Favorite Climbs in Europe!

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jahwise

Trad climber
santa fe, nm
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 8, 2012 - 10:41am PT
Interested in hearing what everyones favorite European climbs. Alpine, Trad, and Sport. Fav summits and camping spots. I land in Europe Aug 15th with climbing gear and a bike to road trip. Looking to piece together a wicked trip with the best climbs. With your help I can fill in my map and then plan better! Matterhorn is on the List already and gonna go scope the Eiger Nordwand. Looking for moderates 5.7-5.10 rock, alpine ice and snow is fine, overnights are fine and awesome climbs to blast in a day. ALos interested in easy awesome solos. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE EURO MISH!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jul 8, 2012 - 11:12am PT
Dolomites! Don't ignore these fine rock peaks.

My suggestions: Spigolo del Velo (Scarf Arete) on Cima della Madonna, near San martino de Castrozza. Possibly the most beautiful climb in the Eastern Alps, according to many (myself included). In the same area and accessible from the same valley base is the Gran Pilaster on Pala di San Martino. That's a 20 pitch climb and has a frequently utilized bivouac box on the summit.
Jay Hack

Trad climber
Detroit, Michigan
Jul 8, 2012 - 11:16am PT
Supercouloir on Mt. Blanc du Tacul....4 great pitches of 5.9 granite on the Gervesutti Pillar to another 10 pitches of rolling/mixed WI4 and 5.....so good, especially in plastic conditions.
jahwise

Trad climber
santa fe, nm
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 8, 2012 - 06:01pm PT
Favorite Ridge on the Matterhorn? hörnli, lion, furggen or zmutt? seems like hörnli gets a lot of traffic.
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Jul 8, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
-


rumor has it that even the 1938 Route on the Eiger Nordwand is no mere weenie roast.




-
ged

climber
Jul 9, 2012 - 04:02am PT
You should definitely go the the Dolomites. It's a stunning area, stacked full of brilliant multi pitch routes. And the rock is a lot more solid than people make out.

Go to the val di mello. These days it's popular with bouderers, but it was originally well known for superb multi pitch climbing.

For sport climbing, you should head to catalunya, NE Spain. Siurana, rodellar, margalef etc all combine to make it simply the best sport climbing area in the world.

Ooh and go to the verdon gorge. Breathtaking.
Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
Jul 9, 2012 - 04:10am PT
Verdon seconded. Nice biking is also to be had by all who like steep climbs.

Val di Mello also great choice. Above it is Bregaglia alps, very nice area. Piz Badile will blow your mind.
A bit further west is Valle Orco, the closest thing to splitter granite cracks you can get in Europe.
Vercors, Gerbier on the French side.

How far east do you plan to go (come)?

Lasti
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 9, 2012 - 04:42am PT
Presles

For multipitch - sport. I haven't been there ... yet.

From PlanetMountain.com:

"Looking for a crag with plenty of multi-pitch bolt routes on excellent limestone?
Thinking of a valid alternative to the exposure of the Verdon or the seriousness of Wenden?

Then seriously consider Presles, situated near Grenoble in France, in the heart of the Vercors. Because on offer here are fully equipped multi-pitch bolt routes of all grades, easily accessible and, what's more, almost all star worthy!

What more must we say?

The Vercors is a vast fertile plateau with deep, carving gorges overlooked by enormous, towering rock faces. Presles, situated in the western side of the park, is one of these cliffs. Over 250m high, it boasts more than 200 multi-pitch routes and, as if that weren't enough, three areas for single pitch sport climbing!

Presles can be summed up as an excellent example of a new generation cliff, one which successfully combines the atmosphere of a semi-mountain environment with the safety of a sports crag. No wonder it's so popular amongst the French!"

http://www.zen68262.zen.co.uk/presles-06.html

http://www.gdargaud.net/Climbing/Presles.html

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/presles/106696708

Cragman: No, no climbing, except in Great Britain. In France there is only "escalade".
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 9, 2012 - 04:46am PT
There's climbing in Europe?
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jul 9, 2012 - 05:13am PT
did somebody say i dolomiti?

cortina is the town, cinque torri (not terre) is the place to hang out. the alpine club of london has an old, confusing guidebook in english, must be something more up to date by now, but the rock doesn't change.

