Thursday, November 13, 2014

The comp season

The season comp has been pretty weird this year, It started with the first Boulder Italian Cup in Rome this past April. I trained hard all the winter for this date and I was quite syked to compete, but every competitors know that the psyche in not enough to do a great performance. Train for competition it’s every time a rebus because it’s really hard to listen to our body and to understand ,for example, when it’s time to stop training; but this is the hardest  thing that a climber have to complain, even after many year of climbing experiences some climbers are not fully able to understand them-self.                    

Be in shape in that place, in that precise moment, when you are in the “ARENA”,  is definitely so hard, much harder than try an hard proj on the rock. I kept competing over these years despite my poor results because only with a comp victory you can say “I’m the strongest today” and none can’t say anything about this, just keep quiet and train for the next comp.
Coming back to the Italian Cup, it was a total disaster. Probably I arrived too over-trained or just too tired to deal with a comp that was played in a single day (qualification, semis and final). The qualification was okay and I got into the semis quite easily, but then when the real comp started I felt just to tired and after two boulders I lost my head and I finished at the bottom of the ranking, around 20th position with one top in countless attempts.

Qualification round in Rome. Pic Pierre Zanone

The Italian competition calendar is unmanageable because the comps are played with several months away so It’s definitely impossible to be in shape a whole year. The next comp ,after the one in Rome, would have been in Gressoney in the middle of August,  but my shoulder injury didn’t allowed to take part. At that time could climb yet but when you are in the middle of a comp you think just to stick the holds and to make the best you can without caring about any injuries; so I decided to wait till the next one that would have been one month later.

I started to train again, mainly on my own moonboard because the climbing gym were closed and because moonboard  and fingerboard are the best things to strengthen the big back muscles and the fingers strength in very less time. After the injury my right back side was basically without any muscles, there was a huge disproportion form the left side and the right one so just a miracle could get me back in shape in such a short time. The training was worth quite a bit  because the comp went quite well even if my semis round seemed more like a lead comp because I climbed the problem with my forearm fuckin’ pump. I was 10th topping 3 problems in 7 attempts.

Few days after this comp I went to Frankenjura for a couple of weeks with my homies Andrea and Gabri with a little stop of 5 days in Stuttgart for the Adidas Rockstar. It was absolutely really worth the stop because and location (Porsche Arena) and the competition are amazing. The time in Frankenjura was awesome but I decided to take this time to try to send as many historical routes I could. Here a short list on my favorites:

-         Bastard 8a+ Jerry Moffat  ‘89
-         Centre Court 8a+ W. Gullich ‘87
-         Slimline 8a W. Gullich ‘91
-         Ira Technokratie 8a W. Gullich ‘84
-         Chasin' The Trane 7C  J. Bachar ’81 (OS) 

Slimline 8a/+ Frankenjura Pic. Andrea Zanone
After this long trip, probably my longest trip so far, I had like 3 weeks for training again for the last Italian Cup in Milan.
Saturday, October 18 I had the qualification round; I felt like a big dragon, I was able to stick everything, all the problems seemed like sooo easy. Unfortunately I didn’t have this power the next day on the semifinal round and I flashed just one problem of four, finishing this circuit not in best way for sure.

My motivation for training increased again because I really hate when I’m not able to do what I know I can do. One comp still left in the calendar, the most important of the season, the Boulder Italian Championship in Modena. The last year I had and amazing comp, getting the best position so far, the 4th place, but this year would have been very hard to accomplish the feat again because all the Italian strong boulderers were there. I started to be in shape one week before the event and I arrived at the comp in a really good shape. The semis round was definitely the best so far, the boulder were awesome and well settled for sure. 
I was able to top 3 tops in 6 attempts finishing the season in the 10th position.

I’m definitely very proud and happy of my performance even if I could do slightly better making fewer mistakes on the first boulder. It was so easy but I failed 2 times for the wrong interpretation of the problem, but even if I had flashed the first one, it would have been not enough to get into the final because the second boulder was hard for me to do in 4 minutes so I would have placed 7th, the first one out of the final or we usually call it “ the first of the fuckers”.

