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Looking for recommendations near Arco, Barcelona, and Switzerland

Original Post
Ryan Dirks · · Washington, DC · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 5

My wife and I are planning a trip in early May, and would love to get some recommendations / beta on sport climbing near Arco, Barcelona, and central Switzerland.  We'd love to find a location with several moderate options (~4 - 5b) along with some harder routes as well (~6b+).  We will have a car in Arco and Switzerland but probably not in Barcelona (although we could rent one for the day if it is really helpful).  We'd love to hear advice on areas that are relatively convenient and in a beautiful setting, along with any other information you find to be useful.

We are also considering just climbing in one of those areas and hiring a guide for the day so we don't have to carry our gear, so any recommendations on that would be great too.

Thanks in advance!

Mark P. · · Luzern, Schweiz · Joined May 2013 · Points: 760

For Central Switzerland, there are a ton of options.

Hintisberg is beautiful and has an easier 5b/c route, 6 pitches, plus some harder stuff. 

If you want to go cragging, Melchsee-Frutt has a ton of climbs of all difficulties and very easy access. Also a beautiful spot. This would be my recommendation. As it has everything from 3 to 7+.

Other cragging options include Ibergeregg, Lungern, or Eppenberg.

Climbing in Switzerland is pretty easy to find, and everything is bolted more or less.

Happy to answer any other questions or point you to beta for specific areas as MP is pretty sparse on Swiss climbing. 

pierref · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Hi, val di ledro is a 15 mn drive from Arco, perfect for moderate multipitches. Arco is one of the best place i know for both climbing, and wine testing. Val di ledro is peacefull, Arco more crowdy and noisy. No problem in May except some rainy days. There is a large campground in Arco and a an other in Dro (a feW km north) and a plenty of AirBnB. All the area is fairly bolted

Switzerland in may, why not but areas such as Grimsel pass couls be still snowl covered and mastering granit slab climbing is mandatory (generally multipitches). The bolting may be scarce on some routes and some gear is can be usefull (single rack). Wine is expensive !

I have been climbing in Montserrat near (50 km) from Barcelona. I do not like the place and the rock. In Catalunya, i use to go in the east part (terradets, villanova, ...2 hrs drive from Barcelona) but the grades are generally over 5c. The bolting is good, better than the wine
Ryan Dirks · · Washington, DC · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 5

Thanks for the feedback!  We will probably only climb 1-2 days, most likely in Arco.  Any specific areas to recommend?  We're looking primarily for cragging / single pitch.

pierref · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

I have used this web site for cragging. Arco area is quite narrow and you can move from an area to an other with a short drive. You can also rent a bike (very popular in Arco, it's quite flat ) and avoid parking issues
The guidebooks from Heinz Grill and Diego Filippi deal with multipitches
TJ B · · Lakewood · Joined May 2012 · Points: 26

Got this from a MP’er. Full guide book/Topo for melchee-frutt. Tons of routes. Looks perfect.​​​

Ryan Dirks · · Washington, DC · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 5

Thanks for the link; that looks great.  Unfortunately that's a 3 hour drive for us since some of the more direct routes are closed for winter.  We are staying near Chur, so if there is any sport climbing nearby I'd love to hear it.

Overall it looks like Arco will be the best fit, for our schedule and weather.

Mark P. · · Luzern, Schweiz · Joined May 2013 · Points: 760

Haldenstein is right outside Chur and has lots of routes from 4 up to 7, bulk in the 5s and 6s. Other option would be Seehorn in Davos, which has multipitch but is easier. 

J. Timothy Waring · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 0

I lived in Barcelona for a while and would regularly take the train from the city center out to Montserrat, take the tram up and hike above the monastery to the climbing. There is a large active Monastery up there with Trails leading to multi pitch bolted climbs. The spires are conglomerate, but have well bolted 5 to 6 pitch moderate routes. I loved going up there especially when the chants from the monastery would echo through the Spires. Very magical and memorable!

CathyO · · Catalonia · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

For Barcelona, climb at Montserrat. It by far the closest to the city and is both beautiful and fascinating challenging climbing. It’s not easy to navigate the first time, hiring a guide to take you up one of the multi-pitch routes would be good value. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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