Piccolo Dain, also called Monte Garzole, is a stunning peak originating from Piani di Ranzo and overlooking with its vertical walls the superb Lake of Toblino, the River Sarca gorges and the village of Sarche, from where it assumes the shape of a slender pillar. The sunny and attractive South and South-East walls have a great historic value and dominate Sarche; the wild and suggestive West Face is a stand-alone wall named Parete del Limarò, overlooking the deep Gorge of Limarò like a gigantic open book. Piccolo Dain is undoubtedly one the finest summits of the whole Sarca Valley, a wonderful kingdom, made of steep limestone walls and beautiful hard rock climbs, both classic and modern. This climbing paradise is also named Valle della Luce or Light’s Valley, an evocative name due to the pleasant climatic location of the valley, highly propitious for climbing, hiking and biking all round year.
Piccolo Dain: the wall
Piccolo Dain and Brenta Dolomites
The peaceful Lake of Toblino and its castles surrounding Piccolo Dain add a surplus of beauty to this limestone tower and create a poetic and bucolic place. The great alpinist Bruno Detassis, one of the outstanding climbers of the Dolomites in the Sixth Grade Age, noticed this stunning peak in the year 1938 and climbed it along a great and challenging route, still today very rarely climbed, running on the great corner cutting the superb main wall in two sectors: the left wall, facing South and the right wall, facing South-East.
Piccolo Dain from Sarca Valley
The starting point to climb Piccolo Dain is the village of Sarche, located just below the peak, at the crossing of the Sarca Valley road (S 240) with the road 45 bis toward Tione.
- From A22 Brennero Motorway - coming from South (Verona) - exit “Rovereto Sud – Lago di Garda Nord” and follow the road 240 towards Riva del Garda, Nago and Arco, reaching Arco. Once getting to Arco first roundabout, turn to right following the road towards Dro and Trento, entering Sarca Valley. Cross the little nice village of Dro and carry on along the main road, reching Pietramurata and Le Sarche. (41 km. from Rovereto Sud exit).
- From A22 Brennero Motorway - coming from North (Brennero or Bolzano) - exit “Trento Centro” and follow the road 45 bis towards Riva del Garda and Tione, reaching Vezzano and Sarche (22 km. from Trento exit).
Piccolo Dain in a fall afternoon
Lago di Toblino
Little chapel along the return way
From Sarche take the path leading to the "Ferrata R. Pisetta" and enter the wood; leave the path and take on the left a steep track (red marks) reaching the fork to Ranzo. Take the path to Ranzo and after an iron chains equipped section reach the South wall.
The first route on Piccolo Dain was the "Canna d'Organo", realized by the great Alpine Guide Bruno Detassis in the year 1938.
After this climb, on this stunning peak had been written some of the best pages of Sarca Valley climb, since 1970, the year of the first ascent of one of the most classic and beautiful routes of the valley, the "Direttissima Loss". Afterwards, high level climbers alternated each others, realizing many other very hard modern routes with difficulties up to 8a (5.13).
Grades and Scales
According to the Italian climbing areas' habit, trad routes' grades are expressed in UIAA Scale, while the modern routes ones are expressed in French Scale.
