Lake Como is only 25 miles north of Milan and is situated in the pre-alpine zone, which offers some fantastic scenery. The majority of the rock climbing is situated on the east side of the lake around Lecco, with many buttresses overlooking the lake or situated in the peaks of the Grigne massif that rise spectacularly from the lake. All of the climbing here is on white, compact limestone.
There is a great diversity of rock climbing to be found around Lake Como, with many single pitch sport routes through to long multi-pitch routes up to 500m long that require a mountaineering approach. However there are many bolted multi-pitch sports routes between 100m to 300m long, and it is possible to be sport climbing at altitudes of over 1,700m. This area is huge with 100’s of crags and literally many 1000’s of routes.
The above picture shows Lecco in the foreground, with the limestone peaks behind that offer the good quality sport climbing to be found at Lake Como.
To the north of Lake Como is some of the best bouldering in northern Italy at places such as Val di Mello and Cimaganda.
Val Di Mello is located in a high alpine valley, which is also called “Little Yosemite”. The bouldering is spread out for several kilometres along the bottom of this valley. There are many problems here across a wide range of grades on high quality granite rock.
Cimaganda is situated close to the border with Switzerland in an alpine meadow. There are plenty of problems from easy to Font 8a. The rock type is "gneiss", and the boulders along the riverbed are smooth and frictionless, while those in the meadows are course and have excellent friction. The best time to boulder at both of these areas is from late spring to early autumn as they are both relatively high at an altitude of over 1,000m.
The best time of the year to visit Lake Como to go rock climbing is from late march to June, and September to October. In the summer it gets very hot and in the winter it gets lots of rain and even snow. Ideally for the sport routes a 70m single rope is required, though a 60m rope will be fine for a good percentage of the routes. For the long mountaineering style multi-pitch routes twin 50m or 60m ropes are required.
There are 2 definitive climbing guidebooks that cover the rock climbing around Lake Como and Lecco. “Lario Rock Falesie” covers all the sport routes and bolted multi-pitch routes. It details 99 separate crags with 1,000’s of routes across a wide range of grades. “Lario Rock Pareti” covers the long multi-pitch routes up to 600m long. These are either fully trad (requiring nuts and cams) or a mixture of trad with some bolts, and therefore have a more mountaineering aspect to them.
The Schweiz Plaiser Sud guidebook also covers Lake Como as well as other areas in southern Switzerland and northern Italy.
Buy these guidebooks for Lake Como from our shop.
The Lario Rock Falesie guidebook describes the rock climbing and sport climbing around Lake Como and Lecco.
Buy this guidebook from our shop.