Sunday, 30 December 2007


I was thinking about the gym yesterday night, and about the fact that I can't climb for shit there. I nearly sent one hard problem, doing every move static, in control, but blowing it twice at the end, with my feet slipping away.
Ok, I want to use crap shoes in the gym, because I think it helps me when I use good shoes outside, so I can't complain about feet slippage. But I think that now, after the last two months (years) of serious training, I have to learn how to climb again, accordingly to my improved physical abilities. I slipped because I climbed poorly, and because my left foot had only a few kilos on. Should I have pressed it firmly on the hold, it wouldn't have slipped. It would have stayed put, and i would have sent.
I can't have an average technique and a brutal power (that I don't have, anyway), because I would be ridiculous. My feet have to work just as my arms do: at their best. That's what makes the difference between strong climbers and good climbers. The first ones are just strong, the good ones send.
Ok, for sure I don't want be hindered by lack of fire power, but now it's time to take a step forward. I can still remember the feeling of my right foot so unloaded, so passive, on one of last tries on "Il Signore degli Anelli", while my buddy was putting every gram of his weight on it, getting very close to the send. It was sad and ridiculous at the same time: sad for me, ridiculous and grotesque for the others to watch.
This afternoow we leave for the friends' house. I hope I can get some climbing tomorrow, even if it's going to snow there today. Maybe on tuesday, who knows.
I am a bit sad now, because all this thinking to my weaknesses. My past efforts fade, and they seem worthless.
Luckily I know they're not.

Friday, 28 December 2007


Today I had the last session of the year. To be honest, the last two sessions: a brief one at lunchtime, for tests, that resulted in a quick burn of very hard maximal efforts, that coupled with the day spent under the roof, took alot from me, so that this evening I was very tired.
Anyway, I couldn't do again the two one armers on the 2 cm edge, despite being able to do them past saturday at the end of the session, but I was feeling a bit heavy on big muscles. I tried to deadhang 1 cm one handed, and was really there, especially with right hand. I could already take the tick for that, but will wait. Then I tried the same on 2 cm and went up to 12 kilos at the waistbelt. Cool.
So tonite I was tired and didn't do much, but almost sent a difficult problem that felt impossible one month ago.
I will go and visit some friends for new year's eve, and incidentally they live very close to one of my (many) projects. Obviously, the weather will be bad, and it could rain, but am confident to try and play my chances. You don't know until you go.
Holy shit this was so boring to type, I can't imagine how boring it must be to read it...

Thursday, 27 December 2007


A few weeks ago my g/f took these pics, after I got home from the gym. As I promised, here they are, talking about body changes.


Finally, I managed to touch some rock. Obviously, I had to earn it, due to very very humid weather, that forced me to shift from Sasso and Out of Service and drive further to Amiata and The Roof.
I was feeling strong, and last session tests made me confident, but the project is very hard. I nearly sent. I didn't, but was close, and most of all I understood how to do the first move. It was an impossible move, and became a very low percentage move (I did it twice in the whole day), so I think it could really go.
Obviously, I'm talking about the easy, contrieved, eliminate version of the roof. I posted something about that a while ago, and friends wisely suggested to send the easy line (8a?) first, then work the real line, then (I add) call Ty Landman to send it.
During the session I was alone, and I was soaking every ray of sunlight, every breeze, and I was happy. Eric and Keith know how peaceful that place can be.
At one moment, I felt my index and middle finger gently catching the hold, sticking it, and my body staying put, with my brand new Solution jammed under the roof to avoid cutting lose. This was shocking, and I had to force myself to go on, instead of dropping it in disbelief. And on I went, but I lost my left foot for a few seconds, and that made me squeeze a bit more on the crimp, so when I dynoed for the last hold of the crux, I got it, and got it right, but my left hand slipped, and caught me without body tension, flying rightwards and out from the roof to the ground.
My legs started trembling, and from that moment all I could think about was doing that move again. I did it, but fell again with too much momentum.
So, it was a small step for human kind, but a giant step for me.
I could have sent.
I could have sent the roof.
It's something to think about, to understand, and to be happy.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Here we go again. Tuesday night session, everything set for the xmas assault.
It was footless bouldering, 4 problems of three moves, four goes each, 2 mins rests.
Then four problems from one to three moves, four goes each, 2 mins rests. Shoes on and feet allowed.
The guru flashed a problem that none of us all could do despite our serious efforts. Although I may have pulled down some wooden crimp, there's absolutely no comparison between our capabilities.
I'm quite tired now, and I'm happy to know that I just have to do two sessions per week now.
I wish you all could see my killer skin tight, long sleeve, red and green t-shirt.
C'mon c'mon.

