Grotta Caterina was discovered by drytoolers and the seemingly unclimbable overhang was bravely traversed. Today the cave has many routes – the short ones aren‘t even that hard. The atmosphere is great, like a kind of druid shrine, but the weather can be a drag at any time of the year. If you climb harder routes, Grotta Caterina can be an excellent and interesting change in your climbing routine.
Get your ass to Aurisina. It is a town stretched along the road between Sistiana and Santa Croce. If you came from Sistiana, then follow the turning left at the end of Aurisina, towards the railway station or San Pelagio. First you will cross the motorway and later the railroad tracks in a sharp left curve. The road starts to climb a little. When you see an intersection sign be mindful for a turning right (at a pole with a tree), as it is narrow and easily missed. Park as unobtrusively as possible before the last houses. Then follow a dirt path into the forrest, where you can split to the right at two points, which will bring you to the left/right side of the cave.
N 45°45’17.5”, E 13°41’33.8”
Summer is the best time, if it‘s not too hot and the wall is dry. The conditions can vary at any time, so you need some luck. The cave is much cooler than its surroundings, but any rain will drip through quite fast.
The quality of the bolts varies, which applies also to the pre-placed quickdraws. The rock itself is pretty solid, albeit a bit slippery. The base of the wall is comfortable and children can play here, as they will probably not climb much. The routes are generally not long, but the new ones are generously bolted, so bring enough quickdraws. Otherwise most routes are nice endurance pieces, which get abruptly interrupted by brutal cruxes, often right near the anchor.
Until recently Grotta was a secret spot – the parking is very small. Climbers share the wall with drytoolers! Making fire is forbidden. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible.
ROUTES (from left to right):
|Sueno 6c||6b+||15 m|
|Ti stimo en fratello||6b+||18 m|
|La ultima rola – left exit||7a+||15 m|
|La ultima rola||7c||15 m|
|Mefistofele = Caronte extension||8a+||25 m|
|Lucio Colombia||8b||20 m|
|Alta marea||7b||13 m|
|Alta marea extension||7b+||18 m|
|Alta marea 2nd extension||7c||23 m|
|Le putain||8b||15 m|
|Hello Ketty||8a||15 m|
|Nobile extension||7c||16 m|
|Fidel incastro||8c+||23 m|
|Pica prese||7b+||12 m|
|Pica prese direct||7a||10 m|