Friday, May 15, 2015

Magic Winter

This winter season has been pretty rad and It has been definitely a turning point in my climbing life. Climbing a lot of hard stuff in the last few months signed the end but also the beginning of a new path.
I'm feeling definitely stronger in the head and my approach to the hard things is totally changed, I’m not intimorated anymore to try problems at my limit and now I know that the process of improvement is a long thing and you have just to try over and over till one day everything will work perfectly together and you’ll finally be able to get it.

Dt. Med Dent Pic. Stefan Kuerzi



I’m not used to spent too time on a single thing especially on a boulder because I always had a lot of must-do thing that I could get in a day, so for me was much more satisfying to climb on 8As or 8A+s then on a 8Bs.
This year I had some no gravity days and I was able to pull off a lot of stuff from 8a to 8a+ range so I decided that was the time to move forward and to try something that I had to spend a lot energies on.










What I’m going to talk about are the two days that have left a huge mark on my life forever.  
On these two different days happened something that I had never experienced before, something that sometimes is not that easy to explain with words.
-      It was Saturday, January 31st when I was keeping in touch with my friends Gabri and Luca about what we’ll have done the day after. They were in Cresciano with some crazy friends that were in Ticino for a couple of days, the conditions were awesome so we planned to head back to Cresciano to join the crew again because we were sure that despite all, it would have been a good day.

I was keeping in my mind what I would like to try but when I was there I just followed the flow and the crew. I could have never known, but it turned out to be an awesome day, and by far the best of my life!

The crew that had gathered was insane. It composed of Gabri, Bazoo, Sbisi, Giulio Bertola, Davide Gaeta, Michelle and a whole bunch of other guys.
The first boulder I tried was “La pelle direct 8A+”, Bazoo explained to me the beta he used the day before and I eventually found myself at the top after around 30min of trying.
Since I was there I figured on trying the left variant [8A] also, that is way more different to climb on and it definitely gave me more troubles than the original one.
After a little break I had a try from the start, the feet stayed, the fingers locked and I luckily ticked another one!
The day was still early so the crew split up. I moved with Bazoo and Davide to Jungle Book and Sbisi wanted to get “La Pelle left” since he was soo close.

Jungle book was under the sun’s heat, that was quite strong even in February, but the motivation was extremely high so we checked it out anyway.
Bazoo showed me the beta once again for the original sit start but it was so hard to have a good friction on the last slopy part of the problem when you come from the sit.
One attempt my both hands slipped off altogether and I dropped down onto the pad like a sand bag. Ahaha! My skin started to get worse and the finger tips were red but it eventually and rather thanksfully went down for Luca and me.



For me the day could be called finished because 3 8A's in a day sounded pretty dope and I was definitely satisfied but the motivation of the whole crew dragged me in the right way so I was also able to finish off “La Nave va 7C+”, an awesome technical slopy edge, with crazy rock quality, I finally finished off with “Gecko 7C+”.


Boogalagga Pic. Stefan  Kuerzi

-      -The other perfect day that features this perfect winter season is about the highest point of my climbing lifethus far.

What I’m going to write about next is the result of all the hard work and hard training. The result of a lot of failures, falls and days spent under one single boulder or rather entire sessions spent trying to figure out just one single move.
Boogalagga is the result of all of this.
This line has always been the main project for me, from the beginning of the bouldering season in Ticino, in fact the first time on it was in December when I spent a couple of days in Chironico with my brother and Niky Ceria.
Boogalagga Pic. Stefan  Kuerzi
I did it starting from the second move to the top, that is not that hard at all, but if you fail to make everything perfectly you can definitely fall.

The boulder itself consists of one single move if you use the beta straight to the pocket (depends on the size) because the first move is damned hard, but it is not all about strength, it requires perfect body positioning and exact coordination as well. 
Everything for me had to be close to perfection for sending this beast, I mean, I had to be in a good shape, my skin had to be dry and regenerated and also the climbing conditions had to good.

