Massentourismus im Klettersport: Wie Tessiner Bouldergebiete um Lösungen ringen

Massentourismus im Klettersport: Wie Tessiner Bouldergebiete um Lösungen ringen

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Well, these are the same problems everywhere. At some point it's enough for the locals. Yes, we always have problems. The population

is not happy when they see them standing around everywhere in the village. Climbing has become much bigger than it was a few years ago. Another reason is that not everyone follows the rules. The municipality, which provides the parking and overnight accommodation, was unable to cover the costs with the previous solutions. Today's video is presented by Petzl.

Has Ticino become a victim of its own popularity? In bouldering hotspots such as Cresciano, Chironico or Val Bavona, climbers, locals and authorities regularly clash, and not just recently. Switzerland's sun room doesn't seem to be resting. Why is that? What exactly is the problem? This is exactly what we want to find out on site and that's why we're heading to Ticino. On the way to Ticino from our office you drive past Magic Wood, one of the most famous bouldering spots in Europe. We don't want to miss this opportunity and pay a visit to the campsite operator, Thomas Saluz. In the Magic Wood, things seem to work relatively well between the climbing community and the local population, the community.

We want to find out from Thomas: What is the recipe? Why does this work relatively well? And maybe he even has a few tips for our Ticino colleagues. So here we are, Magic Wood. Thomas. Hello, Remo. Nice to see you again. Ciao, welcome.

It's all ok? How are you? It's all ok. Yourself too? Very good, fits yes. Tip top. Not the best bouldering conditions yet, right? No not really. Thomas Saluz is almost part of the inventory at Magic Wood.

He has been running the Bodhi Camping since 2009 and is therefore the contact person, host and scapegoat all in one for the thousands of bouldering fans who flock to the Avers Valley every year from all over Europe and indeed the whole world . We want to tap into this wealth of experience when it comes to mass tourism in climbing . What mistakes should other bouldering hotspots not make in his eyes? If a bouldering area like Chironico, unfortunately it has now started to have a parking lot and a bit of fees. A real concept, a complete concept with camping, overnight accommodations, parking spaces, everything completely set up and then: Bam! And not even here something small that is then too small and then you have to look again. That then causes more problems. Magic Wood, from my perspective, even before, five or ten years ago, when I spoke to people from abroad, they always said: “Yes, there are a lot of problems in Switzerland, in Ticino back then, but hey, Magic Wood, I think it's super cool.

There’s a solution.” Why don’t the others do it that way? I actually always say this: For me, Magic Wood is a prime example for other bouldering areas. As I said, we may have a lot more visitors than anywhere else, but you can apply the concept to other areas and it brings a bit of structure to the chaos. What we have now achieved here is huge regional added value.

What do you think is the problem, now related to Chironico? Why are there problems with the municipality and with these parking spaces and the fees? Well, these are the same problems everywhere. At some point it's enough for the locals. In his eyes, these are the most important means of preventing conflicts with the local population, and what Thomas mentions several times and emphatically is value creation. I always say that if you travel to a region as a climber or, whatever, as an athlete, to practice your sport in nature, you should leave a small part behind in the region for local added value, be it drinking coffee, be it parking fees. It doesn't really matter what form it takes.

In the course of the conversation we also talk about penance and controlling. Thomas' attitude to this topic is exciting in that his lifestyle is certainly closer to the climbers than to the authorities and yet he still takes a clear line. You still have to control, I would say, because there are also the black sheep. If no one checks, then I wasn't there, then I don't have to pay. We are turning our backs on Magic Wood.

The exchange with Thomas showed that with the campsite they had certainly found a good way to direct the masses. Nevertheless, the idyll in Graubünden should not obscure the fact that new problems arise here every year that need to be solved. What we take with us to Ticino from this conversation are two points.

Firstly: The best way to drive is to start with a clean overall concept. And secondly: In order to be accepted by the local population, value creation is required. In other words, visitors should leave something behind in the valley. Paying parking fees is an important part of our report.

That's what we're doing now here in the city of Faido. We have arrived in Faido and are about to meet Daniele Zanzi. He is jointly responsible for the new parking regime, which has been in force in Chironico since 2024. As a sports coordinator, he is the link between climbers, the community and the patricians.

He will probably know best where the problem is. Yes, we always have problems. The population is not happy when they see campers standing around all over the village. That's the big problem.

When boulderers come, they need parking spaces. They also need toilets. And they must be able to dispose of their waste and the municipality must provide this. How does the community finance this or how does the community want to finance this? So the community planned to find a solution to be able to finance it themselves. At the moment she pays almost 10,000 francs for the ToiToi's and the disposal of the waste.

She also clears the parking lots when it snows. And we as a community also paid for the bus stop. And these are all the services that the community organizes. And for this reason, which has existed for years, we have been looking for a solution for the parking spaces. It worked with Park & ​​Sleep, but not completely. And now we have young people who live there and this is also a way for them to earn some extra money.

