domenica 16 dicembre 2012

News from Varazze and Donnas

Hi there!

After a month and over my blog reborn with new words about my bouldering adventures. The main topic is about the first half of December, since in November no important things happened. In fact November was a month of training except some little rock times with poor results. I had three weeks really full of mixed traning sessions, with 6/7 sessions per week, by using different kind of trainings like fingerboard, pan gullich, climbingym, a bit of rock and in addition of these things also three or four hours of stretching per week. After this period I took one week of rest with 3 sessions of mild training. The sessions on the rock took place in Gaby (Aosta Valley) and in Chironico. The first place is the spot where there is “el raton matado” a really nice line I opened in April and other stuff are waiting for a brush and for a first ascent. I went there twice, the first time I  tried a great project. It deals of a white and smooth wall, at the beginning lightly overhang, then vertical until the top. It has just some little slopery crimps which make it possible in my opinion. It counts four moves and the first two ones are quite simple, while the last ones seem really hard. The third single presents a wide span from the second crimp to another one and the last move is a big dyno which I tried with two really high footholds. I managed to do it just with a big push up given by my brother, but I feel that it could be possible. I have to work it more to understand some little new things and I hope to try the whole sequence next year. A crimp on the proj signed my right fingers a bit and I stopped to try. I moved down to another great boulder, a huge roof six meters long which looks climbable at the edge with a cool exit on a prow. I used the rope to brush the last part in the pillar and I put the chalk on. After few goes, I did it and it seemed quite easy, having no idea about what grade could be. The second move is awesome, from a good pich for the right hand I had to take a bad sloper for the left one and it looked like a font-style move. I tried the first part in the roof, which I also attempted in April but it seems too hard for me now. The second time I was there I brushed another line on that boulder but after the removal of the moss it was completely wet and I let it dry. Unfortunatly the week later the snow arrived and I have to wait for the next season.

I took also some occasions to go to Ticino, expecially Chironico with Marco and Alice. My main projects of the fall were shadowfax and collateral but unfortunatly I wasn’t capable of doing nobody of these. Marco did a great line after some sessions, it is called “serre moi fort” 8A. He climbed it really well during the right attempt and I was happy for him since that line gave me a big satisfaction when I did it three years ago. I am sure that serre gave an important satisfaction to him too.

In December I decided to check some lines in Varazze, a spot where I stayed only once last year and this winter I hope to visit it more frequently. I went there on Tuesday the 4th and it was a cool day of climbing. I met Christian, Stella, their little daughters and one of my ex-competition mates, Marcello.

In the morning, after a good warm up on the gioia’s boulder I climbed “raptor” a good line opened by Christian two years ago and I probably made the 5th ascent from the stand. I think that it could be a right 8A+ as Christian thought. The plans for the afternoon were to try Gandalf 8A, but it was really wet. So I moved toward “scacco al rè nero”, a peculiar 7C which always rejected me years ago. This time I climbed it after few attempts and then I also crushed “phantom” 7C+.

The dark was arriving so I fastly decided to climb the whole line of “messa delle streghe” that is a bit high but with a really easy topout. The day is completly reported in this Video on my Vimeo’s channel.

I felt really good in Varazze because it was a long of time since I hadn’t climbed in “new” spot and during the last times in Ticino I haven’t relaxed my mind from my hard projects. I really needed to climbing on new kind of rocks, new lines and in new woods. For these points I really hope to come back to Varazze this winter in January to check some new sectors I have never stayed in. 

 Raptor stand 8A+, Varazze. foto: Christian Core

Raptor stand 8A+, Varazze. foto: Christian Core

 The weekend later I went to Donnas on saturday and I came back to Varazze on sunday. Donnas started to be haunted by climbers from just one year and I have never had occasion to check the area, considered a bit secret for unknown reasons. On saturday the 8th I finally reached this spot and I climbed after few goes “mucca pazza”, a little cool pillar opened by Alberto Gnerro. The grade could be around a 7C+, probably soft, but still in 7C+ range in my opinion. Max got a great performance crashing it in a day. In the afternoon we moved to a nice cave where there is a fine problem called “klettermachine” 8A. Also this one was opened by Alberto. When we reached the boulder I was really cold after Mucca pazza and my hands were frozen. Despite this fact I decided to try a flash go and I failed it on the last move, where the hard was completely finished. I didn’t feel the good crimp in my right hand becasue it was too frozen and I fell down miserably. After some rest I did it on the third go.

