Valle dell’Orco (Orco’s valley) is clearly a stunning area for mountain lovers, well known for its unspoiled nature and its huge amount of climbing routes that run on perfect slabs and amazing cracks.

The Orco river has carved this narrow valley from West to East, through the Levanne massif (South) and the Gran Paradiso Park (North). The valley is about 6 km long, rising from an altitude of about 600 meters above sea level up to 2500. From the valley floor it is possible to admire the summits of Gran Paradiso (4061 m.a.s.l.) and the three Levanne (Levanna Centrale 3619 m.a.s.l.). There is also a nice artificial lake called Ceresole lake.

There are plenty of paths to practice with snowshoes, to mountain-biking or simply walking. One could also find severe hiking trails, requiring a lot of effort and good physical preparation. The valley is equipped with many alpine refuges.
During the winter, the coast of Ceresole lake turns into a cross-country ski track, while downhill skiing can be practiced in Chiapili and Locana on Alpe Cialma.
There is good news also for fishing lovers: there is a nice reserve that is open from the last Sunday of February until November.

Ok, stop to the valley description digression and let's go back to climbing.
Valle dell’Orco is really famous for its amazing trad climbing routes. What makes these routes so beautiful? It is the rock! The rock is the super high quality gneiss of Gran Paradiso area that formed nice crags featuring compact slabs and perfect cracks.
Nowadays, alongside great classic routes, one can find also more modern lines of great commitment and also short and well-equipped climbs. And there is certainly no shortage of beautiful bouldering areas with a crazy amount of problems!
The area is often cold thanks to high altitude (1000+ meters), so the Summer turns out to be a good season for climbing here.

Climbing in Valle dell’Orco is improving every year and still has a lot of potential. We kindly ask you to respect the rock and the nature. Help us to keep this beautiful valley clean!

This topo groups three areas that extends around the refuge: “Le Fonti”, “Gold Digger” and “Fonti Alte”.
The most popular is “Le Fonti”, which is the closest to the refuge. “Gold Digger” and “Fonti Alte” are a couple of minutes away (still close to the car park), the first on the right side of the forest road, the second on the left side.
There are 140+ boulder problems, graded from 5 to 8A. There is something for everyone here! Boulders feature the great gneiss mentioned earlier and are of different sizes, from small to quite high ones. Climbing style is various, but generally requires good feelings on slopers and crimps. Friction is really good.
The landings for boulders are comfortable and the area is suitable for families.
“Le Fonti” and “Le Fonti Alte” are shadowed sectors, nestled in a beautiful larch forest. You really should climb on boulders “Sasso dei Baselli”, “12 28 secondi al litro”, “Ceresole Royal”, “Le Fonti”, “Miro Sasso”, “Pereira” and “Bat woman”.
“Gold Digger” is very close to a small stream and it is the sunniest area, out of the trees. Do not miss “Tribù” boulder.
The altitude of 1550 m.a.s.l., trees and creeks guarantee fresh temperatures even during the summer.

In the meadow close to the car park, one can find a climbing structure where it is possible to freely train with the crack climbing techniques. A nice feature of this sector!


The mecca of crack climbing: the Orco Valley!
It was above all in the second half of the seventies that a large group of climbers (coming mainly from Torino), following the dream of Californian myth of the Yosemite Valley, traced a series of itineraries that seemed futuristic. Thanks to that, the valley was nicknamed as the "Yosemite Valley of Piemonte".
But Valle dell’Orco does not offer only classic trad climbing lines!
In the last years climbing continued to improve, giving birth to many single pitch lines and beautiful boulder areas. And something new is coming up every year!