giovedì 2 ottobre 2014

September 2014 - New projects

The last months has been pretty busy under different aspects and my mind has been invaded by a big wave of projects. The wrist had a positive trend for all the month, but the tendons and ligaments are still weak. I felt they are not ready for a hard training period, but at least they don't give me troubles when I climb on the rock. As I mentioned the month has been various, rich and a bit confused too. First of all I had a wide list of boulders I would have liked to brush. At the moment, I am feeling quite excited about going to search awesome lines around and the discovering side of climbing is providing me always bigger and bigger satisfactions. The top boulders I wanted to brushed are all situated in the north west of Italy; few of them are in Valle dell'Orco, others in Valle d'Aosta, and a couple of cool projects are even present in a valley close to my home. During this period I was able to brush just four of the many projects and three of them required me one day and a half only for cleaning up the holds and making a safe landing.

One of them is up to Champorcher, an area whose potential is probably getting to an end. This was maybe the last thing I was interested in developing here. Since the beginning, It looked to be a really weird line: you have to climb a little easy stone and then grab the starting holds in the roof above your head. From there the climb begins in an imposing overhang and it gets out in a slightly overhanging wall with compression moves and heel hooks. The hardest part was the first section on the roof, where everything seems to be tricky and pretty physical. During the second day of attempts, I tried this problem together with Max. He got a really smart heel hook beta which looked to be the best; but unfortunately neither of us was able to link the moves with what it seemed to be the most obvious way. I opted to work another system, based on body tension and specific points where to grab the holds. After many attempts where I was getting closer and closer I finally got the big triangle pinch at the end of the roof and I linked the first part to the easier finish, putting up the first ascent.

Rust in Peace V11/12, FA. Champorcher. Photo Max Buvoli

Rust in Peace V11/12, FA. Champorcher. Photo Giulia Paoletti

The other two main projects I was interested in, were the big diamond I discovered in Noasca and a great river stone in a valley close to my home. The first one is huge; It is an impressive granite diamond with some slopy rails and a long climbing to reach the top. Once the day of brushing was over, I decided to come back with Ricky who helped me a lot to make a good landing. Meanwhile, the dirty residual of the brushing was drying up and the grip started to be better than the first time I touched the holds. The first intro part is pretty easy and the taller you are the easier it becomes. Instead the upper part results really strange with a big dynamic move to the lip. It is definitively a wonderful move, where from two slopy pinches and a really high left foot you should grab the final lip and you'll probably remain with only one hand hung. Considering the height of the boulder, I tried that move with the rope only. After this, I decided to postpone the attempts when the temperatures will be colder and the grip on the holds will be much better.

The diamond. Valle dell'Orco

The third one is probably the project I am most inspired for. It is 40 minutes up to my home and the feeling to have a project so close is an unique sensation, since it is never happened to me. I can get up in the morning and I can basically see the valley where the proj is. This thing makes the question sweet. I brushed the line on this big egg  last spring and I got a quick session in April without any good successes, despite my best shape ever. I love this project for two main factors; the first reason, as I said, is to have something so cool and so close to home; while the second one is due to the beauty of the line and the good rock it has, especially in the second part. For September, it was at the top of to-do list but I have been a bit unlucky with this problem.

The first time on it,  I brushed all the last slab again, since it became dirty during the heat of the summer and just before the dark I tried a bit the upper moves with the rope. After few tries it became too dark and I quitted.

2nd day on. The first part was damp so I could just attempt the second easier section. After having put the chalk  and tried the moves, the rain came and I had to leave once again.

3rd day on. The sky looked to be clear. I put the chalk on the exit again and I dried up the third hold which makes the crux part. I finally could try it seriously. Thanks to Ricky who helped me a lot in trying the moves with big push ups, I could understand the right sequence. The sessions got over positive. The crux move was still missing, but I did it with 4-5 kilos of push-up. The other move that missed was the 5th, but for this one I had positive sensations because it looked easier, I had just to try it more.

