The one thing in my life that I always love is traveling, the moving around, picking up and leaving whenever you feel like it, the freedom. ALL of that is something I love and realize how fortunate I am to have the profession I have and way of life. Seeing things, meeting people, getting into all of the binds and epics make me who I am. We are now back in France (Nice) and I am more than psyched to not be moving. Phew!
It seems like the past month has been a blurr of traveling from area to area, making plans, bailing on plans, tackling video jobs, climbing 8a’s, and trying to find a crag that isn’t sweltering hot. Basically traveling has and can be utterly exhausting as well. There are always points wehre you are up and lively and then the points where you don’t understand why you are so tired. Dave Graham used to always explain to me how exhausting traveling can be. I used to hear that from him and just assume he was tired at that moment or just making funny “Dave” conversation. But, man… it can work you and this is something I have now fully experienced.
I am glad to be here in Nice and not moving until the end of the month when we leave for South Africa.
Our initial Italy visit was a great intro with Anna and Matteo. Anna is from Washington DC and now lives in Italy with her husband Matteo, who is from Italy. Together they run a Bed and Breakfeast that is perfect for the climber or fisherman. Matteo is one of the sole route equippers in the area and comes across as a “guy’s guy” which I really enjoy. Anna is a total sweet heart who loves to smile, laugh, and share with people. They were so important for our intro to Italy and base education on a new country for us. We ate a lot, drank a lot, climbed a lot, and enjoyed each others company. It was great being around those guys and Colette and I will surely miss them.
Before leaving Ormea (home of Matteo and Anna) we shot with them at Pian Bernardo on some of their projects. Matteo posed down on a steller 8a+ and Anna banged out attempts on her project The Speed Of Sound 8a+. Yup… more Sterling Rope content, stoked.
We headed up to Arco last week to climb, shoot in the La Sportiva offices, check out the town, and the most important thing for me was to try the notoriously bad-ass route Underground 9a in Massone. Underground is a route I will in fact return for and climb in the future. The line is in a giant quarried-out-cave in the pits of the wall that has other routes up to 8c+. Underground has always been that one route I have wanted to try for whatever reason. Maybe because it’s so steep and easy to try. Literally you are only about 8 meters off of the ground the entire time. HA! It is no route for eye-candy and nothing as perfect as Biography or Chilam Balam, but not everything has to inspire you in that conventional way. Sometimes we just want to do the route and that’s all the reason you need. Needless to say I had a great time on Underground and cannot wait to return when it’s dry and cooler out. Fall maybe?!
The visit to La Sporitva was great too. We were told that the offices were in Arco, but later found out that it was a 2 hour drive toward Austria…. Ugh.. but we made the visit, saw how shoes were made (completely by hand in a sequence of applications), and I walked out the door with BOXES full of shoes… basically we had to re-pack the entire car with that many new pairs of shoes!
And now… Gorges Du Loup… Punt X? Kinematix? Just One Fix? YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!