Monte Monaco

22nd May 2015

Sperone Est

Via Fratelli Titt – 5c – Alt Lead Chris

This was to be the culmination of our stay in San Vito Lo Capo. It didnt quite turn out the way we expected it to, but did make for a great day out.

Sperone Est

Sperone Est

First thing to get out of the way. The route is not easy to find and the instructions are not accurate in the Sicily Rock guide by Oelze and Roker. It describes 8 pitches to the main belay platform. It’s not. It’s 6 pitches and 8 if you include the supplemental pitches (which are NOT bolted).

First Pitch

First Pitch

So we spent longer than we wanted finding the start and then to be honest we were too slow. This added pressure to the top pitches, because more than half the day had gone by time we hit half way and this should have been the easy part.

What a view

What a view

The route itself is fairly straight forward. Some long pitches and a few run out sections, but OK in the main. There are some great exposed situations though. A thin traverse is one and a more strenuous overhanging section.

The tricky traverse

The tricky traverse

The best part of the climb is as you rise high above the coastal strip, creating ever greater vista’s. The heat on this day was incredible which gave the whole route a more difficult feeling.

One of the many vistas

One of the many vistas

Of course for a famous route, it gathered a number of climbing parties and this day was no exception. We were first on but soon parties were catching us up because we were slow. This created a major problem at the belay station, when it came time to ab off. In the end it took us a day to do half a climb. Not our best effort.

The ab off

The ab off

The ab off also posed problems because of vegetation catching the ropes and the line of decent not being obvious.

This is a climb I’d like to return to and have another go. Move fast and start early I think has to be the order of the day.