Sunday, 16 December 2007


I am about to be deprived of my epic Monday morning on Out of Service.
It's going to snow, and I just can't risk to be stuck somewhere and not able to be at work tomorrow afternoon.
It's over.

Friday, 14 December 2007


No, not the hard boulder problem in Scotland.
It's what I feel after getting next monday morning off, to go and try to complete Out of Service. If I manage to find someone to come with me, spot me and testify my success to doubtful souls.
It will be my only climbing chance in many weeks, and the first one since months in good - hopefully - conditions: the weather should stay as it's been in the last four days, clear and cold.
Forecast say something like -3°, with a solid NE wind to give a -12° wind chill on your body to bear. I may as well keep my hat for the successful, barechested attempt.

Mediocre gym session yesterday, doing moves I couldn't do before, but some lack of something. Maybe joy. I want to work more on my left arm lock off.

Someone is spreading out news about me, about my training regime and physical progresses, as I noticed again yesterday night. I met a climber I hadn't seen or talked to in a year and half, and he said "oh I know you're strong, you train alot, show me something" and so on. It's strange, also because he's alot stronger than me.

I'm pissed because I can't post pics from my digicam, have to buy a new cable.

I hope my anglosaxon friends of all kinds, I mean from Mother UK and from the Colonies, will come and visit me soon.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


I was thinking to the famed two pull ups of yesterday night.
To be honest, I didn't do them easily. It was hard, and I had to really push myself. If I had done them two easily, I would have kept on.
Probably I was typing with too much chalk, meat and red wine in my body.
I'm very proud of another thing.
Taking inspiration from UKB, I talked with The Guru about building symmetrical climbing walls, and so, since he's a problem setter at the gym, it seems that we will soon have a symmetrical wall, to work left and right part of the body in the same way.
It's hard to rest sometimes. Right now, I'm tempted to go and pull some holds, but I'll stick to the program.
Thinking again, the very good thing about yesterday night, is that the training is well customized and that I'm moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


I just turned from the God of Technology that I was yesterday, to the God of Power that I was tonight at the gym.
I did nothing special, I mean, not in general terms, I just quickly did a yellow problem that many other regulars have done, but during the warm-up I tried a couple of tests, and I easily did two one armers, right hand, on the 2 cm edge. One on left hand.
Then I tried some dead hanging, talked into it by a friend, stop watch in hand. After a few tests one girl (!!!!!) called me from behind and said "do you want a cappuccino while on that edge?". That made me happy, and I could have easily gone home after just twenty minutes in the gym.
As prediceted, killer weather now.
I was very rude to a friend, while warming up. I was thinking loud, basically, trying to decide what problem I should try. My friend, who recently dropped bouldering for sport climbing, doing his first 8a just this past saturday, heard me talking about trying a hard blue problem on the 60° board, and he told me "what the hell, you still have to do the blues?" to which I coldly answered "yes, but I climbed my first 8a five years ago".
I feel sorry about that, but I think he deserved it.
It's not my fault if he turned to sport climbing because his girlfriend likes it more than bouldering. The other night he told me "as soon as I sport climb 8a I get back to bouldering, and I will send Out of Service before you".
Then again he said "I won't be satisfied until you top out, 'cos you can fall also after getting the lip" and stuff like that.
So tonight I said what I said.
I don't fucking care about the fucking blues or yellows in the gym. I want to do one armers on edges and not being able to remember if they were five or six. I want to measure my dead hangs just using the minutes. I want to do Out of Service during a morning break from work. I want to do "Il Signore degli Anelli", "Frank's wild years", "La pelle" and then something hard.

Monday, 10 December 2007


It still feels strange to have Mondays off, I sometimes feel like I should be working instead of resting.
Anyway, all this strangeness will soon come to an end, given that from tomorrow I'll be working everyday for a few weeks.
Naturally, and all of you climbers take note, the weather will improve, dry and sticky conditions will arrive, and bouldering areas all around will be full of happy slappers, and, I'm sure, alot of girls bouldering and desperately searching for romance.

As it may not appear from the above, I'm very pissed.
Saturday night I was tempted to go and sleep in the van in Sasso, but the last 48 hours of rain made that a bad idea. The boss will give us some spare free hours, officially to go buy shit-mas presents, and I think I'll try to have an entire morning off to be spent under Out of Service, the most recent Nemesis of my climbing.

This is the week of rest and supercompensation. Four days off, something I haven't had for months now, should pay off.

