2017-04-12

Valle del Sarca, "Moonbears", 250m, 5c

It is a tradition among many climbers to travel to Arco in Italy around the Easter holidays. Tereza and gang introduced me to the idea last year and this time we joined as a family. Anita and Leonie spent a few nice days in Riva del Garda at the shores of the beautiful Lago di Garda while I spent two days scrambling up steep limestone, rejoining them in the evenings for proper Italian gelato and dinner.

The village of Arco is 100% dedicated to climbing.
Leave it to climbers to interpret a fence as just another obstacle to be scaled.
Label at the base of the route.

As a warm-up we chose a route called Moonbears. It starts by climbing over a fence of the local dam and then follows a series of corners for 250 meters and 9 pitches of easy and well protected climbing. Luigi and I made up the lead team while Tereza, Mark and his brother Laurence followed as second party. Weather was great and the climbing pure joy. Just difficult enough to be interesting but never truly challenging so it was pleasant cruise to the top. Of course Tereza didn't even bother putting on her climbing shoes and just floated up the route in approach shoes ;-)

The village of Sarche.
Luigi leading the way.
We even had a video conference in the middle of the wall ;-)

Luigi and I topped out after just over two hours of climbing and then hung around for another 1.5 hours waiting for the others to catch up. Just as well as we had a nice little outcrop with good views of the valley to spend the time on. I lay down and quickly dozed off - nights with an infant are short and you learn to catch up on sleep whenever and wherever you can...

My lead. Looking at the route from below I was afraid it would turn into a giant bushwhacking action. Luckily that turned out not to be the case - the line elegantly avoids all of the vegetation.
Cruising...
The final pitch.
Crazy climbers on the descent.
Nice trail on the way down.
Mark aid climbing a weird dam (?), avalanche barricade (?).