During the short sightseeing tour through Faido we get to know an official who doesn't fit in with the bare curtains in his office. We experience Daniele Zanzi as a person who is courageously committed to bringing people and their diverse needs together, whether this is the local pensioner or the climber from Germany. As we quickly realize, Zanzi has long since recognized the importance of Ticino's bouldering spots and is committed to finding pragmatic solutions. Now we have a solution with a person who collects what the Boulderites say and comes to me with it and I can talk to the community, talk to the Patriziato. Communication has begun when someone is available. Our goal is to work together because we want to leave the possibilities open, but the income should allow us to cover our costs.

So the community doesn't want to earn money. But the community also doesn't want to have to pay too much. When the new parking concept quietly started in 2024, there was a hail of criticism, less because of the fees but because of the inconvenience of the system. A lot has been optimized since then. Nevertheless, we wanted to know from Zanzi why they took this route and didn't simply choose a solution with an internationally recognized app. When staying overnight you have to pay the tax, the overnight tax.

Tourism tax, right? Tourism tax, yes. And that doesn't work with Park & ​​Pay. You can organize something, but it's too complicated. It works with Park & ​​Sleep. With Stefano and his app it's even better because the people who stay overnight are declared.

It is important for us to have people on site. Stefano is important to me because he can talk to the boulderers and he can talk to us... We meet every two weeks and he says: “I need this. We have to find a solution for this.” What is your appeal to the climbing people? Community? Yes, the climbing community must form a community, i.e. work together

and respect the rules so that problems do not arise. We are now at the parking lot that most people know, in the Chironico area. And you can see quite clearly that there is this board that Mr. Zanzi from the municipality also mentioned,

the number one parking zone. There are different zones. So it's clear: you have to pay here. There are also instructions on how to pay. Let’s take a closer look at all of this now. So now there is a piece of paper here, the so-called ticket pass.

I bought a ticket in advance, online, at home. I'm now writing here from when until when we'll stay here, so that's February 27th. February 27, 2024. And I also have to write my reservation number on it.

I see them here. That's 1392. And I then have to attach this ticket to the windshield of my car, preferably inside in this rainy weather.

We actually wanted to hear here in Chironico what the climbers thought about the new parking and overnight accommodation solution. But since the date had been set for a long time, we are now stuck in the mud and making the best of it. It's almost a miracle that anyone found their way to Chironico in this terrible weather. And since climbing is definitely out of the question today, the three guys from Berlin almost can't turn down our interview request. Yes, Lukas, we are now happy that we have met a few people here in Chironico who are camping and spending the night here.

Now there's a new parking system here. How do you like that? It's absolutely understandable that some kind of regulation was introduced, because I also noticed, I noticed it myself over the years, that it was simply more frequented, that it was super full. There were also people parked upstairs for a long time.

And the fact that some kind of regulatory system had to be introduced now is understandable and understandable. Of course the community here can't sustain this for so long, nor can the region here. And the price is okay too. 14 francs per night or per van, that's understandable. If it's about covering costs, that's fine, definitely.

Have you already been to Magic Wood? How does it compare to the system there? What would you say? Well, there is a reception there and somehow a larger number of sanitary facilities. There are showers and washing machines and so on. This is of course another level. I think it's cool that it's actually only designed for vans, it's not a campground and it's based a bit on trust that people here are just doing their part. Beastmaker is something like the epitome of fingerboarding.

We're giving away the Model 1000 in today's show. Write to us in the comments which boulder you want to project this year and you'll be in the raffle pot. And now we continue with the report from Ticino. We summarize: It is understandable that the community does not want to be stuck with the costs, even if it was a little better before, when it was still free. This roughly corresponds to the feedback we received in a survey on Instagram.

In principle, hardly anyone there spoke out against parking or accommodation fees. The criticism was mostly directed at the user-friendliness of the system. We're about to meet the brothers Stefano and Davide, who run the Bed & Breakfast in lak' ech in Chironico.

They are essentially the architects of the new parking concept. And if they can't shed light on the matter, who can? Ciao. Stefano or Davide? Davide. Davide. I'm glad, how are you? Good, thanks. You? Good but a bit cold.

Come in. I took an approach that was too human. They had to call me, there were times when I came to the location.

People paid us directly on site and we were able to talk to the visitors. Logically, this no longer worked with the big rush. We learned step by step. I am not a professional in the field. I am a private person who takes care of parking lot management. We have continued to improve and I think we have now reached a good point.

People can now register online. At home or on site, here in Chironico. There is now also a Wi-Fi hotspot so that you can also have reception on site if you do not have roaming. Anyone can access the Internet and buy a parking ticket.