The Guru is a real professional. Yesterday night he and girlfriend were at my place for dinner, and while chatting I explained my plans, taking a morning off, going to Sasso on the 25th and 26th, and so on.
This morning, I found his e-mail, with all the new settings of the training program, tailor made on my plans.

As soon as I get the cable from the other house, I'll post some pics about some changes in my body, something dealing with...forearms.

Still, I really really suck on plastic. I'm so poor, compared to other climbers that train alot less than me, that it's depressing. Luckily, there is always the fingerboard to cheer me up.

I finally have internet on my laptop, and I feel like the God of Technology.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


A big climbing and mountaineering shop in the center of a big town, with 50% discounts on everything, is a bliss for every asshole who wants to piss employees off.

I tend to get very angry when I feel someone is there just to get something he, or she, doesn't really need, but just because it comes very cheap.
Then one day I realized that, amongst all the ones who just don't care, there may be someone who really needs that 50% off.

The lesson is that I have to take time, and try to understand people, before getting angry.
So, who should I care for more?
For the middle class lady with three different gold credit cards and a Gucci bag, that at the counter asks for "some more discount" over a pair of boots, and then doesn't take them, or for the man who takes his son to have a birthday present, and the boy is shy to ask for a 30 Euro headlamp,and finally finds the courage, and just points the headlamp with his finger without saying a word, and when his father asks me to get the lamp he smiles and is the happiest person in the world?

I will always try to give the lady the worst, most expensive, most useless piece of shit we have in the shop, and will always take the boy's smile for the moments when I think this world is a shithole.

Monday, 3 December 2007


I have a Mohawk haircut.


If only it hadn't rained for three days.
If only I hand't slipped from the first move, hitting a rock with my elbow.
If only I wasn't deep in a four weeks load cycle.
If only I was a better climber.
If only I had had another go.
If only the lip was two inches closer.
I'm tempted to let these thoughts enter my mind, and stay there, and convince myself that everything's right. But I won't let them in.
Truth is, I didn't send Out of Service yesterday, because it's just plain hard. It's not morpho, it's just hard, and maybe I'm just not good enough.
What the fuck - you may think - the guy's cranking every night in the gym, has been training for almost two years now in a very serious way, and still he's not good enough? C'mon, just quit.
This is the sad truth. All this toil and work just to be average. Just to be not good enough. What's the point? The point is just trying to be good. Trying to be better. Every dog has its day. Or maybe not, but the dog that doesn't try, that doesn't want to have its day, is a sad dog.

Saturday, 1 December 2007


I'm absolutely smashed by Saturday morning work.
It's like if we're giving away stuff for free.
At one moment I had two men for carving skis and three kids for ski boots. All the kids were named Lorenzo, and they were running around in the shop with ski boots on, their parents were calling them and each time I heard "Lorenzo" I turned.

Anyway, tomorrow, with mediocre forecast, I'll head to Sasso and Out of Service.

Another week of puling passed. Yesterday night the guru, very wisely suggested to change the session from power endurance to pure power, to shock my white fibers for tomorrow success.

Friday, 30 November 2007


I'm secretly typing from my boss' office...
Yes yes fucking yes!!!

Sunday, 25 November 2007


The infamous, much awaited five sessions week passed.

I'm very happy, mostly because I was feeling better as the sessions went by: I don't dare to say that I was stronger at the end of the week then at the beginning, but I was definitely feeling fit.

I'm eating like a pig.

In detail:

  1. Monday: negatives on good hold, 5" time of descent, 3 reps, 3 set per arm, 5' rests. One armed bouldering on vertical wall, 2 problems of 6 moves, 4 reps each.
  2. Tuesday: one arm deadhangs on 1 cm edge, 3" for 8 times per arm, 3' rests. Dynoes between good holds on 30° wall.
  3. Wednesday: as Monday, but bouldering moving both arms at a time.
  4. Thursday: as Tuesday, but high intensity wall.
  5. Friday: as Monday, but high intensity wall.

It's been really hard, considering also working from 9 to 19 30.

Anyway, I survived and was feeling better each session. Tomorrow I start again the campus board week. I have at least two really hard sessions, on Tuesday and Friday: 147 on 2 cm edge, 6 reps per arm straight away, 6 sets each arm, 8' rests; then 4 problems on 45° wall just below my limit, 6 consecutive goes, 2 reps each problem, 8' rests. I wonder how I'll get home, and at what time...

Tom, are you still keen?

I'm very proud that this blog has been linked on Dobbin's one. Thankyou.

