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Rock climbing guidebooks for Italy.
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Rock Climbing at Arco and in the Sarca Valley

Arco is situated within the Sarca Valley and offers something for everyone, from single pitch sports routes to long Dolomite style airy multi-pitch routes on the big walls of Monte Casale, Piccolo Dain and Monte Brento. The whole area is vast with many 1000's of routes to choose from at all grades on superb limestone rock. Situated just north of Lake Garda and only a couple of hours from the Dolomites it is possible to rock climb throughout most of the year and is easily accessible if wet in the mountains around the Dolomites. The rock climbing is definitely split into 2 distinct styles, which are:

  • Superb bolted sports routes on limestone rock, with vast majority being single pitch, though there are many 2-pitch and mult-pitch sports routes to be found.
  • Long, Dolomite style big wall routes on steep limestone rock up to 1,400m long, with many of the routes in the region of 200 to 600m long. These routes require a mountaineering approach and the placing of natural protection such as nuts and cams.

Map of the rock climbing areas around Arco

Map of the rock climbing areas around Arco

There are over 50 sports crags and 30 long multi-pitch crags in the area, with the main areas shown on the map opposite and described below:

  1. North of Sarche there are over 10 small crags offering single pitch routes mainly in the upper grades around 6c to 8a. The exception is the larger La Gola crag with over 120 routes at all grades. Many of these crags have recently been developed and are at a higher altitude than the more developed crags. This makes them less polished and cooler in the hot weather.
  2. Piccolo Dain at 967m offers big wall rock climbing up to 450m high, some of which are bolted.
  3. Monte Casale at 1,535m is the largest crag in the area, which offers true Dolomite style airy big wall multi-pitch routes up to 1,400m long. The routes here definitely require a mountaineering approach along with the placing of natural protection such as Cams and nuts.
  4. Around Pietramurata, there over 12 small crags offering single pitch routes mainly in the mid to upper grades around 6b to 8a. Again many of these crags have recently been developed and are at a higher altitude than the more developed crags. This makes them less polished and cooler in the hot weather. The exception is the extensively developed San Siro crag, with over 70 routes at all grades.
  5. Monte Brento at 1,535 also offers Dolomite style airy routes up to 1,300m long, with many of them between 800 to 1,000m. Along with traditional rock climbing there are also some pure aid routes through some impressive overhangs.
  6. The area between Arco and Dro has the greatest concentration of crags, being the area that was developed first. There are around 20 sports crags offering well over 500 routes, with the vast majority of them being single pitch. The main crag of the area is Massone with virtually 150 single pitch sports routes ranging from 4a to 8c. There are also around 10 crags offering multi-pitch routes up to 400m long, some of which are bolted.
  7. The area around Nago has 9 crags offering over 300 sports routes at all grades. The largest of these crags is near Nago itself.

There are 2 definitive rock climbing guidebooks covering the general Arco to Sarche area, both of which are described below and can be bought from our shop.

Sports climbing guidebook for ArcoThe "Arco Rock" guidebook covers all the bolted sports routes in and around the Arco area, which features 106 different crags. Each crag has a location map, and a good description giving a general overview of the area and type of rock climbing to be found there. All the climbs are described with clear topo diagrams.
This excellent guidebook for rock climbing and sports climbing for the Arco region is in English text. This guidebook has been re-printed in June 2010 and is available to buy from our shop.

The definitive guidebook for the classic and modern big wall multi-pitch rock climbing in the Sarche valley near ArcoThe "Sarca Walls" guidebook covers all the long multi-pitch rock climbing routes in the Arco to Sarche valley, detailing all the classic and modern routes. Included are all the crags at Piccolo Dain (with routes up to 450m long), Monte Brento (with many routes between 800m & 1,000m long) and Monte Casale (with routes up to 1,400m long).
At over 420 pages long the guidebook details 32 separate crags, with each crag having a good location map and excellent topo's for each route. Grades are either UIAA or French depending upon whether the route is bolted.
This excellent guidebook for big wall rock climbing in Arco is in English text and was published in May 2009 and is available to buy from our shop.

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Arco Logistics - All
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Arco Logistics, travel and accommodation

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Rock climbing photographs at Arco
Rock climbing photographs at Arco
Rock climbing photographs at Arco
Rock climbing photographs at Arco

Click on the image to view a larger photograph showing the excellent rock climbing and sports climbing to be found around Arco.