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.