Friday, July 24, 2015

Rock climbing in Arco, Italy with a 6 year old

After a couple of years of training in our indoor climbing club, Blocks & Walls, it was finally time to take my 6 year old daughter Sofie sports climbing on real rock!
We went to Arco, Italy and stayed in a nice apartment in Camping Maroadi due to its fantastic location right on the shore of Lake Garda, which provided a great escape in the afternoon heat.
Playing on the beach of Camping Maroadi, Lake Garda.
It was very hot (32-35°C) the week we visited Arco and we thus scouted for West facing walls to climb in the shade in the mornings. The first three days we climbed at the sector Muro dell'asino which is located 15 min drive from the camping site followed by a 20 min walk on nice path with a great view of Arco, Lake Garda and the mountains.
View of Arco, Lake Garda and mountains from the ascent to sector Muro dell'asino.
The sector sports one of the best walls "Baby wood" for children I have ever seen with multiple grade 2 and 3 climbs on solid rock as well as some very nice grade 4, 5 and 6 routes for the parents on other walls. After top-roping a couple of 2c routes Sofie thus got the confidence to lead her first routes ever.
Sofie redpointing her first rock route (2c) ever!
Great jugs all the way up. A great place to learn to lead.
A proud Sofie at the anchor.
The last day at the sector Sofie even got the courage to onsight her first 3a route on Baby wall.
Sofie onsighting the route Cipresso (3a).
Sofie showing that she just led her first 3a route.
Next day we tried to escape the heat by going to the mountains and drove for +1 hour to sector Croz de le Niere. However, despite being 600 meters above Lake Garda it was almost too hot for climbing and the rock quality wasn't superior.
Our final two climbing days were spend at sector Corno di Bo', which sports big multi-pitch slab routes of grade 3a to 5a right on the shore of Lake Garda. This was really great as we could then go for a cooling swim between every route!
Sofie quickly learned how to climb slabs - something which is not really possible to learn on an indoor climbing wall. Here she climbs a 4b slab which was really great climbing if you like slabs (as I do)!
Some routes follow cracks, which makes them easier to climb. Here Sofie is following me to the anchor - the first time she tried this type of climbing.
Sofie at the anchor with daddy with a great view of Lake Garda. It was very tempting to continue the next three pitches to the top of the wall, but I thought that would be a bit too much for a 6 year old! We will be back!
The location of the sector right on the shore of Lake Garda is fantastic as we could go for cooling swims between climbing routes! Note the couple on the wall, which is the location where the previous photo was shot.
Lake Garda is also the location of several beautiful towns sporting great Italian food with lake views, such as the mini-harbour city Torbole next to Arco, which is worth a visit.
Sofie and Elvira enjoying the lake view in Torbole.