Benvenuto in Val Pennavaire

A number of factors conspired to see us leaving Germany and heading into Italy (dashing through Switzerland en route without a “Transit Stop” to avoid falling foul of any quarantine bother!) The weather crapped out across southern Germany and the Alps, and Val Pennavaire (a.k.a. Oltre Finale) had a good forecast and, happily, Italy is currently propping up the European Covid charts (ie somewhere near the bottom). The same considerations were also in play for Jake and Leah, who came to the same conclusion for their quick autumn sun rock blast. Viva Italia en famiglia!

Terminal is perhaps the premier sunny crag in the area,

and though we’ve visited a couple of times before, Jake was on a “5 Stars or nothing” mission for this, his first time in Oltre Finale.

It’s certainly no hardship to go again – striated walls, leering overhangs and striking tufas; something for everyone.

There’s a nice batch of 6as & bs towards the right – these climbers are on Fertilia and Oto Feni

Here’s Helen on Barajas, 6a

…and me riding the giant tufa of La Folle Speranza, 6c

and on another airport-themed route: JFK, 6b

A tiring day, especially in the full sun, but things soon cooled down as the sun set, and we were very glad of the chimineas at the bar in Coletta village, as we tucked into post-climb beer and nibbles.

Incidentally, if you are thinking of a visit you could do a lot worse than stay in this beautifully renovated village – a maze of apartments piled randomly atop one another, refurbished from a near-dead village and now a bustling boutique holiday experience.

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