Orco Trad Meet


Sunday, the 16th of September. We’ve just arrived to Ceresole Reale and so finished another driving periple across: Catalonia, France, the gigantic tunnel of Frejus (11km) and through a last smaller one that led us to the late afternoon light and chiller – than at sea level – temperature of Vall dell’Orco.

The event standard was hanging from the front door of a nice alpine Italian construction; inside, a warm room and three gentlemen wearing the, for now on, official yellow badged (Club Alpino Accademico Italiano) jacket, “checked us in” with kind smiles and promising hospitality. A short briefing followed, introducing everyone’s faces, life basics and climbing organisation for the next six days. Cool atmosphere and psyched could be felt! First evening dinner together and bed time.

Big morning action (8.30am) at the outside of the dorm building. According to what would be the daily routine, a type of relaxed army call – poster with climbing teams and related routes/crag names in hands – and laughing mobilisation occurred. Here we go, kindly driven and oriented to the bottom of amazing granite/gneiss targets. Day after day, hand palms and fingers got more wounds and swollen (depending on individual climbing/tapping skills & ethics), meters of crack climbing accumulating and recurrent lines names and settings were discussed at dinner table along with epic Italian menus…good stuff!

Thanks WildCountry and the great organisers, namely Mauro, Claudio and Angelo for such a friendly, fanatic and enjoyable meeting; for the opportunity to climb and hang out with people from such different cultural backgrounds, without clinging too much to nationals affinities or, cliches, climbing levels – table seat…

Performances: to be remembered by all those who excelled themselves, participated or watched;  soon further illustrated by Andrew Burr’s photography.

Pete Whittaker getting a good dose of what he loves best: wide cracks climbing.

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