Val di Mello in danger
The campaign against proposed hydroelectric plants in Val di Mello (Italy).
One of the most beautiful valleys in the Alps, the Italian Val di Mello, is possibly at risk. Although no official plans have as yet been put forward, it seems highly likely that the state owned electricity company ENEL is considering constructing four hydroelectric plants and a new road in this hitherto untouched valley.
The implications of harnessing the magnificent waterfalls in the "Little Yosemite" are obviously enormous, and a campaign against the proposed plans has already been launched. This includes, amongst other actions, a grassroots petion.
To date the local website www.valdimello.it has collected over 3700 signatures against the proposed plans, and petitioners are simply asked to fill in their name, surname, age, address and email address.
Val di Mello holds a strong place in the history of rock climbing in Italy and Europe. Its granite walls and valley boulders were the scene of free climbing development during the late '70's and early '80's, and even today its multi-pitch trad routes and technical boulders remain a highly popular testing ground.
It recently hosted the highly successful international MelloBlocco bouldering meet, in which over 300 boulderers from Europe and America took part.
top: the uncontaminated Val di Mello
right: protest banners against the proposed hydroelectric plants
photos Claudio Piscina