There are some crags that seem to have a never ending story. When looking at the crag from the town it is impossible to not be amazed by this rock formation in front of you. The colourful smooth rock seems to have been polished by the wind, and right away you can imagine the complexity and the difficultly of the climbing here. Who knows what the first climbers were thinking when they discovered this rocky blackboard, back in the eighties! Lines of puzzling holds and random movements, they needed someone to reveal the way to move on this rock.
In 1981, Bruno Tassi “Camos” and Gianandrea Tiraboschi discovered and began to evaluate the walls of the Corna Bianca. It is impossible to not mention Camos, the leading pioneer of Cornalba, the person who was best able to interpret the rock and give us routes such as Apache, Replay, Peter Pan, FBL, Jedi and many others.
The lines have become legendary and, above all feared by many. The “legends” talk about onsight attempts, skinless fingers, climbing on the limit, joys and love that accompany such historical places like this one.
For example, Extrasistole Galoppante: Bolted by Yuri Parimbelli in 2010 for Adam Ondra’s visit (the line has still not been freed, Adam fell at the last bolt and suggested a solid 8c+/9a) Whereas Goldrake, one of the last masterpieces bolted by Camos in 2003, was freed by Adam Ondra in 2010.
What is certain is that Cornalba has become a must see for every top Italian climber and also for many visitors.
A crag of the past but also contemporary, even the likes of David Lama and Adam Ondra have been here. And not only, some big names from the eighties laid their hands on the limestone such as top climbers like: Manolo, Mariacher,Kostermaier, Glowacz, Atkinson, Bassi, Moon,Gallo, Scassa, Gnerro, Dallona, Brenna and many others. In particular Adam Ondra was able to undertake some of the what were futuristic pearls put up by Camos thus achieving the first ascent of Goldrake and Extrasystoles just to mention a couple. The Czech phenomenon has defined Cornalba as the crag of the future. Who knows if one day this place that has been recounted so much will become talked about again by many. Meanwhile Team CT, on a warm sunny day, gave the crag a visit. We were confronted with and amazed by some of the routes from the “past”. It resulted in a beautiful and intense day of climbing losing some skin from the fingertips on the little holds of Apache, C’era una volta in America and Jedi that in two words can be described as a vertical masterpiece. Maybe this winter I will go back to Cornalba, I only peaked through the keyhole and I cannot wait to completely open the door!!!
Ph: Alberto Orlandi