Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Years ago, during a dinner with climbing friends, I said that "some training session have given me more pleasure than some fucks". It's not a phrase I'm particularly proud of; for sure I'm very proud of the session in which I did this.

35 degrees from lorenzo frusteri on Vimeo.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Yesterday I went to Amiata new sector, where I climbed "Islero sit start". I had a plan, and that was the result.
It's been no gimmie. I was sure I was going to do it, but I must admit that at times doubt creeped into my fragile mind.
I also made a few schoolboy errors. I decided to warm up on easy problems, and that's what I did, but that warm up turned to be many problems long. I also managed to get me a microscopic but incredibly deep slice in my right ring finger; the idea of having to tape it up wasn't very appealing, given that "Islero" only offers slopers to be compressed, but I had to. Then, somehow in Chironico I managed to lose both my brushes, and I didn't have my brush stick. My friend neither, so I didn't know how to brush the holds from the patina of humidity first, and from the excess chalk later. I resolved firstly to brush them using a chestnut shell but it proved to be painful, so I used my metal brushes with all the needed delicacy. I can be delicate at times.
Anyway, it was time. I had the sequence in my mind, and I executed. I felt strong on all the moves up to the last tricky move, where I missed the hold and fell. Then I fell again on the following try, but on the fucking second move. I had gone from almost doing the problem first go, to being unable to stick two moves in a row. "This shit is hard!" I thought.
In just two goes the problem had take its toll out of me. I tried again the second move and was able to do it in isolation, but not on every go. Shocking. Doubts. Fear. I wanted to get it done on that session.
I found out a slightly different option for my left foot, and there I went again. And again I fell on the high move of the first try. "This shit is definitely hard".
This move is a bit precarious: you have a good hold on the arete for your right hand, and a decent pinch for the left hand; you have a left drop knee, right foot on a bad foothold, and you have to bump again your left hand to a higher pinch, but you have to get into it, precisely, you can't overshoot and fall onto it.
I decided to see if I could skip this tricky move, moving out from a hold that is easily 20 cm below with a harder but less tricky move. It worked. It was on, but the phantom of the second move was hanging around.
I set off, and the moves started coming. I flew past the second move not without a serious effort, and I found myself at the higher part; I had my new sequence and despite feeling a bit of grease on a hold (I can't even recall which one), I kept going and found myself with my right hand on the jug. I matched, and then I decided to cut loose: for a nanosecond I though about the possibility of falling off, but when I realized my though I was already good on the jug, and at that moment, I don't know why instead of heelhooking again on the arete with my right foot, I just campused to the final jugs and toped out.
My friend told me that when I held the (minimal, to be honest) swing, a huge smile appeared on my face, and I believe him.
I let go a scream of joy and a horrible swear, then I got down. It was done. I had a plan and I had stuck to it.
On the way home, we found a terrible queue to get into Florence, so I got a bit angry on the phone with the girl, and she told me "Hey don't spoil your great day, think about the problem!" and time passed easily while I was reliving those moments.
Minutes later, I saw a beautiful girl at the wheel of a car to our right in the queue. I smiled at her when we moved forward, and when they caught us I was surprised to see her smile back to me. So this nice flirt went on for a few times as we moved forward and then she followed, until we got to the motorway and she disappeared. It's been very very nice.
Today I stuck to the second part of the plan, with a good Beastmaker session on one armed dead hangs.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


My friend is once again late, so maybe I can use this spare time to collect a few thoughts.
I have a plan.
Today I go to Amiata new sector, where I climb "Islero sit start".
Tomorrow I will leave everything else in terms of climbing behind, and I will only be thinking, breathing, eating, dreaming my two projects.
I think this is the first time I speak so openly about them, and somehow it's liberating. The fact that my projects could be a strong climber's warmup is of no importance: those are projects for me, so I have to prepare for them as they require. The other fact, that I no longer have a wall to train and climb at, is again of no importance: I will do the best that I can with what I have, and that must do. How can I tell? It's very simple: because I will keep doing it until it will do.
I have a bouldering project, which is climbing Font 8b.
And for the first time in a decade, I have a sport climbing project, which is climbing an 8c.
These two dreams will come into reality under the gentle forms of "Amber" in Brione, and "Sanjski Par" in Misja Pec.
There are many reasons for my choice of these two fine pieces of climbing. For "Amber", it's because it's beautiful, and although maybe a bit complex on the logistics, it's perfect for me because I can climb it on my own, without having to search for a spotter, a thing that I require very often and for sure I will need for my other projects that are close to where I live. It may sound as a paradox, but it's easier for me to drive 400 kms on my own only to go and do "Amber", than to find two spotters for a boulder that is one hour away. I know there are friends who would come, but climbing Font 8b will be hard on its own, I don't need the extra pressure of always finding a partner.
Then, "Sanjski Par". Another project that is hours and hours away. I don't care. I spent one of my best climbing weekends there with Tadej this past winter, and I just fell in love with the route. It's everything I search in a route: short, powerful, low to the ground and historical.
Now it's time. Oh yeah it's time.

Saturday, 9 October 2010


Thanks to Toni from Toscoclimb, my shoe fetish has just been renewed and feeded.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Satisfaction at the end of the weekend.

Testing testing 1,2,3...

A new problem on "Souvenir" boulder.

"Souvenir". I decided to skip the mono, a move far too precarious for a problem so far away from home. Hold the sloper and dyno to the jug, it will be.

An excellent 7a and an excellent pic from Fede.Filo spotting.

So, Chironico came and went. My strongest memory is a deep feeling of happiness, for sharing perfect boulders and good times with some very good friends, after too long. Just at the beginning of the first day, I immediately understood I wasn't going to be able to stick to a project: we were a buch of psyched beasts, and the desire to climb as much as possible was too strong even for me.
I didn't try anything for more than 5 minutes, despite feeling very strong especially the saturday morning, before skin loss and lactic acid made a strong couple. In hindsight I think I sould have tried "Komilator" because it was early morning and cool, and I fondled the holds and felt really really strong. It's all in the mind, so I think I could have followed the call. Anyway.
Everyone ticked for two days, with an impressively fast ascent of "Birds" from Filo. I got home smashed with a big bunch of 7's flashed. It's been good and relaxing to release the pressure of projects for once, and just enjoy the volume, which luckily always teamed with quality.
This pressure will come back for sure very soon, and I will be comfortable with it.
So after this trip I took four days off to recover skin and muscle fibers, and went back to the Beast for some quick recruitment.
It was a long time since the last time, especially the one arm dead hangs, so I was eager to test my strength loss.
Surprise surprise: I found strength gains. I held the 45° slopers three times, even if for just two or three seconds and with a slight nestle, but it's been a huge huge step forward. Then I managed to hang the back two pockets for what seemed an eternity, easily in the 30 seconds range. I held the 35° slopers one armed with some ease and also the small three finger pockets. The way is clearly this one.
I went on rock yesterday, in humid, terrible conditions, but again with good friends Mark and Bengio, pullers of Amiata rock. Spirits were high, fingers were strong and despite not being able to repeat the sitter of "Mind the Gap" (7c?), I beasted into submission the proper sitter to "Islero". The original problem started from a rock, because I wanted to get it done and because it's logical, but it's also logical not to sit on the rock and grab the lowest holds. At the end of the day, frustrated (nomen omen? surely not) from the other problem, I thought "let's try it" and magically did all the moves, quickly linking them from the sitter to the last third of the problem. Now I cant' wait to get back on it to give it full birth. "Islero" will become a perfect sitter and probably an easy 8a.
Next weekend I will go to Rome for "U2" in concert, then probably Amiata sunday for some bullfighting.