Ascent of Col Nudo on 2008-08-28

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Thursday, August 28, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Col Nudo
    Elevation:8110 ft / 2471 m

Ascent Trip Report

Col Nudo, 2472m, P1645m

Map: Tabacco 1:25k map 12 (25m contours).

Stats: 7km, 1450mH

Time: Thur 28 Aug 2008: 4h ascent, 1h25m descent (scree run).

Start: C. Stanali (unsure of name - obscured by map fold), SSW of summit. Above the village of Plois, a steep zigzag road climbs to the even smaller Staol di Plois. 1km futher on, fork R. The road is unsurfaced after 1km. 2.6 km from the junction, a steep stony track forks L. There is just room to leave a car here.

Route: From C. Stanali, take the steep L fork (Route 965). Track passes a house on R, becomes grassy, then a stone building on L. Beyond, the track curves R: fork L on a smaller path. This soon climbs steeply, composed of loose scree, passing through woodland, always traversing the L slope of the valley. (This scree surface will continue more or less to the summit.) At one stage (altitude 1300m?) is a steep vegetated slope, with potentially a little scrambling. Path is poorly defined here - bear in mind it is a bit awkward to find on the way down. Path continues steep and loose, crossing the well-marked Route 930 and leaving the trees behind. Path keeps high on L slope of valley, heading for a prominent peak (2024m on map). It eventually levels off, then bends R a little, climbing a wide scree slope (ignore a R fork), skirting below steep rocky slopes which rise immediately to L. Col Nudo is now due N: path swings L (NNW) then NE, climbing a steep rocky slope but with the same loose scree underfoot. Path finally ascends L of skyline crags, to reach the rounded NW summit, 2460m. Path then heads SSW, descending steeply to a narrow col (easy scrambling, exposed) then up to the summit cross, (2471m on map).

Difficulties: YDS2+ with a brief passage of 3 between Nudo's 2 summits. The main challenge is the loose scree, which seems to go on forever, with no secure footing for most of the ascent. The descent is either difficult or quick and easy - depending on whether you like scree running.

Triangulation point: mapped, none found. I guess there's a bolt - I forgot to search.

Summit: Compact rocky summit, cross, cairn; steep drops on all sides and fine views, with steep rocky peaks all around, many of them looking more difficult than Nudo.

Notes: We arrived late the previous evening, having driven down after Wednesday's Marmolada climb, getting a meal in Belluno, then carefully navigating the network of small roads to Plois, and thence to the trailhead, where we slept in the car.

We started hiking at 06:35, first light. An early start is advisable as the climb is tough, especially in the confines of the valley once the sun is up. I don't use walking poles, but picked up 2 sticks early in the walk which were very useful on this toilsome scree ascent. Views open up along the long valley, with plains and distant hills beyond. Once the sun is up, the ascent gets even more toilsome. At last the path levels off, and the impressive Cima D. Pala di Castello, 2195m, on the opposite side of the valley draws the eye. Climbing a big scree slope we (wrongly) fork R and follow Route 930 towards Paso di Valbona. This passes through some fine limestone scenery; before the pass we climb N on scree, joining a path which crosses a steep terrace to emerge eventually on the easier SW slopes of Nudo, at about 2250m. We soon realise a more direct route would have been easier. A path continues, joining the one we should have been on, leading to the first summit. Here we enjoy the view, then cross carefully to the higher summit, arriving at 10:30, staying for 20 mins. This is my 30th World Ultra: my first was Teide, just over 2 years ago.

Once back at the NW summit, we descend fairly slowly at first, on poor quality scree, but soon we're enjoying a rapid scree-running descent, every bit as good as the ascent was tough. We lose the path briefly above a steep drop (altitude approx 1300m?) as mentioned above. We're back at the car at 12:15, in one-third of our ascent time!

We spend the afternoon mostly driving, taking in two easy 2000ft Prominence summits, Col Visentin and Monte Grappa en route, before getting set up for climbing our next Ultra, Cima Dodici tomorrow.

For trip details and logistics, see the Säntis report
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4830 ft / 1472 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4830 ft / 1472 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 3 (mostly 2+)
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Warm sunshine, hot in the valley.
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4797 ft / 1462 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4764 ft / 1452 m; Extra: 33 ft / 10m
    Loss on way in:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Trail 965 then SW face
    Start Trailhead:From SSW, C. Stanali  3346 ft / 1019 m
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4797 ft / 1462 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4764 ft / 1452 m; Extra: 33 ft / 10m
    Gain on way out:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Trail 965
    End Trailhead:From SSW, C. Stanali  3346 ft / 1019 m
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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