Piccolo Dain routes overview
All the routes of Piccolo Dain
South Wall, from left to right:
- 1- Le strane voglie di Amelie 5b, 5c 250 m. - A. Zanetti and D. Filippi 2005 - Modern route, bolts
- 2- Mister Magoo 7c (7a obbl.), 120 m. –G. Canale and A. Mazzotti 2008 - Modern route, bolts
- 3- John Coffey 7b+ (7a obbl) 140 m – E. Salvaterra and F. Cavallaro 2001 – Modern route, bolts
- 4- Dudaev 7c (7b obbl) , 180 m – D. Bonvecchio, D. Hall and R. Pedrotti 1995 – Modern route, bolts
Luce del primo mattino, Piccolo Dain
Luce del Primo Mattino (First Morning Light)
- 5- Scirocco 7a, 7c (7b obbl.), 200 m – R. Larcher and friends 1988 – Modern route, bolts
- 6- Valerio Fontana V+, A2 (or VIII), 180 m – A. Ursella, A. Andreotti, M. Rossi, T. Pedrotti 1970 – Trad route
- 7- Direttissima Loss VI+, A1, 250 m. – B. Loss, V. Degasperi, M. Pilati, V. Chini 1970 – Trad route
- 8- La Rosa dei Venti 7c+ (7b+ obbl.) 250 m – R. Larcher, M. Cagol, E. Svab 1998 - Modern route, bolts
- 9- Ultima Fiamma 7c+, 8a (7b obbl.), 300 m – G. Vergoni, T. Buccella and R. Larcher 2007 – Modern route, bolts
- 10- Senza chiedere permesso VI+, A1, 300 m – E. Boldrin, G. Damian, M. Peretto 1996 – Trad route
- 11- Luce del primo mattino VII, A2 400 m – A. Andreotti and M. Furlani 1991 – Trad route
- 12- Bepi Mazzotti A1, A2, VI, 400 m. – U. Marampon, L. Zulian 1985 – Trad route
- 13- Le Vrai Plaisir 8a+ (7c obbl.), 400 m. – G. Canale, A. Mazzotti, F. Cavallaro 2011 – Modern route
- 14- Superdirettissima Mauro Rostagno A1, A2, 500 m. – D. Filippi 2009
- 15- Canna d’Organo V+, VI, A0, 350 m. – B. Detassis, R. Costazza 1938 – Trad route
Climbing in the Eigthies: a chimney on "Canna d'Organo"
Piccolo Dain back in the day
South-East Wall, from left to right:
- 16- Elia VI+, A2, 400 m. - F. Milani, D. Lunel, U. Helfer 2008 - Trad route
- 17- Vecioti e Zovenoti VI+, A1, A2, 450 m. - M. Furlani, I. Rabanser, A. Andreotti, F. Bretoni 1993 - Trad route
- 18- Freccia nel cielo VI+, A0, A1, 450 m - I. Rabanser, S. Comploi, P. Mazzotti, M. Scarpellini 1992 - Trad route
- 19- Pilastro Massud 6a, 6c (6a obbl), 200 m - R. Galvagni, D. Filippi 2003 - Modern route
Admiring the wall from the descent path
Breathtaking view from Amelie
Along the right edge of South East wall runs the Ferrata “R. Pisetta”, an exposed and athletic via ferrata, getting to the summit of the peak.
Descent from Piccolo Dain - Down carefully to the left between vegetation and rocky steps until you find a clear track that runs down the West side. Some sections are very exposed and equipped with fixed ropes. Reach the main path which returns to Sarche.
Other climbing sectors
Limarò Wall and Centrale Wall are two other important climbing sectors with several routes, located close to Piccolo Dain.
On the left Limarò Wall and Centrale Wall - Above Piccolo Dain
Sarca River reflections under Moonbears, Parete della Centrale
Avancorpo Wall is another smaller sector, located below Piccolo Dain main wall. The Limarò Wall takes its name from the gorge, a deep cleft carved by the Sarca River. Along the large and spectacular dihedral cutting the wall runs with great logic the spectacular and historic Diedro Maestri. On both the sides of this corner are located vertiginous walls on which we find various trad and sport climbing routes, all very severe.
The iron cables across the river to get the Limarò Wall"
The superb Diedro Maestri on the Limarò Wall
There are no restrictions in climbing, hiking, biking and other open air sport activities in Sarca Valley. No fees and no permits required.
Where to stay
This area is a primary touristic destination, offering several hotels, agriturismo, bed and breakfast, renting rooms and apartments in Sarche and Pietramurata, the closest villages, and in the others centers as Arco, Dro and Ceniga. Campings in Arco and Pietramurata.
Climate and nature and when to climb
Due to the Garda Lake propitious influence and the area limited quote, the climate is mild and it’s possible to climb in all seasons. Nature is magnificent, showing a pleasant marriage of Mediterranean flora and alpine one.
Climbing is possible all year round.