The “Gusela del Vescovà”

A fine article by Ezio Etrari, for the “News of CAI Associates of Verona” of January 2014, on our dear spire dominating the city of Belluno

It is not possible to talk about the Schiara without mentioning the symbol that distinguishes it, and gives a unique and evocative impression to the entire circle of the Group: the Gusela del Vescova (2361 m.). It is a small but ardent spire, well visible from Val Belluna, from the Alpago, and from many points of Agordino.

Although it is only 40 meters high, it requires the purity of its lines, for isolation, on the edge of a grandiose wall, where it seems to fall from moment to moment.

Undermine as it is from the large crack that contradicts almost all the base, it looks miraculously hovering over the ridge on which it leans. As the imposing £mole del Burel” shyly hide in the impervious and savage Val de Piero (showing only to the mountaineer who laboriously crosses that ravine), the bold Gusela del Vescovà admits to gaze and admiration even by those who walk quietly Among the streets of the city.

If we from Belluno throw a glance
We will see in the midst of the clouds, alone,
A tip set in the rock
Called Prièta, today Guséla.

It’s not like the Three Peaks
And does not have the value of the Milan Cathedral,
But without comparisons and so many estimates
She is beautiful and enough! Even from afar!

It is beautiful today and tomorrow, day and night.
When it rains, when there is sun, when it pulls the wind.
With those who love her she makes cuddles,
To the stupid she shows her teeth.

omission …

These are some verses of poetry with which the great and witty poet dialect Ugo Neri (who had honored us for his friendship) depicted the Pònta de Prièta: the symbol of his beloved mountains. We, too, are sentimentally tied by sincere love (though somewhat naive and romantic) to this joke of nature on which we poured our youthful exuberance. Pònta de Prièta (stone) or Gusèla (needle)?

The first diction is confirmed by the fact that its elegant and slim shape resembles the cobble stone that was used to sharpen the scythe; The second (the current denomination) originates from a legend. The Bishop of Belluno worried that the form of the monolith (certainly devil’s work) could infuriate the gentle and chaste girls of his diocese in unclear thoughts (an understandable concern as an orb will remotely identify the unmistakable profiles) , He decided that he could also look like a needle (gusela, in belluno): a needle brought by the angels to embroider sacred vestments. And so it was that the Pònta de Prièta became the Bishop’s Gusela (but in spite of this castigate and captivating name, he continued to maintain his profound profiles).

Times have changed, and even gentle girls, so that they now easily look at her without blushing, indeed there are many who meet her reaching her dizzying summit, easily overcoming the series of difficulties that reach up to 4th. Before them all thought to a certain Maria Breviglieri who in 1925 secured the first female climb. Another legend tells us that Noah attached his Ark to the comfortable monolith emerging from the underwater waters; Another still wants the summit of wretched wretched witches …

Of course, given its visibility, the Gusela had placed the first mountaineers in their attention already in 1869, when, accompanied by hunters, they reached the base from the Val Vescova. The superb view from that fork is so great, they described it as follows: A more vague and imposing panorama can not be conceived so much that we could not get away from his contemplation.

Although they did not have the ambition to conquer the summit (theirs was a scientific curiosity), once they could touch the rock, they also probed the climbing possibilities. But they did almost immediately. Other animosities tried us later, but we had to wait until 1909 to witness a serious attempt. In July of that year some officials of the 7th Alpine Regiment went up to the fork. With a rudimentary ladder they attempted to overcome the first stroke, but then they had to abandon themselves, promising to return with the most suitable equipment.

Of that committee was the S.Tenente Arturo Andreoletti who was already an expert alpinist (among its countless ascents, it is worth mentioning the first Italian to the South of the Marmolada, and the magnificent great first on the north wall of the Agner) who became aware that Belluno had even formed a committee to promote the conquest of the swirling spire. Involved by his friends and making sure the participation of the great mountaineer Francesco Jori (with whom in 1921 won the immense northern wall of Agner), decided to give the final assault to the virgin Gusela. They attacked them from the north at 11.45 on September 14, 1913 and at 13.30 were in the summit, on which they came, helped by the rope, Giuseppe Pasquali. They drew on a pole the tricolor whose rush was immediately noticed in Belluno: the inviolable Gusela was finally … violated.

Some time ago I wanted to go back there: I wanted to see if he answered the truth about what was being said about the stability of Ponta de Prièta. In fact, it seemed to me that the crack had widened slightly, and the thought of its probable destruction blurred the joy I usually felt when I reached that magical place. My sadness, however, disappeared when, at the height of that monolith, I came to the conclusion that the caducity (which we all and all were destined) did not imply any silencing of what I was admiring from that incomparable balcony. I then deduced that the limitation of the enjoyment of enjoyment, rather than the development of it, increases its value. And joy cast out sadness.

If, on an enchanted evening, you will attend, lounging in front of the Bernabeard diving camp at a festive sunset, you may feel the water’s flushing on the Ark, or maybe you will hear the witches screaming out of The top of the nearby Gusela; You will find out, however, that it is the wind which, by fasting in that tight fork, will modulate sounds and voices making them more enjoyable. He will also attenuate his strength for fear of dropping the slender spire. Everything will increase the charm of that magical place, and then, in the silence of the bivouac, endless serenity will enter into your hearts.

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