Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette, Spring 2018

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by martin taylor I first met Helmut Microys when I arrived in Toronto from England in 1965 at Bon Echo, Ontario, the climbing cliff operated by e Alpine Club of Canada's Toronto Section. An Austrian native, Helmut and his partner were the leading climbers of the day. Both of us long‑time ACC members, over the years Helmut and I have been together at various ACC camps in the Rockies. He has also served as the North American representative on the Safety Committee of the UIAA. Two years ago, Helmut asked me if I would be interested in joining him in having a go at via ferratas, his main interest these days in the mountains. His health pre‑ vents him from doing long mountain trips. Meaning iron way or road, the ferratas were first established in WW1 by the Italians defending the front line against the Austrians in Italy's Dolomites. At that time South Tyrol was part of Austria, but after the War Italy became a sovereign state and the Italian language dominated. Today German is still the prominent language, yet Italian and Ladino is also spoken. ere are many chairlifts in the region not only for summer visitors but also for skiers, making height gains to the start of the ferratas relatively simple and easy. Last summer Helmut and I spent two weeks in the Dolomites, also known as South Tyrol, climbing not only via ferratas but also with a guide on two rock climbs. Separately, I hired a guide for the glacier route on the highest mountain in the Dolomites, Marmolada at 3342 metres. Helmut was close to 83 years of age and I turned 76 last July, so our ambi‑ tions have somewhat moderated with age! For safety we brought along a climb‑ ing harness, helmet and a Klettersteig (German for climbing path) set for me loaned by Helmut. It is an expensive Dolomites offer delightful via ferratas A chairlift provides easy access to the base of the Dolomites' highest peak, 3342-metre Marmolada. photo: martin taylor The route to the summit of Cinque Ditta is marked in red. photo: martin taylor 12 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette spring 2018

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