Rock climbing and via-ferratas around Lake Garda

Since our trip to Oman, where we climbed after a long time, we are getting more and more excited about this sport. So, the choice to spend a weekend at Lake Garda was quite obvious.

Quick facts: Lake Garda is situated about 100km eastern from Milan and 100km western from Venice in Italy. Its northern part is already in the region Trentino - Alto Adige, which is where the mountains start. Hence, this place is heaven for all outdoor enthusiasts: wind-surfing, kiting, sailing on the lake and climbing and hiking around the lake.

via ferrata to Cima Capi near Garda Lake
Ascend on Cima Capi mountain
We wanted to try a special way of climbing, so called via-ferrata. The term itself originates from Italian and means "iron trail". Basically this is a bit more difficult hike up the mountain for which you need to use metal cables to hold on to them in the sections that are more exposed or steeper.
Equipment needed for his type of hiking: via-ferrata set - thing that allows you to attach to the cables, climbing harness, helmet and gloves (not obligatory, but advisable).

via ferata Cima Capi near Garda Lake, via-ferrata set
Metal cables and via-ferrata set
Via-ferratas are graded from A to F. A is the easiest and F the most difficult. The grade depends on the length of the climb, arm strength and technique needed.

For my first via-ferrata we chose something rather easy: hike up the Cima Capi (909m) mountain that consists of 2 via-ferratas, both with grades B.
via ferata na Cima Capi ob Gardskem jezeru
View towards the top of Cima Capi
Before reaching the first via-ferrata we hiked for about an hour on a very nice path through the forest and past many bunkers from the 1st world war. Then, finally, we reached the Sentiero attr. Fausto Sussati ferrata. It's an hour long climb, not difficult and very scenic!

View over the Garda Lake
View over the Garda Lake
After reaching the top of Cima Capi at 909m we descended a bit and reached the second via-ferrata: Sentiero attr. Mario Folleti. This one is a 30-minute horizontal climb, more exposed than previous one and therefore preferred by us. You know, we need some adrenaline :)

via ferata na Cima Capi ob Gardskem jezeru
Horizontal via-ferrata
After completing those climbs it was time for some swimming in the Lake Garda. Beaches are rare and crowded at this time of the year, but the water was great and the swim so refreshing! We recharged our "batteries" with lunch on the beach and a few swims and soon we were on the way to another via-ferrata!

Via-ferrata Sentiero attrezzato Rio Sallagoni is only 45-minute long climb in the canyon! Yes, you read it correctly, it was in the canyon! Good thing about it: the temperatures were very pleasant even though it was over 30°C around. But Canyon is always shady and the moist - great combination for hot summer days. Bad thing about it: canyon walls are steep and perfectly polished by the river, meaning that you can't climb without help of the metal cables and holds. Therefore the grade is D.

Standing on the holds, holding on the cablesTaken from:
Another very interesting thing about this via ferrata is a 3-cable bridge. 3-cable means literally 3 metal cables: one for walking and the other two for holding and attaching the via-ferrata set. Did you understand it: walking on a metal cable! It was crazy and for me the scariest moment of all my climbing "career".

3-cable bridge
But once over the bridge you are done. There is a short hike up to the castle Drena and that's it. Ended too fast! I just started to enjoy it :)

Next day we spent in Belvedere rock climbing area and climbed for the whole day. As the name suggests this place has amazing views of the Garda lake - it's great reward for climbing to the top :)

Rok high in the rocks

To sum up: climbing around Lake Garda is really great, there are so many possibilities, so many treks, via-ferratas, so many mountains to choose from! Next time we will come for more than just a weekend and explore it in more detail.

via ferata na Cima Capi ob Gardskem jezeru
Us on the top of Cima Capi



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