Friday, 30 May 2008


I won't talk about work.
Yesterday I've had a very brief, productive session, despite feeling very very tired during the whole day; for sure the energy flowing was great, with Tom and Rich absolutely psyched about taking it to the next level: a fingerboarding trip.
I don't have a clear idea of what we did, but Rich did 3 pull ups on the jibs, and I decided I have to learn that trick. Probably pulling hard is the key. I just did a few deadhangs, with great great success, and then proceeded to go and chop the chicken while Tom and Rich put up and performed many many footless sequences, that are clearly the future of training on that board.
I have Si Panton's guide of North Wales Bouldering right here at my desk, and I just can't wait to get there. I WANT TO CLIMB HARD SHIT. I can't wait to take the guys out on ze rock.
Rough plan.
- tonight: surfing maybe, then aperitivo then dinner at my uncle's restaurant;
- tomorrow: crank the whole day, then clubbing.
- sunday and monday: more cranking.
As you may tell, it didn't take me long to figure it out.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


The brits arrived yesterday night, full of gifts and psyche. I had to tell them many times NOT to train on the fingerboard right after their arrival at home at 1 am: the Mother of All Fingerboards clearly has some class and fascination.
Anyway I'm sorry because when they arrived I was feeling terrible, and still am, despite them finding me in good shape, because yesterday evening marked another turning point in the current chaos that's my life.
Just when I was thinking about settling down for a while, thinking more about work and trying to be a good boy and go on working an average of ten hours a day (my contract is for eight) without actually panicking, it all crumbled down.
The boss called me and told me that in his opinion I haven't been doing enough, regardless of the quality of my work. He clearly wants someone who's completely obsessed by work, who has no other interests, just as he is. I am always pointed at my colleague of the next door, who is a young lady working thirteen hours a day including saturdays. All this conversation took place while he was listening to "The Gladiator" soundtrack, that he uses, in his words, to get more motivation and more energy to always do more and run more, and to give the idea of how he sees work.
I still don't know how he sees work or how he sees me, but now I see him as a poor fascist, and not much more.
The other day it came out somehow, that I am a climber. His comment was "Yes, you have the pace of an alpinist, who walks slowly but always gets to the end. But here we have to run and always get to the end". Mmmkay...
So I found myself completely lost in a deep dark sea that lies between my good intentions and the newly dicovered reality. This saddens me alot, because it seems to me that there's no escape from the assholes, they always turn out.
All this also made me very dubious about the real characteristics of the category I chose to work for: it seems to be made of rich men who are not ashamed to keep unpaid workers, simple racists, workaholics of all kinds. This really made me feel sad, and in danger. Do I really want to work for people like this? Is there someone in this category that's not that way? How long must I search to find a human being, a true human being in the old meaning of HUMANITAS?
Fuck me I'm so sad, so disappointed, and so pissed.
He told me to try and understand what I really want: he doesn't know that I already did, and that he is not in my plans anymore.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


