giovedì 1 maggio 2014

- Sardinia Crack Attack !

Back in summer 2007 I had a bad ankle injury during a bouldering competition, it needed surgery and I could not climb for at least four months. My parents decided to bring me in Sardinia for a sea holiday: I was supposed to be just relaxing, swimming and maybe fishing.

We ended up in a house on La Maddalena island, just behind a promontory made of a beautiful red granite. Rocks and boulders were almost everywhere on the island, and my holiday ended up being a bloc scouting tour on my crutches, most of the times under a burning sun and between strong biting bushes.

During one of my trips I discovered a stunning, hearth shaped granite boulder, which was split by a huge crack and was about 45° overhanging. It was on top of a perfect rocky plateau in front of the sea, with some nice granite boulders surrounding it.

At the time it seemed quite a futuristic thing to climb for me: I was just a boulderer walking on crutches, and that crack seemed way to tall and hard. Anyway that day I added a new line to my personal list of things I wanted to accomplish one day...

November 2013, almost seven years have passed, and I go back to Sardinia with La Sportiva team to find some new boulders and try a few of the climbs I saw back in the years.  We also get to climb that crack in Caprera: James Pearson manages to get the first ascent, while I miss my dream of climbing it despite being close.

Last week I go back with my friend Daniele Bianchi, willing to show him some beautiful cracks and finishing my unfinished business. This time I feel ready: it's a hard task for my skills but everything goes well. After three days of efforts I stand at the top of one of my dreams. It's one of the most rewarding feelings climbing can give you...

Never stop following your dreams.

sabato 22 marzo 2014

- Albarracin 2014 - Photo report

After a very unlucky visit in January, where I had to lie ill in bed for four days out of six, I came back to Albarracin in early March to finally explore this world of red sandstone, which was still missing from the famous bouldering spots I visited around Europe. I won't write anything about how nice is the place or how cool are the boulders there... I will simply show you a few pictures I got, so you can judge on your own ;-)

Snowy January

old town building

View from the town walls

Pinturas Buldestres 7c+

Pinturas Buldestres 7c+

Supernafamacho 7b+

driving to the boulders

driving to the boulders

driving at the car park ;-)

Esperanza 6c+

El Varano 7c+

red at sunset ...

... yellow at night

under the stars

Brainstorm 7b

Bloque Fontain 7a

canyons and valleys

walking back from Techos

A Ciegas 7a+

Helicopters on Beaches 8b

Old town walls

la Lagrima 6c

la Lagrima 6c

my ...

... favourite ...

... subject !

Selfie under the trees

Many greetings from Albarracin, I will leave you with my usual short funny climbing video... I know it's quite out of fashion and just roughly edited, but climbing was hard and I didn't have time nor the will to make a more professional one. Take it easy!

domenica 29 dicembre 2013

- Una Giornata al Vivo

Una umida e bruttina giornata di fine anno passata a scalare con gli amici...


anche questa è la scalata. Buone feste a tutti.

martedì 17 dicembre 2013

- Back to Ticino

Winter has come back again! After a warm summer mainly spent sport and trad climbing, as soon as temperatures dropped it was time to get back on bouldering...

I still have many projects to try down in Tuscany, but after all the sport and trad climbing I felt quite weak and wanted to test myself and get back in a good shape first, so I went to Chironico were there were still lots of new problems for me to try. (Being quite tired to mess around the Dreamtime boulder in Cresciano)

There was a problem in Chironico I've always wanted to try: "The Crack Line", a nice 8b that requires a couple of strange finger locks... I thought it was time to see if all the crack jamming payed off ;-)
In fact I was able to feel the finger locks quite good but what I struggled with most was the middle section that took me quite a long time to understand... it all turned out to be a long siege against the problem as usual!

Apart from the Crack Line I climbed a few other problems around, the most beautiful of them being: "Walk the Line" a nice 8a+ added by Giuliano Cameroni in Lavorgo. So here it is: back to bouldering, back to Ticino, back to my small self made videos with single static camera... but this one is special... it has a "vintage" look... enjoy!

giovedì 21 novembre 2013

- Sardinia Bloc Scouting

It has been a while I'm not writing anything on my blog, and the main reason is that since I've started focusing more on sport and trad climbing I haven't been able take any good pictures of my activity as I used to do with bouldering, hence nothing good to show you... but this time I knew the opportunity was epic as we were all going to explore new areas in the granite paradise of Sardinia and so I made sure to bring my camera along with climbing shoes, crash pad and trad gear.

La Sportiva Bloc Scouting is born by an idea of Pietro dal Pra, regular visitor of the Island, who wanted to bring a team of  La Sportiva athletes to help developing new bouldring areas and find some new lines as well as living a good experience together. We were ten climbers, two videographers, a photographer the laspo guys and we've also been joined by some local climbers... a perfect crew with mixed origins! (the climax being reached when Cody Roth from New Mexico played "morra" with the owner of "Lu Branu" agriturismo after they served us some local grappa ;-))

Everybody has been free to walk around and try the lines he liked the most. As for me I've been mainly attracted by some nice crack lines running through the tallest boulders, that stand out of everything else, and where I had the opportunity to practice my skills, because to be honest crack climbing is a totally different game and I still need to improve a lot.

So everyday we were out climbing: brushing and slapping rough granite slopers or jamming hands into sharp crystals... the rock there is quite aggressive, but everything becomes doable after a good cleaning, and the shapes are so inspiring that it is worth bearing some pain to get to the top.

Unfortunately after several days of crack climbing I got my hands totally trashed and I was not even able to finish a couple of the climbs I cared more about. We planned to go back on the very last day after some rest, but unfortunately bad weather came in and we had to give up. Sometimes you have to accept defeat, (well most of the times for me ;-)) but at least we tried hard.

Together we opened more than a hundred new boulder problems into three main areas, four or five short crack climbs, and even a three pitches trad route on mount "Pulchianotto" by James and Caroline. There will be a small topo coming out soon so everybody will be able to get there, revive our experience and open new problems as well... there's still loads to do!

I really have to thank Pietro for all the efforts he put into this project and La Sportiva for making it happen. Everything we did has been filmed by Richard Felderer and Pietro Porro, and there will be a calendar soon by Klaus Dell'Orto, so stay tuned on La Sportiva website to follow the official reports. As for me I always had my camera in the bag and tried to make my small personal video report: there's no climbing action but at least I hope you will get the scenery!

One last thing: I want to express my sadness and support for all the people who live in those places that have been hit by an hurricane just the day after we left. Hope everything will get back to normal soon.
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