A slightly belated return

And so, here i am again sat in North Wales, in the rain. Firstly apologies for the lateness of the returning post; coming home has seemed to have left a lot of work, namely cleaning up, sorting out the leaking roof in the house, and generally getting out around Wales again! Since i’ve been back, i’ve somehow managed to cram in canoeing, road cycling, sport climbing and of course, bouldering. Not bad with an injured shoulder…

The last (substantial) message i sent you was being posted from a small tent at the head of the valley, after connecting my phone to my laptop: something that made my day, considering the weather! It managed to rain for the next four days, giving us little enthusiasm, and little to do. We managed to get into  routine involving late starts, lunchtime-breakfasts and eventually heading into the nearest decent village known as Tione. Here we witnessed our first wonders of Italian ice cream and attempting to order coffee in Italy (see the trip report that WILL appear at some point…). After a brief foray into the local library (the following day: we were too late on the Tuesday) we discovered that there was indeed a local climbing shop in a nearby town called Sarche. From there, we soon discovered the famous destination from Arco was just down the road, suffered much less from the weather, and had some excellent limestone bouldering!

However, by this time, Arco was about an hour away from home. Still, it was worth it for the prospect of dry rock! So after our now-typical late start, we piled into the car and make the trek to Arco… only to find it was wet there too. Nevertheless we did find that it is the most splendid of climbing towns, reminding me very much of home, and we enjoyed more success ordering coffee and food, before heading off in search of open shops and a swimming pool, as by this time, now Wednesday i think, we were beginning to honk just a little.

However, after a short time, we found that it had stopped raining, and that the limestone was now dry, so we bought a local guide for a mere 6€ and actually started to climb! While the rock wasn’t amazing, and not a venue i would gladly go back to (for bouldering anyway, the sport climbing looked amazing) it was a welcome change from being sat in our sodden tent doing sod all!

Then, at long last, after three long days of wet weather at camp, we awoke to the most glorious weather you could hope for, as illustrated by Stu here! Our first day, inevitably, involved us playing around the site, although that story may have to wait for another day. Some 500 photos were taken by me, not to mention those by my comrades-in-arms, so there’ll be plenty of updates on this one, and the trip report should appear hopefully sometime soon. Keep checking back to hear more from our Italian Job.

On a separate note, i’m probably going to change the format for the site slightly, in the near future. The original idea of my blog was to give people information on different bouldering venues around Europe, and hopefully eventually the world, so please don’t be surprised if you click to find out it’s all a bit different! That being said, the speed i’m getting through putting the trip report together, it might not be that soon…

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