Ponte San Quirino is a small climbing area in the Natisone river, with several sectors scattered in the riverbed, amounting to a total of around 100 routes. It is very local, with seldom visits from “pro” climbers – probably because of relatively poor rock quality and being a bit far away from all other climbing areas. The climbing style is conglomerate, with huge overhangs and brilliant juggy and reachy climbing.
Here is where the amateur climbers can feel like the pros! There are 10m roof routes with nothing but jugs, and 6a-6b climbs with huge overhangs and unusually reachy movement for the grade. Sometimes you need to do a full dyno only to get on top of a 6b! And to second this great climbing style, scenery and ambiance is simply beautiful. If you get hot or tired of climbing, simply jump in the chilling river water for a different kind of fun!
A local climber told us of another “secret” spot, with secret meaning forgotten in this case, called Premariocco – Le Betulle. It is not in the guidebooks anymore, as it was last regularly climbed more than 20 years ago. Now the local heroes are changing the bolts and cleaning the moss from the overhangs (they actually cleaned the entire roof of moss with a mini-wash in a single day :-). There are five sectors here, each with only a handful of routes, but they are all the best overhanging climbs in the 7a grade range you will ever find.
Admittedly, the rock is not of the best quality, as the holds can get dirty. During the spring, the water rises to second or third bolt, and the holds often get full of dirt or moss (the locals even have the end of a broom left at the rock for cleaning the bigger muddy surfaces :-). But if you look behind a bit of grass or moss, you will discover a real playground of moves in the overhangs! The good routes do get cleaned quite fast into the season. As the rock is conglomerate, on-sighting is often not easy, but as the season progresses, the most climbed routes get white with chalk.
Except the very interesting climbing, the whole Natisone Valley is a small heaven to be in. There are many places in the river to take a swim in, many beautiful walks to have and small cities to explore. And just an hour drive away there are many beautiful mountain hiking walks. And everywhere you go the famous dolce vita the Italians are living will follow you – there is something sweet waiting for you on every corner. I could easily recommend Ponte San Quirino for an extended summer weekend getaway to any climber.
This was the first time we were here for more than a day, and the whole trip here really is amazing. If you want to explore a super-local climbing area, with a lot of interesting things to see, and pretty unique climbing, look no further and plan an extended summer weekend getaway here.
Find a tick-list of the trip, gallery and more info on the climbing areas below.
Revoultion rock (7b) RP
Lupo de lupis (7a+) OS
Mafalda (7a+), second go
Linea verde (7a+), second go
Dance on the river bed (7a+)
Passo Falso (7a), second go
Senza tregua (7a), second go
Ana Pavić tick-list:
Polvere di stelle (7a)
10ish routes from 5c to 6b+
Climbing in Ponte San Quirino is possible rom April until October, but the best time to visit would be July and August if you want to have the complete summer experience.
Guidebook for most sectors there: http://www.webandana.com/crags/ud/natisone01.html
Except the climbing, I highly recommend visiting these establishments in Cividale del Friuli:
Pizza Al Sole: the best and very interesting kind of pizza
Zuckerfee: the best icecream, ever
P.S. Beers are good everywhere in case you were wondering!