I'm really excited about Tom's and Rich's visit. I can picture them right now in their flats, arranging stuff, deciding whether it's possible to shave some weight from the luggage, choosing one last stilish, psyching item.
As it's said, "anticipation of pleasure is pleasure itself".
This kind of waiting teams up for another kind of waiting: I'm waiting to discover what I'm really capable of climbing. It's been a long time since my last serious trip in a place to crush (october 2007 in Ticino): I've been to Meschia in late march, but in hot temps sandstone wasn't the best choice. To be honest I've also been one week in Font, with great success, but I think I missed a bit of a chance there: I should have tried something hard that suited me more than what I've tried, and maybe climbed a bit less in terms of quantity: I came home without having tried Fata Morgana and Le Toit du Greau, two problems that I really want to do, and also I should have dedicated myself more to Salle Gosse, the sit start. It's very very important to choose the right problem for the moment, the mindset, the feelings, when you don't have much time and you're not Keith.
Definitely I learnt something there.
Anyway I had a great time and was pleased to climb some Fb 7b first go after finding the sequence. I often skip other climbers' suggestions about sequences, because it often detracts from the joy of the full discovery process, slowly understanding that it's going to go, finally realizing that you thought according to the rock, that you morphed yourself in order to climb that rock.
I have been training alot in the last 7 months, I have done hard problems, but still I'm not aware of my absolute limits, bar on the fingerboard. I need to apply 100% to something hard that will take everythig from me to be climbed. I need to invest more time, and definitely to climb more and more wisely.
An athlete doesn't do 4 sets of 100 meter sprints before an Olympic 100 meters final. He takes his time, warms up slowly, precisely, scientifically. Ok, without making parallels with Olympic level athletes, I have to be more focused on what I want to achieve as my maximum. I will try to do this with Tom and Rich here.
Session # 4.
It was a brief, power oriented session.
Usual warm up, then assisted one arm max deadhangs (no crimping) on 1 cm edge, x 5, 1 minute rests.
Max deadhangs on the jibs, x 5, 2 minutes rests: this pleased me alot, 8 seconds now!!!
Assisted one armers on the slopers, x 5, 4 minutes rests.
Max deadhangs on bad crimps (full crimped as hell), x 5, two minutes rests.
Curry, shower, bed.

Sunday, 25 May 2008


Saturday I finally touched rock after a while. Fueled by a mixture of frustration, anger, desire I again drove two and half hours to go to a newish place, where I've been for the last time many years ago. All this toil just to touch some mossy rock.
To be really honest I didn't really touch that rock, I crushed it to atoms. I ended the day seriously puzzled, about my ability to both climb and read bouldering topos: I literally destroyed one problem that was Fb 7b in the guide. I definitely have to find out. All in all a very good day out, full of caffeine and psyche.
I ended up training today, because on sunday I don't work, I sleep as much as I like and so it's a good day to put the board under pressure.
I had a brief but intense session on simil-bouldering sequences:
- max dead hang on small crimps (5"), max lock off on 1 cm edge, max dead hang on crimps, max lock off on edge, max dead hang on crimps, max number of pull ups on a sub-max hold. 3 sets.
- same sequence on slopers, 3 sets.
I felt good, once chosen the right holds. And that's all.

Friday, 23 May 2008


I was thinking about when to go bouldering, during this weekend. The immediate answer was "both days" but then I thought that one day will be good, for a few reasons: first I don't want to drive too much, second I'd like to rest a bit, third I want to spend some time with g/f, and fourth I have to train on monday.
Wait before you shake your head in disapproval, I'll tell you later about that last thing.
So I decided to go on saturday because it will be a bit fresher, and I will go to an area I've only been twice - last time alot of time ago like five years - but that I've always liked alot, because it's been where I ticked my first Fb 7b, so I have really good vibes there. I hope conditions will be good.
After deciding this, I also thought that maybe I will be a bit sad on sunday, especially in the evening, thinking about another hard week at work coming, without having been climbing. Then it dawned to me why I won't be sad on sunday, and why I will be happy on monday: because monday I will train.
Training makes me happy.
Ok, now you can shake your head in disapproval.
That's right I'm happy when I train, because when I train I do it for being even happier when I'm bouldering on rock, because when I train I'm stronger, when I'm stronger I climb harder, and when I climb harder I'm happier.
I'm happy when I can climb at my limits, or even beyond them. I'm also happy to play on easy stuff, to play it cool and chilled, but that can't last long. I need the physical challenge and the mental challenge of being unsure, being under pressure, even if I hate that pressure at times. But pressure makes you feel deeper what you're doing, makes you understand deeper yourself, your needs, your priorities, your loves.
Only in trying to push my limits forward I can find the full joy of bouldering, because it's not fair to move on easy ground to avoid the challenge. Those who always climb what they can climb easily knowing that they could do more, and harder things, are just people who refuse the challenge, people who hide from theirselves, people who don't want to look deeper inside themselves.
Why? Because challenges can lead to defeat. But only those who don't give themselves 100% to the thing they do are going for defeat. Defeat is not in falling from a boulder problem, it lies into not trying that boulder problem for the fear of not being capable of doing it. Defeat lies into wasting our possibilities, in everything we do as humans. I think every one of us has a great great potential: to each his own. But we need to apply our potential at our best, and that doesn't mean dedicating every minute of the day to something, but dedicating ourselves completely to something in those minutes when we do that thing. It's not a matter of quantity, it's a matter of quality of our dedication.
We owe it to ourselves. We owe to ourselves to get home and be able to think "I've given everything". We owe to ourselves not to waste our possibilities.
Still shaking your head?

