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Niccol Ceria - Crushing in Brione

My last blogspot was about the summer bouldering and now I’m writing here to say something about my last period of climbing. Finally, the autumn has come! The trees are multicolor and the temperatures for training and climbing are right now.

My crew and I live two hours by car from Ticino (CH), and we are super psyched because this season is perfect to climb there. My tick list of projects to do is a bit long, as every year the problems that I would try are many among Chironico and Brione. I’m also waiting for the winter to go to Cresciano to climb some lines that I saw last year.

Above: Niccolò on General Disarray 8B

The Swiss season started very early for me, the motivation was high and at the end of September we went to Brione though the weather was still hot and humid. Outside the negative point, my shape was good and I felt strong. My personal objective was “General Disarray” 8B, where in the spring I fell at the last hard move seven times and it started to become an obsession for me. That day I fell, with the last jug almost held. After two sessions more, I felt a bit tired so I stopped, but I knew that I could send it the next time. I came back there on 8 October (also my date of my birthday), and I wanted give myself a personal present so I crushed it on the first attempt of the day! Great satisfaction. It has been a war for me with that boulder. I worked on it for about ten days over two years!

Above: Watch the Vimeo video of General Disarray here: http://vimeo.com/30244304

The day after I was in Chironico, I wanted to try “Big Paw”. The problem is the sit start of “Boogalagga” 8B, and it adds four moves to the stand start making it hard 8B+ or 8C, it depends on the beta. Dave Graham opened it in 2008 and some climbers have considered it one of the best lines in the World. I sent Boogalagga last year and the beauty of this perfect rounded prow hit me. The first part of big paw is not so hard, but the fourth move is like one of the hardest heel hooks that I have tried. It needs precision and agility, but after a session I figured out all the single moves, remaining anyway conscious that the hard have should be linking-up the sequence.

The following weekend I came back in Chironico where I brushed a little highball called “Road to Permition” opened by Thomas Steinbrugger and graded like a route 7c+ / E7. After an inspection with the rope I did it like a boulder. The line is a 15 degrees overhanging wall with horizontal cracks and I think that it could be a 7a boulder problem. Between my brush sessions I also made some attempts on Big Paw but fell each time on the last move of the sit, just before Boogalagga.

Above: Niccolò on Boogalagga 8B

On 13 November I came back in the same sector, but I warmed up in Barriera sector. This part of Chironico is on the path to go to Doctor Pinch and other lines, here few boulders are suited to have an efficient warm up. Before long having climbed a slab, I did “Super Size Me” which I have already done the past time. It presents a vertical wall, and at the beginning was been graded like a 7c+ problem. Maybe something has been broken or chipped, we don’t know it, but now it seems much easier than 7c+. Probably 7a/+. When I was warmed enough, I tried it with a completely left exit. It Start on Super Size Me, then it traverse left and the top out is on the last part of the left arete. I did it after a small number of tries. Probably I made the FA but I’m not sure of this. Beside this fact, I think that the grade with the left exit could be 7c/+.


Above: Niccolò on the First Ascent of Happy Birthday Toto 7C+

When the morning was almost finished, I went to Boogalagga and I repeated the hardest move of this one. I worked the sit again and I had my best goes, falling down in the first move of the stand (the last hard for me, after that I think that it was possibly an endurance problem for me). When I finished my session I was happy and positive because it can became a big personal project of 2011/2012 Chironico’s season, but I know that I should increase my agility and being in a good shape to do it.

Above: Niccolò on the First Ascent of Happy Birthday Toto 7C+

In the late afternoon, some Swiss guys showed me a new line in the sector. It’s just beneath Confession of a Crap Artist; it is a square overhanging prow. I worked it with them and when I figured out all the single moves I took some minutes of rest then I crushed it and made the FA. I named this one “ Happy Birthday Toto” dedicated to my friend Ricky Totò who celebrated his 25th birthday that day. Referring the grade, I supposed 7c+ but it has to be confirmed.

Above: Niccolò on the First Ascent of Happy Birthday Toto 7C+

Seven days after I came back when my friend Marco won a big fight against “Doctor Pinch” 7c+. I climbed just in the afternoon in Nivo Bassa where I did “The Pocket Problem” 7c and then I rest because I knew that the following day I would be in Brione. So it was and the day after I was there. In the morning I went to check “Limited Edition” 7c+/8a and I found it quickly. It is an amazing compression line, maybe one of the most aesthetics that I have ever seen. I warmed up enough in order to have a strong flash attempt on it. When I came back under it, the shadow covered the wood, and I had some difficult keeping myself at the right temperature so I decided to start immediately:

I did the first move, which I thought could be the hardest, so I continued super strong because I understood that was possible to flash it. In the middle of sequence I felt that I was climbing the best thing in Ticino and when I was on the mantle I couldn’t fail so I went out on the top. Big moment!

Above: Watch the Vimeo video of Happy Birthday Toto here: http://vimeo.com/32157106

In the afternoon I went near the Frogger Roof and I put my pads under “Orange County” 8a. It is a piece of rock totally orange, opened by Dave Graham some years ago. I remembered a video with the right beta so I started with a flash attempt. I fell before the hardest move, then I tried two times this move and I did it from the start on the second go. It is characterized by a peculiar heel hook movement that is a bit strange. For this, I find it hard to say something concerning the grade. Maybe it needs more repetitions to be confirmed. After that, I looked for “Pamplemousse”, not the fake one but the real one. Fortunately 5 minutes later I saw it in front of me. The line is really particular, the holds are perfect vertical cracks created by the water I think, and the rock has a high quality. I sent it after 10 minutes and I came back home really happy to have climbed three gems in Brione.