OverviewIl Risveglio di Kundalini is an established classic in Val di Mello and one of the most frequented routes in the area.
Val di Mello is located at the center of the Italian part of the Val Masino Alps. The valley is known for its famous bouldering event Melloblocco which is visited by the best climbers in the world. Besides bouldering, Val the Mello is a true paradise for rock climbers. The granite is very solid and offers extreme good grip. This makes the climbing very technical and requires a good foot-technique.
Il Risveglio di Kundalini is located at a climbing sector "Dimore". This sector is below the more striking "Metamorfosi". Due to its orientation (south) the route can get unpleasantly hot during summer. Furthermore, due to all the tree and gras covered ledges the traverses can stay wet for a while after rain. The name of the route can be translated into "Kundalini's Awakening".
Most climbers will refer to the route as "Kundalini". The route has 10 pitches and has a pretty short approach to Mello-standards. As a consequence, the route is extremely popular and often overcrowded. So be warned, and start very early in order to avoid traffic. The route is not bolted and is still in original state. This means that there are some old pegs on most of the belays and a few along the pitches. Moreover, there is quite a lot fixed gear in place (mostly old cams). Most of the climbing follows great cracks where you can place gear easily.
First ascent: I.Guerini and M.Villa 1976
Getting ThereTo Val di Mello: The nearest airport is Bergamo. The airport of Milano is also pretty close. From there you can hire a car or continue your journey by public transport. By train you have to go to Ardenno, and from there take the bus to Val Masino. Bus tickets can be bought in a small shop on the main road. Better to ask the locals because it is hard to find.
To the route: Either leave your car at the parking in San Martino (from here there is a bus service into the valley) or continue to the parking in Val di Mello (toll road from San Martino into the Valley). From the parking near Gatto Rosso (there is also a campsite here) follow the path east (along the river). After about 30 minutes you will have to leave the path and turn left (after the lake). Take a close look in the topo to find the right path. A small trail will lead to the base of the Dimore rock.
Route DescriptionThe start of the route can be reached by climbing a short rock step which is covered with bushes and trees (tracks, old ropes). There is small plateau to gear up (better to do it in advance if there are more rope parties on the route).
An online topo is available on www.valdimello.it.
First pitch: 5a UIAA/ 5.7 YDS. The first pitch is a traverse to the right with goods holds just below the small roof. There are some old pegs and protection can be placed easy. The belay is on a small ledge.
Second pitch: 6a+ UIAA/ 5.10b YDS. This is the crux pitch. The hardest move is right at the beginning and can be aided with the use of an old peg which is in place. Still, free climbing is much more pleasant and not too difficult.
Third pitch: 5c UIAA/ 5.9 YDS. Leave the belay and just follow the obvious crack. The crack is steep but very enjoyable to climb and never really difficult. One of the best pitches! There is a lot of fixed (old) gear in place.
Fourth pitch: 5c UIAA/ 5.9 YDS. A short pitch. Head up right for a few meters and then continue left towards the short exit chimney. Continue along some trees on grassy legdges and try to make a belay high up the slopes.
Fifth pitch: 5c UIAA/ 5.9 YDS. An awkward pitch. Protection is good but a lot a strange moves which are often wet. There is a good ledge for the next belay.
Sixth pitch: 5c+ UIAA/ 5.9 YDS. A beautiful pitch just below the great roof. Traverse right along the crack. Cam size 2 and 3 are useful here. At the end there is a carabiner in place which you have to use to rappel down about 8 meters. The belay is not easy to find. Be sure to traverse right on a ledge which is about 8 meters below the carabiner (don't go too far down).
Seventh pitch: 4a UIAA/ 5.9 YDS. An easy pitch where you have to traverse to the right (on the same height) for about 30 meters. There is a tree to make a belay at the end of the ledge. Just climb and enjoy, because placing gear is difficult.
Eighth pitch: 4c UIAA/ 5.6 YDS. Climb the small roof above the belay and then traverse right. Again, the belay is very comfortable at a tree.
Ninth pitch: 5c UIAA/ 5.9 YDS. Head up to the small roof and then go right for a few meters. The next part is very airy but there are quite a few old pegs in place. Head straight up which is pretty strenuous. There are two belays possible. Both need to be reinforced.
Tenth pitch: 5b UIAA/ 5.8 YDS. The last pitch is not too difficult. Traverse right and head straight up afterwords. The exit of the route is at a big plateau where you can belay.
Descent: Leave the plateau by heading upwards for a few meters. Then follow the obvious path left (when looking up). Follow the path in western direction. The descent is marked and easy to find. Normally, you will not come back at the start of the route. So go lightweight or plan 30 minutes extra to return to the start of the route.
Fast and experienced rope parties can combine the Il Risveglio di Kundalini with the famous Luna Nascente.
Essential GearGear: take your normal trad climbing gear with you. The route is not bolted and only has some old pegs (mostly on the belays). As the route doesn't require any rappels for the descent you can take a 50 meters single rope (be aware of the fact that this makes an emergency escape more difficult). Take a small rack of nuts and about 8 cams (up to BD size 3). Especially size 2 proved to be very useful. The exact number of cams will depend on your climbing skills and level of confidence. Light approach shoes will do for the descent.
Maps and Guidesbooks: there is not really a map needed for the climb. All the listed guidebooks contain a small map which is suffient for the approach and the descent of the climb.
- Schweiz Plaisir Süd 2011, Res von Känel, ISBN 978-3-906087-36-8
- Solo Granito/Nichts als Granit, Mario Sertori and Guido Lisignoli, ISBN 88-87890-39-0
External LinksWeather Forecast - Detailed weather forecast for Ardenno
Railroad information - Railroad schedule
Val Masino - Information on Val Masino Municipality (in Italian)
Campsite - A fine campsite near San Martino
Overview of Routes - Picture of the routes on Dimore