The darkness came and we went on to brush a new bouder where two lines seemed possible. When the visibility was too bad, we decided to go back to the parking. The day after I moved again to Varazze with my dad. The plans of the day were to check “tai lung”, an 8A+ in Cava sector. Christian told me that it is very worthy and proud and finally an occasion to try it arrived. The rock is very good, maybe better than the druidi sector’s rock. The walk to reach it doesn’t exist and we parked among the boulders. After a good warm up I tried it and I did every movement really fast. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it from the bottom and I did my best attempt falling in the last dyno from the start. In the afternoon we went down to gioia’s sector and I climbed after 20 minutes Gandalf 8A, which has good moves but the rock is bad. After this one I really wanted to try “alphancentaury stand” 8A. It is situated in a cool cave with a fine kind of rock. I tried it two years ago and it was really hard, in fact one single move missed in my beta. This time I was more relaxed and more optimistic since the hardest move for me is an heel hook which require a bit of flexibility and in 2010 it was impossible for me. After some attempts I managed to do the single move and I worked the squatted start. I did it with a hard effort and I felt it like one of my hardest 8A. Now I’m pretty syked to come back to try the whole line which adds two hard moves and it becomes an 8B.
During this passed week I have had just an occasion to climb out on the rock. I went to Donnas again to try the lines brushed days before. Marco sent the FA on a really cool line called “ricochet” in honor of a song of Faith No More. During the day, I did it and I confirmed the 7B+ grade suggested by my friend. I also brushed and opened a new line called “kamino78” which Marco repeated and he thought that 7B could be appropiated. This week I climbed twice in the gyms and the weather for the weekend wasn’t good, in fact on Friday night the snow arrived in the lowlands.

klettermachine 8A Donnas. foto max Buvoli

klettermachine 8A Donnas. foto max Buvoli

alphacentauri 8A, Varazze

alphacentauri 8A, Varazze

lunedì 5 novembre 2012

A poor trip to Font, but always a great sandstone!

Hi there.
It’s finally ready a little video reportage about my week in Valais at the end of september. It is 7 mins long,it includes the historical radja and other ones. 

This blogspot is dedicated to my week in Fontainebleau, although there isn’t a lot of stuff to tell since it was a really empty trip for me. We were in 4, me, Marco, Max and Aly and we left Biella on sunday the 21st. I thought that I could take profit by my good shape after the ascent of Entlinge, but it wasn’t. The first symptoms of the shape’s drop appeared two day before the starting when I did a training session in Silea. I did three hours of training, I suspected that it was too much for that day because my skin was still hurted by entlinge and maybe the good shape was leaving me. The first day in bas cuvier was basically a rest day, the lines was still a bit wet by the long rain and I felt already tired at the beginning of the trip. The second one we went to apremont, together with Anita and Stefano, two really nice peolple who climbed with us in Biella some years ago. I climbed one of the best 7Bs of the forest advised by the guide, “onde de choc”. For sure it is a really great line, but I don’t think that it can be one of the nicest of Bleau. Unfortunately, Alice took an ancle twist and she wasn’t ready for the day after.
On wednesday we went to fata morgana block where I had to try satan I helvete whereas last season I almost grabbed the crimp on the left. This fall it went worst. I wasn’t solid enough to set up the dynamic move,I felt really out of shape with bad skin and a drop of power so I quitted. Then me and Max went to “elephunk”, a marvelous 8B which is often humid and wet. After a fast checking, it wasn’t at the top of conditions but dry enough to try it. I set the pads and after a session I understood that it is hard but possible. The rock is perfect there, maybe one of the best boulder of the forest. The second single move looked the hardest one for me and I wasn’t capable of taking the intermedium to do the jump. After some tries on that single move we moved under “hip hop” but after few goes I prepared the pads again to come back home. Hard beating again. 

Marco on "double axel" 7A+ Cassepot

I decided that I had to take a rest day. On thursday we went to cuvier rampart where Max went close to climb “noir desir” 7C and in the afternoon we moved to bas cuvier where I did a bit of stretching to recuperate faster my tiredness. Meanwhile Marco climbed a really good one near biseps mou, called “vent claire” an awesome 7B+ with great and lovely pinches. The morning later I rested again and we went to Cassepot, maybe my favorite sector, then we reached Rocher Saint German where I started to warm up since in the late afternoon I wanted to try “the island”. I did some easy and cool boulders then I went to “megalight”, a little arete with a really nice dyno at the end. I climbed it two times because that move was so great to do.

"megalight" 7B roche Saint German

We left the sector and we went to “the island”, the famous compression roof opened by Dave Graham four years ago. Last spring I was able to do every single hand moves and just one footwork was left. This time I took a session to remember the right beta which I used and I was still confused for the higher part of the line. I did the footwork which missed last season, then I tried the last part after the crimp but I couldn’t do it rightly. The day after we went to cusiniere and the plans for the afternoon were to come back to “the island”, in this way, I would have tried it again to understand every new possbile thing for the next year, since I knew that it was impossible to climb it on this trip. My right hand hadn’t skin enoguh and I was a bit signed by the session of the day before. In the late morning I warmed up then  I crushed “Karma”, the famous and historical line climbed by Fred Nicole seventeen years ago. I tried it in 2010 but just for few attempts since it was too hot to try it in fact I left it quickly. This time the conditions were really better and I did it on the 5th go of that day. Karma was graded 8A and I think that it could be considered like one of the most important boulders about that grade in the world. Some years ago, I think in 2001, A mad person chipped and broke the slopery crimp of Karma and from that time, it is also considered like an 8A+. He also broke “carnage” and “fatman”. After Karma, Max and Marco climbed another 7B called “pensees cachèes” a wonderful prow just belew the square of Karma. 

