he 'Little Yosemite', as it is often referred to, is an important and historical climbing area on the Italian-Swiss border. Val di Mello is where you can find some of the best granite climbing in Europe, and it is also home to great bouldering and some high quality single-pitch sport climbing. Val di Mello and the neighbouring Val Masino are set in a beautiful Alpine scenery close to a small and picturesque village of San Martino. The landscape is as idyllic as it is breathtaking. Everywhere you look you see mountains, rocks and lush greenery.
The area offers all types of climbing: bolted sport climbs, trad multi-pitches and excellent bouldering. The rock is of great quality and is often weathered into fins and flutings which make imposing rock faces available at moderate grade. Val di Mello is very famous for its cracks and sustained, technical slabs with hardly any holds.
Recently, Val di Mello and Val Masino have gained fame as a world class bouldering destination. The valley floor is littered with huge blocks and the Alpine climate makes it a perfect summer venue. Val di Mello boulders have generally good landings and there are boulders of all heights.
Most of the sport and trad climbs are located on south facing walls and are quite easy to approach. They are usually completely snow free by mid-summer.
Remember that most of the Alpine climbing is at an altitude of 2000 to 3000 metres, so the best time to visit is from July to early autumn. For bouldering, you can come throughout the year, although the best time is from October through to April in Val Masino, and March through to November in Val di Mello. Rain can occur at any time as the mountain weather changes fast, but at least the boulders dry quickly.
There are a few good campsites in the area, as well as several alpine huts which serve the valley.