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A panorama of the Val di Mello
Photo by Andrea Gaddi
Autumn colours in Val di Mello
Photo by Andrea Gaddi
Val di Mello
Photo by Andrea Gaddi
The upper section of Precipizio degli Asteroid, Val di Mello
Photo by Andrea Gaddi
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Rock climbing in Val di Mello


Luna Nascente, Mani di Fata, Oceano Irrazionale and Vedova Nera, four fantastic rock climbs in the beautiful Val di Mello, introduced by Andrea Gaddi.

A beautiful, uncontaminated valley extends in lower Valtellina in Northern Italy: Val di Mello. This authentic alpine oasis in the heart of the Central Alps was recently made a Nature Reserve, and it is well known worldwide as the temple of friction climbing, as here this is exactly what is needed to deal with the smooth slabs and sharp rock crystals which lead, more often than not, ever upwards and distant from the last piece of pro.

This article examines four extremely famous, must-do rock climbs in Val di Mello which guarantee unforgettable, vertical emotions. They are doubtlessly a small suggestion for your future climbs....

Luna Nascente
Luna Nascente can rightly be considered a true pearl of the Alps, an absolutely fantastic route in Val di Mello. A beautiful perfect series of cracks and flakes on fantastic rock which has few equals in the rest of Europe..

Mani di Fata
One of the most beautiful slab routes in the entire Val di Mello, even if the long run-outs put off numerous parties.

Oceano Irrazionale
Oceano Irrazionale was first route to introduce the grade VII in the Central Alps. Irrational Ocean is a fantastic line up long vertical cracks and a prodigious traverse right, la "Tromba", to reach the suspended pulpit. Certainly one of the most beautiful in Val di Mello and beyond!

Vedova Nera
Few words are needed to describe one of the most beautiful and feared routes in Val di Mello. For those who love friction climbing, the black widow is a highly prized rock climb. A true Vitali valley masterpiece.

How to get there
From Milan take the SS36 towards Sondrio-Tirano. At the village Ardenno (after Morbegno), head up into Val Masino. From here a typical mountain road leads in 15 minutes to San Martino, the starting point for all climbs in Val di Mello.

Numerous accommodation possibilities in Val di Mello, with two campsites (Sasso Remenno and Campeggio Ground Jack at the entrance to Val di Mello), various hotels (Hotel Miramonti, Genzianella, Centro Polifunzionale della Montagana) and also Bed & Breakfast Dolci (with shared kitchen). Within Val di Mello itself you can spend the night in Rifugio Rasega with its gracious, typical old climber's house.

Two 60m ropes. 10 quickdraws. Full trad rack. Hammer for the classic climbs.

Number of routes
Circa 300, from single pitches to long multi-pitch outings

Masino Bregaglia, Regno del granito, Volume II, by Andrea Gaddi. Polaris Ed. Sondrio. 2009.





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