The Alps have a special place in my heart. I cannot go more than a few years without visiting.
As a belated honeymoon, Andrea and I are back in Europe for a short stint. On our last trip in 2012, we holed up in the village of Ausserfererra in Swiss Alps to climb at Magic Wood for a few weeks. This time, we thought we’d mix it up a bit and see what the other side of the ridge had to offer. So last week we flew into Zurich, rented a car, drove through a ridiculous amount of tunnels, passed into Italy, and made our way to Tuscany. I had hoped to boulder at an area called Monte Amiata, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Instead, we enjoyed the fabulous cuisine and vino like normal people. There are only so many three-course meals (which I guess is normal for Italy) one can eat before feeling the call of the mountains.
Our next stop was San Martino in Val Masino, Italy. This region is well known for the Melloblocco festival and is home to the “world’s biggest boulder”. It’s insanely beautiful. Pictures simply can’t do it justice. Climber owned coffee shops, affordable food, and plentiful lodging make this a climber’s paradise. There are high quality granite boulders everywhere; in the middle of the picturesque mountain villages, scattered about Alpine meadows, and in forested tree lines. The “Tarzan” area in Filorera was probably my favorite due to the concentration of high quality rock and lines. This time of year is a bit warm for hard bouldering due to the south facing nature of the valley, but the granite is very textured and it is certainly possible to climb up to 8a during the summer months.
Tomorrow we are heading across the Alps via the Splügen pass to finish off our trip, once again, in Magic Wood.