Thursday, 22 May 2008


While driving home yesterday evening there were grey, thick clouds covering the top of the hills towards the sea. They projected a dark shadow on the ground and made the air cool. Then I drove out of the shadow, and the sky was bright, lit up, and sunny. I drove up the hill and could see the glittering on the sea surface, moved by a breeze from NW. I thought life isn't that bad after all, and fueled by a cream pastry and a can of Coke I speeded towards the fingerboard.
The usual warm up routine followed: wrist curls, shoulders, biceps, triceps. Then a few assisted pull ups on the bigger holds: this is a bit of an issue now, since I don't have any really good hold for warming up on. The biggest one is 1,5 cm and the slopers are good but a bit strenuous on the wrists.
Anyway I did:
- assisted one armers on 1,5 cm edge: 4 x 4 sets x each arm, 4' rests;
- max full lock offs matched on sloper, x 10, 1' rests;
- dynoes: one hand on 1,5 cm edge, the other one lower on 1 cm edge, then on the 3 slopey holds one on top the other, then down to 1 cm edge: x 4 sets x each arm, 2' rests.
I really have to say I felt good.
The first one armer of the sets was always really really powerful (at leas as powerful as mine can be), and the fan is great for drying the skin and making everything more satisfying; 4 one armers are alot though, and I dropped down but that's what you train for. I also thought about what Keith told me while in Font, about a conversation he had with power monster, training fanatic Rich Simpson on campusing. It was about campusing actually without twisting your body, just pulling down on one side, to make it harder and to work the shoulders as well. I think this is damn right, because training is made to make you feel weak, to make you fail, and it applies to every kind of excercise: for this reason I chose to do my one armers with my body just in front of the board, not sideways. I hope when trying the same excercise with some twisting it will feel alot easier. It worked in other occasions, and I'm sure it will work even more on rock.
Then the slopers: ahh so funny to do!!! No way to have success without the fan.
Dynoes: the board still moevs a bit, until I put some heavy weights on the legs (remember, it's free standing) I can't really go 100% but this excercise was committing and hard because the holds are good but a bit slopey, and they're 25 cm apart so it's a bit of a long way up, and moreover down!!!
It's been a very nice session, with a good volume, but since today I rest I thought it was fine to push a little bit further also on the volume side.
Tunes: still Hendrix.
Two glasses of wine, dinner, bed.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


I started late, around 8 30 pm, just the time to be washed by rain on the way to the car, to drive as if I was drinving a submarine, and to get dry at home.

I was excited and at the same time worried because with the new board I lost every usual parameter but in the end I think that's very good, even though it took me a bit to get used to the new feel of the holds, to chalk the slopers and to file the edges of the rungs a bit more.

Anyway, I found out that the small crimps are really small, and the others aren't that good either. Good, good.

I tried a few dynoes, from rung to rung (long but easy), from rung to slopers (uhhh tasty), from crimps to slopers (committing! you don't want to rip from the crimp mid air!!!), from rung to rung one handed, with other hand on something small. Still have to go for the longest distance. The possibilities are endless.

Then I did a few tests. One arm deadhangs: 1,5 cm edge, 6" right hand, 2" left hand (must improve). Then one armers on 1,5 cm edge : 1++++ right arm, ----1 left (must improve). Then the crimps: 3" as my best effort two handed, they are two nasty bastards and I really needed to cool down my fingers with a fan to be able to hang them, as they are quite slopey and allow three fingers only. The fact that they are footholds must mean something. This small test really made me happy because during the warm up I was very dubious about even being able to place my fingers correctly on them, so getting 3" was a big issue!!!

