Climbing at Arco and in the Sarca Valley
Arco is situated within the Sarca Valley
and offers something for everyone, from single pitch sport
routes to long Dolomite style airy multi-pitch routes on the
big walls of Monte Casale, Piccolo Dain and Monte Brento.
The whole area is vast with over 5,000 routes to choose
from at all grades on superb limestone rock. Situated just
north of Lake Garda and only a couple of hours from the Dolomites
it is possible to rock climb throughout most of the year and
is easily accessible if wet in the mountains around the Dolomites.
The rock climbing is definitely split into 2 distinct styles,
- Superb bolted sport routes on limestone
rock, with vast majority being single pitch, though there
are many 2-pitch and multi-pitch sport routes to be found.
- Long, Dolomite style big wall routes
on steep limestone rock up to 1,400m long, with many of
the routes in the region of 200 to 600m long. These routes
require a mountaineering approach and the placing of natural
protection such as nuts and cams.
There are over 130 sport crags and 30 long multi-pitch crags in the
area, with the main areas shown on the map opposite and described below:
- North of Sarche there are over 10 small crags offering single pitch routes
mainly in the upper grades around F6c to F8a. The exception
is the larger La Gola crag with over 120 routes at all
grades. Many of these crags have recently been developed
and are at a higher altitude than the more developed crags.
This makes them less polished and cooler in the hot weather.
Dain at 967m offers big wall rock climbing
up to 450m high, some of which are bolted.
Casale at 1,535m is the largest crag in
the area, which offers true Dolomite style airy big wall
multi-pitch routes up to 1,400m long. The routes here
definitely require a mountaineering approach along with
the placing of natural protection such as Cams and nuts.
- Around Pietramurata,
there over 12 small crags offering single pitch routes
mainly in the mid to upper grades around F6b to F8a. Again
many of these crags have recently been developed and are
at a higher altitude than the more developed crags. This
makes them less polished and cooler in the hot weather.
The exception is the extensively developed San Siro crag,
with over 70 routes at all grades.
Brento at 1,535 also offers Dolomite style
airy routes up to 1,300m long, with many of them between
800 to 1,000m. Along with traditional rock climbing there
are also some pure aid routes through various impressive
- The area between Arco and Dro has the greatest concentration of crags, being
the area that was developed first. There are around 20
sport crags offering well over 500 routes, with the vast
majority of them being single pitch. The main crag of
the area is Massone with virtually 150
single pitch sport routes ranging from F4a to F8c. There
are also around 10 crags offering multi-pitch routes up
to 400m long, some of which are bolted.
- The area around Nago has 9 crags offering over 300 sport routes at all grades.
The largest of these crags is near Nago itself.
are 2 definitive rock climbing guidebooks covering the general
Arco to Sarche area, both of which are described below
and can be bought
from our shop.
Rock" guidebook covers all the bolted
sport routes in and around the Arco area, which features
136 different crags. Each crag has a location map, and
a good description giving a general overview of the area
and type of rock climbing to be found there. All the climbs
are described with clear topo diagrams.
This excellent guidebook for rock climbing and sport
climbing for the Arco region is in English text.
This guidebook is available
to buy from our shop.
Walls" guidebook covers all the long
multi-pitch rock climbing routes in the Arco to Sarche
valley, detailing all the classic and modern routes. Included
are all the crags at Piccolo Dain (with routes up to 450m
long), Monte Brento (with many routes between 800m &
1,000m long) and Monte Casale (with routes up to 1,400m
At over 600 pages long the guidebook details 42 separate
crags, with each crag having a good location map and excellent
topo's for each route. Grades are either UIAA or French
depending upon whether the route is bolted. This excellent guidebook for big wall rock climbing in
Arco is in English text and is available
to buy from our shop.
There are also a number of selective rock climbing and sport climbing guidebooks available for Arco that can also be bought from our shop. This includes the Alpen en Bloc 1 guidebook that cover nearly 150 problems at Arco.
Find out how to get to Arco and the best time of year to rock climb at Arco. Click here for more info.
Click on the image to view a larger photograph showing the excellent rock climbing and sports climbing to be found around Arco.