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Picos De Europa

Picos de Europa.

North Face - Comici

Waiting out the weather in Rifugio Auronzo (2008).

In 2008, our trip to the Dolomites and Meteora proved to be the entry drug to the world of climbing outside of the US. We were off to the races after that. This is a slowly growing list of places we’ve climbed on the continent. Though there may not be much in the way of true wilderness, the Old World charm still makes it seem like a worthwhile effort. Though I have to say that we find the geographic peripheries of Europe much more appealing than the traditional “heart” of the continent these days; Scotland, Portugal, portions of Scandinavia and Ukraine seem more fascinating than a trip to Switzerland or Austria.

Trip Reports Listed Chronologically

South Face - Cassin

Cassin on Cima Piccolissima.


Old Town quarter in Wroclaw.

  • “Euro Sampler – Dolomites” (August to September 2008)
  • “Euro Sampler – Meteora” (September 2008)
  • “Rainy Riglos” (May 2010)
  • “Revisiting The Dolomites” (July 2010)
  • “A Couple Of Spanish Crags” (September 2010)
  • “Spain Road Trip” (September 2017)
  • “British Chalk” (July 2018)
  • “French Failure” (August 2019)
  • Listings By Area and Route

    The Dolomites (Italy)


    Sella Pass.

    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.

  • South-West Corner, Trenker on First Sella Tower (V-)
  • W.S.W. Arete, Tissi on First Sella Tower (VI)
  • West Face, Vinatzer on Third Sella Tower (V+)
  • Gross-Fuhre on Piz Pordoi (V)
  • South Face Buttress 2, Pillar Rib on Tofana Di Rozes (VI-)
  • South-West Face, Via delle Guide on Torre Grande (IV)
  • South Face, Via Miriam on Torre Grande (V+)
  • North Face, Comici on Cima Grande Di Lavaredo (VII-)
  • South Arete, The Yellow Edge on Cima Piccola (VI)
  • South Face, Cassin on Cima Piccolissima (VII-)
  • South Face, Tissi on Torre Venezia (VI-)
  • East Face, Steger on Cima Catinaccio (VI-)
  • Meteora (Greece)

    Hypotenuse (Sourloti)


    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.

  • Eiertanz on Kelch (VI- A0)
  • Ostkante Doupianifels (VI)
  • Sudostwand on Doupianifels (VII-)
  • Traumpfeiler on Heiliger Geist (V+)
  • Nordostweg on Heiliggeistwachter (V+)
  • Sudwestkante on Heiliggeistwachter (VI-)
  • Via Scorpion on Spindel (V- A0)
  • Archimedes on Pixari (V)
  • Hypotenuse on Sourloti (VI)
  • Linie Des Fallenden Tropfens on Sourloti (VI)
  • Hartetest on Kumarieskopf (VI+)
  • Westkante on Ypsiloterafels (VI-)
  • Riglos (Spain)


    Shirley hiking through Riglos.

    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.

  • Normal Route on El Puro (6b)
  • Moskitos on La Visera (6a – last pitch skipped, wet)
  • Galletas on Mallo Fire (6a)
  • Chooper on El Pison (6a C1)
  • Espolon del Adamelo & Normal Route on El Pison (5c)
  • Seron-Millan on El Pison (6a+ A0)
  • Montserrat (Spain)


    Punsola-Reniu on Cavall Bernat.

    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.

  • Punsola-Reniu on Cavall Bernat (6b A0)
  • Mas-Brullet on Serrat del Moro (6b A0)
  • Cerda-Riera on Bandereta (6a)
  • Costa Blanca (Spain)

    Diedro UBSA

    Diedro UBSA.

    One route so far. White (and polished!) limestone; blue Mediterranean; good seafood. What’s not to like…except perhaps for out of control sprawl.

  • Diedro UBSA on Penon de Ifach (5c)
  • Isle Of Wight (UK)

    Skeleton Ridge

    Skeleton Ridge.

    I mean where else do you get to climb chalk above a sea? Loved it! Probably won’t be back to the Island though.

  • Skeleton Ridge on The Needles (HVS 4c)
  • Verdon (France)


    Welcome to La Palud Sur Verdon.

    Rain, drinking, eating, more rain, trace quantity of climbing…

  • Arete du Belvedere (5c)
  • Euro Cityscapes





    Not that we seek those urban encounters out but they do happen on occasion. Always useful for having a pint or a decent meal.

  • Venice
  • Munich & Wroclaw
  • Barcelona
  • Pamplona
  • Amsterdam & Amsterdam
  • Calpe
  • London
  • Helsinki
  • Moscow & Moscow
  • Frankfurt
  • European-ness

    Sass Pordoi

    Summit Strudels!

    Passo Sella

    Shirley admiring her parking job (yes, only 2 tires make full contact with the ground) after our climb of Vinatzer route on Third Sella Tower (Aug. 2008).


    Castillo de Loarre in Spain’s Aragon (May 2010).

    Passo Sella

    Sella Pass with some local pass residents in the foreground (Aug. 2008).


    Village of Aguero at night (May 2010).


    A traffic jam in northern Greece during one of our rainy day road trips (Sept 2008).


    One last stroll (so Euro!) through the old city and off we go ..homebound (Oct. 2008).


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