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Grotta Caterina

By: Dino Sturman & Rocco Romano
Country: Italy, Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Town: Trieste (Trieste)

Located in the Karst limestone region of Trieste, Grotta Caterina is a beautiful little crag comprised of tufas and roofs offering powerful and technical climbing. Even if this is an excellent sport crag, the cave itself has a rather colourful history: in years gone past this was an ideal sport for partying and sheltered barbecues even in stormy winters, and even if this was strictly forbidden a few years ago, traces of these events are still visibile in the cave (broken glass littered on the floor for instance). Furthermore, in the '80's this cave was the training ground for cavers, while at a later stage, given its steepness, some routes were bolted which served as training for dry tooling, but unfortunatly some holds were broken by the ice axes.

It was Marco Giuffrida who brought this cave back to our attention, reminding us that the routes which at one time seemed unbreachable were in fact beautiful sports climbs and together with Rocco Romano, Dino Sturman and Lorenzo Slama a series of new routes were bolted. Furthermore, the floor all rubbish was cleared off the floor, the ivy was removed as was all the soot off the walls, rendering the cave pristine once again. At present there are 15 routes, all natural up to 8c including Klemen Becan's latest free ascent, while two more projects remain. Given the fragile nature of the rock and the numerous broken holds, we kindly ask everyone to refrain from dry tooling in this cave!


From Venice or Trieste reach the village Aurisina and continue to the train station. Drive past the hospital (Pineta del Carso), turn right and continue across the train tracks: circa 400m after these there is a CAI path located on the right between a couple of houses. Park in the small layby between the houses on the right. Continue on foot up the path, after 6 minute walk the cave springs to view on the right. NB. there is space for only 3 cars, if these are already taken park carefully along the road.

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