domenica 29 giugno 2014

Gliese 581 - A new gem in Champorcher

The injury which I am bearing from April is still alive and the wrist has reached a condition of stability where it doesn't improve but at the same time it is not even getting worse. I have recently been in a medical sportive center, where they diagnosed two possible options about the issue:

1) Inflammation or problems related to the tendon (lower possibility)

2) Lesion in the triangle cartilage of the little articulation (higher possibility)

They advised me a check with a MRI;  Tomorrow morning I will finally know the real problem I have and the possible ways to recover.

Obviously when you have an injury you also have a little negative period and this is what happened to me. I cannot go training as I want, I cannot climb on many things I have planned and the motivation goes often down. But fortunately not every aspect is bad, I am catching all the positive situations and sometimes I feel good. I started training different things which I have always left out, like abdominal sessions, push up and stretching. I am doing them 3 times per week instead of 1 or 2 I usually did and this helps me a lot under the mental side, since I can train different parts without pain. This is simply great.

For what the climbing concerns, everything depends on the kind of holds I have to use. Crimping is out for the moment as well as every holds where I have to twist my wrist. Fortunately, some lines have positive features for my issue and I can climb hard without pain. Few weeks ago I went to try the direct way to "Zarmina", a line in Champorcher I put up last September. The original way is simply awesome for me, especially for the sequence of particular movements and holds that the overhang presents. I remember that when I brushed it up I remained pretty amazed by how all the sidepull holds are on the straight line and how the sequence seemed to be interesting. The more logical way for the simplicity was to climb the wall until the second half and then to move towards the right good sloper, by getting the top to the right on a slab. This year I gave a more significant look to the straight line where instead of getting the good hold, you keep more to the center wall with a perfect slopy pinch to do a big dyno, grabbing the summit edge and going out directly. It looked to be a bit arbitrary because of the easier version, but for the line itself I guess it is a better way. The principal reasons which inspired me in this version were absolutely the kind of movements and how all the holds from the start until the last edge are on the same straight imaginary line.

The first goes this season gave me positive feelings for my injury, since no holds were painful and I could try it really focused and really hard. This was great for me: I could keep positive thoughts and I had a goal despite the hot season and the problem of the wrist. The first day of attempts I reclimbed the original "Zarmina" and I started to get confidence on the big jump move; I understood that it was possible, but I was quite far to stick it. The second day I brushed it perfectly and some tickmarks helped me to go in the right position on the edge. I grabbed it in many attempts, without keeping my body on. The third session of the same day I went down with the rope again and I fortunately understood micro differences which allowed me to hit the single move. Great moment for the short effort, I felt so excited for this move I really love.

The third day (fifth in total counting the past year) had pretty nice conditions for the holds and my skin seemed to be better than the last period. After four hours of tries from the bottom I grab the first ascent of this direct way. It has been great for me, especially in this period where I couldn't have so many positive feelings in climbing.

Since Zarmina is a "friendly" name of a far planet, I called it as the name of its star, i.e. "Gliese 581".

"Gliese 581" FA, Champorcher. Pic from the video by Andrea Cossu

"Gliese 581" FA, Champorcher. Pic from the video by Andrea Cossu

giovedì 5 giugno 2014

Little injury

Since the late summer 2011, when I had a serious strains in my legs, I never soaked in a injury tunnel. Everyone gets some problems in his own body, or at least it is really rare that a climber never feel pain somewhere and it is bound to stop for a while. After three years an injury comes again. At the moment my issue regards a tendon in my right wrist which seems to be quite inflamed. This kind of problem doesn't let me do a thing in particular, i.e. to turn my wrist in ulnar deviation (right and down direction). During climbing days many moves, holds and positions makes my arm painful and sometime I can't stay hung on some kind of holds. I don't want to complain, I think it is a part of the game and I have to live together until the pain vanishes, trying to lose less motivation possible. 

The day when I got the injury I was in Val Bavona with Nils, in the middle of April. I was trying "king of Sonlerto", the famous black face under the homonymous village, when I felt some strange weakness in the first hold. After the ascent I felt a bit of pain at the top, but I thought it was nothing too dangerous. Foolishly, I tried to don't feel it and I opted to try the moves of the sit, which didn't inspire me a lot, but I wanted to climb more. Really bad choice, considering the sign that my body was sending me. Matching an undercling I felt a big jerk in my arm and I fell off. The pain was quite high and for few days I was not able to take a hold without feeling the injury. I started to think it would have begun a long rest, in fact the things are not going so well.

10 days after the mistake, my situation was a bit the same, despite many resting days. After this negative and, rather short period, my hand began to go better and better until the leaving for Aland, where fortunately the things looked to be at the right place. The evening before the flight my shape was unexpected perfect, as well as my finger tendon. I felt super positive and out of a black period which I thought was going to be much longer. I went to Aland, I climbed all the days, trying hard stuff and pulling some holds which could have also been dangerous but I felt sure about my hand, in fact I didn't feel  any kind of bother. I came back home. I was happy because I knew I could start to climb again here, in my closer projects home. The first day of climbing, the pain started again and quite acutely. I tried to believe that was just one day and maybe the things could have come back in the perfect conditions. The following days the pain was only stronger and my motivation for climbing or training started to get lower and lower. I opted for other days of rest, when the blood couldn't loop a lot and this let me just feel more bother. I decided to start a fingerboard training period, which would last 2 weeks. I knew it was going to be the best thing to do. I should have right hand positions, symmetric holds and I maybe could do some exercises without pain, trying to let the blood loop and keep the motivation a bit high . Fortunately, it went like that and I am now doing what I was planning. I can also climb on the rock, but only on few kind of problems. Every holds which require a twist in the lower part of the wrist gives me bad feelings.

It is now almost two months that it is giving me troubles. Sure it doesn't look a really serious problem, especially compared with other injuries. The only thing that it is quite hard for me, it is to keep the positive thoughts high as before, trying to do the best for my tendon and to avoid something I would like to do.

Last weekend I decided to join two friends of mine, Max and Ricky to go to Wallis, where I knew I would have had few lines where I could climb. At the top of the list there was "Des roses en Hiver", a line of Reto Hartmann which I knew it would have been quite comfortable for my finger and after 4 days of work in 3 years I grabbed the third ascent, completing one of my most significant desire of 2014. Now my principal goal is to heal my tendon as soon as I can with physiotherapy and a lot of ice, in order to try all the lines I would like to do and restarting training again.

Des roses en hiver 8B. Photo Max Buvoli

Ricky on a problem in Wallis.