/ Val dell'Orco or other Cham alternatives

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galpinos on 11 Sep 2017
My weekend plans of having 4 days up at the Envers hut cruising sun kissed granite seem to have been scuppered by the weather.

So, can the hive mind of UKC help me out. We are flying into Geneva, even Aosta looks a wash out so we were thinking Orco.

Is this a good plan? Any other options? Really we are after biggish multipitch trad that is a sensible distance from Geneva and will be dry this weekend.
galpinos on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

No one?
Rick Graham on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

Orco is excellent but may be too much in the mountains for guaranteed good weather.
However carrying on down the Aosta valley there is good climbing in all the valleys to left and right except one.
If the weather is really crap you might end up at Finale. Some all weather crags there IIRC.

You can do a similar exercise heading South and West from Cham.

Dave Kerr - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:
If it's crap in Aosta Orco might not be much better, it's only just over he hill.
Post edited at 17:26
galpinos on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

Cheers for the info Rick. Which is the valley without the good climbing? Is it a closely guarded secret that we'll find out when we get there?

I'm desperately trying to believe the forecast is wrong but......
Rick Graham on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

Had a holiday in October once when we drove up every side valley looking for crags on spec ( as well as using a few local guidebooks ).

No secret , but one valley whilst very pretty was just rounded grassy slopes.

It was the only one that was a disappointment climbing wise.
galpinos on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I was hoping it was in the rain shadow for systems coming in from the west, maybe not.......

Dave Kerr - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> I was hoping it was in the rain shadow for systems coming in from the west, maybe not.......

Have you checked a forecast? ;) Orco is south west of the town of Aosta.
Dave Rumney - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

The main climbing in Orco is also at around 1500m (Sergeant). Aosta valley (around Bard) must be lower than that.
Briancon can get lots of sun, but thats a bit of a drive from Geneva
kenr - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:
> You can do a similar exercise heading South and West from Cham.

Exactly.
There's no reason to make guesses about "rain shadows".
When the time comes to decide, just look at weather forecast _maps_
like
http://weather.unisys.com/gfs/gfs.php?inv=0&plot=pres&region=eu&t=6p
or
http://wxmaps.org/pix/euro.vv.html
and simply drive in the direction that does not show moisture.
It does not hurt to have 30 or 40 guidebooks in the boot of your car, like I do right now.

How far you drive depends on how badly you hate moist rock and bad visibility, and how many days you're going for.

While Finale Ligure (and note there is a new guidebook for interior crags getting opened) is perhaps the quickest seacoast drive from Cham, sometimes the French Mediterranean coast is dryer -- like Toulon / Aubagne / Marseille -- new guidebooks for that region also.

Of course hopefully no need to drive that far: There's plenty of good multi-pitch at lower altitude SW from Cham in the Aravis, and ridiculous amounts of single-pitch around Lac d'Annecy and Lac du Bourget. And if need to drive farther, there is Presles.

No need to guess about historical tendencies, just find the most recent forecast _maps_ on the web.

Ken
galpinos on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> Have you checked a forecast? ;)

I'd found a forecast that said Orco would be dry and sunny.

> Orco is south west of the town of Aosta.

As you may have realised, I'm clutching at straws........

galpinos on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to kenr:

Thanks for the links Ken, unfortunately it looks awful for this weekend.......
HeMa on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

A few options that I've had to resort to...

Orco, 4h from GVA

Rocca Sbarua, 4h from GVA
Multiptich granite, nice refuge but other housing options nearby. As this is in the platou, should be good when rainy mountains.

Cadarese might also be an option.

As could Ticino (mainly plaisir bolted gneiss... easier slabby stuff to vertical hard core, as in 8a trad).
galpinos on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Cheers for those, I've added them to the long "Cham alternatives list". Looks like they'll all be washed out this weekend though.......

Argh!
HeMa on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

Quick glance at SnowForecast map sort of looks like that Rocca Sbarua near Torino might not get that much rain.

And driving south to the coast only adds a few more hours (Finale Ligure or how ever it is spelled).
galpinos on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to HeMa:

> Quick glance at SnowForecast map sort of looks like that Rocca Sbarua near Torino might not get that much rain.

Here's hoping!
Just trying to decide whether to throw good money after bad. we've only booked flights so we need to decide whether to write that off or book a car and get driving. Work and family make getting to the mountains even more of a gamble.....

HeMa on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

It's a long weekend?

Just rent a small car and spend up to 6h driving to access some good weather.

You might end up in Verdon, Ceuse even reach Arco in that time (Arco might take an extra hour).

So there are options, but perhaps not alpine granite... more like clippin' nice limestone sport ;).
galpinos on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Even the Verdon was looking wet when I checked yesterday but you are right, just pile into a tiny car and go!

(I'd just set my heart on alpine granite, limestone just doesn't do it for me in the same way.....)
DannyC - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

We drove down to Ceuse the weekend before last as it was wet all round the mountains near Chamonix, then drove back up once it had dried.

I'm not a big sports climbing fan, but it was wonderful! A beautiful place, great routes, excellent cheap campsite - and interesting wee villages nearby for scoffing pastries by the bucket load. The weather looks like it might be good there until Friday.

It's 3.5 hours south from Chamonix. The Rockfax guide is available on the app for £6, or there are guidebooks to have a gander at in the campsite office.

Good luck.
HeMa on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

I value my freetime, so try to make most of the possible time I can. Generally this means driving... lots of driving.

Works though, addin' a few more hours each way will get you quite far.


At least for me, time off from wife & kids, work is already a thing a value so much, that it needs to be utilized...

The other (not bad) option might be to bite the bullet on them flights and instead use the time locally or semi locally (just drive, no flights needed).
GridNorth - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

The Vercors just beyond Grenoble used to be the traditional "bail out" area but these days I would consider Briancon as the favourite.

Al
French Erick - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to DannyC:

wow...Danny 3.5h? What were you driving and at what time of the day? From Geneva? Were you using fake number plates? I'm impressed as I have never clocked as good a time, and I'm not doubting!
DannyC - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to French Erick:
No speeding (I think! I wasn't driving) and no fake plates! That's just how long it took via the péage, albeit at night so no traffic. It's only marginally quicker than Google suggests. Amazing place.

EDIT: sorry, you're right, 3.5 hours from Geneva airport, a bit longer from Cham. Brain not working

D.
Post edited at 22:49
aostaman - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to DannyC:

I am in Aosta now and the forecast shows Thursday and Sunday as dodgy otherwise it's good!
French Erick - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to DannyC:

OK for Geneva...that makes sense! You had me worried I had turned into a middle aged Sunday only driver ;)
galpinos on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to aostaman:

Dodgy as in showers or dodgy as in write off?
Tyler - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:
I don't have a guide I'm afraid but the routes I did in Orco were brilliant, campsite was nice but basic. If you do get a break in the weather then Becco do Valsorea will satisfy your mountaineering lust (I imagine, we didn't get past the hut which is really nice)
Post edited at 12:08
galpinos on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Tyler:

Cheers Ash. Going to pack a bag with everything and hope for the best!
aostaman - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

Dodgy as in rain.

MB and the higher mountains don't look good at the moment but I am sat in very warm sunshine in my shorts right now. Have a look at Pilastro Lomasti in Aosta Valley for interest.

Do you have the Mani Nude guidebook?
galpinos on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to aostaman:

We don't have any guides yet!
Carless - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to galpinos:

The Ecrins are approx 3:15 from Geneva airport and frequently have better weather than the MB area

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