Principessa: the suspended waterfall

by Massimo Faletti

 

Principessa is a unique fall because it often doesn’t reach the ground. It is located on the lowest part of the route between the Passo del Grosté and Rifugio Tuckett, near the trail to the west shoulder of the Castello di Vallesinella, in Brenta Dolomites.
Fabio Stedile and Renzo Springhetti made the first ascent, and routes were then established by various teams, often composed of alpine guides such as Mabboni, Faletti, Prestini, Parolari and Tondini, who conquered the most logical lines with traditional systems, friends, nuts and normal rock-climbing pegs.
The overhanging sector, though, is almost impossible to protect in a traditional way, and the right side, where trad climbing would be possible because there are logical lines, is dangerous due to avalanche exposure. So about ten years ago, bolts appeared here as well, allowing Massimo Faletti and Mirco Corn to climb this frightening structure characterized by long “fringes” of ice suspended in the air, only reachable by climbing the overhanging rock below.
Some time later, given the lack of ice in recent years, Massimo Faletti and Andrea Speziali, belayed by Giuseppe Michelon and Francesco Nardelli, and also supported by Rifugio Graffer, bolted eight pitches from the bottom. In addition, Massimo Faletti bolted another four while self-belayed.

The pitches range from M5 to M10, and some adjustments will be made to the route at the end of this year.

Now we hope climbers will come here and repeat the routes, provided they show respect for this unique and fragile area and don’t “forget” even a fruit peel.

Massimo Faletti