice WI4; mixed M4.

The reason why the line had not been climbed is probably due to the serac. “Locals told me“ Ladurner explained „that up to 10 years ago, the serac overhungg so much that climbing it would have been too dangerous.“ Now though everything has changed.“ On Ortler Daniel Ladurner made the first ascent of Gnadenlos up the NW Face wwith Johannes Lemayer and Herbert Plattner in 2017, while in 2016 together with Lemayer he established Pleishornwasserfall up the NE Face.

Text: planetmountain.com