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