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Torri di Fraele and the route La Scala del Cielo (5c, 160m, Eraldo Meraldi, Enrico Prinster 10/2013)
Photo by Eraldo Meraldi
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La Scala del Cielo, new rock climb up Torri di Fraele in Alta Valtellina

07.11.2013 by Eraldo Meraldi

Eraldo Meraldi introduces La Scala del Cielo (160m, 5c), a new rock climb established recently with Enrico Prinster at Torri di Fraele (Monte Scale, Valdidentro, Valtellina, Italy).

La Scala del Cielo is a pleasant, easy route up weathered rock that climbs compact slabs, corners and short walls. Set in a unique and impressive ambient, this route has been equipped and carefully cleaned and is ideal for beginners.


The ancient Fraele Towers, built in 1391 close to Passo delle Scale and located at 1930m altitude, were a strategic part of the fortification system built to defend the County of Bormio; armies invading the so-called "Via longa de Venusta" could be seen early from this outlook. This stretch of the road was also called "delle Scale", the ladders, as a series of wooden ladders were used to breach sections otherwise insurmountable.

Legend has it that during Sforza rule, the Towers of Fraele were the scene of the decisive battle between the County troops and the invading Tre Leghe Grigione that wanted to dominate the Alta Valtellina. The defense was fierce but nevertheless the Grigioni got the upper hand. The battle resulted in a a large number of casualties as soldiers, in the midst of the night, were tricked and fell to their deaths into the deep ravine.

The legend lingers on about that tragic event; fearful echoes resound throughout the night, screams and moans could be heard across the mountain. Even today, during moonlit nights, those who stop and listen hear the sounds of the ancient battle, the struggle, cries, noises of armor and weapons at battle. And as you wandering across these cliffs, you will find more peace and quiet than in most places...

TOPO: La Scala del Cielo, Monte Scale

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