there's a long route in the tofana group which goes free at 10/11. 16 pitches is nothing in the dolos. i went hiking with my family the day my aussie friends undertook it, and they had beatific smiles at that great pizza joint in cortina that evening. nobody in cortina would tell me what tofana means. i later found out it was the name of the witch the borgias employed when they wanted to enhance the cocktails of special guests. the secret, slow-acting ingredient was known as aqua tofana. don't let it spook ya. the local grappa comes in a variety of delightful flavors and is certified tofana-free.
hb81

climber
Jul 9, 2012 - 06:17am PT
Can't recommend specific routes since I haven't done much in the alps, so just some general recommendations:

Don't take the eiger north face lightly. People still die up there every year.

As others have commented, Dolomites have more rock than you can climb in a lifetime.
Val Di Mello is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places you could imagine. If you go there stop by at the rifugio Luna Nascente for some great local food.
In Switzerland the general area around the Grimsel Pass has a sh-tton of great granite climbing.
Also very nice is the Ticino region on the border to italy.

On the downside, costs of living in Switzerland are A LOT higher than in all other countries in the Alps. This includes food, camping, accommodations, lift prices etc...
if you plan on doing any wild camping, be prepared to face the consequences and pay hefty fines should you get caught.

Be prepared for crowds until ~Mid september, thats when most countries summer holidays are over.



Fishy

climber
Zurich, Switzerland
Jul 9, 2012 - 06:35am PT
You gotta narrow it down a bit. Your question covers everything from sport to alpine - that question is as hard to answer as "which is the best vehicle on the market?"

Personally I am into granite, and although I have spend some time in the Dolomites, it just cant compare (for me) with the solidity and features of granite.

There is an enormous amount of alpine granite in Switzerland and a few close-by areas in Italy and France. In Italy, the Orco vs Mello debate comes down largely to your preference for cracks vs slabs.

In Switzerland, there are at least 4 huge granite areas - each with enough climbing to keep you going many weeks. My favorite is Salbit, but the others (Furka, Grimsel, Susten etc etc) also have many world-class climbs.

Where are you landing in Europe? If you need a base in Switzerland, just give me a shout.

Pete.

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 9, 2012 - 07:42am PT
N Face of the Badile - be sure to time it so you do the exit chimneys in a
storm so you never forget it.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jul 9, 2012 - 07:59am PT
sassolungo has several 5th class routes of 1000 meters:

five fingers (center) and sassolungo (right)
five fingers (center) and sassolungo (right)
Credit: Tony Bird

one of the tofana group:

tofana de rozes
tofana de rozes
Credit: Tony Bird

a ridge near cortina:

the pomagagnon ridge
the pomagagnon ridge
Credit: Tony Bird

après climb felicità. that's grappa on the shelf behind our australian friend, "big air clair".

climber's dinner
climber's dinner
Credit: Tony Bird
jahwise

Trad climber
santa fe, nm
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2012 - 08:42pm PT
This is great help! I've discovered a few gems that I've never heard of. Thx!

@ Broke The valley near San martino de Castrozza looks great.

@ Jay Supercouloir on Mt. Blanc du Tacul is sick looking, hope conditions are good.

@ Ged Val di mello has been described to me as the Yosemite of Europe! True? I'll be biking through Catalunya for sure! Sharma land!

@MarlowPresles seems cool. I'm pretty stoked to head to Verdon though because its all i've ever heard about monster sized limestone sport climbing. The Wendenstock climbs look stout. Gonna have to put in more research on the Wendenstock because the Bernese Oberland looks amazing.

@ Tony Plenty of rock around Cortina. Need to research more. So much around this area. i dolomiti are looking mighty fine indeed.

@hb81 What paying to camp in the Alps! Is that for real? For backcountry camping too? won't be taking any mountain too lightly for sure! but light enough that I can get back to a meal in town ;)

@ Fishy So Orco vs. Mello? Which one is known for slabs? cracks?

@ Fishy Salbitschjen, Gross Furkahorn, Grimsel and all the rest in this area is looking like a must visit for a few weeks. Gonna land in Zurich and head to Bern to connect with a family friend and then begin my journey from Bern. Thanks for the offer!

