Text and photos
by Marco Marrosu
traverso del terzo tiro, V+.(photo M. Marrosu)
overhang had been there for millions of years, but in the last five it seemed
to be provoking us more than ever. From my point of view, it was a bit dreadful
to look at, and it took me some time to begin to know it and decide to approach
it with a different attitude. As the years went by, its provocative expression
turned into a haughty one. On the other hand, you must know the right way
to approach a nice wall, just like a nice girl… In 1997 I took my courage
in both hands and tried for the first time; I am shy, and so is Lorenzo,
so we decided to go together. We thought it would be easier that way.
That day we were given a refusal that was hard to accept. We underestimated
the cliff, and left at 6 p.m., thinking that the height would justify the
few hours that we had before dark. As a matter of fact, it was very hard!
During the climb, Lorenzo slowly turned into Starsky, dark and short, and
I turned into the taller and blond Hutch: you could only hear us say "Rope,
Starsky", "Slack, Hutch". After two throws, evening started to fall, the
roofs were hanging over us and the overhang had severely tried us physically
and psychologically. We had seen a way out on the left, but we also started
to feel the effects of the uncertainty, the stress and the absence of the
frontal. We started to prepare the descent on some rock pitons. We threw
the rope and discovered, horror-struck, that a) it only touched for about
a metre and then hung far in mid-air, b) the end was on the sea, c) there
were 10 m missing to the surface of the water itself. We then moved the
belay, but the wall was smooth and all we had was that hole that narrowed
to fix the cord's knot. We started the descent again, from this new and
better belay, praying and thinking of the Acapulco divers. What luck! The
rope over hanged from the base of the wall for more than 20 m and it was
only 5 m away from the water. The first one started the descent, no knot
at the end of the rope, and then dived. The second, at the end of the double
rope, desperately held on to one end and, what luck again, the rope slid
and we swam to recover our belongings.
We still had a crush for this overhang, so we went back with Angelo, hoping
his name would bring us luck, and with more experience and wrinkles on our
face, to remind us that we were stronger but reckless when young, and more
mature now. The route was beautiful; the traverse of the third shot alone
deserves a repetition. A clear and transverse crack ran along the base of
the roofs, hands clawed like cliffs and feet scraped with no adherence.
We let ourselves swing from one metre to the other, like gibbons, until
we reached the belay with the cord left behind. Underneath only air, on
top a long 5 m roof that covered the entire traverse. The previous throws
were breathtaking, with cords moving in the air, and the last one was the
best: we finally arrived on top.
We hope you have a wonderful experience, as good as ours (this wall requires
lots of training !!).