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Muzzerone with James and Caro, our tricks!!!

 

The Second stop on our trip was Muzzerone, a complex arrangement of sea side cliffs and quarries, close to the town of La Spezia  Climbing here was very popular in the 80’s and 90’s, and the majority of the routes are in the style of that era – vertical, technical and crimpy.  There are some fantastic short multi-pitch routes, as well of a selection of sport routes with the exposure more usually found on a big wall! 


How we got there...
To get to Muzzerone, take the A12 highway south from Finale, and exit onto the A15 towards La Spezia.   Follow this to the end and pass through the city to follow the coastal road south west until just before Le Grazie, where you turn right on to a small road towards the Muzzerone Fort (via Pezzino Alto) .  Drive for roughly 3 km, past many turns, until the road makes its way almost to the sea.  You then have to take the left (lower) fork, which will soon lead you past a big (working) quarry.  Keep on following the small road, which will be little more than a dirt track in places, and park in a large lay-by on the 4th hair-pin bend (N44.059019,E9.825207).


Where we climbed...


web site of Muzzerone
We climbed in 2 main sectors, Parete Centrale and Specchio di Atlantide, with the former being easy to find, and the latter, well, a little more complicated.  After parking the car, Parete Centrale is reached after about 30 seconds.  Pass through the obvious channel on a main path, and take a smaller path down the hill on the left – this is Parete Centrale
For Spechio di Atlantide, keep on walking along the main path after the obvious channel for 2 minutes until an obvious vista point.  Walk into the small quarry, towards an obvious archway, but before reaching the arch descend leftwards into a small rock tunnel. Follow this to the other side (don’t take the small side tunnel on the left) and exit again to see the sea.  Scramble around an obvious rocky corner (old fixed rope) and follow a rising track for around 20m (old fixed rope and cable) to reach a strange flat platform.  From here pass through the obvious gap between the rocks, the big (working) quarry will be on your right, the sea on your left.  On the other side of the rocks, walk left toward the sea (roughly 15m) where you will essentially be on top of the cliff. With a little searching you should find an old fixed cable, on the right hand side, behind a block, which will lead you down a very exposed via-ferrata to the cliff.  The total approach takes less than 10minutes, but took us over an hour and a half the first time due to wonderfully ambiguous google-translated directions!


The routes...
Mammy On-sight at Parete Centrale is fantastic test of steel fingered 80’s crimping.  No Siesta at Specchio di Atlantide is perhaps the most exposed sport route I have ever done, especially considering that the cable along the belay ledge was installed in 1989!

here is a little topo of the Atlantide sector...


Where we slept...
There is a very comfortable camper parking between Le Grazie and Porto Venere, with running water and a waste disposal point.  If you only stay between the hours of 19.00 and 08.00 it’s even free!  Alternatively there are many lay-bys on the small roads up to the climbing, which are perfect if you prefer to be a little more out of the way.
Where we ate...
There are many bars, cafes, restaurants and pizzerias in Le Grazie so you are quite spoiled for choice, just make sure to arrive before 10pm or you might find everything closed.  We spent one night eating Pizza at the house of local legend Roberto Vigiani, which was very very good, but sadly not open to the public!  Sorry ;)