Melloblocco 2013 - Day Eight: Climbing without limits

Paraclimbing athletes Silvia Parente, Simone Salvagnin and Giulia Poggioli, along with Antonio Rossi, Olympic gold canoeist and Councillor for Sport and Youth Policies for the Lombardy Region, took part in Melloblocco along with 70 other youngsters and not so youngs climbers who are either blind, visually impaired or disabled.

Fotostrecke: Melloblocco 2013: Day Eight

Fotos: © Klaus Dell Orto, Claudio Piscina

They arrived in the Valley and immediately mingled with the other Melloblockers in the name of a common love. They are the climbers of Climbing without limits. Blind, visually impaired and disabled, welcomed by Melloblocco today and in coming here they immediately became an integral part of the great community that is currently celebrating its very own festival in Val Masino – Val di Mello.Plenty arrived, more than 70 children and young people. For two days they will share the boulders, meadows, the climbing and even the simple joy of being up here, in the valley of wonders, together with the "group" they belong to, with climbers. Because there is no such thing as barriers, nothing that separates those who share the same love.

All that was needed was an instant. After a short official presentation of the event, promoted by the Lombardy Region, CIP, FASI, ERSAF and Club Arrampicabile e Vetta, everyone gathered beneath Sasso Remenno, the age-old symbol of the valley and its climbing. Because it is this which unites all these youngsters: their boundless desire to climb. A Braille plaque was unveiled which the blind "read" to find out about the two routes (Without limits and Paraclimbing) and then the "games" began.

The first two to climb were Antonio Rossi – an absolute Italian canoeing legend with 3 Olympic gold medals and 1 bronze to his name and now Councillor for Sport and Youth Policies for the Lombardy Region – and Silvia Parente, blind World climbing Champion and Olympic gold medalist in Turin 2006. Their climbs were carefully monitored by the Lombardy Mountain Guides who are in charge of the technical aspects of the event.

Antonio Rossi obviously climbed blindfold and Silvia Parente naturally displayed her climbing skill that is quite simply extraordinary. But we won't say who won. All we'll mention is the fact that Antonio Rossi surpassed himself as a true champion of humility and courage. While Silvia Parente proved, once again, that there are no limits that cannot be surpassed. Theirs was a good lesson, great even thanks to its simplicity. Their climb then culminated with the long, beautiful and also slightly intimidating abseil from the top of Sasso Remenno, down into the absolute void. It was a great, touching moment for all.

This first climb was just as beautiful and exciting as that of another two Paraclimbing champions, Giulia Poggioli and Simone Salvagnin (blind and visually impaired) who climbed parallel against Austrian bouldering champion Barbara Zangerl and Italy's Pietro Dal Pra, one of the world's most famous climbers and alpinists. These two climbed blindfold for the first time ever and it was clear that, for all concerned, this was a completely new experience. And the sporting solidarity which united everyone was just as evident. This was a great lesson of happiness applied to the rock face. In the purest Melloblocco style.

Talking about Melloblocco. Of course the climbing and bouldering continued today. Numerous other problems were sent. New climbers flooded into the valley (at present 1300 have registered) and all this occured beneath a sky filled with darting clouds and a bright, shining sun.The climbing will continue tomorrow of course, as will the partying! Much has been planned for Saturday including the Mello-Trek Clinics to find out more about beautiful Val Qualido together with the Lombardy Mountain Guides. And while not out walking or bouldering, Climb for Life will give everyone the chance to "tissue type," i.e. to take the test to become potential bone marrow donors. This, too, is what Melloblocco is all about!

10th MELLOBLOCCO 26 April – 5 May 2013 Val Masino
When: 26 April – 5 May 2013
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

Info, program, registration on the official site: www.melloblocco.it
Facebook updates: www.facebook.com/pages/Melloblocco/269107296488121