Friday, April 6, 2012

The best type of climbing.

Spring, well maybe even summer, has well and truly arrived in the alps. The last week of March saw me in t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops fighting against the sweat on valley sport crags with my friends Adam and Mike.
The beautifully settled weather was now in its third week, and it was with not even the slightest bit of regret or jealousy, that when my friends Jon, Jesse and Maury headed up to the Dru for another winter mission, i headed through the tunnel in to Italy for a few days clipping bolts in the Sun with Amanda, Heather and Benjamin.

The idyllic Val Pennavaire is the main climbing valley of "Oltrefinale", a relatively new, almost world class sport venue in between Genoa and Monaco. This narrow valley clothed in Olive groves and limestone outcrops is a far cry from the alps, and after a few days makes you want to buy a van, find a beautiful 8a climbing girlfriend and become a sport climbing hippy who never would be so stupid as to set foot on a north face...

The beginnings of a road trip.

Ahh limestone...

The river that runs thorugh the bottom of Val Pennavaire is a good place to spend the parts of the day too hot for climbing.

Whether it be for sport climbing or skiing, no Italy trip can be undertaken without huge amounts of Pizza and ice cream.
In terms of climbing, i felt reasonably strong for the start of the rock season, onsighting lots of 7a's and getting 7b+/c second go. With no Alaska this year, my sport climbing motivation is reaching dangerously high levels!