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Candalla with James and Caro, our tricks!!!

 

The towering tufa covered walls of Candala Alta fill you with a mix of awe and intimidation.  On first glance you don’t believe the topo – rock this steep cannot be the home of 7’s! 


How to get there...
From La Spezia, the A12 highway will take you to Viareggio in around 1hour.  Exit at Viargio Camaiore and follow signs for Camaiore.  Your eventual aim is the small villiage of Vado which appears on a few signs, but it might be better to search for Casoli which is the more common as it is the final town at the end of the valley.  After passing through Vado take a small right turn towards Candalla, and the amazing Osteria Candalla.  The road will come to an end after roughly 1km at an old, half abandoned building.  Park here, being careful not to block the small road, and especially the turning space.


Where we climbed...
Candalla is split between 2 main areas, Candalla bassa (the older low cliff) and Candalla Alta (the slightly less old, high cliff).  We climbed in Candalla Alta, which is the steeper and more featured of the two, and really resembles wax dripping down a candle, with its giant white and black striped colos. 
To get to Candala Alta, park your car at the end of the road and walk up the obvious dirt track, 20m back towards the Osteria.  Almost immediately, take a smaller path on the left which passes underneath the two small houses and up into the forest.  Follow this path for around 20minutes to reach the cliff.

here is a mini topo to get you going...


The routes...
The special thing about Candalla is the unusually low difficulty of the routes, compared to the impressive terrain that they climb. Cliffs like this are usually the home of the upper 8’s and 9’s, but the giant tufas at Candalla are often hiding giant jugs that make a large percentage of the routes 7c+ and below!
Almost all of the routes we did were 5 star classics, but a special mention should go to Maco il Papa, a 45 meter 8b from 1991 which is simply fantastic!

 


Where we ate...
The Osteria Candalla is a must.  Located 1 minute from the parking of the cliff, this quirky restaurant cooks classic Tuscan cuisine with a eccentric modern twist.   It’s a classy joint so expect the other customers to be well dressed, however the management didn’t seem (too much) our chalky hands and scruffy appearance.  The Wild Boar with Porcini was divine!


Where we slept...
The end of the road is as good a place as any.  It is quiet and peaceful, close to the climbing, and for an extra bonus has a freezing, waterfall fed pool should you feel the urge for a dip!