Monday, 19 November 2007


It's monday morning, and why am I here instead of outdoors, cranking?
I don't know.
Yesterday I postponed climbing for a lunch with family friends: at first I was very pissed, but then it turned nice, it was ages since the last time we met, and my friend's father had been very ill, so now that he's fine it was really good to eat together and have a laugh.
When the conversation went on politics, with the random fascist talking, teo-con thinking, I quickly escaped.

Anyway, today I start an eleven weeks training program.
It's a good day to start, because I don't work, and I am facing - Tom, you listen carefully ok? - a five sessions week followed by another five sessions week.
The guru thinks it would be a nice change to set every week with a dominant tool: fingerboard, campusboard, or wall.
So in a few hours I'll be doing negatives on edges, in a week sets of six consecutives 147's, and in two weeks laps on boulder problems over my limit.
To say I'm excited is nothing.

Last monday I went with the guru to try Out of Service. Unluckily, I didn't rewarded him with the much awaited send, but I think, judging by his commment on one post here, that he was happy. I literally hiked the whole problem for four times, to just lose my heel and fall on the last really hard moves.

I'm thinking sometimes to the real grade of that problem. I spoke with the guy who did it, and he told me that at the time he was in the best shape ever, at 51 kilos...
He has absolutely no idea about grades, especially on fingery problems.
I think Out of Service is hard 7c+ for tall people, 8a for shorties. It's technical, precarious, muscular, condition dependant and, yes, morphologically fantastic.
I do eleven moves to get the lip, my taller friends six, my tallest friend four.

Friday, 16 November 2007


Yesterday one guy came to the shop for a Gri-Gri and quickdraws. Nothing special, except for the fact that everything had to be red. Ok, I thought, it's just to have different colour from his partner's stuff.

The he asked for a rope.

"What kind of rope do you need?" I said.

"A red one" was the answer.

So I went upstairs and took a bright red, 15 mm rope, that would have surely worked nicely with the Gri-Gri.

On the way down, my angel took over, and I went back to take a regular, 10 mm Beal, thinking that maybe it would have helped him not to kill someone while belaying.

Sunday, 11 November 2007


So, here I am again, amongst people of all nationalities, typing from an Internet point. It's nice but I prefer doing it at home, possibly naked.
Ok, just kidding. I use to wear a black mask.
Work is going well, climbing...not so well.
I can barely find the time to take a pee during work hours, with the big big sales, the shop is always very, very busy. I hate people searching for sleeping bags for other people, they don't know absolutely anything about when and where they'll be used, and often ask for "one that could be used now, for a trekking outside, but also in the summer for sleeping on the beach".
Searching in the back of the shop I found tons of vintage shoes: Lasers, Ninjas, really fun stuff, and now I'm the proud owner of a shining new pair of Boreal Indo Rojo, that I took for 30 Euros for the gym.
Then I'll buy one pair of Dragons, that are amazingly tight, and one of Solution, more comfy.
Still haven't touched rock. GRRRRRRRRRRR.
I forgot to tell that very wisely I went out and got drunk with Negroni the night before my first day at work. Nice one.
The new gym is very good, but I don't like the setting at all. They have started to set every problem new age style, with strange moves rather than really hard ones. You may have to touch to top with your body horizontal, one foot jammed and the other one hooked somewhere, or shit like that, and I really don't want to: I'd prefer a few small holds here and there on the 50° wall.
I'm not weak but feel weak, and am always testing myself: thursday I managed to leave the ground, even if for a breif moment, or for the shortest amount of time humans knows of, while deadhanging the 1cm edge one hand-no crimping.
I have another day off tomorrow and will start the new training program: as usual I completely put myself into the guru's hands.
What else? Oh yes, I cycle one hour every day to go to work and back, and am always hungry.
Reading this post I ask myself if it's really worth to be published, it seems I'm doing nothing but working...
There are lots, lots of beautiful women in Florence. Storm a comin'.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


So, the first day at the climbing shop came and went.
And then, so did the second morning.
The result? A big loss of time, but not in the easiest way to think about: I mean that when I'm there "working", I can't notice time passing, so I find myself at lunch break, then at work again, then at home, seemingly in just a while.
And: could, being somewhere talking with friends about climbing stuff, be called working?
Anyway, in a matter of hours I'll have to dissuade a lady from buying some rope, tie it to a heater, another part to herself, and go and work on her house roof, the rope passing through a window and then the border of a terrace.
She also asked me to rig everything for her: oh yes, to go in jail when you fall? For sure...
My first day was a major success.
The gym opens tonight.
Life's good.

