On the seventh day the skies opened, and there was Melloblocco! In truth the meeting has always been on the go, regardless of weather conditions. But it has to be said that, after 6 days, the wettest ever, the sun came finally out in Val Masino and the Melloblockers were there, ready, poised and waiting. Not that they hadn't been up to their usual tricks, not that the weather had frightened them off in any way in the meantime.
Fotostrecke: Melloblocco 2013: Day Seven
Call it willingness to adapt. Say that the idea by the Lombardy Mountain Guides to cover the problems was a stroke of genius as this allowed climbing to continue throughout the downpours. For the truth is that many resisted and continued to climb. But now more than 1100 climbers have registered for the event. That's a whole bundle. And many more are on their way and are arriving as we speak. It comes as no surprise: with its 10-day format (one to celebrate each year), this edition really is special: were this to be a "classic" Melloblocco then it would begin this evening. Which means that, in short, the party has only just begun.
In the meantime, the valley boulders filled with a thousand colours and all Melloblocco broke loose. Problems were sent, enthusiasm was sky-high. After clinching Black woman dream in the dying moments of yesterday, Russia's Yulia Abramchuck and the Austria's Barbara Zangerl, gave it their very best to send some new problems; Zangerl's success on Virus Attack brought her back in line with Abramchuck. Stefano Ghisolfi had climbed outstandingly yesterday sending Maschio dominate, Nona dimensione naturale and the virgin Toy Boy, while today he sent his 4th problem, Pendragon.
France's Caroline Ciavaldini celebrated her valley debut by sending Black woman dream before repeating it for the self-certification video. For their part, Chiara Limonta and Paola Radice sent Climb For Life Woman, while Damiano Capulli got his entry ticket on Maschio dominante. One of the stalwarts of these early days, Enrico Baistrocchi sent Toy Boy along with Caprasecca and Colombia's Aristizabal Serna. The games have only just begun and you can bet that they'll go on to the bitter end, and even beyond, in… the dark. On both the competition problems and all other boulders strewn across the valley floor.
After climbing the appointment will be with the film about the difficult yet extraordinary life of Philippe Ribiere. This will be followed by a special DJ mix when Philippe pairs up (much to everyone's surprise) with the superb American climber Dave Graham who reached the valley today. It'll be another one of those Mello Nights which, this year, showed their best sides with beautiful and intense evening such as the Tuesday night showing of the film Patabang and the legendary Val di Mello climbers. Or like last night's special in memory of Giovanni Quirici, the immensely strong, truly profound climber: the meeting with his parents will surely be remembered as one of the most touching Melloblocco moments.
This excitement will surely be repeated on Friday during Climbing without limits, the initiative promoted by the Lombardy Region, CIP, FASI and ERSAF to promote a different form of taking to the mountains. Expectations are high for this meeting between Melloblockers and Paraclimbing athletes; visually impaired, blind and disabled belonging to the Milan Institute for the Blind. The atmosphere is akin to a great party.
Even for the long-awaited "challenge" between the blind champion Silvia Parente and 3 times Olympic gold medallist, canoeist Antonio Rossi who is now Councillor for Sport and Youth Policies for the Lombardy Region. Many Melloblockers are there already, not only to cheer on these great climbers but also to climb with them. These include, first and foremost, double World Champion Ramón Julián Puigblanque Lead and Austria's bouldering champion Barbara Zangerl. Because Melloblocco and Val Masino have always welcomed and recognise the love for climbing, nature and life itself.
10° 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