Having some free over Whitsun, Caro and I were looking forward to doing some multi-pitch climbing because Caro never did any before. The actual plan was to climb a wall in the Alps, but we had to change our plans: the winter has been extraordinarily long in the Alpes and most of the huts were still closed and the ascents were still snow-covered. So we focused on Arco and the region around the Lago di Garda which provides not only Italian flair, but also a lot of sport and multi-pitch climbing.
Arco and the Sarca valley
Arco and the Sarca valley have an amazing combination of beautiful scenery with lakes and olive fields, a massive amount of rock, friendly atmosphere and good food. Arco became a very popular climbing destination in former times and well known in Europe.
There are thousands of bolted routes in all grades and hundred of crags. The amount of rock around the Lago di Garda is unbelievable. Some of the crags are world-class and the lines are a lot of fun to climb – but surely not all the crags. I think the majority of crags that were bolted in the last years can not compare to spots like Ceüse, Siurana, Rodellar, … So the challenge is to inform well and pick wisely the right ones from the hundreds of crags around Arco to have a good time there.
“Il picolo principe” (7a – 6b obl.) at the Rupe di Santa Massenza …
First multi-pitch experience
For our multi-pitch, we chose “Il picolo principe” (7a – 6b obl.) at the Rupe di Santa Massenza near Trento. From Arco you have to drive about half an hour to Vezzano and further to a small village called Fraveggio. Form the parkside, you can reach the wall in about 15min of walking. The route consists of 6 pitches with difficulties around 6c. After 180m you can top out the wall and hike down on the left side. I like the feeling to top out such a huge wall at the end of the day even though the actual climbing is always very exhausting. It’s more focused on route finding and speed rather than on improving your climbing skills like in sport climbing or bouldering. This is the reason why I like to do alpine-climbing from time to time, but too often.
Deep water soloing at the Lago di Garda
The exhausting pitches in the tight climbing shoes somehow disillusioned Caro, so we rent a little pedal boat at the Lago di Garda and went for some chilled deep water soloing on the following day. This was quite a good choice on this hot summer day and I quite enjoyed the afternoon at this spot. The spots even provide graded routes which are listed in the official guide book as well as a description of the ascent. If you have some time left at the Lago di Garda you definitely should rent a boat and do that …
Deep water soloing at the Lago di Garda is something you should do there …
Arco once has been the hot-spot for climbing in Europe. Today it surely isn’t anymore even though they do a lot of advertisement with Adam Ondra and Stephano Gisolfi to keep this impression. But if your climbing expectations are not too high, the Italian flair and the scenic landscape are definitely worth visit. Thanks for those days there, Caro 🙂