Chicks climbing in the Dolomites

This Chicks sighting comes from an e-mail sent earlier this fall from Cheryl Wallace (our original Chicks “graduate”) to Kathy Cosley, who was one of Cheryl’s guides at Chicks. Kathy and her husband co-own Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides. It’s fantastic to see two of our Chicks alumnae taking on major climbing trips on their own! 

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Wallace

Kate Higgins and I just returned from the Dolomites. I had been there once before two years ago with Kitty Calhoun, her husband Jay and his climbing partner. Obviously, this trip was going to be a little different because I couldn’t give all the tough leads to Kitty! Kate and I selected some routes that looked fun that we found in guidebooks and (this is where you come in), we looked at your web site and pictures with clients and we prioritized our list with input from your descriptions of cool routes. We owe you a fine bottle of wine!!

Our routes…
Cinque Torre Torre favorites were Lusy, del Barrancio, Torre Quarta Bassa and Torre Grande Cima Ovest;

Paternkofel (got this idea from you…I bet your clients just love this climb. It has it all…cool approach next to Tri Cime Lavaredo & the super bad ass feeling of peeling away from the folks on the via ferrata and heading up the scree pitch.) We were the only ones on the route and oh was the route finding interesting! We were the only team on the summit! We hiked out alone as the sun was setting and the full moon was rising. Kate had never done any alpine climbing before & she was just in awe.

Via Ferrata Cesare Piazetta to Piz Boe’…a cardio workout with people sprinting up the route…on cell phones! Still a great experience.

Sport climbing days: (we moved to Canazai area) Settore Grotto (next to our apartment) in morning and Palestral Marmitta in afternoon. Fun! Then a full hard core day at Frea…we had the place to ourselves! Stopped at Chalet Gerard for an awesome dinner on the way back to town.

Vajolet Towers (thank you for this one!!!)…what an approach! Wish we had spent a night(s) in a refugio here because we loved the climbing/atmosphere. Enjoyed Delago Tower…one of my favorite days on the trip.

Punta Delle Cinque Dita…we wanted to complete the traverse but were getting a little tired (it was day after Vajolet Towers) & we decided to just enjoy the Thumb. We did until we messed up the descent! Yep…it took me a bit to find the 1st rap bolt (the downcllimb/traverse from summit) & then we got sucked into the rap trap & missed the shoulder…i think the book we had was confusing. Anyway, 11 sketchy raps later & we were scree skiing back to the car. This was Kate’s 1st ever “things aren’t going as planned” moment but we made it back safely to the car & we made great decisions together as a team.

Anyway…just wanted to thank you for helping us make good route choices and for being such an inspiration to us…through meeting you & studying your book. I had never ice or rock climbed before I went to Chicks…and to think that I could lead us through this amazing Dolomite trip blows my mind. [Emphasis added by Chicks] I have learned so much from all of the guides. I hope this makes you smile…you have helped make our world so much bigger.