"Karma" 8A Cusiniere

"Karma" 8A Cusiniere

 At 4 o’clock Max and I went to the island and when we arrived the light was perfect, from that hill the view was fantastic and he took the occasion to make some photos. The session was important for me, because although I didn’t the island, I understood other things about it, trying new changes of beta and I was capable of doing it in two sequences. I was anyway happy of that, in fact I would like to thank max to have carried me there. When I will return there probably it would be at the top of the list together with “elephunk” and “atomic playboy” since this time we never went to Buthiers. On sunday we took the way home with few lines climbed and no projects done. Probably I missed the plans for this trip, I had to know that the both conditions, the physical and the climatic ones, weren’t so good to dedicate the whole week to project on my limits. I should have dedicate the climbing to many moderates since there is a paradise to climb on a medium grade, probably it would have been better and more satisfactory.

sabato 20 ottobre 2012

Murgtal in a day

I want to dedicate a paragraf to tell about an incredibile and great day in Murgtal.
Murgtal is the valley of Murg, a little village situated on a small peninsula of the walan’s lake, in the north-est of Swiss. Once passed it, a road follows the valley until another cool lake among the mountains and the place is beautiful to watch as I described on the last blogspot. The rock is verrucano, which usually doesn’t give to climbers a good quality of rock and holds, But some gems are scattered in those woods and few of them present nice lines to climb. I was there on the last sunday of september when my friends and I went there from magic wood to check it and in the evening I was impressed by “Entlinge”. It is a wonderful overhanging wall with lovely pinches, crazy toe hooks and a quiet environment around it, because, although it is close to road, it remains partly hidden by the trees. On the right side of it there is a nice green grass, on the left one there is the wood of murgtal. I like so much this location because it is almost completely abandoned by the climbers, the rock is a mix of red,green and pink colours. The line seemed really pure and great and after a session I felt every moves possible. The hardest one for me was the fourth for the hands and the feet change in the middle. I really wanted to come back before fall ended, but I didn’t know if I would have had any other occasions. The third week of october my dad had some days off and he was helpful to carry me in Swiss for some days. My plans were to go to Chironico, Magic Wood,murgatl or maybe Sustenpass if the weather was good. Unfortunately it wasn’t and we had just a possible day of climbing. For sure, in this bunch of possibilities, I would have choosen Murgtal but I knew that it would have been too far from my home to reach it in a day, mostly for the journey, four hours of car to go and other four to come,it may not have been worth for only a few hours of climbing.

On second thought, we decided to risk the journey on sunday the 14th. We started early from Valdengo, at half past six in the morning and I was pshyched, really pshyched. Maybe my dad wasn’t so pshyched since he doesn’t climb but he approved to go. We reached murgtal after four hours and half and the air seemed a bit humid. I was worried about the conditions because I thought that the boulders which I would have liked to try could be completely wet. We parked and we immediately went to check Entlinge. Fortunately it was totally dry except the top out since the vegetation covers it. the last jug, for the toes, was a bit wet because from the mantle the water dropped down but not so excessively. I took the pads then I started to warm up and I made some moves on it because there aren’t many lines where it is good to warm up. I looked for doing some stretching and some exercises because I found some hard times getting warmed up. When I was ready I started a session of work. Like the passed time, the crux seemed very far of doing it. The sun went out of the mountain,the air began to be really dry but I wasn’t still capable of doing the single move. Then I understood the first little thing that succesly would have done the different: I had to take the fourth hold differently. The thumb had to be where before I put the three fingers and they had to take the hold higher. From that point my body position was different,I felt really better the first crux of foot but when it was on foothold, it still seemed hard stopped the other foot, the right one, in a slopery toe hook and I always crushed down to the pads. I took some rest times alternated with little sessions of attempts. I understood another little thing, I had to keep me as low as possible with my body during the hard move. In this way I was able of putting the left foot correctly and I felt the good position to leave the right one to pass it into toe hook to stay on the boulder. Every moves was done, I had to link them. I changed something on the first part, I take the second hold a bit different and I took the third one better in the specific point where I had to take because if I didn’t take it there, it was impossible to go on for me. I put the camera to film, not because I felt that was possbile, but to film me and trying to watch I missed. Fortunately the camera brought a bit of lucky and during the attempt I was in the middle of the line, with the crux done and I had to do the spectacular move head down. I was calm, but not so much. I didn’t really want to fail, I wanted to reach the top. I grab the jug with the toes and very slowly I took it with the hand. It was done! I was extremly happy and glad. I removed a pine cone on a jug in the mantle and I stood up. I had to climb it really static otherwise I would fall off. I didn’t make other videos to do the details because I have wanted to let it uncut. The journey very quickly paid off. 

