Drinking red wine and enjoying the warm breeze overlooking the lights reflecting off Lake Garda, wait how did I get here? I was suppose to be in the Balkans. Well 24 hours prior to when we were set to leave Munich for Kosovo the carrier we booked, Adria airline, went bankrupt and canceled all flights, what luck. So we moved to a backup plan of a weekend climbing and doing via ferrata in the Arco area on Lake Garda. Was Italy a better destination? I’m not sure but I did find some of the best climbing Europe has to offer and can’t wait to go back.
We ended up packing into a condo in Bezzecca, approx 20min from Arco. From there amidst local sourced breakfasts we planned and executed a day of via ferrata, a day long multi-pitch climb and two days of sport climbing.
info: the crag
lat, long: 46.05004, 10.94831
guide book: Multi-pitch climbing in Arco – Rebecca Finch , Georg Hueber
I’m very proud to say we successfully executed another safe alpine adventure pushing my record multi-pitch climb from 4 pitches 90m to this climb 8 pitches and over 200m. In light of how serious these climbs have become my passion for them continues to grow. Every time we organize the gear, make the approach hike, and start up the wall its a learning experience.
Key Observation One:
While climbing in three is slower it reduces the mental strain by having someone to talk to at belay stations. The third can also help in rope management but this is negated a bit by the need for an additional line.
Key Observation Two:
Loose rock is dangerous shit. Its a real tragedy that easier multi-pitches routes tend to be on less vertical, looser terrain, and occupied by beginners who are not always concious of what they are knocking off the wall. Its unnerving when someone yells “ROCK!” and you have to duck into the wall to avoid flying objects.
difficulty: they have everything, I maxed out leading 5c and top roping 6a+
info: the crag
lat, long: 45.865328, 10.896377
guide book: Sport climbing in Arco – Matteo Pavana, Luca Onorevoli
Arco is a climbers paradise and Nago is one of the main sport climbing sub sections. It features hundreds of well bolted routes, several base areas, and difficulties for every skill level. Topping out on most routes features amazing views of the valley and Lake Garda below. With such challenges I look forward to going back after some months of training and seeing what else I can do.
Key Observation Three:
Limestone pocket crimps are the real deal, and I need to train fingers substantially more. On the harder routes there are long sections of tiny 1 to 3 finger crimps and you just simply have to make them work. Also I was surprised to find small rocks in many of the pockets that when you load your fingers on are very painful, yet somehow skin did not rip apart. I see a lot more fingerboard workouts in my future.
Arco trip was a blast and I feel really lucky to have such good climber friends. There is always a positive attitude in the air of teamwork and we all continue to push our own limits with the help from the group.