Torre Trieste

The Enigma of the Tower
by Alessandro Beber - Alessandro Baù

Climbers are nearly always monomaniacs with unbridled ambitions.
And we’re no exception.

In 2012, having climbed Colonne d’Ercole on the north-west side of Mount Civetta, we blew on the still-hot embers and decided to attempt a new route on Torre Trieste. Easy to say, wonderful to dream of, but rather complicated to execute. We started thinking about it, digesting the idea, studying the wall and the existing routes to work out whether it might be feasible… which was absolutely not a given. In fact, we have an unhealthy tendency to self-impose limits that complicate things some what: not only did we want to open a route on the moststunning and famous tower in the Dolomites; we wanted it to be a route with its own logic, a route that doesn’t interfere with the classics and that respects the history of the wall; a traditional-style route that doesn’t require artificial means, and so on and so on…And as the years passed, there seemed to be more doubts than certainties, but in the autumn of 2022 something fell into place and we decided to give it a go. We spent a day on a recce and climbed a few pitches, just to get the feel of it, then started climbing seriously: in seven days between the end of September and the beginning of November, we solved our puzzle, devising a magnificent route that exceeded our rosiest expectations.

On 04 November, we tread on the snow at the top of the big tower and hug each other excitedly. As always, beyond the technical aspects, it is the human experience that remains most vividly impressed, and this adventure was only possible thanks to great teamwork and perfect harmony. Once down in the valley, we decided to rename the route 'Enigma', due to the state of uncertainty that accompanied us throughout the ascent, right up to the lastpitches, where the compact rock left no hope of finding a way up. Of course there is still one last piece missing to close the circle: the free and single repetition of the entire route. But now that winter has arrived, nothing more can be done... the appointment is postponed until next spring! Already during the winter, we take out our diaries and set various days on which we keep free toplace the last piece of the puzzle. In March 2023, we observe the total lack of snow in the Dolomites and think: "Super, come April!". After all, the Torre Trieste is in the middle of the south, perfect for mid-season. And instead, a crazy spring upsets our plans, we keep looking at the weather, rescheduling but a window of two good days never comes in. And so we arrive atthe end of June, when by then the sun makes the Torre Trieste scorching hot. But we have too much desire to climb and repeat our route, we decide to try iton 24 and 25 June. The saying goes 'fortune favours the bold' and that is exactly what happens. A sudden drop in temperature makes us climb perfectly, without evertaking off our wind breakers. We take turns on the 28 pitches leading to the summit, cheering each other on and, even though we know it, being amazed by thebeauty but also the intensity of the route. We indulge in a bivouac cheered by the fire two-thirds of the way up the wall, and the next day we plough back up the summit we reached last November. The Enigma is solved, the last piece of the puzzle is in place; now all that remains is to wait for other teams to come and repeat it, to give us their opinion. For us, the 'ambitious monomaniacs', the road to recovery is still a long way off... we are already on the hunt for the next project!