Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roadtripping, rest days in Valle dell'Orco

After too many days with hard cracks, we were trashed. Fingers swollen and infected, a longer rest felt like a good idea.

When our friend Martin send a message about his trip to Valle dell'Orco, we decided to drive there as well. After all, it's just 200 km from Cadarese. He was going to try some of the hardest routes and I thought it would be fun to take some photos if nothing else.

For some reason, Valle dell'Orco felt very similar to Lofoten islands. A lot of cracks, most of the hardest ones on huge boulders or on shorter crags, just like in Lofoten.

There are some bigger walls as well. Sergent is about 200 meter high and Caporal, which has been compared to El Capitan in Yosemite, is about 150 meter high. Even though Caporal is not very high, for example Aerospike (A5) also has a bigwall grade VI.

However, Valle dell'Orco is not Yosemite. It's not Lofoten either. Maybe a European version of Lofoten; more polished and more bolts. But if you are in the area, it's definitely worth visiting. 

 On the road again...

 Most of the crags in Valle dell'Orco are at 1500 meters. While driving in the valley toward crags, the elevation rises from 500 m to 1500 m within a short distance, so the road is quite steep.

 And definitely not wide enough for a campervan... 

 Random village in Orco 

 Torrente Orco. It was +35 degrees when we arrived, so at first we ran into the river for a swim

 Most of the nice parking lots were tagged with “no camping” signs. This one didn't have any signs so we slept here for one night. 

 Nice place for a breakfast

 Parking under Sergent. A popular camping site is right on the other side of the road


 Fissure du panetton (6c+) is a very nice fingercrack on a huge boulder. FA by Patrick Edlinger 1982. This route has been bolted, chopped, rebolted, rechopped, rebolted and rechopped. The current state is without bolts.

 Caporal, a miniatyre of El Capitan 

 Piccolo Caporal, a crag with only aid routes, most being just a single pitch. That's weird... I thought single pitch aid climbing is just a silly Finnish phenomenom...

 Random crag 

 Looking for Greenspit 

 Lo Zeppelin

 Nice little crag with a steep face. Potential for new routes?

 Another crag seen while approaching to Greenspit 

Greenspit (8b)