2nd semifinal boulder in Modena Pic Edo Limonta

Making a summary, now that the comps are over I can say it was pretty poor of results but the winter is coming, the bouldering season is at the gates, the training period as well and I’m psyched as never to start it in the best way.
Let’s go training and take down your own projs! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Had a blast in Céüse!

The last time I wrote the blog I was in the middle on my injury and on the way to the Outdoor in Friedrishafen. 52 days passed and too much things changed so I have to tell you a lot.

The 3 days I spent at the outdoor were awesome, I’ve been able to meet personally for the first time the guys from Monkee I collaborate with. Marion, Daniel, Eva are definitely crazy guys that love what they do, I’m super happy to finally have found out the possibility to meet them.

At that time my shoulder was still not able to come back climbing but I understood that it was on the way of the recovery, I was seeing the first positives improvements. A couple of days later I went for the second time to the doctor for another visit, the shoulder blade was still showily out but the nerve seemed to be much better than before, so the doctor gave me the okay to restart climbing again, obviously paying attention and testing gradually the reaction of the shoulder.
A slight smile came back on my face and I immediately planned a trip to Ceuse with my friend Luca, met a bunch of years before right there. I decided to rest my shoulder until I could touch the mythical Ceuse’s limestone again. I knew that I couldn’t try hard even if I had lots routes up there that I would have liked to attempt.

Awesome landscape. What you can see from the bottom of the crag.

The first 6 days of climbing I climbed and re-climbing just easy stuff in Demi Lune sector enjoying the slabs from 6a to 7b range, feeling the shoulder every time stronger on vertical stuff. I wasn’t definitely ready for the climbing on steeper route cuz you use your back muscle 10 times more than on slabs where you can manage and optimize the power with a really good technique and with a good feet-work. This is why on my 5th day of climbing in a row I decided to try something harder “La Femme noire 7c”. This route and its sister to the left ( La femme blanche) are well known for their kilometric run outs but also for their peerless beauty. I tried F.N once a couple of years ago but I was not able to reach the top after several attempts followed by huge falls, but this year the story was totally different because on my first try I figured out all moves and with more experience and trusting more of the feet I did also the last scary slab. Without any expectation I nailed the route on my second try this year putting another tick-mark of a must-do route on my guidebook.

Which is the next???

I was pretty doubtful about this question, but then I let my self be dragged along by Luca who was trying “L’ami caouette 8a”. This route has been a nemesis 2 summers ago cuz It seemed that this route was fucking kidding me, I fall like 4-5 times at the very end even if I was not pumped. One or two tries my right foot remained stuck in a hole while I was doing a move and I missed the hold falling as a fuckers. I drove crazy and I took off the draws moving to another proj.

What you can see on top of the crag. 

The first tries this year was basically the same but this time I was pumped in the upper wall so I was not angry at all and I thought that I needed just a rest-day because I got like 6th days of climbing in a row. 2 days later I finished off the fight sending the first hard route after the injury, I started to realize that I really could try hard on vertical stuff. 

Without losing any other hours I decided to try a top-notch slab called “La femme blanche 8a+” but I knew that I was going to try something that was not tried for long time cuz there wasn’t any tick-marks and every holds were dirty. I started to climb and very very slowly I figured out the beta bolt to bolt brushing and chalking up every holds and feet-holds I was using. The upper slab was super scary to try without any tick-marks because the distance between the bolts are super long and I didn’t know where to go, so after some meters of climbing the only 2 things that I could do were to try the sequence hoping to find out a good hold or say “take” to the belayer and mentally prepare for the huge fall. After 5-6 huge falls on the slab I finally got the chain, I could say “I’m safe for a while”. J
The next day I send the route on my second try, really enjoying the upper slab because it’s not that hard when you know how to do it.
After this proj I really didn’t know what to try so I spent 1 day, climbing easy stuff again around 7b+ since I found out a new proj to work “Le chirurgien du crepuscule 8B”.

