A message from Will, fresh back from Leonidio, prompted a further exploration of the crags further up the Valgrisenche. He and a Cham team were planning a foray through the MB tunnel to visit La Mecca and did we want to meet up? We overcame our doubts (1630m when the forecast was for cooling temps) on the strength of local knowledge, reinforced by the guidebook recommendation: “the favourable microclimate and good sun exposure make it possible to climb here even on colder days”
Half way to the crag we got the real-time update:
I wonder when GB plates last made up 75% of the parking here…
Anyway, it’s an absolutely glorious spot
… and sure enough it’s T-shirt weather on the crag:
There’s only 17 routes on the crag, but with a grade spread from 5c to 8a there’s a day’s worth for anyone.
Here’s Will on one of the tricky routes…
… and Helen on Syntax
… with a Swiss climber visible above on the crux of Lovelife, 6c (which has now jumped to the top of my “route of the trip” list.)
Even the heralded microclimate couldn’t cope with the sun going off the crag, so we made our exit around 3ish, to head up into the Grand Paradiso National Park for a shufty. Cogne is famed for its cascades in summer and the resulting ice-falls in winter.
There are also some attractive looking rock routes level with the Lillaz falls that keep the sun a surprisingly long time into the afternoon – more reasons to come back!