entlinge 8B/B+

entlinge 8B/B+

Entlinge gave me a big satisfation, I like it so much, its style, its holds, its sequenque and the nature around it. A mix of good stuff which makes it really special for me. Concerning the grade I didn’t know. For sure I felt it harder then all other 8Bs I have ever done and probably 8B+ could be right but the fact is that I don’t know how an 8B+ of six moves could be, I have not a good comparison whereas the last 8B+ I did, was the dagger in february, a completely different and far period. The only thing that I can say is that it could be 8B+ or an 8B/B+.
In the afternoon we moved towards the lake and I went to check out bourgignon, a funny little river prow. It seemed really cool but I prefer to keep the energy and the skin for “L’ombre du vent”, an amazing shield that when I saw it I immediately tried it. The exit is easy but it was completely full of water so I tried to dry it a bit but it didn’t change a lot. After some mins I did the stand and after one hour and half I put it together from the sit, climbing another great line and I made the day worth the long trip. Also this one was graded 8B+ but it is impossible that it can have this grade. I think it could be more like 8A, but it’s a really fine and great line to climb. It also is very estetical to watch and it was really cool to climb it.

L'ombre du Vent 8A

L'ombre du vent 8A

 The day was over and my dad had to drive other hours to come home. we left murgtal and we got home at ten minutes to midnight but still on sunday the 14th. Murgtal in a day was done, and two great gems too. I was really glad about this day and I really want to say a big thanks to my dad because, along with this demanding adventure, he makes every possible things to support me and thanks to him I can do what I really love in this period of my life, without him I think that it wouldn’t be possible. He has always followed me, in every passion that I have had and he goes on to do it. thanks a lot.

Sunday I will leave for Fontainebleau with Marco, Alice and Max. It’s time: the Forest is waiting for us.

venerdì 12 ottobre 2012

A week in Valais

Hi everybody,
This blog spot will be mainly dedicated to describe my week in Valais, an amazing area where many gems deserve to be visited. Before the principal topic I would like to write something about one weekend in Magic Wood and Murgtal, a new area for me.
Magic Wood has been almost absent from my summer list for some causes, but basically because I wanted to avoid it since it is completely crowed by climbers in july and august and I would have difficulty to find a quiet place where to climb and where to put my tent.
In september an abundant part of people usually leaves the place,the temperature goes down and it becomes good for the conditions because although a lot of climbers consider it like a summer spot, I think it isn’t because in september or in april/may everithing is different.
My friends and I planned to go there on the second weekend of the month, but during the night I was sick and I had to quit. The weekend after I went there with Marco, Alice and Max. During saturday I crushed “steppenwolf” 8B where I failed three times on the mantle in june. Max shot me some good photos and filmed me during the ascent. 

In the morning we were in the higher part, lake sector. The place is enjoyable, among the mountain, green grasses,red rocks and blue river which flows into the lake. Marco and I climbed a really particular boulder called “unscheinbarer pfeiler” 7A+ then we decided to go down to the lower sector.
This part of murtagl isn’t as nice as the first one, the wood is middling, the rock has a poor quality and many mosquitoes buzzed around us. In the evening we moved to other side of the road where the place is better and there is one of the greatest line I have seen in Swiss,“entlinge”. I was a bit tired and cold but I really wanted to put my hands on it. The rock is amazing and it gives an incredible sequence of perfect holds. I was able to do every single moves except a turning of feet in the middle. I am really psyched to come back.

steppenwolf 8B Magic Wood foto: Max Buvoli

unscheinbarer pfeiler 7A+ Murgtal foto: Max Buvoli

The week later my plans were to go to Switzerland and to follow a logical tour from Martigny to Sustenpass together with Giulia. The weather made hard our projects and after three or four days in Valais we wanted to go to Bleau, but also there the rain was expected so we stayed in Valais for a whole week.
We had our base in a camping in Vernayaz and from there I wanted to check some spots like Vernayaz itself, Massongex, Branson and specially Fionnay because since three years I was curious to see the big cave and permanent midnight. I will write a little diary of the trip below.

Day 1 (19/9)

We started from Valdengo and we reached Vernayaz at 6 o’clock in the evening. I didn’t climb that day but I was really motivated to visit at least one of the principal areas. We went to Vernayaz whereas it is really close to the camping and it seemed quite easy to find. Obviously, like every new place where I go I’m a genius to lose the right way, in fact we got lost into a private area.
During the second attempt, we reached the right parking near the fishes pool and we took the path alongside to the boxes of the bees. After two mins I was under the devil’s boulder, a huge overhang where there are the famous lines of the crag like touch by the devil,satan and so on. After a fast tour into the wood, unfortunatly still rich of the green leafs on the trees, we went to the camping to eat a pasta and I got nervous during the assembly of the tent because every time I fail the right sequence of the sticks.

