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The crack climb Colpo di Fulmine at Cadarese
Photo by Maurizio Oviglia
One of the most beautiful crack climbs at Cadarese: Maurizio Oviglia climbing Foglie Cadenti
Photo by archivio Maurizio Oviglia
Bor Levičnik, Signorina Fottemberg, 7a, Cadarese, Italy © Aleš Česen — with Aleš Česen and Bor Levičnik.
Photo by Aleš Česen
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Cadarese, the crack climbing paradise in Val d’Ossola, Italy

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The crag Cadarese in Val d’Ossola, Italy, often referred to as Cadda and without doubt one of the most important crack climbing destinations in Italy and Europe.

Cadarese in Val d’Ossola is one of the most famous crack climbing areas in Italy and throughout Europe. The smooth granite cliff has the highest density of cracks possible and all routes are of excellent quality, making the crag a popular destination for rock climbing courses, not only for Italian climbers, but also for those from Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria.

The crag is split into three tiers and while almost all routes follow smooth cracks, not all are trad climbs. After years of bitter controversy between those in favour of making it a cliff for sport climbing and those in favour of leaving the cracks untouched, a compromise was reached and nowadays some sectors are bolted while others are completely clean and therefore ideally suited for trad climbing. Crack Party is the most popular and accessible sector for trad climbing; the routes require protecting and only the belays are bolted. Due to the nature of the climbs, a double set of cams is highly recommended as just a single rack won’t suffice!

I wish to extend my gratitude to all those who worked hard at making Cadarese what it represents today in the Italian and international climbing scene. If foreign trad climbers make the effort to come and climb here, at this crag hidden in the folds of the Piedmont foothills, then there must be a good reason!

TOPO: the crag Cadarese, Val d'Ossola, Piedmont, Italy

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