Then the real session started, even if I was already a bit worked: these tests are hard because you are always over your limits.

Anyway, I went for some ATP routines, 20" deadhang, 20" rest x 10 times. One set on crimps, one set on big slopers. This second set was really cool to do and did good for my forearms, it was a bit like dangling from "La Balance" slopers, with the only difference that I wasn't in Bleau, I was alone at home in a deserted summer residence village, with a Hendrix cd blasting at full volume.

A subtle difference maybe, because I pulled the slopers down as if it was the last thing to do on earth dammit.

P.s. I live here:

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


So I think I discovered what they were meaning when they told me about flexible work hours: that you know when you start but don't know when you finish. Arse.
Then I set my priorities: yesterday I got home at 8 pm and worked to put the fingerboard up: the fridge in my kitchen is as empty and cold as the Gobi desert in winter, but the mother af all fingerboards is up and shining.
Forever may she last.

Monday, 19 May 2008


as I'm at work.
Very tired, straight into action with absolutely no warm up. Ok it's fine even though I could barely sleep last night: I was very nervous first, and then g/f decided to enjoy our only night together for this week.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


At the end of May Tom and Rich will land on this ancient nation, to sample our bouldering, food, wine, girls and clubs.
I am psyched full throttle, and I'm hoping to be able to join them for late evening action on work days.
Today when I got here at the sea, I wanted to take a pic and post it to let them get the idea, then I thought I want to see their faces when they get here. It's a beautiful place, I'm quite sure it will be a nice nest for the power monsters to recover.
It will be a hard time for me for sure, I don't think we will go to bed at nine...
Tomorrow the board will be up. I will have a look to the weather, then I'll decide whether to have a fingerboard session or an after work bouldering session on monday, to start my season here. Best solution in my opinion will be to always have a pad and shoes in the car, and then just following the feeling.
My last session at the gym in Florence was a good one despite the hot, humid climate. I probably was climbing with that strange attitude that resembles when you make love with a girl that have to leave very soon: happiness and sadness at once, until a new girl turns out and the sadness disappears.
I found out that I'm really piss weak on pinches. So I will train on pinches.
I don't think there's much to add: bring the brit boys south!!!


Here I am, at our house at the sea, the van empty now, my back hurting. It's been a rollercoaster from early this morning, with also a long drive packed into. Anyway, as soon as we got to the sea we bought some fish and wine for dinner and then I went straight into the water to baptise my first day here with a nice session on 3 feet clean waves, with a nice breeze offshore. I am very happy about my surfing, I was in full trim, really, and my board is just magic.

So, it's been the beginning I was hoping for, I hope it goes on even better.

Yes, yes, fucking yes, my friends.
The day I met the magic carpet.

Friday, 16 May 2008


I strangely strained on finger on my last session: there is this yellow problem that I tried a couple of months ago (they don't set new problems this often...) at the end of one session, falling quite high on my second go, and then never being able to reach my high point again for weeks. It starts in an overhanging dihedral, you get a far away small gaston crimp left hand, you completely lean onto it and match right hand to get an undercling left hand. The match is a very difficult move, because you don't have to get the gaston too good, otherwise there will be no room for right hand, but still you've got to get it properly. Anyway, somewhere during this process I pulled my right index finger quite strongly sideways, towards the pinky finger and it's been hurting for a couple of days also the tendon in the hand, infact I couldn't pinch with my thumb. I lost my opposing thumb and went back to a primate for a few days.
Human again now. Opposing thumb is useful.
Anyway, I wanted to move a bit yesterday and so I opted for some weights. It's been ages since my last time in a weights gym, and it will probably pass a similar amount of time, hopefully, before I do more: it's boring!
I did what I used to do recently, weight wise, 4 sets of 25 reps with light weights. Still boring.
I did shoulders and pecs, then a few tests on the lat machine, one handed. I warmed up by doing sets of 3 one armers with 45 kg, and nearly fainted stright away. Scary. Longer rests were needed. Then I worked my way up the scale, under the stares of many beefcakes and luckily a few puzzled girls. I resolved to have just one pull for each step, and flashed up to 68 kg left hand and 75 kg right hand. Wow, it was stressful and hard. I think harder than normal, free body one armers, because you have to pull sideways, your body can't rotate to mantain the equilibrium under your pulling arm and so it's more strenuous on the shoulders and pecs also. Oh well...
Then biceps and triceps, two sets of front levers (much more staring faces), done.
I got some new holds for the board. Two very bad slopers, two slopey crimps, six good slopey edges. I will get a jug to train negatives, then it will be complete. Bring on the Dark Days.