The crux of "Le Chirurgien du crepuscule", Pic Fra Longhini

I’m always been awed about this route because every climbers I spoke with, told me that this route could be the hardest 8b in Ceuse and every climbers I saw trying this route looked like they did huge efforts screaming at every single move.
I attempted once at the end of the day configuring out the boulder sequence in the middle, that is the hardest part of the route, but I was not able to reach the top because my fingers tip were pissing out water so my hands hadn’t no more grip with the rock.
I did 2 days of attempts but without any effort, the condition were pretty bad, the temperatures increased a lot and I needed a lot of friction to have one chance to pull off the route.

So my time in Ceuse was definitely over after 16 days of pure fun, the only regret was leaving the uncompleted proj for the next year, but that's part of climbing.
When I left the camping to get home, my mood was a mixture of happiness and sadness because my shoulder was on the way of healing but at same time leave this amazing place makes me every time sad.

The next day I was like in a depression post Ceuse, I spent one week at home studying and climbing around Aosta Valley till I got a call from my friend Francesco that was looking for a partner for 5 other days in Ceuse. 
I was definitely super psyched so I didn’t hesitate even a second and I said “yes, I’m with you”.

On top of the WORLD! SICK

The day we travelled back to Ceuse a big rain hit the camping, It rained all night long till the next morning. When we woke up the wall was completely hidden by low clouds but we didn’t lose the motivation for climbing because this is typical in Ceuse. 
In fact around 13 o’clock the clouds were blown away from a cold wind and the friction came. Francesco and my-self walked as fast as we could to the crag super syked and definitely ready to enjoy the condition because It was one of the few things I needed to take down the proj.

At the end of the day I was closer that never on “Le chirurgien du crepuscule”, I fall down at the very end of the crux for frozen hands.
The next day the condition were even better, a little bit warmer but still really cold and luckily the wind had not yet ceased. This time I hadn’t any excuse, It was the send day!!
I did a pre-warm up before the try to get my skin warm enough to feel the sharp pockets and the crimps. Everything went fine and I got the rest-jug so I realized that If I had been focused I would be able to get the chain because the last part is not so hard but you can definitely fall I you makes just one mistake.
Moves after moves I nailed the chain. I was super happy because I can say that this route is one of the most amazing I climbed on, I was impressed from the insane type of holds that it offers and from the many skills you need to climb it.
Almost at the end of the crux. Pic Fra Longhini

Insane move before the hard section! Pic Fra Longhini

On the last 2 days I put all of my energies to send “Dolce Vita 8A+” in Berlin sector and at the very end I won the battle finishing these 21 days in Ceuse in the best way.

These days spent in Ceuse were a real blast, I met so many people and friends from all over the world, I lived every single moment of the 2 trips, improving a lot my English skills and my ping-pong skills ;)
Frankenjura is the next, 15days left I guess. Time to get in shape for it!!

Soo fired up J

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hard project in Gressoney + injury

After the trip to Frankenjura the motivation for sport-climbing raised a lot and at the same time the summer broke out, the temperature started to get hotter so the only thing to do to escape from this terrible hot weather is to leave to the mountain in search of cooler condition.

Actually the best summer destinations are in the south of the France where within a radius of 100 km there is a very high concentration of amazing crags like the well-known Ceuse, Entraygues, La Suame, Rocher de Brumes and many others.
But It was not the time to leave the country again because It was the time to back on the books and to University but my mind was still remembering the great moments spent in Germany, so I needed find an hard project to work, close to my home, since I couldn’t leave the country for a while.

