Instead of going to Arco for the Easter Holidays, we decided to try something new and explore the sport climbing crags in South Tyrol in Italy. We started in Innsbruck by bike and had a first stop at ‘Ritten’, a high plateau right above Bozen, to climb there for three days. After that, we continued our bike trip through Meran to Latsch, a big sportclimbing crag in Vinschgau. Since we were only binking, we decided to go back to Innsbruck via Reschenpass to have a round trip, but if you don’t want to bike the whole Vinschgau, Meran, and Bozen are easily accessible by train and busses as well.
How to get there
We made the whole trip as a bikepacking/climbing trip, so we only used our gravelbikes for the journeys, but Südtirol is perfectly accessible by public transport, so it is also possible to leave the bikes at home or use them only as a way of getting around at the destination.
Alternative without bikes: Take the train from Innsbruck to Bozen (eg. EC87) and from there take the Bus 165 to get to Ritten. From Bozen, you can also get to Latsch by public transport, first taking the train to Meran and from there 2 Busses to Latsch (eg see here)
By bike: We started from Innsbruck and had our first stop at Ritten. The bike journey is rather long and exhausting, since you must cross the Brenner pass, but it can easily be facilitated by taking the train to Brenner, Bozen or anywhere in between. From Ritten we continued to Latsch, which is a 69 km bike journey with 480m of altitude uphill and 730m of altitude downhill. It is mainly on very nice bike trails, that are in perfect condition. You can find our cycling route here:
Where to stay
You can stay at Ritten in Hotels or this campground. In the Vinschgau, there are also plenty of accommodation possibilities, if you want to stay at a campsite, there is one very close to the crag (see here).
How to reach the crag(s)
In Ritten, starting from the campground, you can reach the crag Unterinn by bike in around 20 minutes (the way back is uphill, so it will take ~35 minutes) or by bus (166 and 165) in 23 minutes. You can also reach the crag Mittelberg in 25 minutes by bike or in 20 minutes taking the bus 166 and 165.
In Latsch, you can walk to the crag (Latsch) directly from the campground in around 15 minutes.
If you want to visit other crags, there are plenty more sportclimbing crags in the area of Bozen and Meran, eg. here or here.
There is a DeSpar in Klobenstein, that you can reach in 8 minutes walking from the campground.
If you want to go trad climbing, you also find some nice areas at Ritten next to the bolted lines to place some cams.
How to book the trip
You can book the train tickets for the EC 87 on the website of ÖBB - here, you can also buy your bike ticket. On this train, you have to make a reservation for the bike!
Train tickets from Bozen to Meran can be bought on the Trenitalia website.
Bus Tickets to Ritten and Latsch can be bought on the busses, respectively.
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