4th day on. I went up alone just to dry up the crux hold and to be sure for the day after (it usually remains wet for few days). Surprisingly it dried up faster than what I expected and I decided to try it a bit. I was alone with three smashed pads, but it was enough to try the bottom. I couldn't expect what it happened; I grabbed the damned holds and I failed on the move after. I opted to quit and to rest for the day after. I started to know that I was close and that probably the crux move would have been the 4th, since the 3rd one looked to be hard but in the end it is totally position depending. Once you get the right body position, you can do it.

5th day on. I went up with Ricky again. The friction looked even better, but in the end it was the same or even worse than the day before. I was anyway motivated and focused on the proj. I felt some possibilities to finish the rig the same day.  I put the chalk on the exit for the nth time and I repeated the final moves over and over. I knew them perfectly. I rested until the evening, when the "colder" temps came and the skin got harder. I made good tries. I managed to grab the third hold again, but I failed on the 4th moves. I tried that part with the push up and I did it. I felt I was going closer and closer. On the other side, I also felt my skin sweating a lot, so I rested for ten minutes or so. I finally perceived my hands a bit colder and I decided to go. I took the third hold perfectly and I did the hardest move after. I linked this one to the 5th and I grabbed the jug with a bit of fatigue and a strong shout. A shout which meant effort, but even a shout of possibility to complete the whole line. I was out of the hardest part. I got into the central sequence, where the overhang becomes a wall with wonderful pinches. I did it and I got the good pinch-jug; I was tired. From there the wall become a slab and there is a possible rest. From that point to the top is something like 6b composed by a little mantle into the slab and the slab itself. I rested and my hands were damp, cold and totally pink. I thought about the chalk, but I hadn't the bag with me. I tried to dry up the fingers on my pants, and they started to be numb. I put the hands close to my neck to warm them up and the feelings started to be slightly better, but not enough. There were two possibilities: to go on in the slab, or dropping off and trying it again hoping to get into the upper part in better conditions. The last option seemed to be far from my possibilities, because I felt tired. By knowing what there was between me and the top I decided to attempt; the boulder was done and I just had to do the last easy part. I breathed and I went. I started and once my body was totally on the slab and my feet still under in the wall, my right foot slipped and I fall down. I got scarred and I totally missed the pads, falling on a bunch of stones. Fortunately my heel hit a flat stone and I got just a really hard hit. It was done, but not at all. I have to come back to finish this beautiful problem but for the moment I have to recover a bit the foot and to get back in a good mentality for this gem.

Beyond these great projects, In my mind there is also another 5 starts arete to get free; A line I brushed last march in Donnas (Valle d'Aosta) which is incredible. A perfect vertical arete which is probably the biggest project of the year. For the moment the temperatures are still too high and I have to wait for a while; but once the temperatures will drop and the heel will be ready, this project will probably be at the top of the list.

The crux move of the project. Valle Cervo. Photo Ricky totò Monetta 
The arete project. Valle d'Aosta.

Beyond exploring new boulders in the north west of Italy, two weeks ago I began training again. I started a short program which includes some sessions using different systems of training and the goals are to equal the right side of my body to the left one, since the right arm is really weak. Secondly, I decided to include different sessions in order to get the confidence back on the systems I usually use for training. I set 2 sessions in the climbing gym, 3 of core works, 5 of stretching for the flexibility, 2 of campus training (fingerboard and PG), 2 sessions with overweight and 2 sessions of rock bouldering in the projects I mentioned before. But in the second week, since my heel was painful after the fall, I needed to stop and I could just climbing outdoor. I went a couple of days in Averstal with Rudy.  I was also excited to work some boulders, leaving the tall projects aside for a while and feeling again the peculiar sensations of the place. Unfortunately, none of us completed the own goals; no achievement for both after the weekend. He went really close to grab the ascent on "Morgenlatte" 7B and he made huge progresses on "Man of a cow" 7B+; Instead, I worked one day on "Ill trill", making every moves except the exit and I missed the ascent on the top out of "Muttertag". We are both motivated to come back soon, trying to complete something before the snow comes.