Where can I go bouldering near Milan?

“Where to go bouldering in Lombardy?” Climbing novices often ask this question as they are eager to feel the rock under their fingers.
Training in the gym is great, but going to enchanted places armed with chalk, crash pads and climbing shoes is even better.

Bouldering is akin to a religion: climbers who have just learnt the ropes of climbing see giant boulders everywhere, be it the mountains or the seaside, and they are even attracted to the rusticated facades of buildings in city centres, excitedly screaming “look at that sloper”!

The excitement of wandering through valleys in search of erratic boulders to conquer drives boulderers away from home every weekend.

So it’s off we go, on cars full of friends and crash pads, happy to get rid of the smell of the city and climb up to the ‘Valley’, knowing that everyone will find their own project to complete or something new to try, again and again. And then we find ourselves in the evening in front of a beer, still talking about how we could have sent that line, how hard our bunions have hardened or our fingertips have peeled, how one guy saved a friend as he was falling to the ground like a dead weight.

With this re-enactment we want to point out bouldering areas about two hours from Milan (Loreto area) because bouldering is a world of sharing and friendship, an experience that goes far beyond the simple practice of sport.

Lombardy | Bergamo

Bouldering in Valbondione

Where: Valbondione, here’s the link to access to the bouldering area.
Best season: from mid-September to early December and from late February to early June. A perfect area for in-between-seasons.
Type of rock and climbing: 150 blocks of various types of sandstone, allowing you to try out all kinds of styles and grips.
Guide: infoboulder

Lombardy | Sondrio

Bouldering in Cimaganda

Where: follow the satnav indications for Cimaganda. Park at the picnic area.
Best season: perfect for in-between seasons and summer.
Type of rock and climbing: 100 lines divided into four different sectors. Grades vary from 5a? to 8a, all on excellent red granite.
Guide: We recommend Andrea Pavan’s “Melloboulder” guide, where all areas are fully described.

Lombardy | Brescia

Bouldering in Cimbergo

Where: reach the village of Cimbergo, in Val Camonica; from the signposted car park, the boulders are a 5-minute walk, in a chestnut wood.
Best season: as the area is mainly in the shade, we recommend it for late spring and summer.
Type of rock and climbing: many overhanging holds with slopers on compact sandstone.
Guide: you can find some information on the blocks to try out at this link.
Curiosity: The “Boulder dei Pitoti” climbing meeting takes place every September in Cimbergo and Adam Ondra was a special guest at the 2013 edition.

Lombardia | Sondrio

Boulder a Spriana e nei pressi dello Zoia

Where: in the beautiful Valmalenco we recommend two areas, Spriana and Zoia at an altitude of 2000 metres, close to the hut bearing the same name.
Best season: for Spriana almost all year round while for the Zoia area, given the altitude, it is preferable in late spring and summer.
Type of rock and climbing: in Spriana about 30 passages mainly between the 6th and 7th grade of varied types of climbing with flats and notches on Gneiss. In the Zoia area there are two sectors: the beaches with blocks from 4 to 7c and the sector Zoia rifugio with blocks from 5 to 8a.
Guide: you can find some information on this homemade guide.

Lombardy | Sondrio

Bouldering in Val Masino and Val di Mello

Where: we recommend arriving in the village of San Martino and continuing on foot to reach Val di Mello. For the area around Sasso Remenno (Europe’s largest erratic boulder), climb up to the village of Cataeggio.
Best season: spring, summer and autumn.
Type of rock and climbing: almost 300 lines for all tastes and abilities, granite boulders emerging in a place of incredible beauty.
Guide: take this guide as a reference, but you can also find numerous videos on youtube to send many lines on the most famous stones in the valley.

These are five bouldering locations in Lombardy, all about 2 hours from Milan. When travelling between regions is allowed once again, you could explore Foppiano in Val D’Ossola, an unmissable location among boulderers’destinations.

Piedmont | Verbano-Cusio-Ossola

Boulder a Foppiano

Where: this paradise of stone is located on a beautiful alpine pasture at 1200 metres in Foppiano. You can find this link on maps.
Best season: from late spring to the end of October.
Type of rock and climbing: grey gneiss. But let’s give you the numbers we found on the official website: 200 boulders, 500 blocks and grades for all levels.Only a few cracks with many slopers, finger passages and sections where strength is needed, as well as technique.
Guidebook: as indicated in the reference website you can buy the Foppiano Boulder guidebook at the Pizzo del Frate hotel in Foppiano or at the Way Out centre.

We are very pleased to inform you that Dario Rota, our photographer and videomaker – one of the guys who contributed to the growth and maintenance of the Foppiano bouldering area – has started a video guide project to help climbers understand how to tackle some of the most beautiful boulders in the area. Here is the link to the youtube channel.

As we know you are not all from Milan or the hinterland, we promise to write more about other locations soon.
There is no shortage of beautiful places to recommend in almost every region of Italy, but we would like to go into more detail in the near future on the following: where to climb in Sardinia and introduce you to Val Daone, a bouldering paradise in Trentino; a natural gym dotted with hundreds of erratic boulders just waiting to be climbed.

Do you feel like getting in a car with friends and driving off? Well, we do. But while we wait for next weekend, we are preparing some personalised t-shirts with boulder-themed graphics for a group of bouldering friends.
If you think it would be a great gift idea, browse through Monvic Art, choose a t-shirt or sweatshirt and ask us to personalise it to suit your taste!

Monvic e Boulder