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.