@ Reilly Via Cassin on the Piz Badile is on now on my list!

Thanks everyone keep it coming! I'm working on a farm right now and getting plenty of time late night missions and predawn starts to work on irrigation, pest management (genocide of certain species) and farm chores. 5 weeks and i'll be in Europe.
ged

climber
Jul 11, 2012 - 02:45am PT
It's called the Yosemite of Europe purely because it's a granite valley, but the similarities end there. The climbing is not really similar. It's a really stunning place though. Very hot in mid summer, get there in may time.

I live in the UK, and have spent a lot of time climbing all over Europe, so feel free to email me if you want any specific advice on any spots. My general advice would be, don't come to Europe to climb granite! Theres some good stuff, but not a patch on California ( except maybe in Norway). Europe is all about the limestone. There are just endless world class destinations. Pick your month and style, and there's a place to be.

These days, the Eigerwand in summer is a big no no
ged

climber
Jul 11, 2012 - 02:47am PT
Also, don't rule out the UK. THe far north of Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and is a brilliant place to see by bike. The sea cliff climbing around the south west is totally unique and world class pure trad climbing abounds. Plan to come in April, may or September.
hb81

climber
Jul 11, 2012 - 03:25am PT
What I ment was that many regions in the alps are designated nature reserves and in those camping outside of campground / hut areals is usually prohibited and you can get fined if you still do it and get caught.
Just ask some locals whether its ok or not to avoid hassle.
Fishy

climber
Zurich, Switzerland
Jul 11, 2012 - 03:45am PT
As noted, Mello is definitely not like Yosemite, except for the fact that it is a granite valley. Orco is where you need to be if you want cracks.

The comment "dont come to Europe for Granite" is just plain misleading. There is a lot of top class alpine granite, and when you know where, also cragging (although that needs more local knowledge). Is California the best stop for accessible granite in the world? Probably. The Alps still have heaps to offer.

If you are coming through Zurich, feel free to come and crash in our spare room - I can give you plenty of pointers from ghe guidebooks, and we could also do a run up a rock somewhere if you like. We are close to the airport in Zurich, and happy for climbers to crash with us.

In the meantime, here are a few pics stolen from the web from the Salbit area (1.5 hours from Zurich):

From the following page: http://www.bergsucht.ch/products/gemsplanggen-leviathan-6b-/









mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jul 11, 2012 - 06:00am PT
Be prepared to suffer from the heat big time if you're starting a bike tour in Catalunya Aug. 15! I guess the advantage is that you'll be in good shape by the time you arrive to a mountain. There's lots of good climbing in the Pyrenees if you're looking for something close to your starting point.

I think I need to have a beer just thinking about this!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jul 11, 2012 - 06:05am PT
I neglected to post a picture of the Cima della Madonna, so here it is...wreathed in "Nebula." (Italian for clouds!)

Pala di San Martino: the Scarf Arete follows the line of light and sha...
Pala di San Martino: the Scarf Arete follows the line of light and shadow directly to the summit; 5.7+ or 5.8-. This is from my 1963 ascent.
Credit: Brokedownclimber
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:38am PT
I'll ditto Presles as a great location to climb.

Presles in the Vercors, France
Presles in the Vercors, France
Credit: Brian in SLC

The Ecrins is fun too:

Aiguille Dibona
Aiguille Dibona
Credit: Brian in SLC

I seem to dimly recall tuesdays is the day the cheese truck shows up in La Grave, which can lead to this:

Discovering "gym sock" cheese by La Grave, France
Discovering "gym sock" cheese by La Grave, France
Credit: Brian in SLC

Recommend the Tour des Gémeaux on:

Mont Aiguille
Mont Aiguille
Credit: Brian in SLC
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 11, 2012 - 09:35am PT
The Dolomites have the best food and wine in the Alps.

Lots and lots of killer rock in the Sellajoch/Groeden region. Much less expensive than Switzerland.

Personally, I'd love to get back and do a route on the big south face of the Marmolada:

http://www.versantesud.it/INGLESE/dettaglio.asp?id=131



ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Jul 11, 2012 - 09:43am PT
Ditch the bike, before you go. You'll be hating yourself. Do a bike tour some other time. You want to rent a car to do any decent amount of climbing, and the time required to drive around will generally be greater than you expect.

