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.

Lago Maggiore 2019

I spent a few days with Mum and Dad at Lago Maggiore. I arrived late on Monday after a FlixBus mission from Lindau to Bellinzona and bus to Locarno. Mum and Dad picked me up in the rental from there.

On Tuesday we went for a walk around the little town to the North of our holiday house along the lake. The town as named Cannero  and it was quite pretty. We swam in the lake and walked around the little streets. We then drove further along the lake to Cannobio and up a valley. We found a nice river and a church to look at. The sun came out a bit briefly before it returned to being grey.

View out from holiday house 2 (Lago Maggiore)

Above: We stayed in a home exchange house across the road from Lago Maggiore.

View of night sky 2 (Lago Maggiore)View across the lake (Lago Maggiore)

Above left: The weather was good and there were stars in the evenings.

Above right: We went for a walk down at the next town named Cannero a little way up the lake towards Switzerland. Dad and I went swimming in the lake. The water was warm.

A turtle in the lake (Lago Maggiore)

Above: We found this guy swimming around in the lake.

Mum and dad walking in Cannero (Lago Maggiore)Nice church up the river (Lago Maggiore)

Above left: The streets were narrow and picturesque.

Above right: We went for a walk up the valley from the town Cannobio and found this church.

On Wednesday we drove South to Intra and took a ferry to the B-something islands. We stopped at Isola Madre first although our ticket didn’t officially allow it. It seemed like a big tourist trap as we had to pay to enter the island. I was not impressed with this or the crowds but we found a spot on the island to have our picnic lunch and the crowds seemed to reduce a little and it was a bit better. We jumped back on the ferry and headed to Isola Superiore. This island had no entry free. It instead had quite a nice old town. It was teaming with tourists again but we found a spot to swim, walked around a bit and then got something to eat and drink at a restaurant at the edge of the lake.

Mum and dad on Isola Madre (Lago Maggiore)Another pheasant on Isola Madre (Lago Maggiore)Mum and Dad on Isola Superiore (Lago Maggiore)

Above left: We visited Isola Madre with the hordes of tourists.

Above middle: There was some exotic wild life on the island.

Above right: We continued onwards to Isola Superiore. The island was not private like Isola Madre. This meant we could wander around the old town and go for a swim in the warm water.

Narrow alleyway on Isola Superiore (Lago Maggiore)Mum and Dad living the high life on Isola Superiore (Lago Maggiore)A cat on Isola Superiore (Lago Maggiore)

Above left: The old town was quite interesting with lots of little alley ways.

Above middle: I got a bit hungry so we stopped at one of the restaurants and had something to eat.

Above right: More narrow streets with local wildlife.

View from the palace on Isola Bella

Above: More narrow streets with local wildlife.

The palace gardens on Isola BellaThe palace gardens on Isola BellaView across the lake on the boat ride back (Lago Maggiore)

Above left: The palace gardens were amazing and it was a very nice evening for walking around them.

Above middle: The gardens had all sorts of ornamental statues and interesting things to look at.

Above right: We took the boat back in the evening.

View across Lago Maggiore from the Air BnB

Above: Moon on the water of Lago Maggiore.

We didn’t leave for our third island until around 5 pm. It was named Isola Bella and was very pretty. The sun was lower in the sky now and all the cloud had gone. So had some of the people. We had paid huge sums of money for combination entry ticket to the first and third island although it wasn’t strictly necessary on the third island. It did mean we could enter the palace and gardens, which turned out to be very very nice, the gardens in particular.

On Thursday we went for a drive up the valley from Cannobio  and visited a small town named Falmenta. The valley would be great for road cycling. If I’m ever back there I’ll have to try it out. You could do a loop up the valley then back down into Switzerland to Locarno then back along the lake. I guess Leonie would like it too. We walked around the town a bit had lunch and then returned to our Air BnB.

I took the bus back to Lindau on Friday morning and Mum and Dad flew to Florence.

Nice river up the valley from Cannobio (Lago Maggiore)Mum checking out the old town in Falmenta (Lago Maggiore)

Above left: We drove up the valley from Cannobio and stopped to look at a deep river before visiting the old town of Falmenta.

Above right: Falmenta is built on the side of a hill and is full of the typical little narrow streets that you find in a European old town.

Skitouring Avers Day 4–Piz Surparé

The last day of ski touring for this trip. More great weather. We headed up the South facing slopes again with the grass poking through. The sun had melted the top lay of snow and it had frozen in the night creating a hard icy ascent. We headed up to a saddle and had a great view out to mountains in the distance. Then we skinned around and continued climbing. It was now pretty warm. We continued up and up and up until we had one last quite steep face to ascend. With kick turns we reached the summit ridge. We dropped our skis and climbed over the rocks up to the summit of Piz Surparé where we sat and admired the view in all directions. Then it was skis back on for a great descent all the way back down to Juf. That really was fun.

At a saddle (Ski touring Avers March 2019)

Above: We reached a saddle which in summer falls on a hiking trail.

At the summit (Ski touring Avers March 2019)

Above: There was a small easy scramble along the ridge to Piz Surparé.

Below all the photos from the trip including Day 4.