When a new year begins, it comes pretty usual to think what has been done and what is coming next. I always analyze the good moments from the past, trying to remember them as deep as I can, reading the mistakes, setting new goals and dreaming new glory moments of bouldering and travelling for the next future. Since two occasions, I am used to make a kind of top 10 list of the best lines I climbed during the past year. Conversely to 2013, I opted this time to share it on my blog. The list basically includes the best things I did in 2014; it classifies them following what are for me the most important 7 aspects of bouldering: quality of rock, pureness of the line, quality of the holds, the aesthetic aspect, the natural landscapes around, the kind of movements/sequences and the personal experience on the line. Here it is.
- 10th. "Rust in Peace" (FA), Champorcher (ITA). Definitively one of my proudest first ascent ever: tall, huge, massive, physical and the climb on it is awesome. It probably deserves to be in the top 10 milestone of 2014 for its pureness and for the good quality of rock, which stands out in all the valley for me. It is characterized by a slopy pinches sequence in the roof, to get out in a slightly overhang easy finish with cool moves as well.
|"Rust in Peace", Champorcher. Photo Giulia Paoletti
-9th. "This side of Paradise" (FA Matt Wilder), Bishop (US). One of the best highball I have ever seen during the years; It is a kind of perfect and tall arete which makes you small like an ant. Located up in the wild Bardini's boulder sector, it stands up on the hill in a perfect position like a true king. The experience had been quite mystic, scary and proud at the same time. The only thing that don't let this gem go higher is probably quality of the rock. It has been great sharing this ascent and my fear together with Giulia.
|Checking the move on "This side of Paradise", Bishop. Photo Robert Rundin
-8th. "Gliese 581" (FA), Champorcher (ITA). The direct way to climb "Zarmina", which has the beginning sequence in common with this. Definitively much less proud and pure than that previous two ones, but the moves make this piece incredible like the experience I had. I Felt so on my limit that day and the ascent was something like epic and unforgettable. It probably has one of the best pinch I have ever used to make a perfect jump to the slopy good lip.
|"Gliese 581", Champorcher. Pic from the Video of Andrea Cossu
-7th. "Atlas Shrugged" (FA Jon Cardwell), Red Rocks (US). Black velvet canyon is an unique sector of Red Rocks; together with Fontainebleau, here I found my favorite rock ever and the shape of this one is awesome. Compression roof climbing at the beginning, followed by the upper part (The Fountainhead) with great holds and tricky mantle to get out. Exciting.
|"Atlas Shrugged", Red Rocks. Photo Giulia Paoletti
-6th. "Lamiche a Mitges" (FA Tony Lamiche?), Albarracin (E). Here we came back to the pride of the first two lines in my opinion. Its highness is perfect to me, not excessively high but with incredible development; great experience with my friend Nils.
|"Lamiche at mitges", Albarracin. Photo Vivi Monteiro
-5th. "Nitro" (FA), Aland Island (FIN). If I would have made a list of the best climbing moments, this one it would have been the 1st. I Looked at this line during the short trip I had and I just tried to wonder if it would have been possible or not. At the end of my stay
I decided to brush it and clean it up, to see how it
would have come out. The result deal of one of the best experience I have ever
had in climbing. Brushing new stuff, dreaming about it and realizing that it is
possible goes after goes discovering the real beta is unique. The boulder
itself is amazing for me, like a big egg of rock to squeeze with the movements
I have always looked for.
|"Nitro", Aland. Photo Riccardo Monetta
-4th. "Elysium" (FA Randy Puro), Bavona (CH). Another good day of climbing together with Nils, in my favorite place of all Ticino. Here the rock is great and this masterpiece is the proof. Around this difficulty, it might be the best line in Ticino. Immaculate, fine granite and beautiful climbing in a perfect mix of strength/technique/balance. Great rock and perfect holding shapes. Totally worth to be in the best things of the year.
|"Elysium", Val Bavona. Pic from the video
-3rd. "Meadowlark Lemon" (FA Paul Robinson), Red Rocks (US). Epic moment again. The first day when I tried I didn’t want to believe at its beauty and perfection. The experience had been quite though under the mental aspect, since I would not come back from the states without this tick. it has basically been the reason which lead me to Vegas and I had a kind of personal pressure which pushed me to finish this beautiful arete. Sent on the last couple of days of my trip, leaving a weighty stress and taking a gorgeous lines like this.
|"Meadowlark Lemon", Red Rocks. photo Giulia Paoletti
-2nd. "Des roses en Hiver" (FA Reto Hartman), Val Ferret (CH). Thanks a lot to Marco to have showed me this piece of paradise. Since I saw it, back in 2011 fall, I desperately love it. A sharp and perfect overhang, with a kind of rare rock quality in all the Swiss, more similar to the sandstone than the granite. Excellent moves, weird positions, lovely holds.
|"des roses en hiver", Val Ferret. Photo Max Buvoli
1st. "Wet dream" (FA Ethan Pringle), Red Rocks (US). The most complete boulder problem of the year. Stellar rock, imposing aspect, beautiful moves in a long high development, crazy full package holds: crimps/cracks for the start, jugs, pinches, rails, finger lock, brick pinch with a really high quality rock and shape. Not the best one I have ever climbed, but definitely the number one for what concerns the last year.
|"Wet dream", Red Rocks. Photo Giulia Paoletti