On a cold autumn day, after the first snow has dusted the Maiella peaks, we tried to navigate through the roads beneath Palena, on the lookout for the crag Liscia Palazzo. After a couple of curves a gigantic rock face, more than 100m high, appeared through the cold fog. We looked in awe and, following the instructions we'd been given, realised that this was the crag we'd been looking for. Immersed in the red forest of the Majella National Park, Liscia Palazzo faced us with all its might. After a 15 minute walk we reached the base of the 24 beautiful routes and soon discovered that the "Smooth one" hosts a fantastic 5 pitch route up vertical, mid-grade terrain. Unfortunately the rain then set in and we realised that climbing was out of the question. This time round!
The crag was discovered by Rinaldo Le Donne with his friends Emilio and Cristiano who bolted all the existing routes. There is still plenty of potential for new routes at Liscia Palazzo and the crag is definitely worth a visit for the beautiful climbing on offer and the fascinating surroundings.
From Roccaraso, before reaching the village of Palena, turn right and follow the signs for Torricella Peligna. Continue for about 5 kilometres until the big cliff springs into view. At the big leftwards bend turn off right onto thesmall road (open crossbar). Follow this narrow road for about 800m until the white abandoned building and park the car. To reach the crag walk towards it, climb over the electric fence used for the cows, follow the path to reach the forest and then follow the red circle markers (20 minutes).
Liscia Palazzo offersgreat yellow-grey pocketed vertical and slabby limestone. The climbing is technical and requires finger-strength. The routes in the cracks and corners should not be underestimated.
If visiting the area, don't miss out on two other great crags, Pizzoferrato and Pennadomo.
Abruzzo verticale, 40 cragas and 1400 routes in the Central Appennines by Tommaso Sciannello and Andrea Di Donato, Verdone Editore (2011)
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