Happy new year to everyone!
As the most of the people who are familiar with this website already know, the Ragni group in the last years committed in realizing a big quantity of videos and films regarding the different activities of its members. This kind of initiatives allow us to communicate with everyone (climbers or alpinist but also non-climbers and non-alpinists) and share our passion for the mountains, the climbing and the adventure; they also allow us to tell our stories and let people know what it means go climbing and mountaineering nowadays.
Personally I think that this initiative is great. Communicating with people and promoting a sound mountain culture with a great tradition – as it is the one from Ragni di Lecco – is something that requires a big effort but is widely paid back by the results. On the Italian panorama I think that currently Ragni di Lecco is the most active organization in producing films and videos about climbing and mountaineering. All this is thanks to all the members of the group and to our external friends, to the film-makers and cameramen, to our sponsors, but mainly thanks to one person, which is always at the center of all these initiatives and from which the most of the filming ideas are born and raised. I am talking about our president, Fabio Palma.
In the last weeks Fabio, Riky Felderer and I have been to Sardinia, with the goal of filming for a new movie project. The movie wants to tell the story of the 3 routes opened by me, Fabio and Domenico “Dodo” Soldarini on Monte Ginnircu, between 2005 and 2009. In addition to us other friends which were involved in our adventures will be part of the movie. Here are some memories of when we were opening our first new route “E non la vogliono capire…”.
It was in October 2005 when, after opening Portami Via in Wenden, Fabio asks me to go to Sardinia, with the general goal of opening a new route. A trip that, like the whole year 2005, was full of unexpected events, mostly due to our will of pushing the limit and lack of experience also for the young age in my case.
I still remember when at the end of the first day on the wall Fabio throws a huge stone on his own toe, while trying to do some cleaning (meanwhile I was just watching him and wondering what the hell he was trying to do with that huge block). I remember his “indescribable” pain (his own words) which looked quite comic to me among screams and shouts of each kind and the way we brought him to the hospital in Lanusei, where Fabio started screaming so loud before even being touched.
A few months later, always in 2006, we decided to go back to Sardinia with the goal of free climbing this route and finishing another one (amico fragile), along with the friends Marco Vago and Adriano Selva. While we were leaving from Lecco, Fabio made a phone call: “Hi Riky, do you want to come with us to Sardinia for filming and shooting on the new route we’ve opened?” Riky: “yes, good idea! When would you like to go?”. Fabio “we can pick you up in 45 minutes in Milan, the ferry is leaving at 7pm from Genova…” Riky “Well…ok!”
In that occasion I met for the first time Riky Felderer and in that trip Adriano and Fabio managed to free climb “E non la vogliono capire”. Meanwhile Marco, with my help, overcame the last hard section of a route in which he really believed strongly: Amico Fragile. A route that nowadays is becoming a sort of a classic. After this one, we made at least another 3 trips, most likely 4, from which the other two routes Oltreconfine and Genius were born.
2015. Basically 10 years after the first time we went to Sardinia together. We are all 10 years older and our lives are somehow changed and took different directions. Luckily we’re all still in good shape and we still share the common passion for climbing, but we realize that the times when we were opening at Monte Ginnircu are far and probably will never come back. Since a few years Dodo is a father, he calmed down his desire to travel around the world and enjoy the night life for dedicating himself to his son and his family. Fabio put down the war hatchet and softened the fighting spirit which made him pushing so hard on opening new routes; in the last years he dedicated a lot of time to the whole Ragni group and to give many young climbers the best opportunities for climbing and mountaineering at high level; he also follows the passions of his son. Riky is always the same in the character and in the spirit, but in taking pictures and filming he improved his skills, I remember the first time he was always struggling with empty batteries and full memories, now he is an undiscussed point of reference in the Italian outdoor photography panorama and collaborates for shooting and filming with the best companies worldwide. (He also has a lot less hair).
And me? hmm, I think I’m still the donkey I was 10 years ago!! Well, ok, maybe not quite, maybe I also grew up. For sure these route for me have been a big laboratory, something that made me do a lot of experience and made me live strong and unique emotions, which I will always carry with me forever and that somehow prepared me to shift my focus outside of the Alps, on much wild and remote places such as the ones where I climbed in the last years.
When is the movie going to be ready? I don’t know, hopefully soon and hopefully we’ll manage to thrill you with our stories and our passion for the mountains!
All the pictures by Riky Felderer