Originally headed for Swiss to meet up with the Ambers gang in the Winanni hut we (Sanne and myself) decided to change plans and head south. (judging from Dans pictures, a good decision ;-) )
We wanted a bit more warmth, which we got in Finale, a comfortable 21 through 28 degrees ;-) We camped at a very nice and hospitable campsite called Park Mara in the town of Borgio Verezzi. A nice two star campsite with proper facilities and a very friendly staff which make great Cappuccino's.
Our plan to go to Arco after a week went out the door when we saw the forecast. Having had rain only at night in Finale and the occasional drizzle during the day we decided to stay in Finale for two whole weeks. Which is very recommendable seeing as you got a lot of crags and to little time to visit them all.
The topo is a least 2 cm´s thick a has very recent routes, in the town of Finale Borgo it can be purchased at the rockstore located in the square (cannot be missed!)
The Finalese is an area where lots of crags are situated close to each other but a car is a definite must! The topo counts 29 crags which vary from 8 mtr single pitch to 240 mtr multipitch. Some are more inland some have a sea view and some are actually situated at the coast line where you can ´deep water solo´ a 1.5 km traverse.
One thing to mention: some crags don´t offer a lot of parking space, which is a real pain in the weekends because Italians are crazy about climbing. So think well about which crag you pick! On the drizzle and busy days we scouted for crags so not to waste time on the good days. The newest topo has fairly good maps in it, we actually found many crags on the first try.
In the Finalese the people are continually opening new routes so it is very wise to have the latest topo (we brought my 11 year old one, and completely missed a whole new area) also the Rockstore (who sponsor the majority of the routes) has the latest routes and areas not even in the topo.
So whats the rock like? Awesome! and painfull at times; very sharp, tons of grip and lot's of pockets. Even the very old routes weren't polished (a bit slippery at times maybe) but great to do in whatever grade you're comfortable with.
So what did our days look like?
Get up, have a nice breakfast
Drive to Finale Borgo to get our Foccasia bread for lunch (DAMN tasty!!)
Drive to the crag of the day
Drive to Finale Calice to get a real Italian ice-cream at the Gelateria Il Giardino dei Peccati
Do some grocery shopping
Play Carcassone ( a quick guess as to who won this round)
Which crags did we visit
Monto Sordo, a very nice crag shaded and out of the wind!
Rocca di Perti, only did one of the 300 routes but the one we did was a bit old and slippery and seeing as you got choice of climbing newer routes we went to another crag. (Oh and if the topo say's the road is in bad condition, it's an understatement!)
Bric Pianarella, very big only looked at it :-)
Tre Frati, the only crag which offers you a 360 panorama and a must to climb!!!!!!
Capo Noli, The sea cliff, very limited parking space but climbing at the sea cliff AN ABSOLUTE MUST!!!!!!! (don't go here in the weekends since it's very busy with locals) We really enjoyed climbing here we even got to do a deep water solo traverse which was very cool, we thought we headed to 5b pitch to get back to the road only we ended up in a 6b/6c route which was not on in the topo yet, we were very glad when we were back on the road!!!!
Yes we skipped a lot of crags but that's just because the ones we visited were very good and we will be back!
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