Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fontainebleau Experience

Fontainbleau trip started this summer when Valerio, my brother Andrea, Francesco and I, thought to a possible trip to the magical forest in November. The time passed too quickly from that day of summer and in a while I experienced  many other adventures.

About mid-October I kept in touch with Valerio if the proposal of this summer was still stood so he said me “Yes, sure”.  After this fabulous response I started sending emails to find a mobile-home to live, and after many trouble we rented one at the campsite “ Le Parc du Guè” situated in the Montigny-sur-Liong Village far 15km from Fontainbleau.
All was ready, so the early morning of November the 9th, Andrea, Francesco and I drove for 7-8 hours straight to Font, instead Valerio joins us from Rome by plane. With the satnav was so easy find the campsite so we settled ourself  in the mobile-home which was so comfortable.

Day 1 in the forest:

The first day of bouldering was amazing because we decided to check the most popular and accessible area situated alongside the N7, Bas Cuvier! When we parked the car and I saw this land full of boulders, I was stunned. The problems were all a bit wet so we moves to Cuvier Rempart where I got one of THE BIG FOUR and still one of my hardest goal of the trip, Big Boss 7c. For the first try seemed to have no chance to do the gaston moves but then I was able to configure out a new beta with a right toe-hook on the most right of the line, very useful not to  dab too the big stone behind. So in a couple of tries I sent it making me sooo happy. J

Big Boss Ph. Andrea Zanone

Other must-do sent of the day:

-         Duroxmanie 6c flash Cuvier Rempart
-         Angle Allain 5+ flash Cuvier Rempart
-         Cortomaltese 6c+ Bas Cuvier
-         Helicoptere 7a Bas Cuvier

Day 2:

The second day we went to Isatis another classic sector. It was a quite cold morning so it was not easy to warm up.
After the warm up I climbed a lot of 7a/+ that are among the most beautiful blocks I’ve ever climbed as:

-         Little Karma assis 7a+
-         El poussah 7a Flash
-         El Poussif 7a+
-         Boule de Nerfs 7a
-         Divine decadence 7b/+

Day 3:

3 days were already passed so we decided to come back to Bas Cuvier to check other classic. We warmed up like children because we did a line and not even time to get off, we got on another line without pad and so on.. for about 30 minutes. J
Then we tried Aerodynamite 7c, a reference point for jump start but easier if you are taller. My brother did it on his second try so he explained to me the beta. Thanks his teach I was able to get the dyno and to send it on my first attempt. YEAHH!!
Aerodynamite Ph Fra Longhini

The day finished as well because I was able to flash the world’s first 6a, Marie Rose, to flash the stand part of Carnage and in few attempt to send Carnage assis 7b+! J
Carnage Ph Fra Longhini

Day 4:

The 4 day of climbing we went to Franchard Cuisiniére because looked to so beautiful from the guidebook. It was a relax day for, just climbing what inspired me more.
The best boulder of the day was Excalibur 7a+ that contains a legend. This legend talk about a chosen that is the only one able to get it like King Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. Today I was the chosen ;)
Even today, the darkness came early so we left the sector headed home for a delicious dinner.

Day 5:

We got up about eight o'clock, as every morning but we heard from the bed the sound of rain, which breaks on the roof so we decided to get a rest day and we came back to sleep again J
At around 12 o’clock we went to the Mc Donald not for a healthy lunch but to take advantage of the wi-fi which was free. The rest of the afternoon we were in search of new sector for us as Elephant, Petit Bois which would be the next destination. J

Day 6:

As said before we went at the Elephant sector in the morning where I was able to crush La Barre fixe 7b/+ in few tries and many other classic. 
La barre fixed direct Ph Andrea Zanone

Then we left this one to check the Cul de Chien sector which is situated in an expanse of white sand which makes it wonderful. 
Cul de Chien beach

We went straight below Le Toit du Cul de Chien, I've always wanted to flash it but unfortunately the hill hook beta didn't suit me so I fall down. The second attempt I pushed with my left foot on the steep and I did it! What a pity.

