Crack a gogo

Traditional climbing in Cadarese (Lombardia, Italy) became quite popular in the last few years. Stunning photos of climbing athletes like Barbara Zangerl and Jacobo Larcher made it a well-known spot. For all the trad climbing fans it is a little jewel hidden in valleys of Lombardia with some of the best trad climbing routes in the Alpes. Together with the boys and girls of the DAV rock climbing team ‚Felskader BW‘, I was excited to see whether Cadarese could fulfill all these promises. Thanks, Hannes Kutza for capturing these days in awesome photos.

My last experience with crack climbing and full hand jams was a few years ago in Iceland. We climbed an impressive wall with six-edged basalt pillars. Until the very end, I really struggled with the hand jams and suffered in the straight cracks between these pillars. Nevertheless, I was really looking forward to some trad climbing and also to some hand jamming, because it was a welcome variation to the sport climbing and bouldering of the last few years and good preparation for some alpine climbing. And I hoped to finally learn this hand jamming skills which everyone seems to have except me 🙂

‚Foglie Cadenti‘ (6a+) – one of the perfect crack lines in Cadarese.

The walls of Cadarese are hidden in the steep valley slopes and provide over 50 cracks from 4a to 8a. After a short ascent, the slopes release the view to huge granite walls streaked with small cracks. Standing at the foot of the wall, these walls seem really impressive but also quite terrifying at the same time. Except for some anchors, there are no other bolts in the wall. A perfect playground for challenging trad climbing …

Trad climbing is somehow quite different from sport climbing: the upcoming fear climbing high above the last bad placement, the desperation about the missing cam sizes and the helplessness in these huge cracks and chimneys. Every one of us was struggling on his own level with himself testing out his limits on routes between 6a and 8a.

The huge granite walls are quite impressive.

Some of used pushed on and on, while some switched to bolted routes. And Cadarese also provides some fully equipped routes in the main sector with grades between around 6a and 8b. This is perfect to get used to the granite rock or if you have some climbing partners who do not want to go trad.

On the right side of the main sector hides one of the highlights of Cadarese: ‚Crack a gogo‘ [6b] – a perfect little hand jam crack. We looked at multiple climbers struggling with the hand jams and decided to try this crack on our own … We had not the right cam sizes, so some Slovenian climbers offered us to toprope it at first. Laughing about it at the beginning, we were quite thankful about that offering afterward. These hand jams are super tricky, painful and exhausting if you are not used to it. But at least we got into the style after some tries and were able to climb it from the bottom to the top without resting. But no one of us dared to on the sharp end of the rope …

Cadarese also provides bolted routes like ‚Beslan memorial‘ (7c+).

After three days, it was time for us to leave back home. It was quite cool to see Cadarese which is indeed a little jewel for trad climbing and definitely worth a visit. Thanks for this cool trip ‚Felskader BW‘ and Hannes Kutza for these stunning photos. If you like the photos, check out his website or Instagram. Thanks, 3RD ROCK for your super cool clothes and your support.

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