Piedmont symbolizes Italian flair: Culinary delights, top wines, cultural diversity, an idyllic landscape and, with Turin, a world-class city. And the largest province of our southern neighbor in terms of area also offers a lot for climbing enthusiasts – after all, the north is home to large parts of the Alps. A highlight is the Ossola Valley.
A contribution by Fabian Reichle - Bächli Bergsport
If you look at our national map, an Italian wedge separates Valais from Ticino. This is the Ossola Valley, with Domodossola as its geographic and transport hub. Surrounded by Switzerland, the valley stretches all the way to Lake Maggiore with Verbania as the region's Mediterranean-style main artery. In the wild and natural region, Dolce Vita is not only defined by Italian joie de vivre, but for climbers above all by the sheer inexhaustible opportunities to get your hands on the very best rock.
From Lago Maggiore to the Simplon, from Monte Rosa to the side valleys of Devero, Formazza and Vigezzo, there are hundreds of developed routes here, some of which are sporty, some traditional, some alpine - the spectacular crack climbs should be mentioned here in particular, which can be found in large numbers around Domodossola.
In terms of difficulty, there should be something for (almost) everyone in the Ossola Valley. Most of the routes level off somewhere between 6a and 7a and thus serve the entire spectrum of ambitious Plaisir climbers, although there is of course enough to do for beginners and professionals. Hardly anyone will get in each other's way, the walls and crags are distributed remarkably homogeneously throughout the area.
It would be a bit presumptuous to describe the area as a sun room, as we know it from Ticino on the opposite side. You will also feel the onset of winter in the Ossola valley, but temperatures and precipitation are not at the level of many alpine counterparts in this country. In November, for example, the "heat" levels off between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius - but as we all know, cold rock means better grip. So let's go south! But where exactly in the highly acclaimed climbing El Dorado?
Friends of the vertical will find the best companion for a climbing trip in the northern tip of Piedmont in the book Ossola Rock. The three experienced climbers and mountain guides Fabrizio Manoni, Maurizio Pellizzon and Paolo Stoppini put a lot of detailed work into writing a top-class guide.
Clearly divided into areas and sectors, with many photos, maps and topos as well as useful, quickly accessible additional information such as suitability for beginners, rain safety or rush of visitors, the entire Ossola valley is illuminated here in all its facets. The German edition is available from Bächli Bergsport - for all those who want to feel the rock again before the onset of winter, want to plan the next season now or simply need a (climbing) break in Bella Italia.
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About Bächli mountain sports
Bächli mountain sports is the leading Swiss specialist shop for climbing, mountaineering, expeditions, hiking, ski touring and snowshoeing. At currently 13 locations in Switzerland, Bächli Bergsport offers its customers expert advice and high-quality service. Published on LACRUX Bächli mountain sports periodically exciting contributions to the topics climbing, bouldering and mountaineering.
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Credits: Text Bächli Bergsport, image Paolo Sartori