Day 2 (20/9)

We went to Vernayaz in the morning, hoping to take advantage of the freshness below the shadow of the devil’s boulder. I warmed up on two nice easy boulders and immediately I understood that the rock was great.
I started to work on “les yeux rouges” 7C+. It starts on a good rail, takes a good hold for the left hand and then it has a gaston move in the middle which is the crux because I had to keep strong my body and don’t lose my left stretched foot. After that it goes almost easily to the top.
After some mins of rest I tried “touch by the devil” 8B and I did every single move fast enough by getting a good motivation for the days after. In the early afternoon we reached fionnay,finally. We walked on the path and, getting into the wood, I was dazzled by the greatness of the big roof. It has a white,grey and black granit, the roof stands 2 meters and half from the ground and it has three overhanging walls for the exits. I knew just three lines on it but I don’t have any idea of how many of them are possible. It is incredible and no film or no photo can make true its largeness. If you go there, you would remain completely hit by it.
After checking out it and a fast lunch I put the pads under the most significant aims of the trip, “permanent midnight” 8B. Looking at it, it seemed really possible and totally suitable to my climbing style, powerful and with a compression at the end. Also this one is a big boulder and it is black and grey, amazing to see. I crushed it on fourth go from the start and I was super happy and cheerful when I was at the top because I wanted to do it since some years and it was a big satisfaction for me.
I made some photos then we came back to our tent to eat something since we had a rich day.

lex yeux rouges 7C+ vernayaz foto: Giulia Paoletti

permanent midnight 8B fionnay foto: Giulia Paoletti

 Day 3 (20/9)

I was a bit tired from the physical second day but I was also motivated to go to climb. We went to Vernayaz for some photos and videos on “les yeux rouges” then I tried “touch by the devil” again, but I failed on the crux. At 13 o’clock I decided to leave and I moved toward Massongex. There, I really wanted to check out the “Aquila” boulder. When I found it it looks pretty cool but I prefered to start with “asterie” 8A which has the same start of “aquila” then it lightly goes to the right in the middle of the roof. I went for a flash attempt but I missed the correct beta to do it. I worked it a bit and I took one of my biggest snaps on the last little crimp. After some mins of rest I managed to climb it and I took a day of rest also because the day after it would be rainy.
Day 4 (21/9)

Rest and rainy day.

Day 5 (22/9)

Maybe the best day of the trip. In the morning we always went to Vernayaz, good place to get the temperature and great rock to start in a good way the day. After a fast warm up I tried again touch and for a plentiful hour I went on to be rejected by its. Then, I understood that I had to change some little positions with my body which permitted me to reach the gaston with the index in the right point and not just half centimetre below. It seems crazy how sometime just small micro changes can make a big different between do it or not do it. before understanding it, I failed because I had my right foot coated and the left one on a foothold, then I tried to release the left foot and I got the pushing just with the right one but my position was different and I took the handhold correctly to rise up the heel hook which seemed hard with the other feet beta. It is considered like an 8B and it required me an hard work as a true 8B but, considering the temperature, 17 degrees, I though that it could be easier with the cold in fact I proposed 8A+.
After that, Fionnay called me, specially the big roof of scarred for life. We reached it in the first afternoon and when we were under it other guys were trying the line which I want to check. After a good warm up I was ready to try “scarred for life” not the whole dave’s line but the higher version, 8A+.
During the first go I fell in the middle, climbing the first part. Then, after having tried the upper moves I went for the second attempt and I did it. I risked to fall down on the last move because I took the jug really pumped. It was great climbing it, an amazing line with a solid and perfect rock, really emotional for me. 

scarred for life high 8A+ Fionnay foto: Giulia Paoletti

touch by the devil 8A+ Vernayaz  foto: Giulia Paoletti

Day 6 (23/9)

Rainy day again, I had to rest and my skin was reborn in a good shape. In the evening we went to martigny to eat a great crepe, it  was already six days that I missed sweet eating J

Day 7 (24/9)