Then we moved quickly to Eclipse boulder, to the last session of the day, where there are many cool lines to climbed. Firsty we tried the stand start of Eclipse because this was the line that inspired me more. From the first attempts seemed impossible for me, but later after having configured out all moves I was able to grab the final crimp. Hell Yeah!!

Another cool line that I climbed was Arabesque, 7b+ just on the right of eclipse. This problem consists on few moves on big holds in overhang which joins with an hard gaston move to take a two fingers pocket.
Eclipse Ph Andrea Zanone

Last Day:

Seemed impossible but the last day came very quickly. Without skin but with much motivation we went to Roche aux Sabots, a really cool sector before Cul de Chien! It was the coldest morning of the trip because there was so much cold wind  which made ​​it difficult to keep warm. After a couple of 7a I tried Salle Gosse for about one hour, without success, always dropping down to the final dyno.

Just one cliff we missed to climb so we moved to Petit Bois that was one the sector that inspired me more because it was not so big but full of must-do. Here I could get three of the better boulder in Font:

-          La Baleine 7a/+ flash.
-          Big Jim 6c
-          L’oeuf 7b

I always saw Big Jim from the screen but I never thought that it was in Petit bois so when we checked this sector and I saw it and BIG DRAGON in front of my face I stood breathless! Majestic wall, a bit scary the last move to the jug.

L’Oeuf was the boulder that inspired me more for sure. Squeezed 4 brains to configure out the beta then it looked possible! Actually this is what climbing means because it consists in a really technical slab with weird toe/hill hook. EPIC!
L'oeuf  Ph Fra Longhini

La Baleine is totally different from the others one, It's amazing overhang with an hard match on a crimp that allow to get a big pocket.

The trip end with very good attempts on Big Dragon 8a/+, my dream from the first time that I saw on videos. I was a little bit tired but really happy anyway because so I have an excuse to go back soon. ;)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The highest point of the season

After the outstanding trip to Kalymnos I would like to tell about my two best goal of the season.

The first one was the last competition of the year but also the most important because it was the the Italian Boulder Championship at the Nissan Skypass event in Modena. 
Just came back to Kalymnos I had 20 days to prepare this comp, so I started to do some fingerboard and some boulder sessions on plastic in order to prepare my mind for the event.

The qualification round was hard for me except one problem that was climbable, so I was able to flash it. Thanks to this flash I was into the final with others 12 guys because the biggest part of them had flash one problem too. Given this large number of Finalists, the judge thought to do the final round as the qualification one, or rather 4 boulders with 4 minutes for each problems.
The problem of the final round were so beautiful and well-setted but I was able to flash the first one and I was so close on the bonus hold of the third one.

I finished 4th just under the podium but besides the results I was soo happy and so sycked for next comp season.

My second goal and the most important for me, was my hardest realization on rock: Invidia 8b+

Invidia is an old route, bolted and open by Alberto Gnerro in 1998, situated in the low part of Aosta Valley. I'm been many time to this sector so one year ago I decided to get my first try on it at the end of cool day with friends. The route suites me perfectly from the first try and I was able to do all singol moves except one. The route is basically all chipped so the first part is characterized by long moves on quite good crimps or pockets instead the second part consists in a really technical slab with weird body position.
Invidia 8b+ Ph. Andrea Zanone

About one year later my first attempt, or about 1 month ago, I decided to check the old project again in order to understand if it was possible. I got just one tries after having done a really cool 7c+ called Guidecca and I felt it climbable. I was super sycked to come back soon to get some attempt from the bottom.

One morning after the University lessons My brother and I drove to Donnas with one goal: TRY TO SEND IT! After the usual warm up I was ready for the first try, I passed the first crux quite well, the hardest for me and I climbed really fast to reach the second one. 

