On the East Face of Garden of Dionysus above Leonidio in Greece the Italian climbers Dimitri Anghileri, Simone Pedeferri and Luca Schiera have opened Fuori di Zucca, a new 155m multi-pitch sports climb graded 7c+/8a (7b obligatory). The report by Dimitri Anghileri.
Simone first set eyes on the face one rainy day during his previous trip to Leonidio. Essentially we knew little or nothing about the cliff, but when we got there we were pleasantly surprised: not too high, characterized by large overhangs that seemed to be perfectly lined with tufas and pockets. It looked like we’d have a blast
We went on a whirlwind trip to Greece, Luca, Simone and I, hoping to put up a new route… I was the lucky one, this was to be my first experience at establishing something new, guided by these two experts. On our first day we examined the face and noticed that the first pitch of a route had already been equipped. We wandered around for a while, but in the end Simone set off up this pitch. I’d describe it as “allegro” as the rock certainly wasn’t the best, and after some cussing he reached the belay. Above him loomed the huge overhang, our route would start from here!
Simone and Luca forged the first difficult pitch, the tufas the appeared beautiful from below turned out to be not so solid after all. Cleaning the rock was hard work but after this arduous task (as Pedeferri called it) we knew we’d have fun or, as in my case, that’s we’d try to climb it free!
My climbing partners could bank on plenty of years of experience and I tried to learn the ropes as quickly as possible, I felt like a young whippersnapper trying to steal the tricks of the trade. I did my first-ever jumar completely out in the void, after the initial moments of worry, and also my first ground-up new routing which proved exciting (well, perhaps a little less so when I trusted the skyhook to drill a bolt hole and saw the pockets crumble away beneath my nose!). in any case, the route quickly took shape within this rocky amphitheater and we began to enjoy ourselves more and more!
When we weren’t climbing we spent the rest of our time eating pumpkin, dried fruit and lots of mandarins and oranges. We got on well and although we already knew each other, this trip provided me with the chance to get to know them even better.
As to the route, in a couple of days we finished it off, cleaned it and made the first free ascent, after various setbacks such as bolts that came out, holds that crumbled away, climbers marooned at a belay without a rope, and various attempts at freeing the moves. The end result is an element overhanging line with some superb pitches. We’ve called it Fuori di Zucca. Zucca means pumpkin and refers to how much of this vegetable we ate, but the name is also a play on words since the expression means “Out of your mind”