6 weeks ’till Italy and counting…

Six weeks. 45 days. 31 days of work. Doesn’t sound like long and then i’m off to an underdeveloped, new and upcoming venue in the Northern area of Italy known locally as Val Daone. Imagine the sight: a huge Alpine valley, beautiful views of high peaks and flowing rivers and some beautifully, unpolished granite with a host of unclimbed boulder problems. Just the thought of it is so good, i’ve just shuddered a little!

I always enjoy going to a new venue, somewhere popular and well known but that i haven’t been before. I still remember the first time i went to Font many years ago now, and the thought of going to Switzerland to check out Cresciano and Chironico and i was so excited it was untrue. With somewhere like that, you’ve normally met someone who’s been within the last couple of weeks, read all the guidebooks, seen the films and often know as much about the place by the time you go as you do when you get back! Now, i’m not complaining about that, or else there’d be no point doing this blog, but at the same time, last September i went to the Iberian Mountains in Spain to check out Albarracin. With it still being a mildly undiscovered place (believe me, if you go you’ll understand) there was certainly more of a feeling of adventure to the trip.

The same can be said of this June; the guidebook Daone Prog only came out in 2009 and i met the author in Spain last year. It feels almost as if i’m going to get some first ascents, to attempt some hard and unknown line and to show the locals that those of us in Wales can boulder too. Then again, reality has a way of hitting me in  the back of the head like the headrest of a Land Rover on a really bumpy road…

I am excited about going, and i am super keen to get some first ascents if at all possible, but i am very aware of the training involved. In a strange way, i’m hoping it rains relentlessly for the next 6 weeks, otherwise endless sessions in the wall at Plas Y Brenin may destroy my psyche. Then again, lets have another look at that guidebook…

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