Val di Mello and Valmasino are located in a high alpine valley, where thousands of boulders litter the valley floor. These boulders are situated in lush alpine meadows and shaded woodlands and provide a good range of problems across all grades on beautiful granite rock. Val di Mello has quickly become a top European bouldering venue complete with its own annual festival, Mello Blocco, which is help every spring.
Generally the landings are very good, and the heights of the boulders are suitable for everyone, from perfectly amenable to definitely highball. It is possible to boulder in these extensive areas throughout the year, though for Valmasino the best time is from October through to April, and for Val di Mello the best time is March through to November. Being in a mountainous area, rain can occur at any time, though the boulders do dry quickly afterwards.
Val di Mello is often described as “Little Yosemite” due to its towering granite walls. These walls provide many single pitch sport routes and multi-pitch trad routes that are equally famous and popular as the bouldering. Find out more about rock climbing in Val di Mello… The climbing at Val de Mello is covered in the Solo Granite Volume 1 guidebook and Schweiz Plaiser Sud guidebook.
Situated in Valchiavenna close to the border with Switzerland are the bouldering areas of Cimaganda and Prestone. These bouldering areas are situated in alpine meadows including along the riverbed, and are very accessible from the road. Again there is a good range of problems from easy to Font 8a on gneiss rock. The boulders along the riverbed are smooth and frictionless, whilst those in the meadows are course and have excellent friction.
At an altitude of around 1000m, the best time of year to visit is from late spring to early autumn, with the boulders drying quickly after any rain.
Bouldering areas around Val di Mello, Valmasino and Cimaganda
|No||Crag||Total No of problems||Altitude||Best Time of year to visit|
|1||Prestone||77||1000m||October to May|
|2||Cimaganda||214||900m||March to November|
|3||Val Bodengo||86||1200m||April to October|
|4||San Cassiano||91||300m||October to April|
|5||Valmasino||645||900m||October to April|
|6||Val di Mello||366||1150m||March to November|
|7||Selvapiana||90||450m||October to March|
|8||Spriana||58||700m||October to April|
|9||Masso D'Arquino||15||500m||October to April|
There are currently 3 guidebooks available for these excellent bouldering areas. The I Bloc guidebook is the most comprehensive guidebook for Valmasino, Val di Mello and Cimaganda, though it still cannot be described as definitive. It also covers many others in northern Italy such as to the north of Trento, and around Torino. Alpen en Bloc 1 also covers Val di Mello along with other areas in the central Alps. The Mello Boulder guidebook only covers Valmasino and is the most comprehensive guidebook describing Val di Mello, Valle dei Bagni, and Piana del Remenno.All of these guidebooks can be bought from our shop.