You're probably getting the idea that the amount of climbing over there is staggering, so you'll have to be selective or you'll go crazy.

No time to post photos, so here's my link for you:

http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&q=spain+rock+climbing&oq=spain+rock+&gs_l=img.3.0.0i24l6j0i5i24l2.1248.5024.0.6287.11.10.0.1.1.0.172.1218.0j10.10.0...0.0.qXB9pHDtzbA&biw=1349&bih=1000&sei=LKz9T6ibLc_-2QWok5WyCg



can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Jul 11, 2012 - 09:43am PT
Don't ignore the experience of a classic klettersteig or via feratta. You can do these solo and they allow you to cross terrain normally reserved for roped climbing. It's something that is for the most part unique to Europe.

Wetterstein Klettersteig
Wetterstein Klettersteig
Credit: can't say
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Jul 11, 2012 - 10:38am PT
I lived in Europe for a few years and found that even with the abundance of guidebooks sometimes it's hard to come by good
info on routes (especially in the French alps). However, a new guide just came out that I think might change the game.
It's called Mont Blanc Supercracks and is all about multipitch splitters in the Alps. Might be hard to order, though, since you
can only get it shipped to Europe and need a bank there to pay. I'd love to get a hold of a copy.



My personal favorite route is "Etat du Choc" on Petic Clocher du Portalet on the Swiss side of Chamonix and at 11d is
probably harder than what you are looking for, but is by far the most splitter route in entire Europe.
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Jul 11, 2012 - 10:42am PT
Petit Clocher du Portalet
Petit Clocher du Portalet
Credit: Impaler
fgw

climber
portland, or
Jul 11, 2012 - 11:01am PT
Go for the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo group. An incredible cluster of spire-like mountains with tons of of moderates. Did Comici's Yellow Edge on Cima Piccola (5.9 13-pitch), Cassin's route on Picolissima (5.10 11 pitch) & Comici's line on the north face of Cima Grande (16 pitch 5.10 & WOW!!). Amazing climbing all of those! Tofana has a more moderate line right next to the 5.11 mentioned above that's rated about 5.9 & 18 pitches long (think it's called Tissi on the 2nd Buttress). There's a 5.7 somewhere next door too I think. Love the Dolomites. So much to climb.
iep

climber
Jul 11, 2012 - 11:06am PT
the most splitter route in entire Europe

lots of granite cracks up there in Norway as well. especially way north in the Tromso/Kvaloya areas (and on the famous Lofoten Islands).

not as high and glaciated as the alps, but much more remote and quiet.
here's some pics of the route "Thanathos" (at Hollenderan), goes up the left wall in the first pic.


(hut on Kvaloya)



from http://www.blixt.no/KvaloyaArchives/ (topos & info as well)


in the same area, there are some steep granite routes on Blamann (some over 1600 feet long):


Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 11, 2012 - 11:39am PT
iep,

No fair posting those pics! They're awesome.

I've climbed in the UK (Peak District and North Wales) and Arco and hiked and done ferrata in the Dolomites (near Corvara, between Sella and Gardena passes). If I had a chance to go back with a rope, I'd hit either the Dolomites or maybe some of granite in Switzerland. Number one on my list in the N. Face of Piz Badile. Chamonix looks awesome but (and I could be wrong on this) I get the feeling the weather can shut people down pretty quickly. After the Piz and Dolomites, the Verdon Gorge would be my third choice.

BTW, I'd ditch the bike too. Maybe you were inspired by that article in Alpinist a while back? Kind of a cool way to go back to the way old school of climbing in the Alps, riding to climbs like Hermann Buhl, etc., but it'd be a lot of work.
MoonGoon

climber
canadistan
Jul 11, 2012 - 12:17pm PT
Last June I went to Paklenica National Park in Croatia. I would seriously consider checking it out if you can. You might melt if you go there in August but should be good to go in September. Could even catch a cheap ferry from italy to Zadar if you happen to be there.
Can't say enough about this place: Awesome climbing - sport and trad both single and multipitch, cheap camping and apt accommodation for 20 euro/night if you want. About a 20 min walk to the park from the town of Sarigrad. beautiful beach complete with naked euros max 5 min walk from where ever you stay.

