Between February 27th and March 1st, the Italian alpinists Franz Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre and Francesco Ratti succeed in the first repetition and the first winter ascent of Padre Pio Prega Per Noi + Echelle Ver le Ciel (1.870m, 7b) in the south face of the Matterhorn.
"We are all happy that we were able to repeat this incredible route in the cold season," enthuses Francis Cazzanelli. The Italian alpinist referred Padre Pio Prega Per Noi + Echelle Ver le Ciel (1.870m, 7b) as "another fantastic vision" of the great Patrick Gabarrou.
First repetition and first winter ascent
Patrick Gabarrou first started the tour in 2016 when he was looking for a direct line to the Matterhorn summit from his previous route Padre Pio Prega Per Noi from 2002 and found it.
For Cazzanelli and his team, it was the second attempt to climb the route in winter after attempting it in March 2021. Back then they had to abandon the attempt on the Padre Pio summit (4000m) after struggling with extreme temperatures, freezing conditions and a bivouac.
This year the team managed to free climb the entire route in three days, with two very hard bivouacs at 3900 and 4200 meters. "The most difficult moment was before the first bivouac," says Franz Cazzanelli. “We only found the sleeping place in the dark. This made it really complicated to set everything up.”
During their successful ascent of Padre Pio Prega Per Noi + Echelle Ver le Ciel, Franz Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre and Francesco Ratti Minus temperatures between -10 and -20 degrees. They are all the happier about the first repetition and the first winter ascent of the 41-pitch tour. "We are very satisfied because we have been waiting all winter for the right opportunity to try this project again," says Franz Cazzanelli.
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Credits: Cover Photo Lorenzo Belfrond/Grivel