Climbing Claudia 22, Parete Pezol, Arco

On our last day of climbing at Arco we headed into Parete Pezol with the rest of the group from the International Mountaineering Group section of the Munich branch of the German Alpine Club. It was a relatively recently bolted route which meant that it wasn’t very polished, but being limestone meant that it was quite likely there would be some loose rock. The walk in was really great with hardly any distance or ascent, and immediately with fantastic views over Lake Garda. We decided to climb Claudia 22 which was a 10 pitch UIAA 5+. The route was really fantastic with mostly pretty good climbing and sound enough rock, the highlight for me was the combination of the climbing with the wonderful position over the valley looking down Lake Garda. It was a shame that there was a single Italian team behind us, which did not want to give us much space on the belay and added unnecessary stress to the day. We arrived at the top shortly after the others in the group, where we enjoyed lunch before making the short descent back to the car and a. Read the full article…

Ferrata Dell’Amiczia, Lake Garda

With sore toes after our previous day in the Val di Ledro we decided to head for the scenic Ferrata Dell’Amiczia above Lake Garda. The walk in was fairly interesting with an old castle near the start and then ever changing views out over Lake Garda as we climbed higher. It was fairly hot and sticky on the walk in, so we were definitely glad to be early, especially as we passed a group of about 20 people at a hut on the way up who later headed up the via ferrata. The route itself was enjoyable due to the positions and the views out over Lake Garda, but as an actual via ferrata route it was nothing to rave about as it was all either easy Ferrata or long ladders, but we did know that before we set off. Our way up the route was lovely with no one in front of us slowing us down, nor anyone behind us making us rush. As we got to the top of the route we had to briefly wait for a team in front but this was only for the last. Read the full article…

Climbing Babilonia and Plasir, Val di Ledro

Having not climbed for a while we decided to head back to the wonderful Val di Ledro, having previously had a wonderful day climbing there. This time we started up Babilonia which was a lovely route which looked out over Lake Garda, had interesting climbing and was really well bolted. The climb was four pitches and went pretty quickly, so after enjoying lunch at the top we decided to head back down to climb Plasir. This route also had brilliant climbing on it, however it was definitely not well protected (despite also being S1 in our guide) and I certainly regretted my lack of cams to aid the protection. The second pitch was proper slab pitch which certainly required trust of the feet and the final pitch has some wildly runout sections, initially up a crack and then some exposed face climbing at the top. After the second climb we made our way back to the car having climbed 7 pitches in time to enjoy a cold drink and some ice cream in Arco. Both of the route were quiet with no other teams and no polish to speak of. Read the full article…

Hamburg

Having visited Hamburg last year we were keen to return to eat more fish and see a concert in the Elbphilharmonie. I also had unfinished business with a certain classic photo of Hamburg which I hadn’t been able to get last time due to the energy saving measures imposed at the time, meaning that the even lights in Hamburg were not on at the time. The trip was wonderful with plenty of good food and we still had lots to see. The concert in the Elbphilharmonie was great, however unfortunately I was still unable to get “the photo” that I was after due to building works. Oh well, we will just have to visit again. Nightscapes Normally getting nightscapes requires some form of effort, however in this case neither of my viewpoints did. The first was from our hotel room, so we simply walked back down to our room on the 11th floor from the cocktail bar on the 20th floor, where I hid behind a curtain and captured this wonderful scene looking over the Landungsbrücken, the Elbe and the Elbphilharmonie. The second viewpoint was from the Elbphilharmonie looking back. Read the full article…