I came closer and closer and every time I figured out a new foot beta for the first move because also a foot 2cm more on the right could make differences on doing the move or not.
The day that Andrea and Luca took down the problem I was super close and I quickly realized that I had also one chance to get it.
So three days later I came back. I felt strong in the head and ready to climb this one. In fact after a couples of tries I stuck the first move to the 2 finger pocket and I climbed all the way up.
It was something so incredible to be stood on the top of this boulder. A boulder that I had dreamed about for years and years.

Boogalagga Pic. Stefan  Kuerzi

Boogalagga can be called “THE LINE” because it is a tall and proud bloc that follows this awesome overhanging prow. The holds are insane and the movements are unique and after all is is an 8B boulder problem that for me marks the end of a cycle but at the same time signals a new beginning.

 Here there is the list of the boulder I was able to climb this winter (in order of beauty):
Similitudini Aosta Valley. Pic Andrea Zanone

- Boogalagga 8B (Chironico)    
- Amber 8A+ (Brione)
- Zarmina 8A+ (Champorcher)
- Conquistador 8A/+ (Chironico)
- La Nave Va 7C+ (Cresciano)
- Similitudini 8B (Outrefer)
- Wie im Urlaub 7C/+ (Brione)
- La pelle direct 8A+ (Cresciano)
- Jungle Book sit 8A/+ (Cresciano)
- Gecko 7C+ (Cresciano)
- Conquistador direct 8A+/B (Chironico)
- La pelle left 8A (Cresciano)
- Viva il Cavaliere 7C+ (Cubo)
- Le Pilier 8A (Chironico)
- Wrap Artist 8A (Chironico)
- Baby Mammoth 8A+ (Chironico)
- Second life 8A/+ (Chironico)
- Pure Addiction 8A/+ (Chironico)
- Souvenir 8A (Chironico)



Friday, March 20, 2015

My goals for 2015

The last couple of months have been amazing because between rain and sun, rock and gym I was able to think about the personal goals I would like to accomplish in this 2015.

I decided to start training by myself because after almost 5 years I think to have understood which are my weaknesses and which is simply the best training way for me.

I’m feeling definitely stronger than I’m never been, probably I’m in the best shape of my life and the training has been paid off. I introduce on my climbing program, exercises that I never experienced before, like TRX and Rings, which were complemented by intense fingers strength on beastmaker and climbing sessions in the gym.
Week after week I started to see the first improvements and luckily the motivation was always high but after a while I wanted to leave training for a couple of weeks to test the progress on the rock.
I’ll speak about my season in Ticino in the next story because the season it’s still not over and definitely syked for Brione and for Magic Wood later.
I wanna focus and explain my goals for this year because in my opinion is very important that every climbers set their own goals for keeping the motivation constantly high even if sometime everything went wrong and somehow you are not able to do what you expected.

My personal goals on bouldering are to try to consolidate the 8B grade because I’m feeling mentally and physically ready to definitively break this barrier.               
Since I’ll be in Rocklands in South Africa the whole june would be awesome to flash some other 8As.

Trying hard on Lucky Man. Pic Pierre Zanone
Instead regarding for sport climbing I still have a dream that have to be realized this next summer. The route is always “Lucky Man 8C” in Gressoney that I was not able to pull off for tha bad injury caught me last july. 
At that time I was sure to have the ability to send this routes and probably If it was not for the injury would be already in my pocket but for bad luck or whatever you want to call it, it's still there to be climbed.

When I’ll be back for SA I guess I’ll spend the rest of the summer up there and if the route will go down soon enough I’ll try the extension called “SS.26 8C+” or I ‘ll move on the still unrepeated “Elementi di Disturbo 8C+/9A” opened by my friend Gabry Moroni. 
It’s an awesome line though.

So my main goal is to send a couple of 8Cs and maybe something harder because I’m sure to have the right skills to try on such hard stuff.

We'll see what it will be!!

Last thing but not less important I want to announce my new partnership with Edelweiss and Five Ten for this year.

The new stuff

There are both worldwide known brands that produce amazing high quality stuff and I’m definitely proud to be part of them.

Hopeful for some good weather soon to test all the stuff on the rock.


