Climbing in Ticino 2019

Ari and I headed off to Ticino for a long weekend. The plan had been to go to Tannheimer Tal to climb but since the weather forecast there looked awful we found a plan B. Unfortunately we got stuck in traffic on the way down and didn’t arrive until later in the afternoon. The weather was great. It was like stepping into summer again. We had a nice little Air BnB room from a very friendly couple. It was located near Ponte Brolla where I’ve climbed a few times now.

After unpacking we went for a walk in the hills. We didn’t have so much time as it gets dark so early again now. In the evening we BBQed with the Air BnB couple. They went inside to eat and we used their nice stone table for our tasty meal of chicken, BBQed veggies and a long curly sausage (which we had been given by our hosts)

That was Thursday.

Ari checking out the routes (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)View from our Air BnB (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)

1) Ari and I escaped to Ticino for a long weekend. Originally we had planned to go to Tannheimer Tal but the weather forecast looked bad so we opted for some warmth in reliable Ticino. 2) We had a little Air BnB with some friendly hosts. It was just a bedroom and bathroom but we had a garden we could use and the hosts went away for the weekend and let us use their kitchen too. It wasn’t far away from Ponte Brolla just a few km.

Getting ready to BBQ (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)Ari eating (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)

1) We went for a short walk in the afternoon when we arrived as we had got there quite late due to stau. Our hosts invited us to BBQ with them. We took up their offer and wrapped up some vegies in foil. 2) We had a yummy dinner.

On Friday we drove into the valley near Ponte Brolla and did a multipitch climb there. It was the typical grippy style of climbing. No real holds, just friction. We did another two pitch climb afterwards. The second pitch had a few real holds which was nice. It was a bit colder and grey during the day. I ran back to the Air BnB in the evening and met Ari there.

Ari climbing (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)

Above: We went climbing  up the valley from Ponte Brolla where we had had our climbing course in 2017. We did an easy multipitch followed by a short two pitch route. The climbing was the typical flat grippy style. I ran back through the hills to our Air BnB afterwards and met Ari there.

On Saturday we went up a different valley and walked up through the forest to some cliffs full of Germans. It was nice and warm again. We did a nice grippy multipitch which ended in a pitch with some real holds again. We drove to Locarno in the late afternoon and got an ice cream.

Us (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)View back down the valley (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)

Above left: It was warm and sunny again. We drove further up into the hills and then carried our climbing gear up into the forest to a crag buried in the woods. We did a nice multipitch route. It was grippy smeary rock again except for the last pitch which required a bit of strength and had larger holds. This turned out to be the most enjoyable pitch. We abseiled back down making the most of my double ropes and headed back through the forest.

Above right: We had a nice view down the valley from the crag and the sunshine prompted us to think of heading to Lago Maggiore at the bottom of the valley.

Ari at the lake again (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)

Above: After climbing we drove down to Locarno and got an icecream. We walked along the water front for a while and laughed at the high society that were apparently appalled at my bare feet.

On Sunday we did another multipitch, again near Ponte Brolla. It was a bit like gardening. We started late as usual and parked near the river. It was already lunch time so we ate down at the river and lazed there for a bit. After a while we managed to motivate ourselves to walk up the hill a bit to the bottom of the climbs. We started on the far left and I lead the first pitch. The anchor was somehow not really there so I used a pile of slings and created a scary anchor of dubiousness around a tree. It seemed like it would probably be ok so I radioed Ari to start climbing. She climbed up the slightly slanting rock (it was a bit like hiking) arriving at the anchor of dubiousness.

She agreed to lead the next pitch and set off through the grass arriving again at some rock. The pitch was nice with some real holds. I lead the following pitch up to an abseil ring and we decided to call it a day from there. The final pitch looked a little like a loose rock fest.

We did some creative abseiling and then headed back down to the car for our quick drive home. This turned into a traffic jam nightmare and we arrived back in Lindau late in the night.

Cris is not so sure about his anchor (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)Ari belaying me (Climbing in Ticino Oct 2019)

1) We picked a slightly less used route from the guide. The anchor at the top of the first pitch seemed to be lost in action so I rigged up this abomination. It wasn’t steep though and the climbing wasn’t difficult and it seemed to hold ok. 2) Ari continued up through the garden and the anchors improved. We ended up bailing on the last pitch due to some very loose dubious looking rocks and the anchor being a single abseil ring.