Social Climbing, Solitude and Melloblocco.

It has been a long time guys, but now I will be writing more frequently since I am a full time climber.

In this piece you will find me pondering about as title says both of the extremes. Climbing with a lot of people and crushing on your own.

As I arrived to the Masino valley I was in a mindset of climbing on my own for almost a month, but I knew that inevitably I will meet people here…and I did.


It was only 4 of us and with hundreds of boulders to choose from we separated quickly to our own projects and lines we were mesmerised by.

Occasionally our paths would cross and we would cheer up for each other on those skin shredding attempts. Most of the time I was climbing on my own. With tactical placement of my crash pads I felt confident or somewhat confident on even pretty big highballs.
4 days went by and the valley was heaving with climbing enthusiasts from all around the globe. Mostly italians of course, but there were people from as far as Australia.

With roughly 3 thousand people in the valley it  felt bussier, but not overcrowded. For everyone who is new to Melloblocco I will quickly explain the concept.

This year there were 4 circuits of classical boulder problems. Easiest ‘Il Gioco Dei Sassi’ (up to font 4C), harder ‘I Sassisti’ (font 5-6A), even harder ‘Il Melàt’ (font 6B-6C) and the hardest ‘Il gigiat’ (font 7A-7B) consistion of 10,20,20,20 boulder problems respectively. PLUS like every year there is money bloc circuit. This event it was 12 boulders developed esspecially for the event for each, men and women groups. The grades go ~6C+ – 7C for girls and 7B – 8A+ maybe even 8B for men.

Apart from those climbs within circuits there are loads more to get on to. Of course it is not like climbing on your own, but working out boulders collectivelly is fun as well.

Like Nicholas Hobley mentioned in the Melloblocco film I have made. “You can perhaps climb better during the Melloblocco, because crash pads are everywhere”.

I highly recommend this festival to every climber. Even if one does not enjoy people around, just the feeling of a big climbing event and witnessing people trying their hardest to get to the top is inspiring and gets you sucked in no time.

All good things must come to an end. After 4 days of perfect weather conditions during the get together. People were leaving the valley and for the next couple of days it felt like walking in an abandon amusement park. It is a strange sensation, but then it becomes the norm like it is meant to be. Just you and the nature.

This valley is great for sport climbing as well. Couple hours of hiking and you can get on some bad ass multipich climbs and for those alpine purists – you have peaks of of ~3300m.
Val Masino is a valley to suit everybody’s taste. And of course Italian cuisine is a part of a great granite experience. Ciao!


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