Mountain Network – PlanetMountain.com
When: 30 April – 3 May 2015
Where: Val di Mello / Val Masino (Valtellina, Sondrio, Italy)
What: the world’s biggest bouldering meeting
Who: for all those who love bouldering, from across the globe
What for: climb the numerous boulders and valley rock faces
Organisation: Associazione Operatori Val Masino
The sun’s energy has heated up the third and penultimate day of Melloblocco that was marked by total climbing. 2400 climbers have registered, a number that confirms that this event in Val Masino is the biggest climbing and bouldering meeting in the world.
Solar energy warms up Melloblocco. It’s happened once again and, after rain, comes sun in Val Masino. An amazing sunshine. Rays that warm the heart, that refuel you with energy. Up high the snow glitters. The alpine meadows shine and the Melloblockers… climb. In short, this morning there was no need to set the alarm clock. They, the Melloblockers, set off in search of adventure almost as if there are one single being – in truth the 2400 mark has been reached and more participants continue to arrive. All according to plan is what those who’ve seen all 12 Mello editions would say. Because this is what the meeting’s energy is all about and it seems as if nothing can ever stop this great game of climbing and bouldering.
One thing is clear: these men and women, girls and boys, certainly don’t miss (and do not want to miss) a beat. Yesterday’s “wet” Mello was a case in point, with the indoor climbing wall and the “climbing games” besieged constatnly. But there was also a large, “brave” group of climbers who ventured out to play the classic “umbrella bouldering” on the damp rocks. Of particular note the beautiful evening game invented by “adaptive climbers” Simone Salvagnin and Urko Carmona Barandieran. Both are paraclimbing champions, both are excellent climbers and their “Change Your Mind and Change Your Climbing” was an invitation to all to try and climb blindfolded or without a leg to see what it was like. Super champion Adam Ondra gave it a go as did many others. And the effect was to share things naturally, the experience was almost empathic, of climbers who help each other to climb, with no distinction made between who helps whom. Watching this unfold was beautiful and engaging. As exciting as the evening party with the Rumble Tumble Band that unleashed the Melloblockers with rock and pure, happy energy.
The same happiness that the sun and the climbing multiplied thousands of times. The menu, right from the early morning, was one of the simplest and healthiest: climbing ‘a muerte’, giving it just the right amount and enough to suit everyone. No one did things by halves because at this event the love for climbing is enormous, unique and is ungradable. In this festival a grandiose Adam Ondra – always known here as ‘Adamino’ – got the ball rolling this morning with a superlative top on one of the men’s boulders. As superlative as that of Francesco Vettorata who topped out shortly afterwards. Sparks had been announced, but fireworks were on display!
So much so that Gabriele Moroni sent another 2 problems to bring his tally to 8 out of 10 ‘prize winning’ problems. Finland’s Anthony Gullsten did better still and sent 9. While Stefano Ghisolfi topped 7 and Jacopo Larcher 5. It’s worth pointing out that a hold broke on “Mare Vostrum” in the Visido area and Ondra had been the closest to sending it. These things happen and it’s now become decidedly more difficult… In the women’s field 16-year-old Slovenian Janja Garnbert has sent an impressive 7, while Austria’s Barbara Zangerl has sent 5 and Jenny Lavarda 4. But these rankings are absolutely provisional as today, quite exceptionally, there’s no time limit for the competition problems. The boulders can also be sent in the dark, all the climbers need to do is provide filmed proof of the ascent. At present it seems as if many are gearing up for some night sessions and, who knows, perhaps there’ll be some pleasant surprises.
In the meantime preparations are underway for an evening worthy of this fantastic climbing day. This year’s special guest is great Steve House, the American alpinist who through his ascents has inspired – and continues to inspire – alpinism at the turn of the millennium and even present day. But there’s more as Adam Ondra, the Czech who has projected climbing into the future, will be up on stage with his “Be the Change”. And, last but not least, another unmissable event will be evening lecture by Christian Core – one of the world’s most famous boulderers – who together with his partner and ex Italian athlete Stella Marchisio will present “iCore-My Climbing Family”.
As usual the day will end with the classic and highly anticipated Saturday party. Music will be played by the fantastic group Circo Abusivo and the energy is going to be explosive! The twelfth edition of Melloblocco ends tomorrow Sunday… it will be a grand finale.
– Melloblocco Photos © Open Circle (for HD images contact firstname.lastname@example.org