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Italy - Val di Mello - Climbing

European Peacock (Inachis io), more commonly known simply as the Peacock butterfly, is a colourful butterfly, found in Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan. Classified as the only member of the genus Inachis. The name is derived from Greek mythology, meaning Io, the daughter of Inachus. on the background Andrea.... ;-) 

Andrea on the last pitch of Kundalini

With andrea and claudia we had some nice runs up the granite slabs of Mello Valley, plus a great tour into the Qualido Valley above Mello. Qualido is a massive big wall above Mello where routes up to 20 pitches long are. Pretty impressive but not as much as i would have expected. The area is pretty wild though and isolated. Great the "stallone", an old cattleshed obtained below a big rock from ancient sheperds aiming for fresh feed up the valley. The place can host  up to 60 cows and it is entirely digged below a big boulder; a must see. we then worked our way back to Mello Valley through the exposed path that in fact correspond to the descent from Luna nascente route.

Gps track and map below:
Carna - Val Qualido - Stallone - Luna Descent - Carna

Placche dell´Oasi:

·         Il gioco dello scivolo (I. Guerini e M. Mazzucchi  1977, 120 m IV+). Nice and lonely slab structure at the end of the Mello Valley.

·         Uomini e topi ( G. Miotti,1977 – IV , 5 pitches) + Variante entrance  Baader  (G. Fiorelli, J. Merizzi, 1978 - VI, 1 pitch)  for a total of 250m, 5 pitches and VI (sometime expo)

Come here if you do not like too many people on the routes….Moreover, some pitches have no fix protection and as slab is the feature no protection can be added at all most of the time So, you can find yourself navigating on slab toward the next belay with no reference ;-) .

All in all a nice travel into the past and the history of Mello Valley on these historical routes opened by the pioneers of slab climbing in this wonderful Alps  area.
Scoglio dell metamorfosi:

·         Il risveglio di Kundalini  + Luna Nascente = Kundaluna

It’s a great combination and all in all it makes 800m granite climbing for almost 20 pitches at VII UIAAA.

i)        il Risveglio di Kundalini (Guerini und Villa 1976, 400m - 11SL  VI+)

Camalots #0.4-5 (#0.5-2 double + 1 micro metolius 000, 2x60m half ropes)

I did it three times once with Mike, once with Bobb and Christian and today with Andrea, and it is always a beautiful climb with the great crack of the 3rd pitch “la serpe” which has recently been cleaned from the fixed gear. So now it is entirely clean and it is a great pleasant climb…the 4th pitch 15m chimney is still a bit dangerous and badly protectable. Climb it early or late when no other people are queuing there as it might get a nightmare at the poor belays ;-)  

ii)       Luna Nascente (Boscacci, Milani und Ghezzi 1978, 340m - 9SL VII)

 Camalots #0.4-5 (#0.5-2 double), 2x60m rope.

Unfortunately after 3 ½ h running up Kundalini with Andrea in top conditions we had no chance to even start Luna nascente  as a group of three Teutonians, just started and screamed for something like 40 min. on the first movement of the first pitch inducing us to move back to the beers (not soo bad though)…eventually I met  the three back safe at the parking lot around 10 pm….something like 11h later WTF.

Sperone della Magia:

·         Magica Lina (P. Galimberti e F. Russano  1999, 65m – VI,  2 pitches) + La Sfera di Cristallo (A. Gogna, V. Neri,  I. Guerini, G. Merizzi 1977, 165m - VI+, 4 pitches)

