The Alps of Turin are, historically, one of the most important areas in the history of Italian climbing. From the 1970s onwards, the Orco Valley has played a primary role in the birth and development of free climbing; also, the protagonists of the New Morning style started climbing in the Susa Valley.
Rocca Sbarua above Pinerolo and the Parete dei Militi in Bardonecchia were the gyms on which the great post-war mountaineers tried, from Boccalatte to Gervasutti to Guido Rossa.
All these great pioneers who traced new routes have made the rock gyms scattered on these mountains famous, often more than the mountains themselves.
The rocks for climbing around Turin are essentially of three types: granite gneiss, serpentine and limestone. The gneiss of Rocca Sbarua and Val Pellice has beautiful cracks or plates where climbers can test their adhesion as in Gran Dubbione.
In the area of Caprie and Colle del Lys serpentine is prevalent, with its more rounded shapes to train and build strength. Limestone is to be found in Alta Val Susa, where in some areas such as the Valle Stretta it is very similar to dolomite rock.