Arco Rocks

I got back this week-end from a nice week of rock climbing in Arco, Italy with Jeroen and Raimond. We stayed at Camping Arco, a really nice and fairly luxurious camping if you can manage to get a place there (they refuse reservations lasting less than 7 nights, or made less than two weeks in advance). The weather was perfect; in fact it was almost too warm for the time of year, and we skipped some of our planned activities because of that. Lessons learned for next year: go in April, and don’t climb south-facing walls in the middle of the day.

A couple of pictures, made by Jeroen or at least with his camera:Jeroen starting a tricky route, with Martin belayingRaimond ascending a klettersteig (via ferrata)Picture taken from above. Smile, but don't wave! Jeroen, with Arco in the backgroundBreakfast at the camping

Getting good photographs of the actual climbing is surprisingly tricky, as it turns out. When taking photos from below, you mostly get a lot of ass in the picture. Ideally, you want the photographer to be level with the climber, which generally means that he needs to climb another route first and then stay there while the ‘model’ is doing the climb next to him. Rather tricky to accomplish when there’s only three of you, and of course a lot of the time we were simply having too much fun climbing to think of getting out the camera!

Most of our time was spent doing single-pitch sports climbing on the many great rocks around Arco. (Tip: if you have a car, go to Croz de le Niere, just outside the village of Preore at a bit less than 40km from Arco — great climbing on rock which isn’t too “climbed out” yet, and not too crowded, at least on the day we were there.) We also did a 100m multi-pitch route at Baone, which got interesting when we missed a relais and had to do some improvisation in order to reach the next one, which was more than half the lenght of our 70m rope away.

Apart from sports climbing, we did a via ferrata, or klettersteig as it’s called in Austria and Germany. And of course we spent an afternoon sunbathing at Lake Garda, which is only about 5km from Arco.

Good restaurants in Arco: Pace and Alla Lega, both on the village’s main street, are excellent, and Al Fiume on the other side of the bridge is quite good also. We were less impressed with Cantina Marchetti, on a side street from the main square, although to be fair we went there on what may well be the busiest day of the year from them (the Friday of the Ascension Day week-end, when apparently every climber in Germany goes to Arco) so we probably didn’t get to experience them at their best.