Climb the Los Angeles 84 is now more safe
The Los Angeles 84 route, for those who are not familiar with it, is a magnificent climb on the south face of the Spalti del Col Bechei in the upper Val di Fanes, the gateway to the Kingdom of Fanes.
Opened in the distant year of 1984 (the year of the Los Angeles Olympics) by Mario Dibona and Paolo Bellodis, the route is in my opinion a small masterpiece.
Hats off to the two Scoiattoli friends who ventured onto this wall with little equipment but great courage, following a logical line on exceptional rock.
It was the first route opened on the Spalti del Col Bechei. The wall is situated in a magnificent environment and is exposed to the sun. The Los Angeles 84 is a relatively short route (8 pitches), and given its favorable exposure, it can be climbed even in the autumn, fully enjoying the wonderful colors of the valley below.
The peculiarity of this magnificent climbing route is that the rock is limestone and not dolomite. Limestone is very rare in the Dolomites. If we don’t consider the beautiful south face of Marmolada, only a few minor walls are made of limestone. Climbers know well that limestone is much more solid than dolomite, which is often a friable rock.
Later, the wall was enriched with new itineraries, all worth being climbed. The same year, the “Super Ponzio” was opened, followed by “Oasi”, a very beautiful route, less challenging than the others. The following year saw the birth of “Thriller”, again by Mario Dibona, this time with the very young Massimo Da Pozzo “Mox”. And then “Illusione Ottica”, and others still.
I return, however, to the main topic of this post, the Los Angeles 84 route on the Spalti del Col Becchei. But I’m not here to describe the technical details of the climb, as a quick internet search will allow you to find numerous and detailed information about this beautiful route.
In this short article, I want to bring your attention to some news: the route has been partially re-equipped and is now safer!
Last month of August (2022), Mario Dibona “Moro”, the author of the first ascent and well-known in the mountaineering community for the numerous routes he opened in the Ampezzo Dolomites, together with Pier Smaltini and Filippo Menardi, decided to make the Los Angeles a little safer. In fact, the few old hand-placed bolts from back in 1984 were no longer able to provide adequate safety.
I should point out to “purists” that it was actually Mario and Paolo who opened the route, and today they have decided to make it safer. Unfortunately, it often happens that some climbers feel entitled to remove bolts that are sometimes placed by others in order to make some routes safer. This has happened many times, and it seems that this ongoing controversy over bolts or no bolts will never end, but in this case, the bolts were placed by the author of the first ascent, so I hope they will remain there for many years.
With this improvement, the magnificent climb of the Los Angeles 84 becomes a little more attractive, but don’t think that it is a sport climb. It remains a challenging climb, but one that will certainly not disappoint you! And if the approach seems a bit too long, you can easily get there with an e-bike, and the descent will be even faster 🙂 .