tiistai 1. heinäkuuta 2014

Untouched rock wall at le Piazzole

Mika Huhtamaki

If you just want to see the photos then click here

https://maps.google.fi/maps?saddr=Arco,+TN,+Italia&daddr=45%C2%B0+55%27+41%22+N++10%C2%B0+51%27+48%22+E&hl=fi&ie=UTF8&ll=45.947092,10.905647&spn=0.165194,0.396538&sll=45.927692,10.875006&sspn=0.020657,0.049567&geocode=FaWmvAIdyBmmACmvNcRcVhGCRzGRnQM9NdrWvA%3BFXjOvAId5cKlAA&dirflg=w&mra=ls&t=m&z=12Quality of the rock is continuous subject of speculation for climbers. Over the recent years we have seen a lots of different quality rock in Italy, mostly in the Lake Garda and nearby valleys. Usually climbers have been commenting the rock quality of Arco in negative light. Mostly because they have been visiting only old, legendary and thus polished crags. Luckily that is not the whole truth, far from it. The best limestone we have ever climbed is in le Piazzole at Arco.

Imagine a limestone wall with excellent grip and without any chalk markings. All routes are waiting for climbers to explore the possible and impossible holds and steps. Essence of the rock climbing comes from the evaluation of an untouched rock face and finding the proper holds. This is what le Piazzole currently offers. On top of that all the routes are bolted extremely well and safely. Of course all the surroundings and belaying points were perfectly placed. Excellent work from the "Outdoor Park Garda Trentino" project, way to go.

The crag has total of 22 routes from grades 5c to 7b, half of the routes being 6a and b. With the current routes the crag offers a great playground for 6a - 7b grade climbers. Over the climbing day we tested several 6a and 6b routes, all were in a great shape. While our visit at the crag we noticed that  the project was still going on. Several ungraded project lines were waiting beyond the right side of the wall. So we may expect more excellent climbing coming up in following years.

Le Piazzole is an excellent example of the endless climbing opportunities of the Garda region. There is still lots of great walls and routes to be found. And when visiting at the area it pays to read the climbing maps and find alternative crags instead of the legendary walls. The only downside is a relative long approach and that the wall is facing south-east. Great crag, worthwhile to visit several times!

See all photos:
Arco, le Piazzole, 1.7.2014

Mika Huhtamaki / Author & Editor

Mika Huhtamäki is a part time amateur rock climber, mountain biker and a snowboarder from Finland who travels often in Italy.

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