Monday, September 27, 2010

Trad climbing meeting in Italy pt. 1

On the way to the airport


Normally I try to write something every week, at least, that is when things are going on.
But I had no internet at all last week. So, I have to write quite a bit now, I guess.
Because I went climbing :)
Not just climbing, I went to Italy, the tradclimbing meeting in Valle dell'Orco.
I'm not a very experienced trad climber, actually I'm just starting, I find. So this was a good opportunity to see what's actually possible.
I was hoping to find new techniques, new areas and new friends. And that's exactly what happened!

Eindhoven - Ceresole Reale

On Sunday 19th I left for Italy. Quite stressed and worried. We had a bit of overweight and we were flying with Ryanair so we were only allowed to take 15kgs. Just a rope and one set of cams+wires is enough for 15kg. We stuffed the tiny bit of clothing we had in our day-pack and went to the airport.
In the flight I was sitting in between father and daughter. They were going to a big shoe-fair. To see the shoes for the new year. I love shoes, but it always turns out that I wear my climbing shoes or running shoes :)
When we arrived Angelo was waiting for us with a paper "Tradclimbing Meeting Valle dell'Ocro". He excused himself for his English, we stuffed our bags in his Ford and drove to Ceresole Reale. Which is a 3hour drive!
There we were welcomed by all kinds of Italians. They looked all the same: pretty or old and all had black hair. The only name I remembered was Mauro, the one of the e-mail contact.
We got a big bag with a backpack, some Ferrino advertisement stuff, and the brand new topo of the area.
And then, it was time for dinner. Real Italian dinner with lasagna, meat, and of course wine.

The group enjoying dinner

Climbing at Sergent

At around 8 'o clock we arrived in de 'salle' of the appartment-building. We slept quite weird as our blanket had some strange creatures inside and they were really itchy. (Even through my sheets).
We were separated in different groups. I was supposed to climb the route Canabis in the sector Sergent together with Paul Sass from Germany, Lucy Creamer from the UK and Roberto Vigiani our local guide/host. Roberto would arrive a little later so we started in some warm-ups and got ready for Canabis (7b, 6b+, 7a).

Paul Sass in Canabis

Paul went up first and had quite a hard time in the first section. A tiny crack with some pitons. What a thing! It looked hard...
He tried, tried, went for a hold just above a piton and fell, the piton ripped out and he made a hard smack upside down!
That worried me...
Paul was ok, he was even ok enough to belay Lucy on Canabis again.
So, when Roberto arrived we split up in two teams. We first went up a 6a trad, bolted line and then decided to get on Canabis as well.
Roberto basically flew through the first pitch after I bailed out because I found it taking too much time...
The second pitch I was a typical flying Dutchman when I slipped in the 6b+ traverse. Luckily the piton held. Roberto was 'sleeping' a bit, resulting in me 'flying' down :)
The third pitch was a 7a crack. A bit nervous, as I'd never climbed a proper 7a crack before. I didn't climb it in once...and had not enough time to try the whole thing again. Reason one to get back here :)

Roberto Vigiani in Canabis, Zoe Hart belaying

Me in Canabis

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