martedì 25 dicembre 2012

- The North Sail

A couple of weeks ago I've been for a few days to Cresciano taking advantage of a period of good weather and I have some interesting news to share. One day while I was walking to get to the Dreamtime boulder I found myself again in front of a tall arete which is just before the Jungle Book sector. I had already looked at it several times wondering if it was possible to climb: it looked quite hard in the middle section where you have to squeeze two sharp aretes, plus it looked way too frightening at the end where you won't like the idea to fall from what seemed a tricky finger crack. So usually I just moved on to try something else but this time I happened to have a short rope with me... let's give it a look!

I abseiled down, cleaned the crack from the moss and tried the upper moves on self belay... ok it's easy here, no excuses! So came down and I started to build a proper landing with rocks at the start which was just above a huge pond of water. Something turned up in my mind, I definitely wanted to climb this line now! I spent some time to figure out the middle moves and the sitstart. There is a quite intense section from a big undercut before establishing in the crack, and it involves a strange toe hook while pinching the arete. From there you may still jump down safely before engaging the final part. The sitstart is not hard on his own but then it's tricky to get the undercut properly when you come from the right arete. It was enough for the day, I finished to stack a few more rocks to make a better landing and went away.

The next day I came back focused, I tried once again the top section with the rope and made myself ready for the ascent. I was alone and had three big pads which were enough to cover the hard part, afterwards you don't really want to fall... I had a couple of good goes but both times I felt too scared to continue. Shit I really do need some help and cheering up here! So I had to wait till the next trip, when a few friends helped with spotting and I could finally fulfill the dream of climbing this great new line which is probably among the best in Cresciano. You can watch it in the video I made a few days later with my friend Gianluca, it also shows it's right slabby brother (which I found to be called Salamandre)... something between 6c and 7a+ crazy, tall and with a fairly good landing where you can to take some good falls.

Later on speaking with Cresciano guidebook authors I found Klem Loskot already climbed the line from the big undercut and gave it 8a+ but unfortunately it soon got into oblivion. In my opinion I was thinking to give it 8a/8a+ from the sitstart and 7c+ starting on the second deck with the big undercut. The full line seems better to me anyway so I've decided to keep the name I had already thought calling it "The North Sail". Hope you will discover and fall in love with this great problem as I did. It could be a good one if you are spending your Christmas holidays around Cresciano... by the way... HAPPY CHRISTAMS, HAPPY CLIMBING !
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