The Easter weekend is the perfect time for a short climbing trip. Spring temperatures promise ideal conditions, and the extended weekend allows for a bit more driving. We have selected four well-known but not less good areas for you that are ideal for short climbing vacations over Easter.
A contribution by Nora Scheel, Bächli Bergsport, and Natalie Bärtschi
Sport climbing in the final
The climbing Mecca around the idyllic town of Finalborgo offers thousands of routes on white limestone walls, in the midst of an unusually green vegetation. The potential of the compact, mostly with water holes overseen rock is almost inexhaustible. Accordingly, 50 years after the first climbing routes still regularly new sectors are developed. The number of areas is so large that recommendations are difficult. However, a must-visit is certainly a visit to the impressive "Grotta dell'Edera". Ten minutes' drive west of Finale, the Oltre Finale areas tend to offer a slightly steeper and more athletic climb. Here, among others, the climbing gardens in Val Pennavaire are highly recommended.
Almost as numerous as the routes are the accommodation and restaurant options in and around Finale. For those who like it, stay at "Camping Monte Cucco" below the eponymous, historic sector. For a long time a somewhat rundown free camping spot, it has been recently renovated and now offers the most important infrastructure and cleanliness. You can not miss "Café" and "Gelato" in the "Bar Centrale" and the pizza in the restaurant "Castello" - the latter is so popular that a reservation in advance is necessary.
The Grotta dell'Edera in Finale - a magical place
Sport climbing in Arco
For decades, climbing history has been written in Arco, be it the legendary Rockmaster or serious first ascents. However, the sports climbing Mecca on Lake Garda offers something for everyone, from beginners to professionals. If the classic areas such as Massone, Nago and La Gola are too slimmed down or overcrowded, you will find what you are looking for in one of the many new sectors.
On rest days, world-class bike trails are waiting to be ridden. If you like it more comfortable, you can of course simply relax by the lake and eat gelati. Directly at the harbor is the "Camping Al Porto" for those who like it uncomplicated. Also recommended are the apartments of "Casa Tortuga" in Torbole, just a few minutes walk from the lake. Climbing shops in Arco are almost as many as Gelaterias, with everything the climbing heart desires, and usually at unbeatable prices. And delicious food is known in Italy everywhere, as Arco is no exception.
Easy and difficult routes: Arco has it all
Bouldering in Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau is also a traditional area. The sandstone blocks in the woods around the small town of Fontainebleau have been bouldering since the last but one century - until recently, of course, without "crash pads". The bouldering style on the round, furrowed by water and wind blocks is unique. Unlike many other areas Fontainebleau also offers very beautiful lines in all levels of difficulty. Even for children there are special bouldering courses. The idyllic, rural villages of the region and the freshly baked "pain au chocolat" in the morning make the holiday mood perfect.
Fontainebleau is so big that area recommendations are difficult. The more well-known sectors such as Cul de Chien, Isatis, Bas-Cuvier or Éléphant offer very nice Boulders, but are usually also well-attended and partly worn. In many other areas But you are almost alone on the Easter days. The accommodation options are also numerous, be it at campings, B & B's or Air-B & B's. Since the area is very popular over the Easter days, an early reservation is worthwhile. If you are in a larger group, you will find a «Bivouac» site at the «Les Prés» campsite near Grez-sur-Loing, where a large space can be rented relatively cheaply.
With the Topoguides of Fontainebleau, you have to be aware that there is none that covers everything. The selection in the difficulty-divided "5 + 6" or "7 + 8" seems to us good, but also "Bleau à Bloc" of the local Jacky Goddoffe often meets.
One of the most famous one-move boulder in Fontainebleau
Bouldering in the Val di Mello
If you want to enjoy the benefits of Italy without being stuck in a traffic jam on the Gotthard, you will not be disappointed in the Val di Mello. Actually, the Val di Mello is just a small side valley of the much larger Val Masino, which thanks to the annual Melloblocco is a term for most climbers. At best Granit here all at their expense, be it during sport climbing, on multi-pitches or just bouldering.
Countless lines across 30 sectors are spread throughout the valley. Many boulder blocks are open on the meadow with an ideal jumping off area and plenty of space for families with children. On sunny days, the Val di Bagni is a good option, as most blocks are in dense forest and are in full shade throughout the day. If it gets warmer, the crystal clear river is not far away.
Good and cheap it lives on the camping "Lo Scoiattolo" in Val di Bagni or "Ground Jack" directly in the idyllic Val di Mello. If you want to treat yourself to more comfort, then the "Albergo Genzianella" is the right place for you. Both the morning espresso and the after-work beer are recommended in the "Bar Monica" in San Martino. Opposite in the "Pizzeria Fiorelli" there's good pizza. The various small village shops in San Martino with their regional specialties are also worth a visit.
Guide sport climbing and multi-pitches:
Green meadows, large blocks - this is the Val di Mello
Finally, a small request
The presented areas are all very well visited spots. It is therefore all the more important that, as climbers, we observe local rules and respect the local population. Find out about it in the climbing guidebooks or on site in the climbing shops.
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Credits: Cover picture David Tomlinson