As I related in my Previous post, the 2022 programme of the Gruppo Alpinisti “G. Ferrari” (CAI Sezione di Ravenna, of which I am a member) includes a special excursion to the Forgotten Cliff on 19th March. In view of this, I would like to list here the principal stages in the restoration of this crag.
Everything began in 2017, when the DolomitiOpen amateur sports association was created in order to reopen the cliff and restore this “jewel” of climbing to the world of climbers. A crowdfunding campaign was opened and supporters of the Forgotten Cliff included no less a figure than Adam Ondra!
DolomitiOpen is collaborating with Sportfund, a no-profit sports association, to set up a sector dedicated to climbing for all, where disabled climbers can take their first steps and learn climbing techniques in complete safety.
Now let’s read the story in detail!
Once upon a time, at the end of the 1980s, when sportive climbing began to take form, in a small town at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites, San Lorenzo-Dorsino, there was a cliff with all the aesthetic and climber-friendly features needed to make it unique of its kind.
Climbers wearing improbably-coloured Lycra tights swarmed over this unique rock that rose from a meadow, from which flowed a spring of fresh water. Attendance grew little by little, then exponentially, following publication of the area in the first guide to Arco.
One day in the early 1990s, the owner of the piece of land, tired of the presence of these strange beings who slept in trucks and amused themselves on his meadow, decide to close the site and removed the bolts from the entire cliff.
From that day on, “old generations” of climbers looked back nostalgically towards that magical place, kissed by the sun throughout the day and overlooking the gorges of the River Sarca at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites.
The DolomitiOpen amateur sports association was created and dedicated itself to reopening this cliff and restoring this “jewel” of climbing to the climbers, because such a unique climbing site cannot be the property of a single person, but must become the heritage of humanity, for climbers and non-climbers.
We wish this cliff to become “everyone’s cliff”. This is why each person’s contribution becomes fundamental. Everyone, in their small way, can contribute to implementing this project and to the restoration of this natural monument of climbing to lovers of the outdoors.
July 2017: WHEN THE COMMUNITY GETS BUSY TO RECLAIM A UNIQUE ASSET.
We can relate the result of this project, which has become a reality, mobilizing an entire community, that of San Lorenzo-Dorsino, as well as the international community of climbers.
Supporters of the Forgotten Cliff include Adam Ondra: for those who do not already know, he is the leading climber of his generation!
In 40 days, Dolomiti Open gathered 21,705.00 € with the contribution of over 400 people and the precious help of several associations in the territory. A unique project, both for Italy and internationally, which is beginning now and of which we will hear very much more.
HOW THE FUNDS WERE USED
The funds were used to purchase the terrain of 1,000 m², embracing the Cliff and the beautiful meadow below it, including the spring.
The legal entity that undertook the purchase was the Dolomiti Open Association, which is now dedicating itself to bolting the routes with bolts and to organizing the area.
The first ten routes, corresponding to the historical “roads”, have been restored.
Dolomiti Open collaborates with Sportfund Fondazione per lo sport Onlus for the setting up of a sector dedicated to climbing for all, where climbers with disabilities can take their first steps and learn climbing techniques in complete safety.
In summer 2018 15 fixed-rope routes were accessible, bolted in compliance with the latest regulations and fastened with resin-coated stainless steel.
June 2019: A SUSTAINABLE AND CONNECTED CLIFF…
From the success of the crowdfunding dated June 2017 up until 2019, many things have been done at the Forgotten Cliff. A great deal of energy has been invested, as a result of which we have engaged resources from the territory and elsewhere to achieve our goals and to entertain new ideas and projects to be implemented.
Contributions from public and private institutions, both in the territory and from outside the Province, have enabled us to equip the Forgotten Cliff with toilet facilities, 30 bolts-equipped routes, a flow-monitoring project and a route-diary to be implemented.
May 2020: bolting COMPLETED AND NEW HORIZONS…
The Forgotten Cliff, too, has been closed in recent months because of COVID-19, but as soon as it was possible we finished bolting the last routes of the sector. There are now 30 routes available and they can truly suit all tastes!
We took advantage of the lockdown period to think about the upcoming future of the cliff. We needed to find a sustainable relationship between the presence of users and the available space.
A system for self-limiting access to the Cliff, one that would avoid overcrowding and ensure physical distancing in this emergency phase, but which would also be useful in the future to avert overcrowding and critical issues.
Access to the Cliff can now be booked on the EVENTBRITE platform. Access remains free of charge, and the booking is not binding, but we trust in people’s goodwill for the working of this system.
This “experiment” is based on mutual trust and on compliance with the rules by all users. It is not intended as a limitation, but as an opportunity to create a harmonic relationship between people and the environment.