This summer I planned our holiday to Lake Como (Lecco) with the kids. The kids, on the other hand, planned a holiday to Lake Garda (Arco) with me. Jenna did her climbing course there two years ago and she got to like the place very much.
Besides, she wanted to buy new rock shoes in Vertical Spirit where we remembered there was great variety and friendly prices.
She picked a nice colour 5.10, she says they hold her even when she thinks she steps on air. (The colour wasn’t a dliberate choice though!!!)
So this is how it happened that we chose Arco as our first destination and somehow got stuck there!
Some say the rock is polished around Arco but if you are willing to drive a bit you can find really great places that are not so frequented as everyone stays near Arco. And the walk-ins are really short too!
Most of the great areas are north of Arco, around Ponte Arche. The first day we went to Molveno S. Antonio, which is just above a lake and has some neat little sports routes. Gabor fell in love with the first route he could see which was a funny 6a+ called 4×4. The funny part about it was that there were some extra holds (of rock) screwed on the rock! Even funnier is that Jenna never used them so I have really no idea why they had to be put on …
Croz de la Niere is another nice crag we visited North of Arco. Here we proved that it is not only the English who can be crazy enough to climb in the full noon sunshine. Needless to say we had the entire crag to ourselves!
Driving home the GPS took us to some really exposed, steep, extra narrow and winding forest road and we all agreed that driving there was scarier than any lead climbing the two had done that day! Indeed, my adrenaline level was the highest here during our entire holiday!!! And in the end it proved to be the wrong way so I had to turn around and do the whole thing downwards as well!
Massone is a large sports climbing area with many sectors very near to Arco so it was more frequented and also quite polished. But this didn’t stop Jenna from declaring it her favourite place as the routes were really great. We even met a Russian group so I could practice my Russian which I had to learn in school in the good old communist era, and also some Polish climbers! Ha-ha, the place was really “Polished”!!!
This Polish guy soloed up his way in a 5a route climbing like a cat to carry up the rope for his little boy. Unfortunately, the picture was taken only when he was already being lowered down.
One day, after a huge thunderstorm we visited Riva del Garda a really beautiful town in the Northern corner of lake Garda.
Another area we liked very much – and were totally alone at the crag was Spormaggiore. It was closer to Trento and we visited it on our way to the Dolomites so it is really the beginning of another story.