Cresciano, Swiss Granite Boulderingby Sarah Burmester Jan/2011
This article has been read 19,264 times
It's famous for hard boulder problems like Dream Time from Fred Nicole or The story of two worlds from Dave Graham.
It's famous for its beautiful setting, with cool, grey granite jumbled amongst warm, gold chestnut trees. It's famous for offering some of the best alpine bouldering, ranging from nice and easy to outrageously hard. It's famous for beautiful moves, powerful crimpfests and some inspiring tall lines.
Part of its fame might also lie in its beautiful surrounding landscape - the nearby Maggia Valley with its gorgeous river and a huge amount of multipitch climbing.
Cresciano is nearly famous for being famous.
But, Cresciano is not huge. It's rather small and select. With approximately 600 problems, it offers everybody plenty to play on - but it's not a large venue like the Peak District or Fontainebleau.
On the positive side, it is really difficult to get lost in the long-stretched area on the hilltop. The 16 sectors are neatly strung together on a ridge between the villages of Cresciano and Osogna. The crag is located in Ticino, the canton in the very south of Switzerland. This Italian speaking area is home to the beautiful city of Locarno and includes the famous lakes Maggiore and Lugano.
The light grey granite of Cresciano is rough, sometimes sharp, and therefore hardcore boulderers swear that in the summertime it is too hot for bouldering.
But even if the designated prime time for bouldering is in winter, if you are on the look out for some moderate-grade fun, the boulders of Cresciano are certainly worth a visit in summer too. However to get the balance just right, and get the most out of a visit, spring and autumn certainly are your best bet.
The climbing is varied: from slabs to steep roofs, from technical face climbs to inviting traverses and enticing aretes. There is something for everyone and you won't get bored.
When do I go?
How do I get there?
The Guest House "1001 Bloc" in Cresciano has been designed for Boulderers. The hostel offers clean and modern comfortable bunk rooms (two to six beds per room) and a double room with private bathroom. It has toilets and showers on each floor. Further services are: Luggage, crashpad and bicycle storage and crashpad renting. So this is everything you need, plus a little coffee bar and a in-house climbing shop with all the essentials and a bit more. Pets are welcome. Prices range between 35 to 50 Swiss Francs, depending on room size, and include accommodation and kitchen use.
Address: Via Pro da Cà, CH-6705 Cresciano; phone: +41 (0)91 880 6969; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The beautiful camping site "Al Censo" in Claro is worth recommending. The site is not cheap, but offers very nice spaces surrounded by palm trees. It has a swimming pool and the view up to the huge rock faces with its waterfalls is very impressive. The owners speak English, German and Italian. On the downside, the Swiss thoroughness will probably drive you to hate the whole of Europe when you find yourself trying to separate the waste from your stay in the many different bins and containers. Fresh breadrolls in the morning and a nice common room for guests might make up for it. The site lies at the end of the neighbouring village of Claro, about a mile from Cresciano. Open from April to October. Phone: +41 918631753
What's eating out like?
Where can I buy gear and food?
There is a good climbing gear shop at the guest house "1001 Bloc" see the accommodation section.
What else is there apart from the climbing?
Stu with a little help from his friends, on the aptly named Il Partner at Cresciano.
© Simon Richardson
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