Who said that climbing is a purely summer sport? There is a heavenly place, between sky and water that allows you to practice this adrenaline-filled activity even in winter. Where? At Garda Trentino, of course, the undisputed home of this sport. Here, climbing in winter is not limited to indoor – you just have to choose the right crags and live the experience of this activity even in the cold season.
What are these crags? We asked our Outdoor Referent Angelo Seneci, a true guru on outdoor sports at Garda Trentino area. Angelo conveys to us from the very first words the emotion of this sport in a season that seems unsuitable for climbing. On the contrary, gives great satisfaction. “Imagine yourself in a T-shirt, on a white limestone wall flooded by the sun, immersed in the olive trees or the blue waters of the lake. This is an experience that in the middle of winter, when the cities are immersed in the fog, is even more magical. The clear winter skies and the contrast with the snow-covered peaks make winter climbing even more magical”.
The cliffs of the Outdoor Park, perfectly equipped and regularly controlled, offer an ideal playground for those who, having approached climbing in the urban indoor halls, want to get to know the magic of climbing on the chisel-side liestone from the millennia of GardaTrentino. Climbing is a safe activity, but it is dangerous if not practiced with the necessary equipment and safety techniques. If you are not an expert, get accompanied by one of the many guides of the Outdoor Park Garda-Trentino. What is certain is that, if all 15 crags – currently closed for work on the San Giovanni crag, check the openings before venturing – of the Outdoor Park can be visited in winter, some are better suited than others for their exposure to the sun, to be “dominated” in the cold season. Let’s see, with Angelo, what they are:
- Family San Martino. Among the last equipped in the context of the Outdoor Park project, it takes about twenty minutes to walk from the centre of Arco passing through the village, the little church and the olive grove of San Martino. The name Family identifies the cliffs which, due to their accessibility, the extremely low level of difficulty of the climbs, the very close protection anchors (the rings where the safety rope can be passed), can be frequented even by children. The name of the itineraries is aligned with the character of the cliff, in the lower part they recall the characters of the Ice Age, in the higher part the magical world of Harry Potter. The lower end is an easy sloping plaque with difficulties that do not exceed grade 4, where even the children can take their first steps into the vertical world. The high range is more suitable for those who already “chew” a bit of rock with difficulties between grade 4 c/ 6b. The southern exposure allows you to climb in ideal temperatures from 11 a.m. until the afternoon.
- Plaques of Baone. This south-facing limestone slide is a perfect giant mirror for winter sunbathing. The inclining wall is the ideal testing ground for those approaching the world of rock climbing. The large foot space, the equipped picnic area, the beautiful walk through the olive grove of Chiarano with the view that gradually opens up over the entire Alto Garda lake, make it an ideal destination for families. The routes never exceed grade 6a, above all they never require strength but are used to the search for balance on the feet. Remember that this cliff was the first in the world to allow even the disabled to climb. The table at the base of the wall shows the information and the map in braile.
- The pitches. The cliff of the Pitches is a real “balcony on Garda Trentino”. The approach is a little longer than usual – half an hour of steep path – but will be rewarded by the view that will open under your feet climbing the vertical wall. The level of difficulty, although not very high, requires a good climbing technique, the difficulties are between 5c and 7b. The south-east exposure makes it ideal for sunny days. The right sector offers interesting climbs on a slightly sloping wall where you can practice technique and balance on routes up to 5c. The names of the routes are there to remind us: precision, tiptoe, blackboard… The length of the approach as well as the space contained at the base do not make it a playground for families, but instead will delight those who love quiet and secluded cliffs.
- Belvedere of Nago. Here, the climber’s gaze can only be attracted by the white rocky band that stretches out towards Monte Creino on the right. Everyday the white limestone is punctuated by the coloured silhouettes of the climbers. Leave your car at the large car park near the roundabout and follow the signs to reach the base of the wall in 15 minutes. Here you can find climbs for all tastes from 3a to 7b+. An ideal set for spectacular photos with the blue mirror of the lake as a contrast to the white of the limestone. The cliff is exposed to the sun until late afternoon. If you are particularly unlucky and run into one of the few days of bad weather or if in the evening you are still not satiated in Garda Trentino there is no shortage of indoor rooms.
In Arco, at the new Arco Climbing in Via Capitelli at the “Segantini” Elementary School, you will find 300 square meters of rope climbing walls up to 12 mt high and 300 square meters of bouldering walls. Open every evening from 8pm to 11pm and all day on winter weekends. On Tuesdays and Thursdays also 12:30-15:30 and 18:30-23:00. Further north, in Pietramurata (Dro) there is Boulder City, a room entirely dedicated to bouldering.
These are the precious suggestions of a great expert such as Angelo Seneci, we have no choice but to “test” this information in person while enjoying one of the many sunny days. Here, there are many “winter friendly” crags for families, for beginners, for experts. There’s no doubt about it – Garda Trentino really is a climbing paradise!