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.