Croux, rock climbing in Valgrisenche, Italy
Luca Bastia introduces Croux, in Valgrisenche, the beautiful crag Valle d’Aosta, ideal for rock climbing on hot summer days.
Let me start by saying that Valgrisenche, in Valle d'Aosta, provides the highest concentration of sports crags in the region and this in itself might be a sufficient indication of the quality and quantity of its rock. But if you are looking for a classic crag along the lines of : "park the car, walk for thirty meters with flip flops and then sream my way up a project" then stop well before reaching Aosta as this has everything you want (and perhaps even more). But if you want to deal with a minimum approach (max 20 minutes), along a recent path, at times a little steep, past cairn markes, immersed in the wild nature; if you don't mind the base of the cliff that climbs up a steep gully (which is cleaned and prepared by generous route setters, but to be avoided in the presence of snow!); if not then you from the boredom of circling birds of prey, the view on the green and bucolic valley or sull'aspra Becca Verconey, the dazzling blue that stands between the wall and the looming emptiness, the sense of adventure and the sense of being in the few to enjoy everything, here you have found what you seek.
Croux is one of those crags that can be described as being in an alpine environment, but bolted like at a sports crag, with fix stainless Kinobi 10mm bolts put in just the right places (read nice and close) with belays and abseil carabiners. The rock is good, it may need a little cleaning here and there but that’s normal, the routes are fantastic and the difficulties, in my opinion, are such that this crag is ideally suited for mid-grade climbers. You’ll probably not find a project on which you’ll trash your skin, instead though you’ll enjoy the pleasure of climbing in a unique, pristine alpine environment: try it!
And if you love multi-pitches, the crag hosts some beautiful combinations of highly satisfying 3 or 4 pitch routes. And last but not least, there’s another gem nearby, the recently reequipped Giardino Sospeso, the Hanging Garden: just take 14 quickdraws, a 60m rope and the desire to got and explore the place in utter tranquility.
A final word: considering the type of crag (with a series of ledges on which chamois and ibex roam), we recommend for safety reasons that you wear a helmet and remain vigilant. In short, it’s a somewhat different and fascinating crag which, I’m certain, will be loved by many.
TOPO: the crag Croux