T'was a wet and windy day when we..
.. first set foot in Val Bodengo. We sheltered in a cattle shed with the local cows as the rain drummed down on the cold tin roof, we may well have been in the Lake District instead of warm and sunny Italy. As the rain relented we made progress along the valley, jumping streams and running under the waterfalls cascading from the hidden peaks above. After a while we stopped to eat our sandwiches under a tree. The clouds lifted just enough to catch the glimpse of large grey objects between the trees, and then the clouds returned with the rain, it was time to go.
The next time we were in Val Bodengo it was another story completely. 30+ degrees in the valley and clear blue skies but what about those large grey shapes, were they just a trick of the clouds?
Jewels of Val Bodengo
We returned with boulder mats, sticky boots and some bivy gear. Despite not knowing anything about this valley from a bouldering perspective we had felt a good vibe. We had good fortune, we were able to climb on what seemed to be untouched boulders for three days seeing no more than 5 people in all that time. Surely this must be rare for such a beautiful alpine valley less than 100km from Milan. To climb without a guide book and not knowing what we would meet around the next bend was a refreshing feeling, discovery was more important than difficulty.
Being summer the weather was hot and sticky. The nights were stormy, and when bivying at 1000 metres somewhat humbling. We shared our time in the valley with the milk cows, and even when they were not near us their presence was felt!
Being so close to a major city it seems a bit of an exaggeration to call our experience an exploration, but it really felt just like that. Perhaps it is because you often overlook what is on your doorstep, so we decided to record our discovery in our own way, not in words but an illustrated guide to the blocs of Val Bodengo.
Our Val Bodengo Bouldering Guide
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