It was not very difficult to find it because I've been waiting all winter long to try it but still just to be finally able to come back on that amazing sport climbing place that make me psyched every time. The crag is called “La Benedizione” and it is situated in the upper part of Gressoney’s valley, and offers an extraordinary quantity of beautiful lines featured by sustained endurance climbing on all-natural crimps and pockets on a super granite quality. The most important things to know about this place are that the environment is very strict because you have to cross a large waterfall to access the bottom of the sector, where it’s impossible to stay dry; then the bottom of crag is not very comfortable and you must always be careful what you do. The last thing but not less important is to keep in mind that everything you climb from 6b+ to 8b range is graded very hard, everything should be upgraded of at least half a grade, but all of this things are not enough to keep me away from this outstanding crag.
"La Benedizione" crag, Gressoney (ITA)

Sometimes is very hard to try to understand why just few people spend their summer weekends to climb here, in a place where a climber has everything he needs: stunning routes , a picturesque landscape, fresh condition but nevertheless I guess that you have to be so fond of climbing where the beauty of the routes comes before of its grade. Most of the climbers prefer to get a 8a route without bear in mind of its beauty and without much effort instead try to send an easier dream-line which however can engage you for much longer time  but that in the end will give you an immense gratification anyway. This crag is the proof of all that I said.
Every summer I climbed not a lot here because I was used to spent a lot of time out of Italy as I had 3 months of holidays so I’m never been able to send things harder than a 7c, but this year that I’m at the college I have the summer exam session so I have to climb here around.

The first time I came here this year was at the beginning of June when we come back from Germany, and the route my brother and I were going for was “Lucky Man 8C”. This line is situated in the middle of wall and It is the first part of “SS26 8C+” opened by Alberto Gnerro in 2006. The route is something like 35 meters long and counts about 70 moves or more but the climbing is not just pure-endurance but it’s also boudery because the hardest part of the route are the first 15 meter (25 moves), around 8b+ route that allow to get into a slopy rest. From here, there are still 20m (45 moves) route of about 7c+ where your endurance come in.
I got “Easy Rider 6b+” as warm up as usual and then I decided to try sent an old project called “L’anestesista 7c+” where 2 years before I fell off on the easy part because a foot slipped off. I decided to try this one because despite being the best route in the crag I needed to start to put some endurance on my forearm because the past months I was used to do mostly boulders or short routes like in Franken, so this routes counts about 70 moves as well so It was the perfect one to train it. I put the quickdraws on and I brushed it up from the dirty that the winter brought.

I was able to crush this gem on my second go of the day, but It was a big fight till the chain because when I clipped it I was superrrr pumped and I felt my body exhaust.
In the meantime Andre figured out the beta on Lucky Man and just before the sun hit the wall I got an attempt to test the moves. I did all of them quite well so I started to dream.

The next 3 sessions of work went very well, I started to work the both two sections separately; I was able to get second part without hang on and to make promising links on the first one. Every time I was going always better and my beta was improving more and more because just one push with of a foot a little bit different could make the move easier, till when at the 3rd session I decided to change my beta for the second crux of the first part because I felt so hard to do it in the original way. Basically I used the very same hold but taken in another way and with different hands that makes it hard as well but way better for my climbing style.

June 22, I planned another session in the crag with my brother and many friends of mine so It was the 4th day on the proj. I got usual warm up on the 6b+ and on the 7a+ and then I was ready for the first attempt. I got my skin warm and I started to climb move after move and in one second I was down for an hold wet. I was pissed but I took a rag and I dried up the wet hold. I decided to take a long rest because I known to have just one more try because my skin was destroyed and It was pissing out water.
After about one hours I decided that it was the time for the last try; this time the hold was dry and I got the good hold that divided the 2 section of the first part. I chalked up, I took the side pull  with the right hand I upped the feet above the little roof, I took the intermediate and I fell down to catch the last good crimp, few moves before the rest point. I take a breath and I re-climbed the move where I fell down and I got the rest-point, I shaked my forearm and I was able to do it till the chain without hanging on. I was super happy because I was getting closer and closer so on the next days every tries could be the right one.
My skin was destroyed but I was not still tired so I decided to get one try to check the moves on “GLORY DAYS 8A”, an outstanding 35/40 meters with very long thrilling run outs.
I was excited as nobody else to come back there very soon, even just to enjoy this outstanding place because it makes you forget everything.

