Every climbing trip brings us to different places to meet other climbers.
The last couple of days I was in Ticino with some Mountain Hardwear climbers and friends: Loic Gaidioz from France, Ethan Pringle and Matt Wilder from the USA. Marc Daviet, Chuk Fryberger and Clarence Hjert came with us for a specific mission.
Our primary goal was to climb and have fun. Our second goal was to take some photos and make video for the Mountain Hardwear company (that is to say, the specific mission...).
Obviously, when photos are involved, there are always surprises, and funny things happen.
We started our trip from Chamonix in late afternoon. As soon as we arrived in Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel, it snowed and rained until we reached our final destination. This was of course not a good sign...
Typical for a photo shoot, we arrived late, tired and with no real plan for the day after: we had gotten lost at some point because the GPS turned off for no reason, we had no maps, and there was a traffic jam in Milano. And of course we stopped at one of those famous Autogrills to eat some “delicious” food… ;-) It was a great start! ;-)
We woke up under a blue sky but on wet ground which meant wet rock... After a few errands we finally got to Brione which we hoped would dry fast. And a few boulders were... almost dry. There was snow at the base though. Whatever: we climbed a few cool problems, commited, failed, succeeded... and we had fun !
Our day ended with food, beer, wine and some local digestives. The owner of the restorant was probably impressed by the camera and Chuck filming so we got some free desert and twice some digestives. Now you know.. always go to dinner with a professional cameraman if you want to eat for cheap ;)
We woke up the next day even more tired... Went for a coffee (or two) and hit the road to Cresciano, which is truly a dream spot for bouldering. Tons of problems everywhere, amazing granite rock, nice landings and nice setting in the forest. Just walking between the boulders in the forest makes you feel good.
The conditions were not great though. It rained a little, and when it was not raining the atmosphere remained very wet. Annoying but not enough to prevent us from climbing. Matt and Loic did a couple of good tries in Frank's wild year (8A+) that Ethan had already sent some days before. Finaly Loic sent it in a very proper way just before it started to rain for real. It was a good way to end the trip - testing the new Dry-Q™ fabric of our jackets. This new membrane is just amazing - way more breathable than anything else and perfectly waterproof. Hard to beat! Seriously.
Despite the uncooperative weather, the great energy and positive atmosphere between us made this short trip very fun. Great taht we got to climb on days that seemed unclimbable.
The making off :
Ready ? Action !
Matt Wilder warming up slowly but steadily
Chuck and Clarence directing Ethan for the next "very complicated" sequence ;)
Easy and fun boulder to keep the momentum
Marc Focused on his shooting
Loic sending "Frank's wild year" (8A+)
Happy Chuck !
The guys pulling down my hat on my eyes... at the worst moment ! No !
Liv Aka "Oui Oui" (private french joke) ;)
forget to follow Loic, Ethan and Matt during the next couple of weeks.
Loic is currently training hard for the bouldering world cups, Ethan
will be in Spain to send some super hard routes, and Matt will climb some hard problems in both Fontainebleau and Ticino.
Oh.. and I'm leaving tomorrow for the USA. Mostly going crack climbing with my friend Steph Davis and hopefully sending some beautiful lines!