Today Ermanno Busetti tells us about one of the most popular spots of Lazio: Ripa Maiala. The correct toponym is "Ripa Maiale", from the pigs (Maiale = Pig) that fed under the oaks at the base of the walls. But now everyone knows the spot as "Ripa Maiala", thus in the following it is so named.
The measure of success of this crag, present on the vertical scene of Central Italy since the early nineties, soon becomes clear at the parking spot, when, during the weekends the row of parked cars on the roadside is visible is clearly visible from afar.
The reason for the success is the beauty of the location, on the northern fringes of the Tolfa Mountains, a comfortable and free of danger base of the routes, good for families with children, and the presence of more than 160 routes of every difficulty, except maybe for the "8" grade.
The rock is magmatic, but, in contrast to other similar cliffs, like Sasso di Furbara or, even more, Castelnuovo di Porto, it offers holds quite similar to those offered by the limestone, with overhanging walls full of buckets or slab of varied rock.
L'apertura del settore più recente, nell'area all'estrema destra della struttura, è un autentica manna per gli arrampicatori più rilassati ed offre vie del livello giusto anche per chi vuole esordire senza traumi sulla roccia.
In terms of climate, the crag is quite versatile and it's at its best during the mid-seasons and in winter, during the morning, and, for those who have a fast metabolism, even in the afternoon when it gets warmer (as the walls are in shadow until 13:00 hours).
However, no climbing in springtime. In fact, it should be recalled that Ripa, for reasons linked to the raptor breeding, is closed from February 1 to May 31, according to an agreement between the CAI (Italian Alpin Club) of Rome and local authorities.
Among the most aesthetic routes, I would point out the long and continuous "Lo scudo di Avalon" 6c+ , the unbelievably carved slab of "Il velo di Maia" 5b, the technical wall with small crimps of "Porci con le ali" 6b+, and all the routes of the "Pilastro Rosso" area, athletic but also technical, and, why not, the "5" grades on the rightmost part of the cliff, crossing good rock with good friction.