Melloblocco 2011: Day Two

With 2500 registered climbers on the second day, the eighth Melloblocco has already broken all previous records. The number will increase tomorrow during the final day of the world's biggest bouldering and climbing meeting.

Melloblocco 2011: Adam Ondra Plenty of climbers were expected to take part in this eighth Melloblocco. But no one expected this many. More than 2500 climbers had already registered this morning, on the second day of this bouldering and climbing meeting, and this number doesn't take into account all those who accompany them. It is highly likely that this number will increase further since more climbers are expected for tomorrow's grande finale. It's clear that this is already an absolute record for the Melloblocco (and not only for this bouldering meeting).

And it's just as clear that a helping hand was given by the sunshine and the splendid weather which blessed the valley and made the "Melloblockers" happy. But the overall success, which promises to be even greater during tomorrow's final day, really is astounding.

It is astounding, for example, to see so many youngsters and also entire families enjoy a day out with Mother Nature. And what is more surprising still is the happy and relaxed atmosphere which is palpable in Val Masino and Val di Mello.

What is striking is the great silence. One thing is certainly true: while the Melloblockers turned out in force, the underlying theme remains as always the beauty of these mountains, their incredible waterfalls and rock faces, their fantastic boulders and forests which form this great little paradise. It is certainly a heaven-send for climbers.

Once again what is surprising is the contrast, is seeing so many climbers on the  boulders in Val di Mello yet all one notices is the breath of nature. And what is surprising is seeing everyone, truly everyone, leave their car in the car parks.

Many reach the climbing areas on foot, most take the shuttle buses laid on by the organisers. This sign of respect for nature and her beauty forms part of the DNA of this event and of the youngsters and the less young who make it so great.

It comes as no surprise that this year's Melloblocco is dedicated to the International Year of the Forests and to their intrinsic beauty. All you need to do is visit the other great Melloblocco bouldering area, nearby Bagni di Valmasino, to understand the richness and variety of these forests that must be loved and safeguarded.

To fully comprehend examine how carefully Simone Pedeferri and the forest workers prepared the new bouldering areas for the 2011 event. This immense, meticulous work was carried out in careful respect of the environmental characteristics of the territory. And once again the Melloblockers respected this fully.

Climbing was of course top of the agenda today. Counting all the problems that were climbed is simply impossible. Just as all the attempts needed to send the difficult and not so difficult problems. What is certain is that everyone gave it their very best in the valley and that once again the love for climbing reigned supreme. Beginning with the champions such as Chris Sharma from the USA – the climber who has fuelled the dreams of entire generations – and also Adam Ondra from the Czech Republich – the absolute climbing wizard of the future.

Other rock stars include the Italians Gabriele Moroni, Mauro Calibani, Michele Caminati, Cristian Brenna, Swiss Nina Caprez, Belgian Muriel Sarkany, British James Pearson, Austrian Barbara Zangerl and the Spaniards Patxi Usobiaga and Daila Ojeda.

All of these took part in the great competition on the extremely difficult 8+8 boulder problems. A spectacular show within the greater spectacle, a competition open to everyone which will finish tomorrow afternoon… the climber who sends the most problems wins. At present the fight for victory is still wide open…

In the meantime the great Saturday evening party is now in full swing. The program couldn't be more intense, with great music and a special bouldering show animated with the interactive lights which proved fantastic at last night's debut. And tomorrow, of course, they'll be another great day of sunshine and climbing to top this record-breaking Melloblocco.

The Melloblocco is open to all and climbers can pre-register on the official website.

QuelleNicholas Hobley, Foto: Klaus Dell'Orto