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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

From Spain with love

View from Siurana

After one month spent on bouldering in Ticino I was ready  for some 
sport climbing in Spain as every year with my family. Down there the crew was so big, so I was able to see again friends I had not seen for a long time and I was able to climb back into this wonderful place too that I dreamed of a year round.

We had a really long  11 hours trip by car from Biella to Cornudella de Montasant that is a little village witch adapted itself for climbing because everything revolves around for climbing, without whom there would be nothing, if not for its wine producing.

The first day checked a new sector called “Siuranella Sud” because there was a really windy day so we saw form the guidebook that  this crag was sheltered from the wind. When we arrived at the sector I realized that this was the best choice because there was few climbers and an amazing limestone wall with blue and red/orange streak was in front of my eyes.

After a quite warm up I chose an 8a+ on a blue streaks that drove me crazy, I did the first go configuring out all single moves with the help of my brother Andrea and Patrick. On my second go I fall as stupid missing a good crimp on the crux but then I climbed it to the top. I was happy anyway about this try because I said that it was possible, but 10 minutes later my friend Patrick broke the only good crimp of the the crux making it impossible or very hard, so the first project was blown away.
When I saw the crimp skip away  I was incredulous because usually the rock quality on blue streaks is really high and really solid, so I could not imagine that such a thing to happen.

Morena del Montsant
The second day we decided to change place after the big fail of the first dayso we went to Margalef's classic cliff called “Racò de l’Espadelles” that it is in the sun all day making it perfect for climbing.
There was such a great bunch of climbers that I warmed up on a 7a+ with the quickdraws put on  because I was too lazy to wait for easier stuff. Then I finished my warm up trying the singles moves of “El Sistema 7c+” that I was able to get on my second attempt.

After that I did not know whether to try my brother’ project or something of easier so after having look out the guidebook I found this cool line situated on my favorite piece of wall of the cliff. The 4 routes here( from 7c+ to 8b) are features from a first bouldery wall that allow to get a good rest and from a second wall that is more technical and where your endurance is really important.

My friends Luca from Tuscany had already get an attempt on it so he explain to me his beta, so with some different feet works I got all singles moves without much effort.  I decided to do a good rest in order to be able to give the 100% on my second try, trying to send my first 8a+ in 2 goes. I did the first boulder really well without getting pumped, I rested a bit and then the fight started until the mantle when the wall became more vertical, where you can say “ I DID IT” even before to clip the chain.
Braguetasso - Margalef Pic © Pierre Zanone
The great journey finished as well at the bar with friends, where we shared the ascents of the day with a fresh Estrella. J

The last day of the year I went with Gabri and Petardo to Can Pigui Pugui in Siurana which is my favorite area here in Siurana, because there is an incredible limestone quality which makes the climbing really technical and crimpy. Instead my brother and my parents went to Espadelles again because Andre was soo close on his project.
My planned here was to try “Mr Cheki 8b+” but after having seen the line I decided to fly down so I tried the variant called “Bou I prou 8b” that starts leftmost then rejoin at the final crux.

After have sent “Anabolica 8a” in 2 tries, I put my quickdraws on the project and I configured out my beta. On my second go I was so close to take this thing down, even a moment I thought “yes, I can do it” because I got the hardest part reaching the jug, where you can shake you forearm a bit and take breathing. Just few moves left me after the 6b slab but one of these moves is so weird and harder if you are tall because from the jug you take a small pocket with the left hand and with a really left foot high you have to get into a small crimp.
Unfortunately I fall off at the very last move, taking the crimp with the right one, because I too was tired or because I was sure to do it, I dunno what to think! 

Gabri was closer than ever on his nemesis “A muerte”, falling to take the jug because he took the left crimp so bad instead Petardo was able to get a really hard 7b+ on the right that looked so cool, seeing Pet climb on it.
After that last climb of the year we went to the Tony’s cafè for some estrellas waiting the others friends from Margalef in order to get warm for the year-end party! J
I leave you to imagine how the night is over…

The rest-day the first day of the year is a must for me because I have to bounce back from the hangover and take rest after 3 days of climbing in a row.
The first climbing day after the party we came back to Can Pigui Pugui because I was sycked to take the project down! Fortunately everything went very well so I crushed it on my 2nd attempt of the day.

Bou I prou - Siurana Pic © Pierre Zanone

Bou I prou - Siurana Pic © Pierre Zanone

The next days I climbed “a muerte” every day without saving energies so I got these cool lines:

  •  3/01 Innuendo 8A flash – Racò de l’espadelles. Thanks to Guido and Gabri for the beta, who made this possible!
  •  3/01 Ser purista a me despist 8A - Cingle de les solanes.
  • 4/01 Gotim Bru 7B O.S - Balco de l'Ermita.
  •  4/01 Mirtoglicerina 7C+ O.S. - Balco de l'Ermita.
  •  5/01 Chute emocional 7B+ O.S - Cingle de les solanes.
  • 5/01 Malasombra 7C+ flash – Racò de l’espadelles.
  •  5/01 Absolut 8A+ 2nd go – El Laboratori.
  • 5/01 La Bombi 8A+ flash – El Laboratori.
Mirtoglicerina - Margalef  Pic © Pierre Zanone 
      I was very happy and satisfied about this holiday because ,except for the realizations, I spent a lot of time with my family and great friends that is the most important thing.

Family of climbers

Now I’m working hard on some winter projects that makes me sycked to go ahead.


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