In the morning we were on “touch by the devil” for some photos and I truely realized that with more cold it’s easier but however such a great line to climb. After some photos I came back to Fionnay and I figured out a beta for the first part of the whole “scarred for life” and it adds a really big hard sequences to the higher one. Six hard and long moves on roof and hard feet works to stay on which tired me after few attempts. When we left the rain came again and we had to search a new spot to climb. We went closer to the pass but the clouds were threatening, so I decided, despite the temperature, to go to Branson, just above Fully. Like many knows, there are the most historical boulder problems in the world, opened by the big visionary Fred Nicole many years ago.
My goal was trying “radja” the first 8B+ in the world.
Recently, from 2 years I think, some climbers who did it, used a different beta from Fred and it results easier. When Nicole did it, he went directly to the undercling from the fourth hold. Now it is used a new crimp, really close to this one, and it allows us to get a higher body position to take more easly the undercling. The grade obviouisly changes in 8B but I think that it is logical to take the crimp. After some minutes I did every single moves while two years ago I felt them really hard and three of them rejected me completely despite the cold temperature and the fantastic grip. I understood that it would be possible, maybe the morning later. I rested a bit, meanwhile two locals climbers arrived. When he worked on radja I administrated my attempts very well and I felt that radja would be possible. I tried again and surprisingly I was at the top. I took the undercling perfectly and my body was in a correct position to rise up as when I tried it like a single move and I grabbed the higher crimp. I was insomuch focused on it that when I did the last two moves i wasn’t able of understanding what I was doing. Two strong shouts came out,I closed my eyes when I was going to the last jug and I was completely exhausted, but extremely happy and cheerful because I climbed a pure line like radja, a little dream came true!
I came back to the camping with a big happiness.

radja 8B branson foto: Giulia Paoletti

radja 8B  Branson foto: Giulia Paoletti

Day 8 (25/9)

Last day in Valais. Basically destroyed by the previous days, skin hurted and back aching, but the motivation was still high. The destination was Branson again and we passed among the tight curves protected only by the house’s wall of nice village of branson for the last time. My aim was “La transion celeste”, already tried two years ago but really strange to climb. I did every single moves, but I couldn’t link up the whole historical line. I had to quit. We left Martigny and we went to another spot but I was really tired and I had an emptiness of energy. We took the return way really happy about the trip and with a bit of melancholy. I really want to say thanks to her because it was our first trip together and it was great staying there. Another thanks to my friend Marco to have given me the right info for Fionnay, an amazing place, maybe the best of these eight days of climbing.

Another adventure of these days was the routesetting for an event in Finale Ligure. There, took place a manifestation for Nepal, a competition of 29 boulders set by me and Marco Nardi on which 200 climbers had fun for 6 hours. In the evening the best 8 men and 8 women challenged on two boulders of semifinal. Then the best 4 for category passed to a turn of final composed by a boulder with a dyno in the end. Michele Caminati won the compt doing the last boulder, while in the women field Giada Zampa took the first place. It has been a fun experience and I hope to set other compt like thisa because through the routesetting I can propose what the climbing is for me and what kind of boulders I like.

If somebody wants to have some info about Valais don’t hesitate to write me.

lunedì 17 settembre 2012

Champorcher, new first ascents

Hi there!
It’s finally September and the warmest part of the season is almost over. This summer I haven’t had many occasions to climb on the rock, but when the autumn knocks on the doors, the motivation becomes higher and I usually have more positive sensations than in summer.
I come back here on my blog to write about the second part of august, expecially I would like to describe one of my FA in Champorcher (Aosta Valley).
Who doesn’t know Champorcher,it’s a spot situated in the south-east of Aosta Valley and it counts about 130 boulder problems with new lines to brush and some project where putting the first ascents.
It’s located 1800 meters on the sea level and it partly remains cool in summer, expecially in the evening. Last year, I made the FA on some cool lines like “capitan america”, “stupido cane”, “paperella” and I tried three other projects which seemed harder than the previous.
This year, we have thought that there would have been few new problems we have found instead some interesting things. I went there once in june and I opened two really cool lines on a big and high egg. The first one is “succo all’albicocca” 7B+ with the hardest part in the start, the second one is a little highball called “cosmic egg” 7B which has the first moves of succo all’albicocca then it goes straight on a vertical wall. In july, My friend Marco opened “fidel castro”, an essential line which starts from two large pinches where the first move presents a big dynamic to a sloper and it is basically a monomove problem. He proposed 7B grade but me and Gabri, the only repeaters, thought that it could be harder or a very strong 7B. During another day, me and max brushed a big overhanging wall by discovering three lines including “cochese night” 7B a little crimpy traverse. On the same stone I also saw a possible project but when I tried it I wasn’t capable of  staying on. I think that it can be possible but it would require me a lot of work. Besides them, other easy boulders have been brushed, in fact Champorcher is a good spot for all bouldering level, from 4th grade to 8a, it is a place where doesn’t exist walking, you can park just below the boulders and, more important, it has a high quality rock although it is an alpine place.
Last year we also tried a project which seemed harder than others, but I didn’t regard it for long time,while this july I brushed it completly and it looked like an amazing problem. It develops on a lightly overhanging pillar, cut natural perfectly. The climbing stays on the arete for the first two moves, then it changes gait going to the middle of the wall, where there is a high left foothold to use for rising to a slopery crimp. The crux for me was there, where I had to heave more again, turning slighty my left foot,doing a big move to the lip and I was completely stretched. Once with the higher sloper on my hand, I had to come back to the arete with the heel hook to do the easy topout in a little compression. I took two sessions of work to understand my beta, during the third I tried it in the evening and I fell down on the crux move aware that the temperature was high to do it, I think there were about 25 degrees in fact my skin hurted using the crimps in the lower part. When I came back on august the 11th I failed again on the same hold but I almost kept it. Meanwhile I left to silvretta for three days,Champorcher refreshed a bit. I went there a morning, on august the 18th, with marco and we warmed up on a boulder, next to road, marked by number 13 where there are about ten lines with a particular rock and it is fine climbing there for getting a right muscles temperature. in fact I consider it is an efficient way to get the first approach to a climbing day. Once that we were ready we moved under the projects. Just 2 meters right of my task there is “cheligna”, an awesome climbing which goes obliquely to the left with a first dynamic move from a pretty cool pinch and it is a Marco’s project. He started to work it out but he found some problems feeling a three fingers cube pocket which is the key-hold of cheligna. Meantime, I felt some good sensations for my project and when we moved the pads below it I was ready. This time everything was at the right place during the attempt and I felt strong to grab the lip,furthermore, the sun was still behind the hill and my skin perceived the holds better than the last times. When I grasped the sloper I knew that it was  done but I still had to remain quiet for the exit. I did the top out easly and I was really fain and cheerful to have putting another FA in Aosta Valley.