Glory Days 8a, Gressoney Credit: Andrea Zanone

The work on the route was going very well despite sometime I felt not enough strong to pull off the proj nevertheless my motivation was always very high because I guess that this is the typical progress when you try hard stuff. Sometime you feel close enough to say “Yes is possible”, but many time your body is not able to give 100%, feeling tired or just not convinced enough to take it down. However the best thing to do is to think positive because one day you will be able to tick the route.
The last day I was in the crag, I started to feel a bit of pain on my right shoulder after the usual warm up but I didn’t pay much attention and I kept climbing anyway. I did 3 tries on the proj and on the last try I thought for a moment to have done the hardest part but everything was blown away cuz my right hand slipped off as it has been wet.

The day finished very well anyway because I was able to send “Glory Days” after an epic war against the pump. I was really satisfied.
The next day my shoulder starting to be more painful, I had a constant pang on the arm but I had never expected that it will be something problematic. The evening besides the pain, I saw that when I moved the arm my shoulder blade came out, It was like I had a ball on my back. I was speechless and a bit afraid because I didn’t know what to do and my mind had already understand that I had stop climbing for a while.                         
The Monday morning I went to the doctor that diagnosed a strained of my thoracic nerve due to overload training or due to a big effort and said to me that I had to stop climbing for at least 2 weeks and then I would have to go back for another visit.

Now it’s 13 days I rest and more have to come, but I have to think positive. I would like to say thanks to my friends that have support me, It has been very helpful and great.

Now i'm off to Friedrichshafen Outdoor Fair in few hours, I’m super psyched to be there.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Climbing through the history: FRANKENJURA.

The Frankenjura might be one of the world's most famous sport climbing areas where back in the days guys like Wolfgang Güllich, Kurt Albert, Jerry Moffat and many others started to write a piece of climbing history, developing the idea of rotpunkt (red-point) and raising the standard level achieve at that time.
Actually is not just this history that pulls up into the area but the incredible collection of hundreds of small rocks spread over the woods. This region is situated in the triangle between the three cities of Bamberg, Bayreuth and Nürnberg and counts something like 1000 crags with a huge number of routes.
This place was in my mind for a long time because I had always heard rumors saying that it was amazing and the climbing was mostly powerful and intense because the routes are pretty short ranging from 10m to 20meters.

I’d not never expected to be able to planned a trip to this magic place till next September, actually just because it was the time to go to college and the next holiday would have been more forward, but one day Gabri Moroni asked to my brother and me, if we wanted to enjoy a little trip to Franken with Emanuele and he.
Skip the school was not a problem so I took advantages of this suggestion and I said “yes we are”. Gabri probably was the first people I would have chosen for the first trip to Franken because he has been there several times so he can be defined as a local climber. During the trip he recommended us some of most classic routes you have to climb, from 8a to 8b range.
Video frame of Boiling Point 8b, Frankenjura.

The first 2 days of climbing the climbing condition were not the best because there were high temperature with a very high percentage of humidity but there 3 days later the condition were way worse because a heavy rain hits us. The main goals of these first days of climbing was “Nightmare 8B” and “Ekel 7C+” both at Eldorado sector and “Casablanca 8A+” at Holzgauer sector.
I was so close on another proj called “Subway 8B” that runs along a wall-shaped wave with something like 10 hard moves on weird holds. For the crux was at the end of the wave, where the inclination of the wall change, because from a small crimp with the right hand you had to do a dynamic into a 3 fingers jug. There was a “static” way for this move too that consists to match the small crimp and go to the jug more easily but I preferred the dynamic way instead just because It suited me better.

