Saturday, 21 December 2013


Finally the weather crapped out...
Conditions so far have been absolutely perfect and I have taken advantage of them at my best! 
In the last weeks the weather has been gorgeous: perfectly cold, sunny, dry winter days. Every morning I would walk to work in the morning breeze, fully clad in my suit, my right hand powerfully clenched to the handle of my leather briefcase full of papers and documents. After the small uphill, a quick match with my left hand on the handle, and then it was full left hand training until the Court of Justice building. So dry, so sticky, no need for chalk. 
Up and down a few flights of stairs to raise my pulse and then it was time to go out for a goregous coffee in the sun before going back to the office. 
In the late evening, the temperature was perfect for a good session on my board, or on the Beast. Not a single chance has been left behind! 
Fortunately, these perfect conditions magically kept disappearing during the weekend, leaving room to foggy, humid, horrible days: no need to drive to the rocks, let's spend five hours on a single sheet of plywood of my board! 
In doing so, of course many projects went down. 
Many, like one. 
But I also did a single move that I had been training for a couple of months. I did it, then I kept going but fell on the following moves: I quickly realized it was due to old shoes, so I promptly sent four pairs to the resoler on the following day. 
I also completed my power endurance setup and found great joy in making my forearms and fingers explode in another way than simply repeating problems. 
The video shows how great this was: 

Then finally, I put my hands on the beast after (too) many weeks, with decent results. 6 kg left hand and 8 kg right hand on the three fingers slot; 12 kg and 16 kg on the incut rung, half crimped. 
I pity those poor bastards who are always climbing on rock: how can they thell whether they're on form or not? Climbing an 8b is clearly not enough, it could be simply due to good conditions and a bit of luck, or even - the horror, the horror - to simply climbing well a perfect sequence. The horror. 
How boring must it be, to simply go around in a forest, spot a problem with already chalked holds, drop the pads down and climb? 
Far better is having to connect holds on plastic, having to imagine incredible sequences never found on rock, contrived moves that would make the most eliminate problem look straightforward. Feet on the screw-ons only; no dropknees; compulsory matches and prehensions (no, not that side of the hold, that is out); horrible sitstarts: this is what I like. 
And more than this, numbers, numbers, numbers. Objective numbers: number of one armers; number of seconds on a hold; number of kilos added to a hang; number of laps on a problem. 
All within the domestic walls of my house. 
I wonder how one could do without this all.  
Perfect boulders and scenery? Dry rock? Good vibes of cameraderie and partnership? Ha! I don't believe it anymore. In the world of "soft 5 mins", "syked with da crew", "thanks to my sponsors" and driving scenes in videos, poetry in global climbing is dead. So why pretend otherwise? 
Làthe biòsas. 

Saturday, 7 December 2013


For the third weekend in a row, I went climbing. I mean, real climbing, with real rock, crash pads, coffe flask, down jacket and cold. 
Despite the fact that climbing keeps getting in the way of training (for climbing...) I have to say it's been fun. 
I went back to Sassofortino after ages, and managed to open a new exit to a very old problem, the very first 7th grade problem in Sasso, to be fair, and probably in Tuscany, the good old "Shelter". Years ago I wrote a beautiful - or so I thought at that moment - story about the first ascent, revolving around how and why the first ascent was mine and not a previous one from a friend. Sadly I can't find this story anymore in my pc and therefore I don't even remember why the first ascent had to be mine. 
Anyway, the new line takes the upper lip of the boulder and goes left instead of straight up. It was late and humid when I did it, so probably my impression of it being Font 8b could be biased. 8a+? 
Yesterday, on the other hand, I went to Vivo d'Orcia, where with a good bunch of friends, I easily and quickly did nearly all the moves on a 7c+/8a problem by Michele Caminati, and that was really nice. After a couple of goes on the singles, I did it from the sitter dropping at two moves from the top. Unfortunately for me, those two moves are the ones that give the problem the grade, but I can still say that I've climbed the 6c+ part of an 8a. The important thing is that the 8th grade be mentioned. Because I climb for the beauty of the rock. 
All pictures copyright and courtesy of Carlo Chechi at