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San Vito Lo Capo - the best climbing in Sicilia

San Vito Lo Capo - the best climbing in Sicilia

One of the best climbing spots in Sicilia is the area of San Vito Lo Capo. Near to this small Italian city, you have climbing routes from 3a to 8b. From easy slabs to long overhanging marathons on tufas. You will find almost everything. If you will be bored by sport climbing then you can try multi-pitch climbs.

There also is something to visit during rest days (Etna. City Palermo and small village - near of San Vito -  Erice)

Unknow Italian climber on Conscious Change 6b+ (?). Photo: Damian Granowski

Getting there?

The best way is to fly. For example from Poland, you have flights (cheap Ryanair) from Cracow.
The closest airport to San Vito Lo Capo is Birgi-Trapani, about 40 km (50 minutes by car).

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The NE wall of Cattedrale nel Deserto

The more hardcore option is traveling by car. If you want to go from Cracow then you have 2500 km. Be prepared than prices for the ferries differ heavily depends on the season.

There is public transport from the airport to San Vito lo Capo. But on area, where is climbing, public connections are not so good. If you want just climb near of San Vito lo Capo, then maybe you don't need to rent a car.

Amazing tufa climbing on Never Sleeping Wall. Photo: Ania Resiak

On the other hand, if you want to climb on areas like Never Sleeping Wall, Crawn of Aragon or you want to travel on Sicilia, then a car is recommended. On the airport, you can rent a car. On the internet, you can compare prices. Be careful because cheapest insurance doesn't include small scratches. After our trip, we paid about 120 euros (they take money from credit card), because we have 2 small scratches :/.

Maybe better choice will be renting a car or bike in San Vito Lo Capo...

Accommodation & food

san vito lo capo climbing sicilia 5549

Camping El Bahira. Photo Anna Resiak

There will be no problem :-). You have 2 campsites (El Bahira, La Pineta), numerous holiday flats, guest houses, and hotels. We stay on camping El Bahira in an apartment. From there you can go climbing on foot, but a car is useful for shopping. To San Vito lo Capo, you have 3 km by foot.
Prices depend at the season. The cheapest are in winter. In summer are most expensive.

san vito lo capo climbing sicilia 5549

Let's go climbing! 5 minutes of walking :). Photo Anna Resiak

Local food is quite good :) and prices are reasonable.

In San Vito, Lo Capo is small climbing shop (or bar), where you can buy gear (or guidebook) for a climb if you lost something.

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Swimming pool on El Bahira. Photo Anna Resiak

Guidebook?

The best climbing guidebook is Sicily- Rock (3 languages: german, English, and Italian). Authors Karsten Oelze and Harald Roker. Today in shops you will find the fourth edition. Check that you have latest :-).

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Where are my cookies!? Climbing on Cattedrale nel Deserto (route Pinelsa 6a+ - rather hard in this grade).

Best season for climbing?

Most of the walls are facing the sun. Spring and autumn are the best time with temperatures around 25 °C . In winter, you probably will have temperatures between 14-18 °C. Summer will be too hot (temperatures about 35-50 °C).
There aren't areas in shadow... That is the problem. We have been on the beginning of May and temperatures were around 30 °C. Climbing in Sicily sun... not for mortals!

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Nice beach near of El Bahira

But also take warm clothes because in shadow caves it's cold (especially near of the water.

Visiting Sicilia later than April adds chance to swimming in the clear Mediterranean. Beach near of El Bahira is rocky, but is a lot of possibilities to swim.

The nearest sand beach is in San Vito Lo Capo).

The rock?

The rock is limestone in all varieties. On slabs and vertical limestone is very sharp. Crimps usually are also sharp. Almost everywhere where limestone is gray you will have a sharp rock. Better for your skin is orange and yellow limestone. Usually is it in overhanging rocks.
You will find every type of climbing. From slabs to roofs. Corners, vertical slabs, crack, chimneys.

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Sector Bunker. Photo Anna Resiak

Routes?

In the area, you have hundreds of routes (in guidebook 846). The most beautiful are marked by strawberry :). Grades are from 3a to 9a.
You will find routes on tufas, pocketed walls. On slabs, vertical, overhanging and roofs. Sometimes you will find cracks (they are very sharp usually. Be careful).

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Michał Liszka climb 6b+ near of Parco Giochi. Photo Anna Resiak

Bolting?

Almost everything is well protected in bolts and rings (thanks to Germans). Usually, every route has belay anchor.
Be prepared, because there were some accidents with broken anchors. 2 years ago climber fell to the ground.
A lot of routes are near to the sea. Waves and wind take salt to walls. Its not good for bolts. Now protection is good but I think that after 10 years will be a problem.

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Limestone beach... Photo Anna Resiak

Height of walls/pitches?

To San Vito Lo Capo take min. 60 meters rope and 15 quickdraws. 70 will be perfect. In the guidebook, you will find height of routes. For harder routes on Sleeping Wall, I recommended 70 meters rope and even 18 quickdraws.
For multipitch climbing, you can take 60 m single rope. But sometimes if you want to retreat from the route, then you will need to leave some carabiners (or mailons), because some pitches have more than 40 meters. 60 m double rope will be perfect for traditional route.

Every multipitch climb has description about protection (scale S1 to S6). Where S1 is well-protected route (like in rock climbing).

Best crags?

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Climbing on Crown of Aragon. Photo Anna Resiak

It depends on what you want. If overhangs with tufas, then Never Sleeping Wall (see topo) and Crown of Aragon is you choice :-). These walls are mandatory for every climber, who can do 6c-8a.
Near of El Bahira, you have 4 km of rock wall with a lot of routes. From very easy to 7c, 8a. The best choice near of El Bahira will have climbers from range 6a-7a.

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Magda Dudek climbing My Little Pony 4c. Photo Anna Resiak

Good to climb are north faces of Cattedrale nel Deserto and Monte Monaco. Nice overhang you will find in Grotta di Cala Mancina. Nice vertical climb is in sector Bunker and Campo Base

On El Bahira, remomended sector is Anfiteatro (routes like Just For Fun 4c, Cat Walk 6c+, White Slab 6a) and Pipeline.

For multi-pitch  I recomended L'abito Non Fa Il Monaco 6b (150 m, 6a+ oblig). Classic climb is Orient Express 6c (400m. 6b+ oblig.)

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Magdalena Trólka on L'abito non fa il Monaco 6b

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Last modified onSunday, 04 October 2015 07:10