Monday, 5 November 2007


We don't have control on our lives.
At least not as much as I'd like.
My plans of leaving friday morning to go bouldering three days and concentrating only on my project, had to change: first, the girlfriend's mother felt sick and we had to take her to the hospital. Luckily it was nothing serious.
Then, when we finally got to the boulders, the following day, I met friends and climbed the whole day with them before getting to grips with the project.
That means failure.
So, we don't have control, and it's nice after all, because we never get bored and we always have to be ready to react and adapt to obtain the best from everything.

Thursday, 1 November 2007


I hope you all will appreciate that, to keep this blog updated, I'm sitting here, in a small square in town that shares a bit of a wi-fi hot spot, where all the coldest winds of central Italy seem to gather.
It's cold, it's clear, it's bouldering time.
I had a good session yesterday, dead hangs on the small holds, and then ripped the campus board: 1-5-roof again right hand, and then more.
Let's pack the car.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Before a long bank holiday, sitting in front of a pc, what's better than hearing some noise, from out of the window, that resembles to a rain shower, and then realizing it's just one of many wind blasts that are drying all your favourite holds?

It makes me wanting to go to the other room and try and rip the rungs from the campus board.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Reading other climbers' blogs, I got to thinking about what I think is a general rule: the number of posts in a given period is inversely proportional to the amount of climbing the climber/blogger gets.
Proof? Paul, Jon, many others I think.
That must have something to do with the difference between talking stuff and doing stuff.
This blog can give you an idea of how much I'm climbing now...
The exception? It may come in the next days. Since I'm moving to another town and still don't have anything sorted at home, Internet wise, there could be a lack of content in the future, but not for climbing duties.

Monday, 29 October 2007


As previously posted, I have been for a while without my powerful 5.10 Dragons, sent to the clinic for a resole.

They came back transformed, from a downturned, aggressive shoe, to a flat, traditional slab shoe. I'm not happy, and wrote to the resolers: they offered to get me a new pair. Happy ending? When they'll be in my house yes, until then...

Anyway, today's bouldering was very good. It was a bit humid and warm, but good, especially for the company, the chat, and, yes, for the power. We met a good friend.

I'm very close to getting "Out of service", and I'm very happy. Today I finally got the last two moves, the hard hard hard move to the non-existant hold, and the dyno to the lip. Another hard move from there, and it's done. Closer, closer every time.
I usually don't complain about conditions, but today I really was feeling strong, but spent a couple of good tries slipping from the good holds while making room with my body for the heel hook.
At the beginning I wasn't feeling good, so I thought "what would Jerry do?" then proceeded to climb thinking about driving a sport car at full speed in traffic, but didn't work. So again I asked myself "what would Jerry do?" and then dead hung all the holds of the crux.
The following goes were very very good. I know I can do it now.

Sunday, 28 October 2007


So friday we went to my parents' house to let them know about all the latest news, the house, the job, and tell them we are very happy.
The lawyer and the teacher, my parents, told me that they are ashamed of me, and that they don't want their friends to know that I'm going to work in a climbing shop, "because their sons have found their ways".

Saturday, on the other hand, we went to Serena's party in the hills surrounding Florence. There was a big fire with meat cooking, and a 20 kg pig in the oven. I got very drunk, and as I was taking a pee in the wood with the light of the moon so bright and the music coming from all around me, I thought that life is really magnificent.
I don't need much else than saturday night.
There were tons of people, everybody was taking goes at the instruments and singing, while inside they were playing and dancing Tango.
I almost didn't eat anything, but drank alot of Nero d'Avola and Negramaro and more than once missed my brit friends.
At one o' clock I was so tired I barely made it to the bed. Dead corpses everywhere.

We took the house. It's one minute from where girlfriend works, ten minutes from my work, two minutes from the wall: in one of the most traffic jammed cities in Italy, that's not bad at all.
Yes yes fucking yes.

Friday, 26 October 2007


Tomorrow we have to see another house, this time aptly located over ground level and with real windows.
I think we have already decided by just seeing the pics on the agency's website, and by receiving a positive answer when we asked for a 1/3 price reduction!!!
Where's the surprise?
Nowhere I hope, just some kind of friendship between us, the agency owners and the owner.
It is half a mile from the wall.
I'm psyched, and this is somehow giving me energy for this afternoon session.
If only it wasn't raining...

Thursday, 25 October 2007


So today I've been on the road again, as if petrol was cheap.

Yesterday morning, my future boss made me go there for the much awaited job interview (I thought), so when he asked I said it was no problem. I woke up early, took the car (yes, THAT car) and drove there, fought traffic, found some coins under the seats to pay the parking, and prepared myself for the interview.

