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.