boxwood hill 8A/+ FA

boxwood hill 8A/+ FA

It is always great making a new FA, because during the working and the attempts it’s possible to find a new kind of climbing emotions, everything is new in every aspect, you have to rig up every single new move and you don’t have any notions at the beginning,for these reasons it is amazing when you can climb a new virgin block. Moreover,there is a big occasion or rather to do it for the first time and it’s possbile to set a new important sign in that spot and the line is there for everybody, everyone can try a new problem.
I think this boulder can be under my physical limits but it gave me more then other harder lines that I have climbed and this is due to the reasons cited above and to the beauty of  the problem.
In fact I am not so linked to the grade and I don’t consider it important in many cases,but like every new problem it would been fine propose a grade and a name. I called it “boxwood hill”, it is a name of a rally stage in one of my favorite play station’s game,Colin Mcrae, and when I played that stage it was really cool. Concerning grade I compared it to other FA like “happy birthday totò”,”powerslave” and “el raton matado”. It seemed harder then the previous, or better, it required me more sessions of work in fact when I did them it was sufficient a session for every one,while this time I needed 4 or 5 sittings. I proposed 8A+ and I really wanted to see some repetitions.
The week later the first repeat had been done, in fact my friend Gabri climbed it and made the second ascent. He found a new beta for him, different from my way, He said that it could be more appropriate 8A and he confirmed that is a worthy line, I was really happy for it. At the same days, he also did other boulders that I opened like “un’emozione forevva”, “succo all’albicocca”, he flashed “paperella” 7C,”stupido cane” and marco’s “fidel castro”.

boxwood hill 8A/+ FA

cosmic egg 7B FA

 succo all'albicocca 7B+ FA

Now Champorcher can be considered as the better place of the low Aosta valley and I recommend to everyone that have a bit of bouldering passion to go there, obviously I don’t recommend it such a lot to someone who lives far from there, but if the spot is possible to reach in a couple of hours I think that it can satisfy.

On august the 20th I decided to go to check a new summer spot for me: Sustenpass area. I read the guidebook and it seemed to offer some great problems in fact when I was there the boulders look nice. I stayed there for just one day and a half but during the second day it was impossible to climb from 12 o’clock till 17 because many problems are exposed to the sun and it heats a lot those days. The first line which I tried was “traumland” 8A, maybe one of the most famous in Sustenpass, and I crushed just when the shadow started to cover it. Then I moved to “red snapper”, a little overhang characterized by a lovely pinch and nice holds to keep. Unfortunatly the rain came and the day was over. The day after I woke up at 8 o’clock and I went under “pit bull” 8A+ to take advantages of the shadow which would have remained until 13 o’clock. I tried it for two abundant hours because I wasn’t capable of figuring out my method and after a good rest crushed it, feeling it like one that committed a lot my body tension. when I went home I watched the video on the web an I found that my beta was completely wrong except the first move. In the evening I also tried sputnik 8B and I managed to do every single moves after half an hour but I couldn’t link up it from the start. I really want to come back there to crush it because it’s a very essential line I like it so much.

giovedì 23 agosto 2012

Silvretta file and L'Aquila climbing festival

Hi guys
I have finally decided to write a personal blog where I can post my climbing adventures, nay my bouldering adventures. maybe it sounds better!
My first article regards august, although it isn’t the best bouldering period. It has passed a lot of time since I wrote my last blog on the web and this is due to some facts. The first reason is because I stopped my rock climbing in april in order to dedicate myself to study, whereas I had the high school final exam in june and it has gone well enough. The second one is due to summer, in fact from may it became really hard climbing in our usual spots. I stayed at home for all july together with my beastmaker and by going to climb at gym for training. In the end of july, Salewa called me to take part in L’aquila climbing festival at the beginning of august. L’aquila is a city situated in the south of Italy, where in 2009 april a big earthquake hit it, the village is still distroyed today and unfortunatly a lot of ruins are still into the buildings.