The approach of adapting the system during operation is in direct contrast to the advice from Averstal to start with a well-founded overall concept. At the same time, there is a lot of humanity in the Chironico concept. It's much better to play as a police officer because you want to talk to each other on equal terms. That doesn't sound completely wrong, does it? We follow the approach of personal responsibility. My brother and I don't want to play police. We don't want to run around here all the time checking whether everyone has paid.

I hope this message gets through. This is not about us wanting to enrich ourselves. We shouldn't regulate everything. That is our ultimate goal. Of course, after all the work we do here, something should come out and we have to be able to cover our costs. What would you say would be the perfect solution for the community and the climbing community? I don't know if it will be perfect. Step by step is what I implemented here...

You know, this place is called In Lak'Ech. This is an ancient greeting from the Mayans. It means: You are a different “I”. I am a different “you”.

We are both the same "I". We are both earth dwellers and a common “organism”. With this concept I would like to push the idea forward. The idea of ​​self-responsibility.

Okay, for some people there may have been a bit too much esotericism here. But aren't Stefano and Davide, with their appeal to personal responsibility and their benevolent demeanor, the perfect antithesis to the social trend of regulating everything and flanking it with laws? Actually, it should be in the interest of the climbing community to decide for themselves whether this form of parking policy has a future in Chironico. Hello? Hello Giuliano, this is Remo from the climbing magazine Lacrux. Ah, hello! How are you doing? I'm doing well. Then let's do it like this: you call me around three o'clock, send me the location and we'll meet there.

OK, perfect. Have a nice day. Bye Juliano. Ciao! Yes cool. We fixed that too.

Giuliano, he is one of the most famous boulderers in the world. But he is also one of the busiest developers in Ticino. As a boy, he traveled with his father in Ticino; he opened up many blocks, and his father did too, blocks and sport climbing routes. So it's a family that has done a lot to develop Ticino's sport climbing and bouldering areas. And that's why we want to talk to him about developments in Ticino. How has everything changed so much? from the origins of the past to today now in the present day? Why do you think we have these problems in Val Bavona, Chironico, Cresciano? Hmmm.

I believe this has two reasons. One is that climbing has become much bigger than it was a few years ago. The other reason is that not everyone follows the rules. So on the one hand it has a lot of people, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a problem, per se. But it is a problem when there are no clear rules. What do you think is a good solution to get rid of these problems and enable climbers and locals to coexist well? I believe that the local community, in the case of Val Bavona that would be Cevio, recognizes that climbing is a real thing and not just something that a few people do. It becomes a real activity

that attracts more people every year. They should understand that climbing can also be a business for them. My personal vision is to have a campsite that is quite large, near Val Bavona, for example, so that people no longer sleep in the valley, because in Val Bavona you are not allowed to spend the night in your own van. And yet people do it. And they hope not to get fined, but that doesn't work. This works for two vans, but the way climbing is growing and visitors to Bavona are increasing exponentially, it calls for a solution.

There is still no climbing guide for Val Bavona and that prevents many people from coming here. But, these are all the bouldering blocks, people will come one way or another, I think. Giuliano Cameroni does not believe that the Ticino hype will decrease in the future . The huge block offering is just too tempting, especially in the enchanted Val Bavona. The Ticino native seems to be fully aware of his responsibility as a climbing professional.

In order to protect what he loves, he and other locals in Val Bavona want to act as a link between climbers and locals, smooth things over and find solutions. Everything has to be taken into account. It would be me, Dave, Egon, a motivated route planner, and Alejandro, who lives in Sonlerto. I think the four of us should go there, talk to people and do something. And we will that is planned for this spring. That's cool, so you form a group of people locals to find a solution. Exactly, that's the idea. Cool.

When a lot of people come, it is better to have clear rules, simple rules that must be followed. Furthermore, everyone is free to live the way they want. We traveled to Ticino to find out more about why there are always tensions between climbers, authorities and locals in Ticino. Originally we wanted to combine the exciting with the beautiful and do some climbing alongside our work. In the end, due to the time pressure, we ignored the gloomy weather forecasts and risked not finding many climbers there. Would it have been nicer to hear more and different opinions and thoughts? Yes.

Was that why the trip was a waste? No. The conversations with Daniele Zanzi, Stefano and Giuliano made it clear to us that there is a lot of goodwill in the entire discussion about climbers . You want to find solutions, but it's usually easier said than done to start with the all-encompassing concept right from the start. It is usually difficult to find funds for new projects when the general public is already co-financing third-party costs such as toilets or waste disposal. Nevertheless, visions are there.

For example, Daniele Zanzi wants to create a pavilion, a fireplace and other meeting opportunities on the meadow at Parking Area One in Chironico. What we have become aware of once again, and this now applies not only to Chironico, is the fact that the ball is in our court. We, who flock to Ticino from all over the world and enjoy the variety of rocks and the beauty of the local nature, have the power to use our actions and behavior to ensure that the threads of patience do not break.

2024-03-18 02:30

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