After the 3 days of raining the temperature get colder and the friction came. Each of us had a project on his mind for example me and Ema wanted to get better on Subway, Gabri wanted to try to send “Hattori Hanzo 8C+” tried few days before and Andrea wanted to try “Queeel Dich, Du Sau 8B/+”. 
I woke up really sycked because the day seemed to be so promising, we went directly to Bärenschlucht sector were we got a quick wamp up. Ema and my-self moved to Subway for the second sesh on the route so I did a try to complete the warm up and to get used to the moves way better.
I needed 4 more attempts to be able to get to the top because the 3 tries before I fall down at the very last hard move due to little mistakes. The day finished as well for Gabri and Andre that were able to take down their respective project. Ema get progress on Subway, being almost able to figure out  the first  double dyno move that is the hardest one for him.

The following last 2 days we checked Maximilian sector and Rotenstein sector where Gabri show us many other must-do routes . At the first one I was able to send in few tries a super classic “Boiling point 8b” and “Bad brain 8a+” instead at the other one I sent 2 amazing lines following the 2 edges of a rectangular shaped-wall. The 2 lines are called “ Die Kante 8a+” and “Engel & Bestien 8a” both top 10 routes I’ve ever done.
Die Kante 8a+ pic. Andrea Zanone

This was a very successful and positive trip not just because I sent quite hard but actually because I travelled and climbed through a piece of climbing history, trying and seeing routes that had been climbed about 20 years ago.

Monday, May 12, 2014

First time in Magic Wood this year

Magic Wood is one of the place I have always been attracted and motivated to climb because Its location is absolutely incredible and there is a huge quantity of amazing problems from 6a to 8c range. I fall in love with the forest since the first visit in 2011. When the season ended in Ticino I was super sycked to check as soon as possible the wood because I had a a long wish list of the projects that I would like to do or at least to try.

So I planned with Andrea, Gabry and Marco (a friend of Andrea and mine) 2 days in the forest because The weather forecast seemed to be very promising with super climbing condition. We left Italy and in about 3 hours we were at the Generoso guesthouse where we rented a small room where we could sleep. Here there was a huge kitchen too in common with the others rooms. We left our stuff and we went to enjoy the boulders.

After a quick warm up Marco sent in few tries “Stress Man 7A” so we moved to try “Muttertag 8a” well known  to be one the best one move boulder here around.  The first attempts I tried to grab the crimp with the RH but every time my hand wasn’t able to stick it so I decided to change my beta and to try to jump with my LH. I felt better and I started to lock the crimp without being able to hold the swing. After a couple of tries I did it and I could say that this is the most phenomenal one move I’ve ever done.

Then we went to check  “Jack’s broken heart 8A” where Gabri was able to send the direct finish called “Tintenfisch alarm 8A+”. Gabri explained to me JBH ‘s beta so I decided to get one try one from the start but just try. Suddently I found myself after the hardest part where there are 2 big slopy rails where I took breath and I shaked a bit because I realized  that  I couldn’t  make any mistake, just few moves and I’ll be at top. My hands turned ice but luckily everything went perfectly. When I was at the top I felt so tired as I played a football match breathing heavily but I was super excited to have flash my first 8A boulder.
Jack's broken heart in Magic Wood - Pic Andrea Zanone

Few goes after Andrea sent the problem too so we moved to our real project “Riverbed 8B”.
I took a rest and I ate something because I needed to recover the energies lost from the big effort few time before.
When I felt ready I started to try all the singles moves and I about 10 minutes of work I configured out my beta. I felt the singles moves pretty easy but the hard of the boulder is to be still fresh and strong enough to stick the last moves at the end of the roof. The line is composed of about 8 easy moves on jugs on the first part of the cave where you join the end of the cave and the start of the horizontal roof. From there, there are more than 10 hard moves with a lot of hell and toe hook, where you have to climb really fast to save as much power as you can.
I had really good tries from the bottom falling just 2 moves before the end of the roof because I felt without energies and power. I was completely exhaust
The second day passed really quickly, I tried again Riverbed and  I fall again at the same point but with a little more energies. I think that It’s just question of time and of tries because if you are able to metabolize the movements in the best way you can have a chance to do it.

I’m really sycked to be back in the forest as soon as I can because I have a lot of stuff to do.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Winter in TICINO

Ticino this winter was such a dope for me because It offers some of the best boulders in the world very close to my home. 

