Arco along with the nearby Sarca valley is one of the birthplaces of modern sports and multipitch rock climbing. With its endless walls, pitcuresques italian villages and an incredible nature near lake Garda it is still one of the best climbing places in Europe. The best: due to the mild climate Arco rock climbing is possible nearly all year round in. Best seasons are spring and autunm.
It became gib in the early 80ies where climbers from all over the world established tons of routes around Arco. The Rockmaster climbing competition which is held each year in August since 1987 pushed the myth of Arco. It was one in the first years by Stefan Glowasz and Lynn Hill. Nowadays its still very popular with new generation athletes like Angy Eiter or Adam Ondra.
Today Arco has an incredible repository of more than 3.000 sports climbing and more than 520 multipitch routes. For a long time multipitch routes where established in alpine style. For the last 10 years this has changed: Heinz Grill and many others bolted more than 60 new multipitch routes which are well equipped with a bolting philosopy similar to sports climbing.
Top Sports Arco Rock Climbing Crags
Around Arco there are 106 sports climbing crags. Most of them are all bolted well and are from good to very good limestone quality.
These are some of the more popular crags:
- Massone is one of the most famous crags in Italy with 154 routes from easy slaby to hard overhangs. You will have most fun if you climb 6b and better.
- Nago with its 140 routes very popular for beginners and intermediate climbers. The routes are from good quality but sometimes a bit polished.
- Belvedere has beautiful views on the garda lake. It has 50 routes in all grades. Beginners will have fun here.
- Calvario was once the training area for the Rock Matser competition. 2009 the crag was rebolted. It has 20 routes within all grades.
- Sanderland is a hardmover crag with 20 routes near the lake Tenno.
- Terra Promessa near Massone has lots of hard mover routes on tufas and roofs.
- Bassilandia with routes from 6c upwards right above lake Toblino.
- L´Orto has 30 shady routes mostly in midrage grades
- Marciaga is an easy routes crag near the village of Marciaga.
Top Multipitch Arco Rock Climbing Crags
While staying in Arco we definilty recommend going for themodern multipitches. Why: mostly not polished, not too many people and real good quality rock als for the intermediate climber.
Coste Dell´Anglone has some of the best multipitch routes of Arco. The routes are mostly well protected with 8 to 12 pitches. The lines leading through the wall are always logical and often spectacular. At Costa Dell´Anglone even climbers in the french 6 grades will experience good hold roofs and tufa pitches. go here for: Minueto a Ceniga (**** 300m, mostly 6a (6b)), Archangelo (***** 6b, 350m) with spectacular traverses and nice tufa holds (this is really the best!), Via Degli Ignoranti (**** 200m, 6b obl.) with a spectacular 4m roof, Dall´Antistoria Alla Storia (**** 250m, 6b).
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Parete San Paolo was long time overseen but has lots of very good quality sport multpitch routes for now 10 years. Its very near to mount Colodri and the campgrounds. Go for Athene (**** 6b, 300m), Via Ape Maia (**** 5c and 1 pitch 6b, 200m), Spiderman (***** 6b+ 200m), Selene (***** 5c+, 250m), Elios (***** 6a+ 250m) and many more.
Colodri and Rupe Secca are the most classic walls. there was lots of activity in the 80ies. Popular routes are nowadays often polished. Classics are: Mescalito, Via Barbara, Tyskiewicz, Zodiac Wall and many others.
In the sarca valley you will find lots of classic big walls with mostly alpine styled routes. Crags are Monte Casale, Monte Brento, PiccoloDain or Pian de Paia.
Other Things to do
Arco and nearby lake Garda with Riva and Torbole are also very famous for mountain biking. There is tons of sometimes hard trails. lake Garda offers very good wind and kite surfing conditions.
Furthermore the is good hiking and bathing possibilities. All in all the are is a mecca for outdoor sports and can be crowded on summer weekends or German holidays.
Camping and Accomodation
- Arco offers two good campgrounds where you will meet lots of climbers and mountain bikers.
Camping Zoo: next to Parete San Paolo. This was the climbers choice in the 80ies and 90ies.
Campeggio Arco next to mount Colodri which is nice too.
- guesthouse-arco.com is a higly recommendable guesthouse.
- Arciducia Charming House is nice because its very close to the village center.