It all was: "you'll start november the 6th".

Cool, I thought, and thank you for employing me, but...couldn't you tell me that on the phone?

Anyway, it's hard finding a house for just a few months, and at decent costs.

As I was saying, today we were there again for a friend's degree at university, she's now a doctor. She took the whole bunch out for lunch, that started at a nice 3 pm, with fried pasta with cheese innit, then tagliolini with truffle, pappardelle with board ragu, and ravioli. Then some fiorentina steak, pork ribs, fried chicken and pig brain, fried veggies, spinaches. Red wine, coffee, grappa. No cake luckily. Thanks Sere.

At six we went to see an apartment that was more a garage, with those high, thin windows that garages have, and some nice porn images here and there from the previous troglodites.

We were out, very depressed, in a matter of seconds. Something more to see in the next days, with the very last option of putting the van in a campsite for these months.

I wanted to train but, guess why, I couldn't. I feel fat and weak, and I'm not far from being both.

Tuesday session was good, did the tests to set the starting point, and it was not depressing, but after all the news, that involve not going to Ticino in november, I decided to take this week easy, rest the wrist and finger, and start serious training next week. Defo want to train tomorrow, fingerboard or campus still don't know.

We have to see a house that's three minutes from the new built wall.

So, finally it seems something is going to settle down, even if for a short period. Main target of this period is: drive less and become strong strong strong.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


I finally found a job.
It's not that I won the lottery or something, right now I only have a three months contract, but...I have a contract, and it says I'll get money for working, and that's something very very newsworthy in the last four years.
I will have to move to another town to avoid two hours commuting time each way, but I'm psyched, and girlfriend too.
I will have a nice two hours and half lunch break, perfect to fit in a fingerboard session, to raise the mojo before the evening session at the wall.
This is something new, and I'm psyched.
Guess what? I'll sell climbing stuff...

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


Around where I live, there's a roof with a few holds.
One is big, one is painful.
One is far away, one is good.
One is small, one is sharp.
I've tried the moves, because a friend told me it's possible to do them. As I really started to get sucked into the problem, one bad demon emerged, and at first I didn't recognized it: it's the demon that leads you to take the easiest way, and in my case, that is a long dyno to a good pinch, that can be fully locked down to reach the final hold of the crux sequence.
So what?
The good pinch sits close to a very good edge, and this one is close to another edge that's even better: but they're not under the roof, they are outside of it and are used for another sequence on another problem.
A perfect line has turned into a contrived eliminate: you can use the pinch but not the edges, you can use the sloper but you can't toe hook on that. The desire to get to the top made ethic fade.
Then a strong climber tried the moves, and he decided that he was using the pinch, the edges and whatever he could, under the roof or not, to get to the top, and to give a name and a grade to the thing. After being there just one time, he started packing in hundreds of kilometers, to go and try the line on his own, without telling me anything, without even asking if, maybe, I wanted to go there and have a few goes with him. He wants the line for himself. He wants to climb it first, and he doesn't want to take care of anything else.
The other day, he told me he had got very good news for me, because he had stuck the moves more that once, and was very close to the send. I really couldn't understand how these could be good news for me, au contraire, I'm close to defeat. My first reaction was to go there every day until I get it first, but then I understood in what those news were good: because they led me to think that there are no shortcuts, and no easy ways to be taken.
The holds under the roofs are what it's at. Unlike mountaineering, in bouldering it's more important how you get to the top, than getting the top: the climber and the guy who takes pictures from above, are both on top of the boulder, but only the climber has climbed it.
So, I'll take the other road, the less traveled. I'll have a nightmare in trying the line. I'll have moments of joy (will I?) and hours of delusion, but I'll be true to myself and to the line that always appealed me, that is the line of holds under the roof.
This, finally, will also make my life easier, because when someone will like to try the problem, and will ask me where does it go, I'll just say "use the holds that are under the roof".

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Spending an afternoon in a chalk filled place pulling plastic isn't the best way neither to treat your lungs nor an injured wrist.
I did quite bad at the Regionals. Most of all, I climbed very bad. Flashed problems missing hand and foot holds, and never got into it, with the injured wrist always there, in the deepest back of my mind, taking away concentration and will to crush.

I texted my frustration to Keith, and he really cheered me up, but at first didn't suggest me the right strategy to victory: thinking "what would jerry do?" obviously.

