Saturday, June 20, 2009
DWS in Cinque Terre, Italy
As the travel guidebook suggested, there are several "rocks that you can jump off of" into the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The water is deep and crystal clear, and the rock can be very committing, without good landings (some deadly) on many of the cruxes of the climbs. Right in the harbor of the village we are staying in, Manarola, is a nice little deep water soloing area. A perfect 30 ft spire shoots up from the bay, with a 3rd class slab on one side and a handful of 5.6-5.11-ish climbs on the other. The pinnacle of the spire is a perfect spot to jump off into the water, but the 5.10/5.11 overhanging rock leading up to the top has several ankle breaking rocks directly beneath you. The holds vary from super slopey to incredible incut crimps...a great variety to keep anyone happy. On the sides of the harbor are several other spots that make for great climbing, most around the 25 ft range. One of the best routes in this area was a 5.8 slightly overhung, hueco ridden climb that led to a perfect perch to jump from. I haven’t climbed anything outside of the harbor area, but the vast coastline is almost completely rocky and promises to provide great routes for anyone willing to swim or kayak out to find them. Italy, especially the Cinque Terre area, is so beautiful and has great DWS climbing...both feel like they're straight out of a fairy tale.