On the second day of our third trip to Italy, Sam, Louis and Seb went to a bouldering area near Civate. A comune next to the right foot of Lake Como, roughly 45km northeast of Milan. And we drove there in style, I might add. Louis and Francesco picked us up in a convertible. Not enough space for bouldering pads though so Lorenzo, with his more sensible car, was kind enough to transport them and meet us at the destination.
The bouldering area doesn't have a guide book. All we had was a website and some PDFs with Italian descriptions, some photos and a rough map. But the photos looked good and we were very confident in our ability to find things to climb. Boy, we were so wrong...
It all started with going the wrong way. Did I mention the descriptions were in Italian? Anyway, we didn't do a particularly good job at interpreting the description on how to find the first area. After 20min walking and no boulders in sight we decided to split up. Sam and Seb went one direction and Louis in a different direction. No luck on either side but Louis was so full of energy that he decided to try some trail running on his way back, go caught in his shoe laces, tripped over and landed on his knees. Not a great start.
But we continued on and after reading the description again we decided to go back a bit and try a different approach. That one again lead us into a wrong direction and the path seemed to disappear more and more the further we went. By that time we've spent an hour looking for the boulders. It was warm, we had the bouldering pads on our back and our backpacks on the front. To keep themselves sane, Louis and Sam started geeking out about Game of Thrones. We consulted the description again and again and tried to make sense of the map. We decided to again go back to were we came from and try yet another approach.
This time it looked like we were on track. We even found a sign mentioning the name of the boulder area! And after walking for another 15 minutes or so we found a very distinct landmark. We came to a dried out river bed. According to the PDF the boulders should be close and we could see some big stones already but not quite boulder material. We dropped our stuff and once again we've split up to increase our chances of finding the right area. Louis and Sam went into the direction of where the boulders should be while Seb stayed behind with the stuff. For a while nothing happened but after maybe 20 minutes we could hear a loud scream! It was Louis. And no, it wasn't excitement about finding the boulders. Louis had found a snake. Or the snake had found Louis. In either case Louis wasn't happy about that and had to find a different way back. Unfortunately this lead him towards the river and he managed to fall into the stream and get his shoes wet. 2 hours into the hunt for boulders and all we had to show for was a snake, bruised knees and wet shoes.
And finally! We found a boulder in the forest. And it was a boulder from the PDF! Unfortunately it was shoulder height. Not quite what we were looking for and not even close to the amazing boulders we had the day before.
We had another look around but that was it. We gave up. This was not worth it. We decided to have lunch on top of the boulder and called Francesco and Lorenzo to tell them about our defeat and asked them to pick us up.
At least while waiting for the car we had some fun coming up with silly challenges.