Thursday, 15 May 2008


I love this picture: Dolomites, july 2007. Last problem of the trip, it was raining, but Eric had seen it the pevious day, and despite getting lost 34 times searching for it, he finally found it (it was 3 meters from the path) and we had probably the best climbing moments of the trip. Because it was unexpected, not planned, an improvisation pulled out of the hat on the way to the cars. The lesson was: let it go.
I love this piscture because it represents what I love most in my life: the feeling of sharing something so deeply with a friend. I really miss that smile, now: the fucker is pulling down in USA and can't come, and to be honest I don't see many (or any...) smiles like that when I'm out bouldering. Where's the happiness gone, you all? I always search for that smile to appear on my face as well, and while it often does, because I love climbing, I would really like to see it reflected on others' faces.
Eric's comment on my last post made me think alot. He is right, I have to get rid of the bullshit. I mean, why should my move to the sea be a failure? Why do I feel so anxious? I know alot of people who would pay to be in my shoes (maybe not in my size 40 Dragons). Ok, I'm not that fan of the working life, but it seems like few people can live without working. I am going to live in a place that's ten minutes walking from the beach, and meanwhile I will be 30 minutes away from the boulders. Moreover, I will also be midway to another two new bouldering areas I love. So why am I so scared? Probably because I don't know how the work will go, and if I will be able to train as I like. Then I think: past winter I was working until 7 30 pm, and I used to get to the gym never before 8 pm. If I have trained that hard, I think I can train hard also this summer.
The lesson is: get rid of the bullshit.

Finally, earning some money can't be that bad. Maybe it will give me the opportunity to go to places I haven't seen because I couldn't afford the trip, like, let's say, Hawaii; or to meet someone I haven't seen in a while, like, let's say, Eric; or to spend more time in places I loved, like, let's say, Font and UK; or even to make my g/f less concerned about her University taxes.
The lesson is: do it for them, do it for her, do it for yourself.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


I'm planning my move to the sea, and it's boring and unnerving. I like to plan things, because it's a good way to have them done properly, but not all plannings are the same: I have to think when and how to pack the car, what to take at first, when to come back and take the van with all the remaining stuff and so on. It's abviously made difficult by the fact that I also have to do other things and can't dedicate myself to just this.
Anyway, yesterday I had a good session at the gym, despite feeling tired from monday's fingerboard tests and session on my old board at home. Doing good there is always psyching, but also it's satisfying to train on it because the holds are grippy, clean and not painted with water based paint. Moreover, I started to train with a fan there, to cool my fingers, just as Malc does in "Splinter" and that works alot. This is what we have to thank all the Big Guns for: setting an example we are psyched to follow, having simple ideas that we are happy to share, and generally show us that "It can be done".
I was reading some other blog, and I thought that it's very hard to put hard training and climbing into a normal life made of work and a relationship. This post's title is "Planning", the last one's title was "Time", and clearly the way to solve the above problem is planning your time. During the past winter, I had to plan every session, every rest day, every day out, everything, and this took alot out from the pleasure I get from climbing: the spontaneity, the improvisation, the surprise. Having to plan is good and bad at the same time: if it's a way of sorting your things out better, it's nice, while when it becomes a way to try and steal little bits of time from other stuff to put some climbing in, it's difficult, it's boring and it's not enjoyable as it should be, because it becomes another sort of work.
The joy of skipping a fingerboard session to jump on the car and to the boulders, or the joy of getting to the gym a bit drunk after an aperitivo with one friend, and just sit there chatting and watching the others climb, is something that we sometimes need. If we don't have the chance to do it sometimes, because we HAVE to do that fingerboard session on that day, because we HAVE to climb at the gym, because otherwise we won't have time, our pursuit to go up through the Font scale becomes like the pursuit to go up through the office hierarchy.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008


