After Sardegna I was pretty bummed to be rained out. Between the wet rock and the coming summer conditions it was like being forced to leave empty handed.
Then Jozo called and he says he had a crazy amazing idea. “Hey, Ola, come and climb with me in Ratikon this summer.”
I didnt really know what that meant, but I was hungry for another multipitch project and Jozo’s fanatic energy for climbing serious stuff is always a great opportunity.
I think I really knew what climbing in the Ratikon meant after the first half of the first day. Slippy grass approach, loose first pitch, then the runouts...bolts so far apart that on the third pitch Jozo missed the chains and ran it out in x-rated terrain to gun for the next visible bolt - the second on the next pitch! I have crazy respect for Jozo’s mental ability on this kind of climbing.
The alpine weather is always unpredictable so we had time to chill in the green meadows on rain days, isolated from phone connection and city life. Really peaceful time.
Mid-July Jozo had to leave so I stayed ten days alone in the valley, practicing the crux pitches on a static, all alone on the wall. Through hailstorms and rain I got more and more comfortable with the exposure and the moves, and feeling refreshed from the pristine alpine air that I was itching for a partner to try some pitches on lead!
On a bitter note, one day the locals threw my tent and sleeping bag in the river. They had been giving me unfriendly looks since I arrived, but for sure now I felt completely violated and unsafe to be there alone so I left for home...
From Sardegna to a monster challenge; a 24 hour climbing marathon in Val Pennavaire – Albenga!
I had not heard of this type of competition before – from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday the goal is to climb more pitches than the other teams and it is so much fun!
About 35 teams were there – in costume! Coming over to Albenga last minute I did not have a partner, but the organisers were very kind and until 10pm on the first day one of the volunteers from the event was so kind to trek out with me and hold my ropes. 12 hours of onsight climbing. Wow. Incredibly fun. After 10pm, I didn’t have a partner so Jason and I went out to meet up with Read and his partner Alex as they suffered through the night, even nodding off while putting on their shoes.
By daybreak the guys were slowing down, but the sun gives you crazy energy after the cold night and the boys finished their morning power screaming through a few 6a’s before the final buzzer.
The organizers have made a very cool event and the community that comes together are nutters. Really amazing folks, laughing and joking the night away. I didn’t know what strategy to adopt with just one day of belays available so I pretty much just tried to onsight the most routes at one single crag and sneak in a 7c or two. In the end I did 16 pitches, but luckily I did those couple of harder lines because I could beat Read for our little bet : ) Even though he did 62 pitches!
Congratulations to Mao and your team for organizing such a fun event. Can’t wait for next year.
Viaje de los Locos– a spectacular line in Gorropu canyon, Sardegna. An artistic line of tufas opened by Dani Andrada and climbed by Edu Marin and Sasha Digiulian at 8b+ max. You may know where, because it’s often overlooked by its famous neighbour Hotel Supramonte 8b!
In April Adrien and I arrived in one of the wettest springs on record. How do I type a face palm emoji?! Our objective was completely wet, constantly seeping on the opening tufa pitches. Well, to have Hotel Supramonte as a consolation is not so bad, too! We began preparing and practising on the climb. Really amazing to be up high in the canyon and have truly amazing stone to climb on, and really you must climb between those bolts! After two weeks of hot weather with rain days spent cooking and eating, and of course sampling the cannonau, ultimately Adrien left early. Too rainy, unclimbable!
With my good buddy Valter on board to support, we persevered, but in early May it rained for 8 days straight. The canyon was a river, and we were prohibited from entering for a few days. The wall was a dripping mess. It was not to be. A wet day cleaning my quickdraws and thankfully a few nice photos, but it was time to leave…but where to?
Northern Italy! I met a boy :)
Through the intense traffic congesting the historical corsia’s and viale’s Rome to they gym, Rock and Walls, and then toSperlonga my weekly pilgrimage to the rocks.
Grottone becomes my training ground on the weekend and Rock and Walls during the week for Ecole Verticale with my amazing clients and the buzzing Rome climbing community.
Climbing in these historical crags in Italy – one of the birth places of sport climbing - is climbing on the history of our sport. And, like the Madonna statues all over Rome, very polished by the hands of the worshippers! Great training value and great motivation to share it with with some of the new generation the Rogora sisters, Riccardino Moretti.
I felt good to clip the chains in just four tries on Viaggio Infinito8b+ in February. I wanted something harder to train for so I began to spend time on the 8c+ (9a?), Grandi Gesti, but my travel bug was making me itch and dreams of tufas and somemultipitch climbing. A plan was made. Drive to Poland, then to France to visit my French buddy Adrien Boulon and then drive to the ferry to spend one month to climb in Sardegna.
Thank you Monika „Ryba” , Ewa „Sasinka”, Kacha Gliwińska, Monika Sułkowska, Sergio and Silvia for strong motivation to move my ass to some amazing place like Gorropu…