The climbing event presented 10 athletes who had to compete on three qualification boulder problems, and, the first three people, would be going to a final composed by an only problem. Concerning the program about days after, it was going to climb in a local zone for two days of bouldering. I left Bergamo airport on august the 3rd with my friend Gabri and on august the 4th we competed in the evening. The atmophere was amazing, because there was a lot of crowd watching the compt, the square was full and the tribune too. I think This fact was very positive and  I was really glad to see the happiness in L’aquila people, knowing what was happened three years ago. Talking about the organization of the competition I would like to congratulate with them because it was one of greatest compt that I have done. I think that the italian federation have to learn something about this master because the italian cup is shoddy today and a lot of guys are rightly leaving the competition’s world. Concerning the compt itself, the achievement wasn’t so good and I took the 7th place, gabri insted grabbed the final and an awesome second place!
The plans for the days after changed and local guys decided to carry us to “vado di sole”, a cool spot where doing some rope climbing. Unfortunatly, I don’t like this activity but anyway I climbed two really easy routes, a 6b and a 7a. The environment in vado di sole was perfect, it is situated in a big desert valley at the foot of Gran Sasso and, in the evening, I climbed two boulder problems situated below the routes getting one of the best sunset I have ever seen. The first boulder was  “la scarpetta di cavalletto” originally graded 8a+. It  is very essential and very cool, it starts with two two-finger pockets and it develops in a little limestone overhanging wall. I sent it after 15 mins and I think that it could be easier than that grade, probably 7c+. Ten minutes later I maneged to climb another cool line situated on the left of “la scarpetta”. I don’t know how it is called, but it is a really nice problem and its crux is a dynamic move from a orizzontal hole, that I had to match, to a three finger pocket. I think that also this one could have the same grade of its neighbour. The day after we went to “monte  aquila” where there is the famous prow called dosage but after some goes I stopped to try it because I was tired and we got home at 3 o’clock in the morning.

british airways 7c+

During the week later I had some training sessions and I planned with two friends of mine, marco and max, to go to Silvretta (AUT). We were motiveted because we would be stayed in a new place for us all and it wouldn’t have been so hot, despite the period. We left on monday 13 and the journey was a bit long. When we arrived we immediatly went to the camping and after having builded my tent, at 6 o’clock, we started the path to reach the spot. We knew that the area required some minutes of walking but we didn’t think such a lot as truely are. Furthermore, the guide was hard to understand in fact we got lost and we found the first boulders after one hour and fourty minutes of fucking walking.We reached the sector of niviuk, a problem graded 8a on the guide that seemed quite good to climb.I warmed up on a little easy highball and then I flashed a great arete named flechtenkante then I flashed niviuk too. Maybe the grade of this one could be more 7c than 8a.
The evening was over and we ate in the camping with other two friends of us, Fabri and Donatella.
The second day, with the ideas of the path clearer, we left the camping and we reached the spot in “only” fourty minutes of walking. We climbed on anam cara’s block and I did a flash attempt on the famous “british airways” 7c+.Unfortunatly I dabbed on the pad and I crushed it on the second go from start. I also tried anam cara 8B+/C a bit, but I managed to do just the first two moves.
In the afternoon we went to memento sector that was other 40 minutes far by walking from anam cara. I tried it with a spanish guy but after 20 minutes I decided to leave it because I wanted to keep skin and energy. In the evening I tried a nice prow called X-ray and I figured out my beta in one session, then I tried to link all the moves but I did some memory misteakes during the climbing, in fact I didn’t remeber every steps when I sought to climb it and I miserably fell down. I took a little rest and I went to check out other lines like golden gate and rongbuk. They are both amazing and I hope to come back there to try them. After the rest, just before the sunset, I refresched my mind about the beta and I did X-ray. I think that 8A could be ok!
Third day was next but when we woke up the weather for the day after didn’t seem good so we had to leave at the end of that day. In the mornig we went to british airways again where Marco climbed it and we were happy for him! Once finished our plans there, we decided to go to pretty belinda, a traverse 23 moves long which covers a huge boulder. I did it on the third go from start and I suppose that 8A could be the right grade for a long traverse like that. It has been really fun having climbed pretty belinda because it was a different way of climbing respect pure bouldering and, sometime, I think that strength-endurance problems can increase my motivation.
The short climbing holiday in Austria ended and we came back home really late that night. It was the first time in Silvretta for us and in my opinion it is a good place for the summer. The environmental impact is high, some lines are deserving and, although the path is very long, we had a positive view of that spot. Here a video about the little trip and some pics by Marco Pelle. 

british airways 7c+

niviuk 7c flash

silvretta cow