Anyway, I'm pissed because I found myself behind people that I think are assholes: namely the stupid guy I found one time at the Melloblocco who told me: "yes we're here too, you know, just for fun, we are used to have the valley all for ourselves, you know, we used to come here many years ago, now everybody's here...".
I'm glad past year I crushed him, and I'm sure he cheated, even if I know it's not true and it was impossible because there were judges.

I'm pissed, I'm pissed, I'm pissed. I was in top form, tip top condition, as Ben Moon would say in front of a Sloggy advert in Font, and I injured my fucking wrist. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

The guru crushed the place. He's the man and he deserves it.

Friday, 19 October 2007


Yesterday night while eating pizza and drinking beer at a friend's place, I watched a documentary about the last italian expedition to K2.
I wonder what is that makes them go. Then the solution "because it's there" comes to my mind, but still, that has no appeal to me. Never I thought I want to go there, I would like to be capable of doing this. You basically do nothing but trying to survive. I know this is very shortsighted of me, but really i don't understand, given the risks. There, we are not talking about blowing a tendon or breaking a leg, we are talking about not coming back.
The statistics say that one out of four (25% in numbers!!!) of those who summit, dies in getting down.
The italians made no exception.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


As I said, I was very doubtful about this blog. But luckily the first post became reality. This stupid blog made me keep in touch with far away friends.
I really miss you here. I've spent very little time with a few of you (esp. Tom), more with others, but regardless of this, our friendships made me so richer.
So thank you, really, for sharing my passion and time. Thank you for that little ego busting that allows me to be less insecure, and maybe get to the next hold, but thank you also for keeping me with my feet well planted on the ground, for being voices outside of the chorus, for being dedicated.
Thank you for being out there but taking the time to read and post here.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Everything I say about the regionals, winning and stuff, is meant to be sarcastic, ok?


I wonder what I did to my wrist. I think it's something bone related, a serious strain due to a nasty torque.
I'm pissed, because I really feel strong, but will rest until the weekend. Or at least try to. I can always train left arm, anyway.
So, the past two days were spent sending other CV's and going to the employment agency. Every time I apply for a job, the old warning comes to my mind "beware of what you want, 'cos you may get it".
I'm tempted to go bouldering in the weekend: the whole bunch is heading to Elba island, to play on dozens of virgin granite boulders. I am supposed to go (and to win) at the Regionals, but don't feel like very much. On the other side, I really find it hard now to get along with a few of my friends, and I don't want to drive, take a ferry, share a house and climb with someone I don't like at the moment.

Sunday, 14 October 2007


Finally, some very very good conditions for pulling. Today was perfect, and in general the weekend was soooooo good!!!
Managed to have some really good tries on a long standing personal project, but the final move still resisted my assaults. I got home with mixed feelings: the climbing made me happy, but an afternoon argument with the girlfriend and a very very sore right wrist are making me sad. I've already put ice on the wrist, and will go to bed with antiinflammatories for the whole night.
If only I could do the same with her.
Moreover: today something spoilt my climbing, and it wasn't the argument with my girlfriend. I went bouldering with a friend, who doesn't want to buy a crashpad. I clearly told him what I was going to try, and he wanted to try something else; I said it was fine for me, but he got to be quick. He wasn't, and when I was already waiting for him at my problem, he stopped along the path to gather chestnuts and talk with people. I waited there for more than 20 minutes, after watching him try his problem for almost one hour. I froze while cleaning the holds, unable to try without a decent spot. Although later the vibes were good, something deep was wrong. He is a very good guy, but he's hard to get along with, especially when he keeps laughing and talking while you're in the middle of the crux. I think he finds hard to understand that some of us may consider climbing a serious thing. He's very talented, and doesn't need to train hard to send hard; he prefers to go snowboarding instead of climbing in the winter, and in general his approach is very casual: he doesn't care if he falls, and he doesn't care that much either if he sends.
So, he can really piss me off, and often does. Like today, and like one month ago, the last time we climbed together. Today I was thinking about not climbing with him again, unless in a bigger group.

Plan for the week:

  • Tomorrow, finding a job.
  • Wednesday, going back to sasso, sending "Out of service" third try.
  • Saturday, winning the Regionals, getting a sponsorship, resigning from work.


This is very typical: you take something very italian, and you transform it into something else, something strange or futuristic, but still with that...class.

Friday, 12 October 2007


when your climbing shoes are like this.

One big concern, before leaving for Ticino, was that I had sent my Dragons to get resoled, and I could only rely on some Velcros and on this pair or Stinger.

