The Aosta Valley runs for almost 100km from just north of our campsite (Camping Mombarone)
… up to Courmayeur and the Mont Blanc tunnel. There’s a tonne of rock (140 crags in the newish sports climbing guide) both in the main Valley and subsidiary ones which branch off either side. There’s also an autostrada running up the middle, which provides speedy access at the expense of a lot of noise and some ferocious tolls (especially towards the top where there are a lot of tunnels to pay for!)
We gritted our teeth toll-wise and headed up to Valgrisenche to check out some of the more popular high-level crags. Leveragne is one of the longest established areas and has a large tally of very accessible roadside routes, with a great outlook. Unfortunately (for us in October) it’s shady most of the day which isn’t great when you’re at 1,000m
A few km further up the side valley to Valgrisenche you arrive at La Ravoire; also incredibly convenient but with the added bonus of being in full sun most of the day.
1,100m and 8C but shirts-off climbing – don’t you love those rays!
We started off on the lower sector with Coccorico, 6a
Then did La Sei, 6a followed by Il Restauro, 5c.
We bumped into Josh (a mate of Will’s from Cham) and his friends, and they had some draws in perhaps the route of the crag: Fammi di Tutto, 6b. This is a very attractive crack line splitting the centre of the wall:
Tough for 6b, with good finger-locks disappearing into a final crimpy lunge, just as it steepens near the chain – I was chuffed to get it first go. Also covered the ground on Azza Zulu, 6c – the unlikely blank wall to the left succumbs courtesy of a series of drilled holes (elegantly positioned according to Josh – not quite big enough according to me!) You can see all three routes in the photo below:
When the sun goes behind the hill the temperature plummets and it’s time to rest those arms!