BD athlete Chris Schulte continues his European bouldering tour with a stop at the immaculate granite boulders of Brione, Switzerland. Here is the video he made from his visit where he climbed a couple of stellar 8Bs, as well as a host of other classic problems.
High up past the terraced vineyards of Scalata and the great blue lake in the valley below, past the giant dam James Bond once bungeed from and further on through the great cut of the Val Verzasca lies a small town on a blue river bouncing with rainbow colored stones. Goats and granite carvers, sheep and a soccer field, a small school, shop, cafe, and hotel cluster together around the aged church and the well-preserved rusticos that have stood in state since before I don’t know when. Multi-pitch walls and icy summits tower over the narrow valley, serving for sundials in the short winter days.
The community is small and quiet. Traffic comes in the tourist season, along with the fair few folks who return to their homes from the lower valleys as the warmer weather comes around. For a while this place was one of those not-so-secret “secret areas”… A local’s spot, kinda kept below radar and above the clouds. Twas thin and sporadic, seasonal and indistinguishable from that of the valley dwellers come up for a taste of the mountain life: a trout dinner and a drive through history past. It’s hard to keep secrets anymore, and over the years folks began to come to Brione as weather heated up in Cresciano and Chironico, to see the perfect rock and jump in the river, climb the big free walls and hang in the green grass.￼
It’s an interesting place with an interesting situation: climbers are a fairly distinctive group, sometimes travelling in packs, many with different perspectives regarding the outdoors. In a tight space like you’ll find in a place like Brione, it’s a good idea to be on your best behavior. To the folks that live there, we stand out pretty well. In a town that small, not much goes unnoticed.
We’re lucky to be able to climb in places like this, which are nothing short of living magic. We’re lucky to be able to get just a taste of life in these mountains, of this air and water, and damn near that of another time. That’s worth some respect. Some quiet. Some consideration. If I lived there I’d hope to have it the same way.
[Please note: The climbing in Brione is often on, or accessed through, private property. Please behave with courtesy and respect, and help keep this incredible area pristine and peaceful.]