They still work.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


I think I have to tell you about the climbing.
It's been almost a week of very mixed emotions. I made a big mistake by choosing the problems I wanted to try after watching them on videos, instead of in reality. The result was that, if the climber in the video is a demon crimping machine, you're up to a big big ego bashing. My desire to score drove me far away, and the last thing I remember of day one was myself hitting the crashpad with my metal stick brush one hundred times. Girlfriend was puzzled.
I owe so much to her. Without her, I wouldn't have been climbing so much abroad lately. No one here wants to go climbing for one week straight, everyone has something else to do, usually silly things like work or family.
This time, though, I realized how difficult it is to always go climbing on our own. I have to bear all the pression of my climbing goals, and can't ask her to help me, even if she always tries to keep me focused but relaxed.
Sometimes, you really have to absorb energy from your climbing partners, maybe just by watching them doing one move you couldn't do, or maybe just by having a big big laugh at yourself after a poor try.
It's no wonder, so, that day two saw me very calm, after meeting a few friends in Cresciano. Spirits were high, the girls were cranking at their limit, and finally I was happy, without the two mighty signs (8a) completely closing my mind.
Monday and Tuesday we climbed in Chironico, and the last day was also my best one. After three days of pulling holds down to no avail, I fucking crushed. I felt so good I don't even care about the grade I did. I left the ground feeling heavy, and had to really squeeze to get the good holds, feeling quite tired. Then, with every move, I gained energy and confidence. I dangled and got the crimp. I heel hooked as to pull the block from the roof, and was conscious of nothing except putting every gram of by body in the right place.
Girlfriend said I scared her.
That night, at the campsite, I finally could lie in the jacuzzi with also my hands in the water.
I love bouldering, I love my girlfriend, I love to try and rip holds from the rock.


Pascal's comment about coincidences made me really think.
If I know him, and I think I do, I seriously doubt he chose his nickname casually.
So, Pascal + Coincidences = High School philosophy classes.
If I remember correctly, Pascal is well reknown for his theory of Coincidences in history. He used one example called "Cleopatra's nose": it says that if Cleopatra had an ugly nose, probably Antonio wouldn't have fallen in love with her, this leading to a completely different developement of ancient, and therefore modern, history. It's a way to state that history could be based on smaller events and also on coincidences. A sort of "Butterfly Effect", only in history.
So what?
Nothing special, but could really be that someone called Pascal talks about coincidences by coincidence?
Pascal would say it's possible, I would say not, even if I agree with Pascal.


What? After just a couple of days, the blog already lacks content?
Obviously, I've been busy pulling granite in Ticino. The drive back home killed me, and I'm glad I didn't climb today. After four days on, this morning I just brushed holds, moved pads and yelled encouragement as my girlfriend tried, and then finally succeded, in her first Fb 6a.
While she was busy topping out, I realized my heart was exploding, and my stomach was tight and painful. She had already been there on her first try and fell, to then have a few very bad goes. So now she was there again, and I was trying to think that she couldn't fall, but was very dubious.
As I joined her on top of the boulder, she was gifted my loving comment: "You climbed like shit."
Although I may have been rude, I know I'm right. Not because she really climbed badly, but because she didn't climb as she could have, smoothly and dynamically. So I knew that, had she fallen, it should have been because of that. More, I had to treat her as a climber, because that's what she is.
Ahhh, love.

Thursday, 4 October 2007


Just like waking up next to a naked, ugly woman you don't know, this morning I woke up with a blog. I'll try to get dressed and silently leave.

My excitement is growing by the hour. Tomorrow morning we will leave for a few days in Ticino, slapping granite. As usual, my expectations are so high I'm actually scared. Still, lately I don't find it fun to take it easy: this has led many times to getting back home with no problems ticked, but the effort put into it, in my opinion, is a reward in itself. It comes from committment and it is the opposite of failure, the latter being, to me, not dedicating yourself enough to your goals.

Just as the drunk, I'm telling to myself "don't do like the last time", wandering around throwing my pad under every problem, despite form, friction, fatigue. I hope I can manage to stay focused on few problems, and to be able to give the best for them.

What else? I probably ate too much garlic yesterday night.


Because someone talked me into it.
Because I clicked one time too much when I was just trying to create a blog.
Because I don't work at the moment, have too much spare time and can't climb or train the whole day.
Because this blog, in some unknown way, will make me rich and famous.
Climbing of course. Is there something else?
Why in english?
Because some of my best climbing partners are from England, and even if I've met them just one time, or even never (still), I like to share my thoughts with them. If this thing we call internet could do just this little thing: keeping friends together or helping people become friends, it wouldn't be bad.
Welcome, brace yourself.