I checked, always with good friends, the 3 areas around Ticino, Chironico, Cresciano and Brione depending on the period and on the climbing conditions because this winter was pretty rainy with warm temperatures so It was difficult to choose the right place. 
Due to this problem sometimes we left home even if the weather forecasts didn’t seem so good so we found a lot of stuff soaking wet and unclimbable.

Actually I’m really satisfied about what I was able to get this winter season. Okay, for sure It’s not what Jimmy Webb done and is doing now in Europe that is impressive, but I’m really glad because I saw a change on the mental approach on the project and the training was paid off.

Delusion of Grandeur, Chironico. Pic Andrea Zanone

This is the list of problems sent:

-  Delusion of grandeur 8A+ Chironico

- Black Pearl 8A Brione

- Freak Brother 8A Chironico

- Entwash direct 8A Brione

- Frogger 8A Brione

- Blochx Addiction 8A Chironico

- Bridge Over Troubled Waters 7C+/8A Chironico

- Special Edition 7C+ Brione

- Jungle Book 7C+ Cresciano

- Tricky 7c Chironico.

Basically everything that I was able to pull off, went down in a session of work. Now the winter is over and in Ticino is actually too hot for bouldering but there are a lot of other places where I’d like to enjoy as Magic Wood, Fionnay and many more.

Happy Easter to everybody! See you the next.

Frogger, Brione. Pic Andrea Zanone

Black Pearl, Brione. Pic Andrea Zanone

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Little trip to Finale Ligure

Many places for a new trip roamed in my head after the last trip to Spain because I would have liked to return to Spain or to visit a new place as the “Frankenjura” in Germany but due to high costs, the limited time available and the temperatures a bit cold in Frankenjura we opted to do a week in Finale Ligure in northwest of Italy.

Despite being very close from our home, about 2 hours, I climbed very little in this great place where there are a lot of awesome routes from the 8a to 8b+ range. I got a ticklist of my projects before departure in order to have an idea of the sportclimbing cliffs that we would like to enjoy.
We rented a small flat from Sunday, March 9 to the following Sunday for a total of 8 possible days of climbing.
The first day we went to the “Alveare sector” to check some old school routes as “Hyena 8b” but basically it was impossible to try this fingery and technical testpiece because it was freaking hot, being exposed at the sun all day. Despite to this fail I was able to flash “Viaggio nel futuro” that follow a roof with tricky toe hooks and tension moves. Just out of the roof there is the crux move that consists on an awesome dyno to a jug with the RH where you can rest before the 6c slab.

Viaggio nel futuro 7c+ - Alveare ( Finale Ligure )

The following 2 days the weather was bad but we were looking forward to climb so we decided to check a cool cave with few hard lines from the 8b to the 8b+ range because we thought that it was one of the less cliffs that could be dry. Despite being sheltered the topout was totally wet. We opted to try “Da Berlino non si scappa 8b+” so I got a try on it to warm up because the easy slabs out of the cave were a straight of water.
I basically figured out all moves expect the hardest one at the half of the route that consists to do a dynamic move into a slopy undercling jug where the 2 sides of the cave are combined. On my third go, after an hard struggle I sent the line with the topout wet because thanks to my high I was able to skip the last “hard” move going directly to an undercling jug that was grabable even if was wet. I did the last easy moves with ice and wet hands and finally I clipped the chain.

Da Berlino non si scappa 8b+ - Tecchie ( Finale Ligure )

The other high points of the trip were “Belgarath 8b” and “Cucco in alto 8b”.
Berlgath was the primary ticklist project of the holiday but the first days was wet because it features by outstanding tiny tofas. We waited the end of the trip to try this great testpiece.
The routes suited me perfectly since the first try but the hard is not to be strong to stick the holds but to be able to put your feet on small and smooth flakes very well. I fall down at the last hard moves because my right foot slipped off 2 time in row. On the 5th tries of the day I attempted the routes quite easily but I was really satisfied.
The other 8b “Cucco in alto” is definitely the most discontinuous routes I’ve ever done because there are 3 boulder problems in 35 meters of routes with 2 total rest where you can shake very well and take breathe until you are rested again. The first crux is the hardest of the routes and consists on a 7b boulder problem with sick climbing on a prou, the second one is around 6c+/7a boulder and the last one is a technical slab with tiny pockets where the use of feet is fundamental. 

