The vertical Kilometer of unclimbed granite in the Cochamò valley was only the first stage of a South-American tour “on the road” and “on the wall”, that Simone and his friends have ended up a few days ago.
We leave to Simone’s words the task of telling emotions and performances and the deep and personal meaning of this last trip.
“After four days of no-stop raining and the terrible weather forecast we decide to leave the Cochamò valley, go back to Pourt Mont and say goodbye to Pala, which was going back home, and we go on with other two days on the road.
We were heading for the second part of our trip to Piedra Parada, in Argentina, where I wanted to climb this monolith free standing in the Argentinian pampas, I was psyched. The picture I had seen of this rock was too fascinating for a globetrotter climber like me! I had to climb it!
We arrived in the night, after running over a rabbit which damaged the front of our car; it was a bad omen, but in the morning the skyline of Piedra Parada appeared in front of us. The place was one of the most magical I had ever seen and this light in me an irrepressible desire of climbing.
The route that I wanted to climb was clear in my mind since the beginning: Chocolate profundo, a sustained route up to 8a, for 9 pitches (7c, 8a, 7a+, 7c+, 7a, 6b, 7c, 6a, 4) and 240 meters.
The topo was mentioning a route well protected and very overhanging! But now that I’m hanging 100 meters from the ground on the usual loose block my determination begins to falter…
Zaffa, my partner (who wants to escape) looks at me, discouraged since the loose block is once again just above him.
Honestly, I could expect anything but such a low quality route: the first two pitches could have been ok, despite the weird bolting, but afterwards the rock was really chossy and loose. My joy in seeing Piedra Parada made me forget to bring the helmet, and this was increasing the bad omen…
After a hard fight, luckily we arrive at the seventh pitch of the route, the icing on the cake: a very exposed and spectacular pitch which pays somehow back all the fears we had below.
All in all, I think that despite free climbing all the route, it wasn’t a big experience and immense joy, but nevertheless I found what I was looking for: a fantastic monolith on the other side of the world, in a remote and magical place, where I could share on a ledge a fantastic moment with Zaffa and laugh because we were lucky not to be hit by any rock, enjoying the panorama and then the happiness of my friend, before he was puzzled and now happy to be on that hanging balcony. This probably was the real sense and what I will remember of this climb
In the following days we climb in the Canyon Buitrera, a unique place, with volcanic rock and different sectors. We will spend fantastic climbing days, free climbing world class pitches up to 8a+ and some projects.
It’s not easy to sum up and adventure and the taste of an experience like this one needs time to be fully appreciated. We traveled for 35 days among rock walls in South America, we climbed an amazing big wall with a first ascent all on free climbing, and then we moved 800 km far to climb the Piedra Parada, one of the most beautiful monolith I had ever seen. Eventually some other climbs in the canon Buitrera on magical walls and a quick climb in Bariloche, all this I shared with a fantastic group of friends (Mirko, Pala, Mattia, Zaffa)
I believe that my way of living the vertical world, visit new places and follow sensations and spontaneity got much richer in this trip, like Paul Pritchard, this is my favorite way of living adventures and the result are a lot of hard and emotional routes in this trip on the road. I couldn’t ask for more!”