Time is a strange thing. It's an empty container, and it's made of what we put into it. I have this week off before starting the new job. I thought I was going to be very happy about this, but I'm just nervous. One week off is nice, but I feel this Sword of Damocles upon me, the new job, that hinders me from being relaxed and enjoying these days.
So what I'm trying to do now is preparing my future stay at the sea as best as I can, trying to make me as comfortable as I desire to be, because I know that as soon as I'll start working again, I will be sad and pissed.
Of course the first thing I will need there, is the fingerboard. No, wait, that is the second, the first one being my alarm coffe maker.
Not wanting to dismount my dear one at home, I'm planning how to build a new one that will stay at the sea, so finally I could train there without much hassle. When I'll move again for the winter months, I will take it to the new house and so on.
I will make it self standing, just like the other one because it's simple to do, and very very handy. Then, the holds. I will put at the lowest one wooden rung, 1 cm wide, that I will immediately file down to 0,8 cm so that I will feel weak on that and will go under a massive finger strength cycle. Then, over it, one other rung, 1,5 cm wide, to feel weak also on one armers and add a power cycle. And finally some slopers, to give my shoulders the necessary tension to push my elbows under to be able to hold them. What I'd like to have is also a few jugs or anyway very good holds, one on top of the other, to train for one armed campusing.
As soon as I start working I will for sure try and steal some time from the evenings, skipping lunch breaks and working straight away to go out earlier and try and climb a couple of hours in Sasso after work.
How will it go? No one knows.

Friday, 9 May 2008


I think I'm in big, big trouble.
I went to the gym yesterday, and I felt quite good, despite two small holes in both my index fingers and a pretty wet, sweaty, thin skin. Unfortunately, I'm not Keith, and thin skin isn't my only weakness, but I did well, mainly feeling good more than doing really hard suff. I dare to say I was climbing well, and I did enjoy at the highest my new shoes and my Prana vest.
Happy about the session, and also about the latest couple of days out on real rock, I thought I'd kick back for a couple of days, letting skin recover for next week, and basically taking it easy, going out and getting drunk with friends, saying silly things to girls and so on. The classics.
So why do I think I'm in trouble?
Because I'm sitting here, watching bouldering videos and fighting the urge to have a serious power session at my fingerboard. I've been challenging this feeling in the last weeks, because I don't want it to take over me, but I really am a sad power junkie. If it was up to me, I'd train power 365 days a year, and technique the other 365. I would like to train every day, and every day progressing a bit in something, endlessly. I don't dare to say that power to me is more important than the actual climbing, because it's not true, but for indoors it IS true. Sometimes I find it harder to train at the wall than to do a campus or finger session. Power is less boring than climbing, sometimes.
But this isn't the biggest trouble I'm deep into.
The biggest trouble is that just watching a couple of videos of people bouldering in Chironico, made me ready to drop everything to go climbing right now. I mean, if i was alone, I'd probably have phoned to the Boss, telling him something like "thank you really for offering the job, but I made a big mistake, I thought I really wanted to work, but it's not true, I want to climb".
I'm scared, scared, scared by this feeling of this afternoon.
I really don't care about the job, unless it's in terms of how it can make me climb more and better. I want to climb as the thing I want the most in my fucking life. It's terrible to finally admit this, terrible for me, because I know I'm capable of suddenly dropping everything, and therefor terrible for those who are close to me, mostly my girlfriend and my parents. Sadly, although they love me, I know that they simply CAN'T understand.
Sometimes I feel so lonely in this. I have noone to share this feelings, I don't dare to talk about this to anyone else except those who read this blog, and my friend Andrea, the only person who I can talk with about these things without feeling judged. So probably I don't FEEL lonely, I AM alone. Alone with my passion and desire to train and climb, to give my best at the thing I do best. Because everything else I do, I do it well, but nothing except climbing represents me completely. Everything else I do is a part of my whole being, something a big part, something else a small part, and all these parts sum up to a big portion of what I am, but only climbing, can represent me on its own as my complete being. I am my climbing, my climbing is what I am. As simple as that.
I have met thousands of people in my life. Some by chance, some for friendship, some for work, some for pleasure and then thousands of others for thousands of other reasons. All these people have known me for something I have told them, or I may have done with them, for them, against them. Amongst all these people, only the ones who I've climbed with, really got to know my whole being, my entire person, even if we shared a few minutes together. Those who climbed with me can really say they know me, not because they know everything about me, but because they knew me deeply, they met me doing the thing I love the most, and it's true because only when I'm climbing I am fulfilling my desire, only when I'm climbing I feel deeply, truly, sincerely myself, with all my downsides, my qualities, my talents, and my frustrations. But only in climbing I accept them as my true being, because I am free to chose whatever I like, because everything is up to me and doesn't involve anyone else but me.
Only in climbing I take my responsibilities at the highest level, because I am doing what I really want, what I really love, and I know that I won't be betrayed by my climbing because my climbing is me.
This is why I feel I'm in trouble.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


