A slowly growing list of places we’ve climbed on the Old Continent. Hopefully it’ll grow as the climbing there does not suck. In fact, we very much enjoy climbing routes with a bit of history behind them, or in case of Meteora around them. Seeing names such as Cassin and Comici on the FA lists further adds to the appeal. It is true that climbing in the Dolomites for example is far from a wilderness experience for the most part; however, same could be said for much of Yosemite Valley.
Trip Reports Listed Chronologically
Listings By Area and Route
The Dolomites (Italy)
So many great (and long) moderates, so many hard (and long) classics! We do love the place. Weather can be a bit shifty (based on our two trips there and a total duration of about 5 weeks) but overall not too bad. We’ve been known to have worse weather luck elsewhere.
We spent about two weeks there during the early fall (September to early October) of 2008…and probably had like 4 sunny days in total. All other days involved dodging rain showers or just not being able to climb because of sustained rain. Fortunately, the table wine was cheap, there were monasteries to see, Greek coffee was decent and Internet readily available…did I mention cheap booze? When we did get to climb, it was stellar! Reasonably well protected (based on routes we’ve done) and seemingly well maintained routes at almost any (weekend warrior) grade level. Awesome spires and an other-worldly kind of setting.
Intimidating place! For us anyway. Exactly the sort of climbing we’ve successfully managed to avoid here in the US: steep, sustained, and juggy. All arms it seemed. Really had to knock down our hopes and expectations. On the flip side, it’s so much of what we love: multipitch climbing, wild exposure, and proud summits sitting atop huge (1000-foot tall) towers! Will go back…barely scratched the surface.
Sort of seemed like Meteora (beyond just the obvious similarities in rock type) in the relaxed atmosphere and fun, low-stress climbing. Would love to go back for a third trip.
Costa Blanca (Spain)
One route so far. White (and polished!) limestone; blue Mediterranean; good seafood. What’s not to like…except perhaps for out of control sprawl.
Isle Of Wight (UK)
I mean where else do you get to climb chalk above a sea? Loved it! Probably won’t be back to the Island though.
Not that we seek those urban encounters out but they do happen on occasion. Always useful for having a pint or a decent meal.