I felt really good and not so pumped so I was able to do the slab and to clip the last quickdraw. I shaked a bit the forearm then I started to climb the last wall that is not so hard taken as singol moves. All went very well and I clipped the chain screaming glad! :)

My first 8b+ is done in 6 attempts. Could be a next level for me? I HOPE ;)

Another chapter is over, Font on the next blog! IEAHHH
Invidia 8b+ Ph. Andrea Zanone

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kalymnos in the HEART

Hi there

The warm summer temperatures are dropping down leaving space to autumn, but for us it is not yet time of the cold, we are to leave Italy again for a new experience in southern Greece. Actually  we were headed to the sport climbing paradise, Kalymnos  to test if this legend is true.
We woke up at 3o’clock a.m the morning of October the 1st  because we had the airplane at 7 o’clock to left Italy for Kos, Greece. The fly went really well, without  complications but when we will to the port in Mastichari a heavy rainstorm fell on us so we had to wait from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock at the port because the ferry didn’t leave to Kalymnos.  
We were tired and bored to wait but finally we were able to cross the sea and to reach Kalymnos. Mrs. Poppy was waiting for us down there, so she took us to the house they had rented.
The house was situated on the other side of the Island, where the all sport climbing cliffs were.
Amazing sunset from the house.

From the first second that I was in Kalymnos I saw the amazing air you breathed because all people seemed to be so relax and really available. Each evening that we decided to eat out for dinner we tried  always to change place and try to eat some specialties. In my opinion Greek food is very good and different because it varies from excellent fish, delicious vegetables to special meat skewers actually known as “Souvlaki”.

As customary we rented 2 scooter to move from home to the cliffs but also to visit the island so the rest we went to a special restaurant that  I'd like to recommend for very special lunch, snack or dinner.
This restaurant is situated in a remote village called Palionisos in the east coast of Kalymnos so to reach it you have to take the road to Secret Garden sector but instead of stopping to the car parking you have to follow the paved road until its ends and follow a dirt road. The house is on the left after 200 meters. Nicolas is the manager and the only worker of this little restaurant and it's a whole do man, but actually this is not a real restaurant but  he basically cook in his kitchen so this is more like a family meal.
Nice lunch to Nicolas.

Nicolas work for many years as a teacher in Kalymnos but he was also a sailor in search of sponges ,that still sells, so thanks to all these trip he is able to speak many languages like Italian, English, German. He is a super cooker and every kind of fish that he cooks was caught by him. Here you can eat very well and cheaply so I would like to recommend again.
Actually I was not here in Kalymnos for eating but for climbing,  so I’m going to tell us something about I was able to send in this 10 day trip.
The climbing here could be really strange and difficult for those are used to climb on crimps like me, because the climbing is most powerful and endurance on super overhanging wall. The rock of Kalymnos is top-quality limestone feature by pockets, stalactites, tufas and big open hand holds.
The main feature of all crags are these big tofas but not all cliffs are on super overhang, it dipends from Grande Grotta, to Arhi, to Secret Garden, to many others. 
Angelika 8a Ph. Pierre Zanone

My best goal here are:

-Angelica sector Arhi; I was sooo close on the onsight attempt, fall at the very last move for slippery feet! I was really happy anyway :)

-Orion 7c+ sector Odyssey; Old routes or maybe one of the first bolted here. Bouldery routes.

-Andromeda 7c+, sector Odyssey; just on the left of Orion that I was able to flash. This is feature by long single tofa on the second part. Harder than Orion.

- Neska Polita 7c+, sector Spartacus; flash it too!! J Crimpy boulder into an amazing 7a+ route.

- Kaly diva 7c, sector Secret Garden; ONSIGHT! Nice line.
Orion 7c+ Ph. Pierre Zanone

I climbed  many others amazing routes from the 6b to 7b+ but I would like to recommend one of the best and funniest route that I climbed, it’s called Frapolago on Secret Garden sector that is feature big the biggest stalactites I’ve ever seen where you can sit down to rest. It seem to be on a school desk! Ahahah

View from the Island, Telendos on the background.

Kalymnos is one of the places that impressed me more and I basically left a part of my heart over there not just for climbing, but for everything!! 

Enjoy your time J