I crushed it on my second attempt finishing the trip in best way. I’m sure I want to come back here as soon as possible to enjoy this climbing again. Onto the next! J

!!The all picture was taken on a tripod with the self-timer!!

Finale Ligure # Climbing from Marco Zanone on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Global Warming

The global warming adventure started when I was in Spain and one evening  I spoke with my brother, Luca Bazooka and Gabri about this boulder and each of us was so motivated to try it so we planned a mission to checked the line all togethere.

Global Warming is an outstanding line ,that runs through a roof for 12 movements  with amazing feet works and toe hooks, opened by Niccolò Ceria about one year ago.

We gave the appointment Sunday, January  12  at the cafè in Quincinetto for a coffee so getting ready for the hiking till the first boulders, where my brother and I, warmed up.
Gabri , Bazoo and others friends went to the back side of the area where there are some cool lines to climbed joined us after lunch. In the meantime I climbed an amazing line feature by a small 2 fingers pocket opened by Alberto Gnerro but still unnamed.
After ascended the 7b+ I felt warm and ready to check the roof, so we walked for 10 minutes more, finally reaching this fabulous plateau featured by some other interesting blocks including Global Warming.
Unamed 7b+ Pic Andrea Zanone

I had lunch, resting a bit from the tiring walk, so in the meantime the rest of the crew arrived, we were ready to test it!
Actually this was not my first sesh on the boulder because Andrea and I decided to dust off the block the day before, so we took the opportunity to try some singles moves out of curiosity.

I was really happy about my second session because I was able to configured out all single moves except the hardest one, the swing. I wasn't strong enough to control the swing, dabbing every time the crashpad. Gabri and Andrea were able to do this tension move giving to me the motivation to came back stronger! J
The bad weather came so we had to stop trying this rig for about 2 weeks but I took advantage of this period to train specifically doing weights, abdominal and fingers board. I started to feel better, the weather conditions came back good and we were waiting amazing sunny days to be spent on the proj.

I kept in touch with Bazo and Gabri again planning another session all togethere, in order to try to take this rebus down. Gabri was able to send it in a couple of tries, after having warm up doing the finals movement of the lines. Andrea did it too surprising everyone, because he started climbing without saying anything to anyone, when I turned my head he was about to jump and in a second he was able to stick the swing and complete his first 8b boulder problem.
It was a really good day for Bazo and me as well because we were able to keep the swing and make some good tries from the bottom.
I was closer and closer but at one point I was too tired to have any chance so I decided to postpone to another session before the bad weather hits us again.

This day was yesterday, Tuesday, January 29, that I went to Donnas with my brother Andrea and Valentina with just one mission “try to send the project”. The climbing condition was super, it was really windy and quite cold, so I would have no excuse if I was not able to climb it. At about 1 o’clock we were under the roof so I begins to gain confidence in the most climbable part so much that I could hold the swing again, making me so hopeful.

After few tries from the ground I was able to get the hardest move and in a second I found myself after the mantle. It took a few seconds before I realized that  I did it and then I looked at my hands and I saw that I had a gash on his finger.

Global Warming - Pic Andrea Zanone

I will not believe, the blood was pouring, but everybody know that “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”, so I was really satisfied.
This was one of the greatest experience of my climbing life because try a line with some other strong climbers is sooo much motivating, configure the beta all togethere is amazing, you can feel much stronger than you're and these little things, all together, make the difference! :)

Global Warming 8B from Marco Zanone on Vimeo.

Unamed 7b+ in Donnas (AO) from Marco Zanone on Vimeo.