Almost two weeks have passed since we left. The first week was a real road trip on the west coast of America, including amazing rock walls, being surrounded by greenery in national parks, incredible silence at high-altitude lakes and endless deserts, with almost the whole time a clear blue sky as a backdrop. The flight to San Francisco took an entire day with about 8 hour’s jet lag that really does not lighten the journey. The next morning, despite the fatigue we woke up early: the day was shaping up to be long and very intense! We dedicated a few hours to exploring the city of San Francisco, it is an incredible city, very heterogeneous in terms of cultural, and it is alive day and night! In the late afternoon, once the hire car was packed with all our luggage, there was nothing left to but to head into the mecca of American climbing: Yosemite Valley! Here, in the dark of night, you can only fill your imagination with the shadows of the endless walls and giant conifer trees. The next day we got straight into discovering and savouring the beauty of this valley that is full of stories and legends of exhilarating climbers that have literally shaped the history of climbing. El Capitan and Half Dome are enormous, illuminated by a warm sun that accompanies all the climbers that are slowly climbing up these huge walls, literally dotted on the wall. It would appear that most of the climbers face these lines with a mountaineering mentality that has almost been forgotten! In fact, from the base of these incredible natural monuments, when you observe the groups of people loaded with heavy sacks and the unmistakable jumar in hand, you see them climbing up a static rope, almost without ever touching with their hands or feet the rock in front of them. Unfortunately for us, the time for climbing was really tight and ran out quickly, we managed to climbing some of the well-known boulders at the famous Camp 4 and a few pitches with a rope, opened and freed by the well-known Bachar. We reluctantly said our goodbyes to this amazing valley, and took the road that takes in the Tioga Pass and the area of Tuolumne Meadows, which we highly recommend to anyone who decides to venture into these parts; the scenery we saw was utterly breath taking! The next day we headed to the state of Nevada with a must stop at the famous bouldering area of Bishop. In the evening, completely knackered from so many hours of driving and such little sleep, we finally got to Las Vegas, where the exaggerated and extreme ostentations that human beings are capable of creating, create almost the same empty feeling that the desert offered us previously. The following days we happily got back to our beloved nature, including visits to the most amazing Grand Canyon, le magical Monument Valley, the amazing Arches National Park and last but no means least the spectacular pinnacles of Bryce Canyon. After this fantastic first week road tripping ended, we returned to Las Vegas, but this time just to catch the flight, destination Lexington, a town adjacent to the Red River Gorge National Park, well-known by climbers all around the world. Finally we could dedicate all our time exclusively to the rock!!! We were tired but so excited by the endless amount of rock to be climbed; we arrived at the never-ending Red River, rich in forests that hide unique compact sandstone walls that have the most incredible varied colours. In this season, the trees illuminate the typical autumnal shades that blend with the orange walls protected by the foliage. Unfortunately, despite the beauty and the enormous potential of this place, our enthusiasm was a bit dampened by the somewhat tropical climate and moisture that didn’t allow us to climb at our best, not even on the easier climbs. In fact, the first few days were characterized by constant rain, brought in by a tropical storm that was hitting the nearby Florida and Carolina. So our projects had to wait for better conditions. After a bit of anger and disappointment at the start, I dedicated myself to discovering easier graded routes that were among the great classics of the place, that in those days were more or less feasible. I climbed Pern Ultra and Super Charger, both graded 8b and I also climbed some other easier routes. This climate was not really suitable for climbing and made the holds sloppy and polished, typical for the routes in this area and you could barely hold the holds because they were so humid or wet, significantly increasing the difficulty of the climbing! Despite everything, the local climbers and tourists helped us to recharge our motivation through their incredible enthusiasm and the warm welcome. They never miss a chance to have a chat, encourage you and compliment you, even just for a single move that you figured out. In the evening everyone gets together for dinner in one of the two meeting points in the main park, either the colorful Miguel's Pizzeria (where the pizza, even though it is American, is not actually that bad!) or the Rock House bar, run by, just like the pizzeria, a group of young local climbers. We really hope that in the coming days the weather conditions improve to the point which allows us to realize the many projects we are craving to get done! Until next time! Silvio and Francesca

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