Valle del Orco new climbs by British team
British climbers Tom Randall, Pete Whittaker and Adam Bailes have established a series of new routes in one of Europe's premier granite rock climbing areas, the Valle dell'Orco in northern Italy.
In 2009 a strong British team of climbers headed by Tom Randall visited Italy's Orco Valley and came away with a series of first ascents and, above all, the conviction that they'd be back. Well, they weren't wrong because this autumn they returned and once again established a three new multi-pitch trad routes, plus four other single pitches on a new crag, all listed below. As usual, what is staggering is the vast potential of lines still to be climbed.
- End of the Flare E5 6b (7a+)
- Nocturnal Nightmare E4 6a (6c/+)
- Fat Tony E6 6b (7c)
Four new routes at the new crag we opened on the other side of the river from the picnic area just above Fornolosa. The headwall is absolutely superb and offers some good little crack lines. The bottom sections of the routes all still need a little cleaning and there is a bit of loose rock which will eventually get better. Most routes are 30-35m long.
Grade: E4 6b (7a)
FA: Pete Whittaker
Climb the fist cracks on the lefthand side of the crag. The roof section on the fist cracks proves to be quite tricky!
The Last Totter of David Iliffe
Grade E4 6a (6c+)
FA: Tom Randall
Climb the fist crack and lower wall to a good rest in the mid-height break. Take a deep breathe and attack the steep headwall and crack above. Pumpy!
Grade: E5 6b (7a+/b)
FA: Tom Randall
Follow the Last Totter of David Iliffe to the headwall. Once at the headwall strike out rightwards to follow the eye-catching double finger cracks. Very pumpy to place gear and a puzzling set of finishing moves.
Grade: E6 6b (7b)
FA: Adam Bailes
Make balancy and difficult to protect moves up the very thin finger crack at the start. At the first overhang make difficult moves rightwards to gain a line of crimps that lead through the overhang. Careful continue to the break above as the protection gets further and further away... At the break finish relatively easily up the hand crack above.