As you might have guessed, we’re already home and have been for over a week now. But we didn’t get around to writing anything on Sunday or Monday because we were busy doing some climbing and then driving home.

Sunday morning we got up and went to have breakfast and then try once again to find somewhere we could climb. When we approached the parking lot where the Defender was, we came across this car. We thought it was kind that they at least propped the car up on a few rocks so it wasn’t totally destroyed…but they only took the wheels and tires. There was a cell phone and other stuff laying inside the car but they didn’t even try with that. Just a few weeks ago I was reading in a travel magazine that Tessin is supposed to be one of the safest areas of Switzerland…but apparently that’s not always true if you have nice rims lol.

I kinda panicked, thinking they might have done something to the truck, especially since we were too tired to lug our climbing gear to the hotel the night before and just covered it all up in the back. But thankfully nothing seemed to have been touched and they certainly didn’t want my steel wheels 🙂

Armed with the new climbing guide, our hopes were high for finding a location suitable for us. We’d found a place very close to Ponte Brolla with a bit of an approach so we figured there wouldn’t be too many people there. At 9 am, we drove by the walls of Ponte Brolla and the place was packed. So we kept on driving, searching for landmarks on the map and the correct parking area. We drove back and forth in front of it a few times before we actually found the right place. A driveway led to a walkway up the mountain and we decided it would be too much for the dog so we turned around. It was actually a bit much for us as well, especially with all our gear.

Discouraged we decided we’d give Ayla chance to try out the metal bridge at Torbeccio. But she still wasn’t budging. She did put both front feet on the grates which was a major step over the day before…but she wasn’t about to stand on it completely and certainly wouldn’t cross it…Plus we started to think that should we get her across it once, we may not be able to get her back across and carrying her is not really an option. So we debated and lamented a bit…and decided to head back to Arcegno, where we had been the day before with the millions of other climbers.

When we’d gone back the second time on Saturday with the new climbing guide, we’d been trying to find our way to a more isolated wall that required a short hike in or could also be accessed over the main wall, climbing up a few slabs and such. The slab way wasn’t a possibility for Ayla (although she probably would have done pretty well on them) so we decided we’d try to find the correct path into the woods that would lead us to the wall.

We apparently didn’t find the path…but we did find our very own rocks to climb. The three of us were at least able to play around a bit on the rocks which were only about 4 meters high (12 feet) and practice a few moves on cracks and so on.

This was the first rock. We were able to hike up the top of it and set a top rope. Leading it was of course an option as well but we figured with all we’d already been through just to find a decent place to climb, why push our luck? It was hot, we were carrying a bunch of stuff and we were ready to get our hands dirty.

I unfortunately forgot to take photos of the other rock because we thought a rain storm was going to move in. That one totally kicked our butts and S was the only one that got most of the way up the wall. We have no idea what the grading would have been for it since it was not in the book, but it definitely seemed above our usual grasp. But it sure was fun to try. 🙂

The drive home was uneventful aside from a great stop for breakfast at Marche, a rest stop off the highway in Switzerland. They have these all around and if you get the chance to stop, do. Tons of fresh rolls, muffins, fruit and so on were waiting for us so we grabbed a few sandwiches for breakfast and dinner, ate real fast and powered through all the driving. No traffic, no problems and we were home at around 4 pm.

All in all it was a nice vacation but we are definitely not going back to Locarno over Easter. Perhaps in the fall when it’s cooling down a bit and school is back in session…then there should be less tourists and hopefully a lot less people looking to climb.