In the last forested ramp before joining with the Mello river  the Zocca river forms a deep  granite creek, at whose right hand emerges a sparkling Rocky structure called "the magic spur ". The big advantages of this structure are the wild and discreet environment away from the busier areas of the Valley, increasingly populated. This is therefore, a quiet niche for those who don't feel the need to show the crowd the muscles and only want to climb to their exclusive enjoyment.  Magica lina can be considered the entrance to the much nicer upper side of the wall where la Sfera di Cristallo is an “old school” route with badly protected old time VI  grade passages on slab, and with “gray hair inducing belays”. La sfera di cristallo is nevertheless a little pearl on its 2nd and 3rd pitches where  the arch and the crack are waiting for you…the  great view on Mt. Disgrazia is wordless… A must, if you have time, and have done the mega-classics of the valley already. Moreover, if you want to enjoy some loneliness and little climbing pearls, this is the place to be. Do not expect too many pitons, too many people and a big wall there…. Go there for yourself ;-) you will end up enriched by the magic atmosphere and some little climbing pearls.

All in all pretty nice  climbing  a little further away from the classical, a little bit closer to what is climbing for me …thanks Andrea and Claudia for this ;-)

...A little far apart  from the mountain writers whom do not write to say, but to produce stories where they reflect their ego.

...A little further away from the publishers of guides who would turn all the corners of Italy in vertical editorial sellable products (yes I am speaking with you VERSANTESUD)

...Just a bit further apart from the “mountaineers” who perform their art in the world-class climbs, not to express, but to enjoy being reflected in the admiration of others

...A step away from the climbers who have skillfully escaped comparison with themselves, preferring what it is difficult for others.

...Far away from the “climbers” who started to track geotechnical structures called FA and which consider the vertical nature a thing to be climbed plaisir and no matter what

And, ….maybe, a little bit  closer to the reason I started it all.
i might be wrong though

trans-slab-travelling with no intermediate references ........easy though

from left: Pioda and Disgrazia with canale Schenatti....Shenatti couloir should be a nice ski descent

Andrea on the first pitch of Kundalini

Andrea on the last pitch of Kundalini

The Valley as seen from the placche dell´ oasi

the Good: Elaphe longissima

"The Bad": Vipera aspis ....Venemous not BAD in fact ;-) nice animal

Vipera aspis: to note the eyes and the characteristic shape of the head

Vipera aspis

Qualido on the background

morning ,-)

Escudo del qualido on the middle left. where Josechu Jemenu e Juan Luis Monge opened in espadrillas EL ESCALADOR FOTONICO and FUERA DE LA LEY ...if anybody repeats these extreme adherence badly protacted/unprotected routes make sure you give me a call..i will take pics.... ;-)

inside the cattleshed

Luna nascente ;-)

The second pitch of La sfera di cristallo ......great arch

some more pics from Andrea:



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Training - Self made trainingboard

Self made Wood carved Training Board

It is a bit that i am thinking about a feasible way to make a wood training board without spending too much. 
Well, this is the idea i came up with:
4 wood boards 28mm x 300mm x 1200mm (price ca. 5 Eur each, full wood)1m metal threaded rod (8mm) to be cutted in 4 pieces of 25cm each8 bolts M88 washer M8Wood specific gluesdrill2 or 4 crimping tools  to fix the panels while gluing them together (overnight)sandpaper grid 400 and 10010mm drill tip to make the fixing holes 25 mm drill tip to make  the starting holes at the edges of the  slotswood-saw
The A3 sized plan can be downloaded here as PDF (Click).
It is basically an assembly of woodboards which are easy to work with, without specific material. the boards are first carved and then glued together.
Below some pictures of the process.

Before to glue the panels need to be treated with a sort of protective agent to look alike the metolius woodboard... i choose the Swedish oil to paint the boards…

Austria - Tirol - Habicht (3277m)

In this dry year, a very nice tour in great snow for what concern the upper part of the tour.
ca 60 and more cm of fresh powder await the brave snow seekers.
Habicht (3277m) - 25km, 2000hm ca

careful - ski carrying up to ca 2200m.
the rest is great  ;-)
today we teamed up as 4 to alternate in tracking the fluffy withe pleasure

Austria - Tirol -MicroWenden

...awesome rock quality, ....long approach, .....wild and seldomly climbed, ......a nice day out ;-)