I have recently read an interesting interview to young moster puller Adam Ondra. Talking about his preferences he said that he really likes to climb onsight, and that when he falls (oh! does he sometimes?) on an onsight, he doesn't try the route again unless it's 8c or above...
Moreover, on a recent trip in Ticino, he dispatched "Dreamtime" Fb 8b+ in four hours, flashing many problems up to Fb 8a+. His five goes to send "La rambla original" 9a+ are clearly something that should make us reflect over his concept of redpoint, not to talk about "Silbergeier" 8b+ in eight hours.
This boy (because at 15 he is a boy, dammit) clearly was born to climb and to blow every known limit. Just to give a few numbers he has logged on his profile something like 426 routes of 8a or above.
So the question is: what could he do, should he embark, say, in a year long project, with specific training and everything? Of course there still is no route in the world to challenge him in such way, so who will have the vision of bolting something so outragely futuristic, so visionary as the mid seventies look of an alucinated John Yablonsky on acid about "Midnight Lightning"?
And, will he realize how this discipline is changing under his young hands? Will he realize that he is climbing out of every guess?

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Yesterday I drove 230 kms to go and boulder on my own in fresh air. I did "Inghilterra" Fb 6c, "Inghilterra left" Fb 7a+, a nameless Fb 7a+, "Tony il ciccione" Fb 7b+ and "Cogli l'attimo" crouching start, Fb 7b+. Then I drove another 230 kms to get home.

Got these babies today for the gym: EB Hulk. Can't wait to use them. And I also got a vest.

I feel quite good lately, not so strong but very sexy.

Monday, 5 May 2008


I would like to specifically dedicate this post to all the Internet search engines that are cleverly owned by secret governative organizations, say the C.I.A., F.B.I., italian S.I.S.M.I., MOSSAD, and so on, who endlessly put their noses into our private businesses searching for menaces to public moral or security and violating our privacy.
So, here you go MUTHERFUCKERS, have fun with this post:


Goin' boulderin' tomorrow, bitches.

Sunday, 4 May 2008


I competed again today. I don't know why, probably because I was feeling ok, I had nothing to lose, it was a good test, and more than anything else, I owe it to my sponsors. I think to show their logo and the products they give me for free to others, should it be on the boulders or in gyms, it's the minimum I can do for them, apart sending hard shit.

So, I went and have fun. I'm happy not because I did particularly well, but because I did well with myself. I did all the problems I was sure to do, plus a couple of problems that I was sure I couldn't do.

The usual miserable one spoilt a little bit of my satisfaction while waiting to climb the last problem in the final, but a good day nonetheless, especially because I hadn't heard from the sponsors, and when they came to the comp they found me there, flyin' the flag. I'm sure they were pleased.

