At Tokyo 2020 sport climbing made its debut as an Olympic discipline, with 20 athletes from all over the world demonstrating the spectacular nature of this sport. Up to that moment it had been mostly a great passion of mountain sportsmen. In addition to the Olympic challenges that made climbing known to everyone, much of the wonder comes from the natural environment of the climbing walls. Those that love climbing can test themselves by challenging the most spectacular mountains.
A vertical thrill and a unique perspective that mountains give to those climb them using only their mental and physical skills.
Facing the challenge requires strength, agility, balance and concentration. Knowledge of climbing techniques is required – it’s not exactly a type of sport you can just take a shot at!
The Olympic discipline differs from the so-called “traditional climbing” and from free climbing. Traditional climbing is the technique used before the affirmation of sport climbing. It is practiced only in nature and does not make use of the artificial holds applied to the walls for sport climbing. On the oher hand, free climbers use only their own body, without the aid of ropes, carabiners and harness.
In addition to bouldering courses – a form of climbing that is performed on small rocks or artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses – it is possible to experience spectacular climbing introductory classes led by instructors. It is important to choose the right places and courses to approach the mountain in such a vertical direction!
Some examples for practicing climbing in Italy
In Italy, free climbing has a long history and a deeply rooted culture, and there are numerous areas with climbing walls of great charm and attraction for enthusiasts from all over the world. Here are some of the three most spectacular, certainly leaving out many deserving areas.
Climbing in Liguria: from Cinque Terre to Finale Ligure.
Liguria is particularly loved for its arched shape made of white limestone mountains facing the sea. In Finale, in western Liguria, climbing walls are of different levels of difficulty and the local community of climbers is very active with events and festivals. There are numerous guided experiences on offer, even for beginners.
Beyond Finale there are many climbing routes equipped with bolts and pitons, which make climbing safer and more accessible even for beginners. The natural beauty of the cliffs overlooking the sea is unparalleled.
To the east, on the other hand, you can be suspended over a breathtaking panorama between the spectacle of Portovenere and the Cinque Terre, on the white walls of Muzzerone. This is also a well-known climbing school wall, where courses are also held for absolute beginners.
Lombardy: a great variety of challenges.
Lombardy is not just cliffs and walls: there are also many indoor climbing gyms with modern and welcoming facilities that offer enthusiasts the opportunity to train even during the winter or in case of bad weather. When the spirit of the real mountain calls, Lombardy becomes really fun.
Near Sondrio, between Val di Mello – with spectacular granite walls surrounded by lush nature and natural waterfalls – and Valle di San Martino – with the highest walls in the region – the climbing routes offer a great variety of challenges. Among all, the Via Cassin on Piz Badile and the Campanile Basso stand out.
From the heights of the Lecco area you can enjoy the most suggestive views of Lake Lecco and Como. One of the most famous mountains in the area is that of the Resegone, and one of the most suggestive routes for Italian climbers is the Bonatti route. The route was opened in 1953 by the famous mountaineer and photographer Walter Bonatti together with other climbing partners, and was a real milestone in Italian climbing. It follows the southeast ridge of the Resegone, starting from the Rifugio Azzoni at about 1,200 meters and reaching the summit of the Resegone at 1,875 metres.
In Trentino, among the majestic Alps
Enthusiasts certainly cannot miss the destination of Trentino and its Alps, which offer routes with the most daring and certainly spectacular challenges in Italy and the world.
You can start from Arco, a town located at the foot of the mountains, which offers a wide choice of climbing routes on limestone and dolomite. Here, climbers can find a wide range of challenges, from sport climbing routes to trad climbing routes. Another popular area for climbing in Trentino-Alto Adige is the Fassa valley, located in the heart of the Dolomites. Here, climbers can find vertical limestone and dolomite walls offering some of the most spectacular and technical climbing routes in the country.
The Sella area, also located in the Dolomites, is another popular area for climbing in Trentino-Alto Adige. Here, climbers can find some of the most challenging climbing routes in Italy, with vertical walls and climbs that require great physical and mental strength.
For those looking for a quieter area, the Ledro area, located close to Lake Garda, offers some less demanding, but still spectacular, limestone walls with stunning views over the valley and lake.
Sardinia, a spectacular coast for climbing.
Sardinia is a relatively new climbing destination, but it is becoming increasingly popular with enthusiasts. The coast of Sardinia offers some of the most spectacular walls for climbing, with breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding nature.
One of the most famous climbing areas in Sardinia is the Cala Gonone area, on the east coast of the island. Here are some of the most spectacular cliffs in Italy, with demanding and technical climbing routes that require great physical and mental strength. The area of outstanding natural beauty offers crystal clear sea waters and caves which you can explore during breaks from climbing.
In the area of Isili, located in the hinterland of the island, there are some granite walls with traditional climbing routes that require great skills and endurance. The climbing overlooks glacial valleys and breathtaking landscapes which make the activity even more special.
For those looking for a quieter area to climb, the Domusnovas area is ideal. Here are some of the most accessible and least demanding climbing routes in Sardinia, with limestone walls and panoramic views of the surrounding nature.
Climbing on the Path of the Gods
The Path of the Gods is a path on the Amalfi Coast that runs between Agerola and Sorrento and which – in recent years – has become famous as one of the most evocative paths in Italy. Even the name has a legendary appeal, and refers to the belief that the gods met right here to save Odysseus from the call of the sirens. Immersed in the Mediterranean scrub and in the vineyards, it unfolds along the ridge of the Lattari mountains which offer a wonderful view of the sea and the island of Capri. It is from these heights that is possible to practice climbs full of views and natural beauty.