It’s two months I’m climbing little, too little, that’s due to a naughty elbow…my desire is higher than ever, I’m looking for adventure, for staying on a big wall, for the void, for mountain, for the heart beating in my head…One morning, while I’m at home in front of my computer I got a sms…VIA DEL DET ON FREE CLIMB, YOU MUST TRY IT…It was already there, in the drawer of my dreams, for some time covered with dust…”
With Luca we immediately had a good feeling, a good guy, I always beware of people ”not holding bubbles” (of the drinks Ndr), and without knowing, he brialliantly passed my test. We talk about our project and we clearly discuss goals and motivations, in order to avoid any misunderstanding.
We agree to try the route together, you know how many times you say ”come on let’s do something together” and then for a thousands reasons all remains in stand by?
Not this time, this time is different…
The following week the ”Bubbles Team” is already at work, within a couple of journeys, and the primary help of Alessandra (Matteo’s wife) and Mariolone, ropes, cams, pegs and all the necessary gear is stashed in the bivy at the base of the wall.
Actually it’s a though job, the heart goes all the way down each time we scramble up, for two full hours, Val Meria’s path until the base of our dream.
In this way we begin this hot autumn, looking for ”the red line” of the holds among all the features of the Det Route, on Sasso Cavallo, the dream of both of us is to free climb this mythic line; a challenge, an adventure, a tribute to the talent and to the abilities of a pure alpinist.
We adjust the belays without adding any bolt, only pegs, cams and stoppers, we do the same also on the pitches.
Discovering the moves, guessing the passages and creating a unique theory of holds and moves from the beginning to the end is a huge emotion.
The biggest part of the work remains the search and cleaning of the holds and the removal of some loose rocks on a few pitches…
Luca and I are really psyched, we can’t think of anything else, each time we improve our experience and we share our tasks, this is an adventure in the adventure, is what gives the spicy taste to our climb.
Half of the route is ready, thus we decide to make an attempt, which however turns out to be unsuccessfull, due to the strong wind and to the low temperatures, not really suitable for free climbing, we abseil down, waiting for better conditions.
Wednesday 12nd October 2011
It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, the moon is our natural headlamp, we’re fully loaded, this time not with weights on our backs but with ambitions…
Around 8 a.m., Luca begins the first pitch, long, diagonally to the left, with a rock every time astonishing, today he’s really quick, and resolute, we know that for this year this might be our last chance and we push deep on the gas.
We link the second and the third pitch to save some time, the fourth one is a desperate overhanging corner, almost always wet…today it is particularly dry!!! Come on!
I get over the first overhang and the pitch is in the bag, Luca gets down the next one: crack, fastidious overhang, slippery slab, good effort by the ”Matador de Mandell”, we’re in the game…
Pitches flow smoothly until the first ledge, where we arrive at noon, and as the good ”workers of the useless” we take our lunch break. From now on, there are 5/6 pitches to get out of the wall, but on unknown terrain, and with still one which could hide some nice suprises.
We restart with a nice transfer-pitch, on excellent rock and excellent grass, IV+, and it all worths the +…
Eventually here we are under the third and last overhang, the rock looks super and the pegs are there…apparently no problems…
Our feeling are however rather different from the reality, we realize that it won’t be easy at all to solve this pitch, some pegs barely hold their own weight and the rock is not always so good as we thought.
After some suspence and the fear of failing, we discover a small pocket full of grass, that once cleaned allow us to reach a providential pitch-saving crimp! Incredible, we’ve got all the holds for the hands and for the feet and we can link all the moves!!!
We go back to the starting belay, linking this pitch in free climbing won’t be that easy, we’re aware of that, it’s 15.30, we still have a couple of hours of light ahead and we’re ready to commit all our energies for the success.
We get on aggressive and at the second try we both succeed in free climbing the pitch! We’re super psyched, it’s almost done…
We climb the remaining four pitches with wings under feet, euphoric, but always deeply focused, because where difficulties decrease, mistakes increase, hence we need to raise the alert level.
It’s 7 p.m. when we summit on the top grass field, exhausted but happy and conscious of what this day will ”leave” to ourselves; we’re at the top of Sasso Cavallo, 11 hours after our we lifted our butts from the ground, an eternity! Now the wind is sweeping on the summit, not even the time for a quick rest, we sort our gear and start the descent with the headlamps.
The only thought is water! We’re parched with thirst, it has been a long and really hot journey, and we just brought 1,5 lt of water for the two of us… lightness!!!
We cross the entrance of the Dina (the bar in Rongio) at 10.30 p.m., in the room people are talking loud, playing cards, drinking and discussing.
We sit down and order two beers, a guy comes here and asks:
”How’s the route on Sasso Cavallo?”
We give each other a glance (was anybody supposed to know about it?)
Matteo Piccardi – Luca Passini
(English translation by Matteo Della Bordella)