It’s been months since our trip to Switzerland with a crew of 8 people. I can’t even remember half the stuff we did, but I do remember the feeling of bliss and joy while we were there. Switzerland is pretty magical.
We stayed in an adorable rustico on the Stillhearts property. If you are traveling to Switzerland, those people are amazing and I highly recommend you to stay at one of their rusticos.(they have 3 that can accommodate different group sizes). They speak OK english, but if you have knowledge of german or french you are golden. However, if you do not, they are good people and you will be able to understand each other anyway. Seriously, they are the best!
The location is prime. You will be about a 20-30 minute drive to Giornico, about an hour to Ticino, and since you are in Claro, it’s 10 minutes from that bouldering area.
Each one has so much fun climbing, it’ll blow your freaking mind.
You are also within two hours of Magic Wood, and about an hour and a half ( depending on how you drive on tiny serpentine roads) from Brione.
You should absolutely make sure that you are familiar with access restrictions before venturing out to some of those areas (there are many online sources to help you with that).
We didn’t get super lucky with the weather, it rained quite a bit and we were too early for Magic Wood.
We spent our first two full days at Magic Wood, trying to climb. We mostly trenched through the deep snow and slid around on our asses on the ice-covered paths. I can’t say we didn’t climb, we did, but not too much since everything was covered in snow, and what wasn’t covered in snow was melting for the more patient crowds…
We did run into Daniel Woods and Dave Graham,(OMG) who drove from Italy, which was also very wet(Italy was wet, not sure about DWoods or Dave Graham,maybe?). Those dudes climbed with no shirts on, but kept their beanies on, while I layered myself in two sweaters and a down jacket. I don’t know how they do it, but I’ll take what they are having, please. Perhaps I need to look into purchasing a beanie, that might be the key.
The next couple of days we spent in between Claro and Giornico, constantly consulting guidebooks and trying to figure out where we were in relationship to all of the boulders we wanted to see.
Let me just say, we spent a lot of time wondering around, so much in fact, that next time we go to Switzerland, we can take you on a tour.
Bouldering in Claro, Giornico and Brione is amazing. Rock quality is incredible, although I must admit most easy to moderate climbs are not that interesting. I’m not by any means saying that those climbs are bad or not enjoyable, but what I am saying, is that if you climb V10 and up, you will have a much better time climbing on stellar proud classic lines. Which I do not, but I will touch those lines and leave my slimy greasy tips all over them so that they will remember me for next time I come to visit. So I can crush.
Jeremy and I spent a lot of time not sending, or climbing in shitty conditions, but we also just spent a lot of time climbing and playing outside during our last road trip, so we were no stranger to not so prime conditions and have learned that having expectations(and delusions of grandeur) is useless and leads you nowhere, mostly it leads you to disappointment and a bad time.
So, since we encountered rainy to wet conditions on this trip,we did our best to climb as much as we could during the dry and dryish days that we did have. We might have not gotten on all of the boulders that we wanted to get on because they were either soaked, or covered in snow, but at the end we climbed a bunch in one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to.
Both of us climbed fun things that we were proud of and made lists of things we wanted to come back to.(mental lists)
Our last day, right before we were about to give our rusico keys to our hosts and say our fare wells, we looked outside and saw the Alps in all it’s glory, as if for the first time. Most of our stay the mountains were surrounded by dark clouds, and we only saw glimmers of what was hidden behind it.
The sun was out, there weren’t a single cloud in the sky and everything was green, and busting with life. I thought we might not leave, because that moment was indicative of what we wanted the weather to be like, and decided that we will be back. It felt as though Switzerland was just teasing us, showing her grumpy dark mood, just to let us know that next time we come she will welcome us with sunshine, crisp temps and a sending breeze. The Alps are truly magnificent.
We will be back. No doubt. We have so much unfinished business.