Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure
Bouldering in Brione
By Gracie Martin
30, May, 2019
Gracie Martin's guide to bouldering across the stunning Ticino region of Switzerland
One of the most peaceful and beautiful places I have ever visited. Ticino, a region of Switzerland, is an area of outstanding natural beauty with breathtaking views and incredible boulders.
Quintessentially Chrinocio is steep climbing on crimps, one of my favourite styles! However, travelling up the valley, even by just half an hour you can find completely different style in Cresciano, or a little further again you reach Brione, by far my favourite location out of the three. The day starts with the sound of the coffee pot whistling and a warm tongue licking my face. My friends dog Moffatt enjoys waking everyone up this way.
I drag my aching body out of bed and eat breakfast sitting as close to the fire as possible whilst being taught a plethora of Norwegian swear words (helpful for those day to day conversations…). We then pack up and prepare for a big day of climbing. I spend the journey to the crag being squished by Moffatt - she’s an Australian shepherd that seems to think she is a chihuahua. It’s pretty cute, and the wrestle is an effective way to warm up. The drive to the crag sees us head up the valley, eventually winding higher and higher into the pass. The roads get smaller and the views get more snowy.
I spot the sparkling river and know we are close, just a few more bends to go. We park up and head down to warm up on blocs right by the river. The colours of the rock are incredible, marble like patterns which make the river look like its flowing gold. We follow the sun whilst we warm up, even the easier blocs are 5 star.
Then we head to some projects. Brione is scattered, so it usually involves a bit of walking (often uphill), but if you get tired you can normally just hang out and take in the nice view. We headed to check out ‘Real Pamplemousse’, what a line! Unfortunately the conditions weren’t ideal, as the boulder sits in a bit of a hole causing the holds to condensate. One for next time!
Instead we decided to hike up to where Molunk is, a bit of a trek but totally worth it. There are SO many cool boulders in this area! All through the grades. One of the highlights for me is definitely Brione Arete, a stunning arete in an even more stunning location. The photos really don’t do it justice. You have to go.
After a day’s climbing on the walk out from the Molunk area there is a seating area and fire pit which has been built underneath a giant boulder. It also has beers, which you pay for with an honesty system. Pretty cool!
Ticino should definitely be on your list.
Best times to go:
Spring or Autumn, when there’s not too much snow but temps are still cold.
How to get there:
Drive out or fly to Milan or Zurich and either hire a car or take the train. The public transport is pretty good (and always on time), and you can get to Cresciano and Chrinocio, however it does become a bit of a mission. I would recommend hiring a car.
Where to stay:
There are plenty of airbnb options and campsites, depending on what you fancy. I stayed in a house in Claro, near Cresciano.
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Phud8 cm thick light and portable taco-style bouldering pad, ideal for whipping round your local circuit (or in Font if you’re lucky) or as a second pad; made in our UK factory£99.00
Origin11 cm thick taco bouldering pad for up to high level falls, an ideal main pad for frequent boulderers with an adjustable, adaptable rucksack carry system£159.00
Boulder BucketUK made self-standing bouldering bucket with roll top, large pocket and elasticated webbing loops for brushes; made by climbers, for climbers£25.00
Kraft [Womens]Durable, technical, and comfortable organic canvas mountain pants for active outdoor life£49.00
Kraft [Mens]Durable, technical, and comfortable organic canvas mountain pants for active outdoor life£49.00
Gamma IIIRunning head torch with 180 lumen white, red and green LEDs, a rear battery pack, and a rear red caution light.£25.00
El Burro45 litre roll-top style duffle rucksack with sewn in daisy chain spawned from the legacy of our El Packer big wall stash bag£65.00