Saturday, 3 May 2008


Yesterday I almost sent the sit start to Out of Service. I wasn't sure to get involved in this, mainly because it seemed pointless, but yesterday I finally resolved to go there and brush the holds. After the first couple of tried I got quite excited, because the added moves are quite brillian: you pull from a very good hold that obviously faces the wrong direction, you go to a very thin seam, then to the good holds. At that point you have to get the starting holds of OOS in the right position, and to do that there's a strong heel hook and another nice move when you lean onto the left arm, completely out of balance, to get your right hand down to the good hold. Then you do OOS...
I got two times to the last bits, but at that point getting the high spot for the final heel hook is quite strenuous, especially because you have added a few moves on the left shoulder, that at the moment was starting to ache. Anyway it will go and it will go soon, I hope.
Before that I managed to tick The Red Fox, courtesy of Keith's visit last june. I did it with a slight jump start, so not the purest of styles, but I was afraid of slipping from the first move into the rocky hole, and the small jump made me more confident. It's a very nice problem.
Last, I finally found out that I have broken my external ligament in my left ankle. I don't know if I did it on my last day in Font, but it's broken now, and I have to be very very careful, because even the slightest torque makes me scream.

Thursday, 1 May 2008


I will take the job south.
There are many reasons.

It's close to the sea, and I can't wait to have my first dawn patrol on glassy two footers before heading to work. Moreover, I can stay at our house at the sea for the whole spring, summer and probably early autumn, saving money from a rent.

Then it's also much closer to my bouldering playing grounds, and to my current projects, that are a nasty vertical wall with a huge dyno to a mono, the direct line under the roof, Out of Service sit start, and Ossezia, a problem still I haven't seriously tried, but am not convinced I can't do it. It involves bear hugging a roof, hands and feet on both edges. Shame my friend Luca, who opened it, is 190 cm tall...

One of reasons, or perhaps the most important reason I wanted to go North, was that I'd been closer to Ticino. I had this picture of climbing in Cresciano or Chironico every weekend, and it was a beautiful picture of myself ticking away 8a's barechested in the snow. Then I realized that being closer meant being still 250 km away. If I look back, I don't usually drive three hours to go bouldering every weekend, and then three hours to sleep in my bed. So I had to reconsider this aspect...

Also, considering how much work hours take of our days and minds, not being satisfied at work, and not working in a place and with people you like, is a very good way to spoil your climbing days as well. I clearly remember when I was working in the bank: on sunday evenings, driving home from the boulders, I used to get so depressed, thinking about another week of office life coming, that I used to lose all the joy of the climbing day.

Last but not least: training facilities.

I should say last and first.

There's nothing South, to train. There were gyms North. So what?

Nothing special, I will have to find a cheap place and build a wall. Gone are the days of showing off in a crowded gym, amongst admiring boys and girls. This is time for the Dark Days to resurrect. Only anger and frustration will lead to more and more gains in terms of power, and in term of iron will and psyche to train. It's too easy to lose focus in the gym, to talk your session away, to get sucked into your friends' problems just to burn them off (as if could do it...). As history demonstrated, in the persons of Malcolm Smith and John Gaskins, being isolated and with no comparisons can really be a great thing, because you lose every objective parameter and YOU FINALLY BECOME YOUR ONLY AND TRUE PARAMETER: you and your will.

Our imagination's possibilities are endless. Sometimes they can be hindered by others. Sometimes our judgement and our will can be fooled by our EGO. Being the strongest of the gym, being the strongest of the city (unless it's Sheffield), being the strongest of the region, are simple, trivial goals, because they are objective, and they will necessary lead, when obtained, to stall and self indulgence. Of course I am exaggerating, but I'm only trying to make my theory clear: to always progress you have to dream, you have to desire. To dream and to desire you have to LACK. To always lack something you have to be on your own, you have to be frustrated, angry, proud, cold and tired. And still going on, going on to try and stay close to your mind's endless possibilities, regardless of how hard reality bites.

So, now, I am scared by what I wrote. Will I be capable of honouring this? I don't know. If I will not, it will be fine. If I will be, it will be even better, if I won't try, it will be the only failure.