Here's kate rutherford's blog about the place: http://katerutherford.com/?p=637

Also the park website: http://www.paklenica.hr/paklenica_en/index_en.html

Not that much info on line but really, all you gotta do is rock up and buy a guide book at the local climbing shop.

DO IT.
BruceAnderson

Social climber
Los Angeles currently St. Antonin, France
Jul 11, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
If you come over to SW France, cruise through the Gorge d'Aveyron. It's gorgeous with amazing uncrowded sport climbing. If you do hit me up and I'll put you up for a couple nights.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jul 11, 2012 - 11:46pm PT
iep: wow, that looks good! Stovelegs East. I suppose the mosquitos are the size of sparrows up there? What's the precipitation situation like in July/Aug?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jul 12, 2012 - 01:47am PT
Whoa. That Norway stuff looks awesome.
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Jul 12, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
Lolli, thanks a lot for the offer! That's very nice of you.
I've been trying to convince my friend from Munich (and partner from
the Petit Clocher du Portalet trip) that he wants to get a copy (-:
I don't even know when I would ever make it to Europe again sadly...
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jul 12, 2012 - 06:36pm PT
The Rebuffet route on the Aguille Du Midi is a great climb.
Alpinist63

Mountain climber
Schleck-Country
Jul 13, 2012 - 10:16am PT
here some routes that would make an interesting trip:
roughly from east to west:
tre cime comici on the north face of cima grande
marmolada south face don quixote or vinatzer-messner
badile n-e face cassin
wendenstöcke ( switzerland, superb limestone)
grand capucin swiss route- o sle mio / mont blanc massif , excellent granite
meije (south face direct +) traverse , one of the very best alpine routes
and then finish the trip in the verdon gorge
these routes need good weather but are no way as involved as north face of the eiger or of grandes jorasses. in an average alpine summer, you have a good chance to get these done.
a good book to get some more ideas : parois de légende by arnaud petit
jahwise

Trad climber
santa fe, nm
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2012 - 08:58pm PT
Credit: jahwise
Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
Jul 14, 2012 - 01:30am PT
If you end up at the Eiger Nordwand there is a relatively easy Klettersteig (Via Ferrata) on the far right hand side.
Ladders on the Eiger
Ladders on the Eiger
Credit: Andy Fielding
Lamberto

Sport climber
Italy
Aug 15, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
Credit: Lamberto
MBSC will be soon distributed in US, in the meantime the order from Europe will be charged with delivery costs. If anybody is interested link www.camurrilamberto.it
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 4, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
Credit: Gunnar Berg, Vintermorgen i Svolvær
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Oct 4, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Favourite ridge on the Matterhorn

Well, I've done three of them... Hornli - good, easy and crowded. Lion - better than Hornli, a little more difficult but less crowded. Zmutt - much better, harder and far more serious, but you'll probably be alone, not much fixed gear, come down the Hornli. Ignore folk who say it's a choss pile... It's the most esthetic choss pile in the world!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 4, 2012 - 12:26pm PT
Zmutt ridge: http://www.cosleyhouston.com/matterhorn-zmutt.htm
gf

climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 04:34pm PT
http://www.innate-gear.com/blog/the-viper-bait
Spot the line....
Spot the line....
Credit: gabe rogel
I haven't been climbing in Armenia, but our company just put up this blog post by Kate Rutherford who has, looks very nice.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Nov 17, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
Don't overlook the Wetterstein in Germany/Austria! I just remembered a great climb tha I did in 1963: the Zwoelferkante on Die Zwoelferkopf, a subsidiary peak on the Waxenstein. It's an Alpine IV+, with some decent but pretty runnout climbing at the 5.7 level. I can't really remember much about it, other than it was fun and a lot harder than I was expecting.
Borut

climber
french, spider
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:30pm PT
Here's something about Slovenia (check the photos of the last post).
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=412532&msg=412532#msg412532
Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 24, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
I recently bought the book "Mont Blanc Supercracks" since I planned to go to the Alps and climb some cracks. [ Impaler in above posts expected this book to be good].
This is the worst climbing book I've ever used- basically garbage with nice colored photos, bad topo and zero information about root quality , approach and decent
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