The Val Masino has a huge selection of boulders. The fact that the world-famous and legendary bouldering event Melloblocco took place here for almost 20 years speaks for the fantastic quality of the boulders. And since new lines are cleaned and opened up year after year, the guidebook also grows from edition to edition.

300 new boulders in just three years are on the one hand an indication that in the Val Masino many motivated developers are on the move. On the other hand, this progress shows how great the rock potential is in this beautiful valley. In the bouldering guide Melo Boulder from Versante Sud describes author Andrew Pavan over 2400 boulder problems.

“It's always amazing how new lines can still appear in already huge sectors like the Visido. The Campeggio sector, which had about 50 lines in the last edition, now has almost 200. And that applies to many other sectors.»

Andrea Pavan, author
Guide author Andrea Pavan climbs the Testpiece Bad Ass (8A). Image: Andrea Pavan
Author Andrea Pavan climbs the test piece Bad Ass (8A). Image: Andrea Pavan

Many paths lead to the bouldering paradise

The Val Masino is a wildly romantic valley in the Lombardy province of Sondrio, surrounded by 16 imposing 3000 m peaks that fascinate climbers and alpinists. But bouldering fans also get their money's worth here: in the Val Masino there are the finest blocks of granite of a size that is difficult to grasp.

Impressive granite walls characterize the landscape in Val Masino. Image: Photo by ANDREA D'AGOSTINO | Unsplash
Impressive granite walls characterize the landscape in Val Masino. Image: Photo by Andrea D'Agostino | Unsplash

The gateway to the Val Masino is the village of Ardenno. Those arriving from Milan first drive to Lecco and then continue in the direction of Colico. Coming from northern Europe, the bouldering Mecca can also be reached via the Splügen Pass or via the Inn Valley and the Bernina Pass. You can also get to Lombardy via the Reschenpass and the Stilfser Joch.

Overview of the bouldering area Val Masino. Graphic: Versante Sud
Overview of the bouldering area Val Masino. Graphic: Versante Sud

Melloblocco 2023

For the first time since 2017, the full-size Melloblocco will be held in Val Masina this year. From May 4th to 7th, the Val di Mello will once again become the epicenter for bouldering fans from all over the world. If you want to be there, you can register Melloblocco Sign in.

Audiovisual beta spoiler

Of the more than 2400 documented boulders in Val Masino, Mello Boulder not only provides color photos, drawn routes, short descriptions and overview sketches, but also the inspection as a video. Using QR codes in the bouldering guide, you can conveniently view the beta videos of 300 selected boulders on your smartphone.

"With the QR codes, the bouldering guide becomes a multimedia tool with which one can discover the right method for a specific line, the number of pads required or other information that even an exact photo cannot give."

Andrea Pavan, author

For every taste and level of difficulty

Needless to say, with the huge range of problems in Val Masino, just about every climber will find something to their taste. In the upper difficulty range, over 140 boulders between 8A and 8B+ are waiting to be climbed. On the other side of the scale there are three times as many challenges up to a maximum of 5C.

Video: Stefano Carnati climbs Drum'n'tano (8B+), the test piece in the valley

Mello Boulder: Bouldering in Val Masino

This book is aimed at all the colorful bouldering crowd: at everyone who wants to try the most difficult and famous lines, but even more at everyone who wants to have fun bouldering and enjoy the dreamlike ambience of this valley.

Mello Boulder Val Masino

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Credits: Cover photo Claudio Raboni