Catch yaa soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A summary of the last few months

Well, what to say about the new year. This 2015 has been quite busy for a while, I started to train as hard as I never done and the 2 sessions per day take me off a lot of time and a lot of energies. The rest of the time I work with my father and every evening I come back home soo tired.

First, back to a couple of months ago when I was climbing  in the amazing crags in Spain, under the warm temperatures that  feature this season. Actually this trip was not as I expected, of course I had a lot of fun because the crew was always the same but there was something different.

The fog above Uldemolins in the early morning

For the first time I wanted to try something harder, something that was at my limit even if the time to try something that hard is always too short, because if you think that in 10 days you have to get confidence with the type of rock and the style of climbing, be in a good shape and find out the right line, is not that much. 
This was a good challenge with my-self but everything went wrong, I mean that, a combination of lot of events didn't make this thing happen.

First of all, the weather has been a little bit crazy because the conditions, in the days before the new year, were insane for climbing in the sun, the friction was perfect, actually what a climber needs for good send tries.                   
                                                                          
At the beginning of my wishlist there was “El Membre 8C” in Siurana that I really wanted to try, at least once, to check if it was possible. I checked twice and I was able to get all single moves except one so I decided to move to the neighbor “Mr. Cheky 8B+”. 
I had good tries on it so I decided to take one more day in the new year for sending it.

Zona 30 El Laboratori Margalef


The conditions in the new year changed, so much so it was impossible to climb and the projects I had in a specific sector were blown away from sun’s heat so we had to move to the shadow for climbing.
In addiction of these temps my shape was crazy and uncontrollable, some days I was so strong since I was able to onsight my first 8A ever at Cova Boix sector in Margalef called “Doctor Feelgood” and some days I felt just so weak with terrible pain fingers.

When I understood that I had no more chances on the hard things I tried, I opted for some relax climbing days together with my dad, just climbing easy stuff for fun. We spent one of the last days at Esperò Primavera sector in Siurana where after a good warm up I onsighted 2 of the 3 7b+ on the main red wall, respectively called “Mandragora” and “Papagora”. These 2 classics 35 meters routes climb as better as they look, it’s just simply amazing to enjoy the moves with empty mind.
Mandragora, Siurana. Credit Andrea Zanone
Mandragora, Siurana. Credit Andrea Zanone
Despite all Spain never betrays expectations, see ya next year I guess.

When we came back to Italy I didn’t know if I was more psyched for bouldering or sport climbing, but also here the temps were crazy, It was winter but with spring temps because a hot wind, probably arrived from Afrika, made the climbing possible in crags where is usually impossible.
My brother and my self takes advantages of this to back on an old uncompleted proj where we were so closed in may/june.
We spent both Saturday and Sunday on it; the first day I brushed up the line and I gave some tries to refresh the moves but on the second day I wanted to try hard.        
The route is extremely powerful and intense since you can’t even chalk but thanks to the awesome friction this thing was not a problem because the hands and the rock were totally dry.
On my 2nd try of the day I gave all my energies but it was not enough because I fell off at the very last move to catch the jug where you can clip the chain. I did a heartbreaking drop off because the last bolt was a couple of meters lower  but when I realized that everything was okay and that I fell at the last move, the adrenaline and the tension disappeared leaving a sense of nausea, sickness and utter helplessness; I was just feeling empty as if the energies had left my body.

I had to take a very long rest and after a good lunch I recovered a bit and I felt ready for one last try.
I climbed loose and precise and this time I stuck the jug, I screamed out for the happiness cuz I ticked by far one of the hardest routes.

The line “13 Guerriero” was bolted by Alberto Gnerro, and even if it’s chipped, the route climbs well, the movements are nice and the climbing is really technical. I probably got one of the few ascents, maybe the 4th or 5th, an elite anyway.                                          
The grade is a separate story, It’s just 8B but I can definitely say that this thing is a solid 8B+ but this is the bolter’s rule “hard grade”. I’m not totally agree but  I respect it.
From these weekend I stopped with rope climbing to leave space for bouldering, because for me winter means cold, friction and Ticino and just these 3 words makes me syked.

                                                           

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.