The landscape around the Ligurian Riviera is characterized by its wooded hills, steep cliffs, and the blue sea and attracts bikers, hikers and climbers from all the world every year. There are hundreds of crags around Finale Ligure and the area can look back to a long climbing history. In the last years, the areas in the Western Ligurian Rivera got more into focus: Oltre Finale established as an alternative to the classical routes around Finale Ligure with more athletic routes and remote crags.
Climbing at the Ligurian Riviera
The steep mediterranean sea cliffs and the valleys in the hills behind Finale Ligure and the Western Ligurian Riviera offer hundreds of climbing crags and thousands of routes in all grades up to 8c+. Most of the crags are accessible by a small foot walk within a few minutes. To get to the more remote located spots in the deep green landscape can be a wild adventure. But as the wooded Ligurian hills offer diverse secret spots like sea cliffs, steep tufa walls, and hidden caves its often worth the adventure to discover one of those fantastic places.
Getting touched by the sun …
The “other” Finale
As the historic crags around Finale Ligure mainly provide vertical and very technical routes, the areas towards the French border at the Western Ligurian Riviera became more popular in the last years. The five valleys in Oltre Finale offer over 80 crags and athletic routes on solid limestone. Together with Finale are these areas one of the biggest climbing areas in Europe and a good alternative to the Spanish areas in the winter months.
Enjoyed the athletic routes …
Climbing in Val Pennavaire
The most popular of the five valleys in Oltre Finale is Val Pennavaire with 28 sperate crags. It is located at a height of 1,400m between the villages Alto and Cisano sul Neva. It offers all kinds of climbing from slab climbing, vertical walls, steep overhangs, and amazing tufa climbing. The quality of the crags can differ and you have to compare a little bit and pick the right ones.
We spent most of our days at the sectors around the crag ‘Euskal’ near the valley Castelbianco in the valley Val Peenavaire. It has three huge sectors each separated by a short foot walk and offers routes in all grades from 6a to 8b+ an all styles from small vertical climbing to athletic endurance climbing in huge overhangs. The tufa routes hidden in the last sector are definitely one of the highlights in Oltre Finale.
Climbing in Finale and Oltre Finale is superb if you climb up to 8a. The routes harder than 8a are quite limited and it can be challenging to find an attractive spot with hard routes. With in the few days at the Euskal sector, I climbed most of the routes up to 8a and only one route called ‘Sevedemos’ (8b+) through the huge overhang and the top slab was left. And even as I thought this would be impossible at first, it got better and better with each try. And after a few days, I was able to climb the athletic and spectacular sequence through the great overhang and the scary run out in the top slab. The ascent of this route was definitely a highlight of this trip and the people watching and applauding me felt quite magic.
These moves were awesome …
The best season
The best climbing seasons for Finale are spring and autumn as it gets very warm in summer. However, some crags are located at a very high altitude and offer good conditions even in summer. In winter you have to look for crags in the sun as it gets very cold in the deep valleys of the Ligurian Riviera.
Figuring out the best beta …
Accommodation in Finale
For accommodation, you can stay at the campsites near Finale Ligure or take a vacation apartment. As the Ligurian Riviera attracts bikers, hikers and climbers from all over Europe, there are a lot of apartments all around the climbing spots. Also staying with a van in the outback is accepted, but as more and more people come to visit Finale, you should look to stay unobtrusive.
The climbing areas around Finale at the Ligurian Riviera with all these adventurous spots are definitely worth a visit and quite a good alternative to Spain and Southern France. The beautiful landscape, the Mediterranean coast, the fantastic routes, and the flair can compensate for the limited amount of hard routes and I guess this was not my last time in Finale.
Thanks for these nice days, Marie, Flo, Jan-Erik, Eva, Alex, and Flo – I really enjoyed it …