|By Dustin B |
Aug 19, 2012
This past May, my girlfriend Meredith and I went to Italy to enjoy some good food, culture, road biking and of course some climbing. Meredith had lived in Italy for a few seasons, and wanted to show me her old stomping grounds and check out some new places as well, lucky me.
After a few queries, we decided to go to Finale Ligure for a short week of climbing, Verona for a few days of culture, then to Corvara in the heart of the dolomites for some alpine fun. Sounds good.
We arrived in Finale very late on a wednesday night, the airlines having lost all my clothes and Mer's road cycle.
| || finale ligure |
Thursday we spent eating great seafood, gathering supplies and beta for climbing and fighting off severe jetlag (this was my first trip to mainland europe and my first experience with that funness)
| || Rockstore in finalborgo. Support these guys they do a lot for the local climbing. |
Finale has become a modern outdoor sport mecca. The local businesses have taken great measures to attract climbers, cavers and bikers here by developing and promoting their huge resource of great terrain, nice weather and charming town. Mr. Balbi who is associated with rockstore has developed many routes, sectors and miles of approach and freeride bike trails. Much respect.
| || finalborgo |
| || Pizza from Pizzeria LaBetulla in finale, best pizza in the world, Only 6 euros. |
| || Ruins near the crag |
We stayed for most days at Aggritourismo I Lamoi, an olive oil orchard just outside of town. Incredibly nice hosts, stellar views and a small crag on their property, 5 minutes walk from your room are a great example acceptance of outdoor tourism mindset that many locals have adapted, old style aggriculture meets new style outdoor travel.
| || Aggritourismo I Lamoi |
| || Ceramic nameplate |
| || Meredith leading at the i lamoi crag |
It rained most of the days we were there, but during brief windows we took our choice of some 3000 routes and visited the Monte Sordo, Parete Dimenticata and the Grotta dell'Edera. All were amazing, with well made approaches, superb limestone and excellent hardware. The local climbers seem to take pride in their routes, old school grades, sometimes heady bolt spacing and their resolve to not chip holds. More than once I lowered off a climb spouting "thats the best sports climb I've ever done..."
| || No boomboxes? |
| || Pitch 1 |
| || View from first belay |
| || Grotta dell'edera |
| || Mer didn't like the rope ladder, so... |
| || Meredith climbing 'infezione finalese',6a |
| || Busy day in the grotta |
Although the weather was a bit poor and I didn't get the arm burning, fingertip shredding, whipper sports-action long days I was hoping for, we had a blast, soaked in the local culture, met a nice swiss couple and explored the local castles. Finale Ligure is an amazing place that I hope to spend many of my remaining days.
The airlines eventually found and delivered our missing stuff, and we prepared to go sea cliff climbing and on to Verona.
Oh yeah, THE FOOD WAS GREAT!
(to be continued)