Basilicata, although touched by the sea, has more than 80% of its area covered by hills and mountains.
These areas are often barren, crossed by roads overlooking the wind farms, powered by the winds that sweep over this land. These winds are what have sculpted and shaped the Lucan Dolomites: sandstone spires and walls with unique forms.
This incredible architecture has seen an important part of our history, from sheltering the Norman people through to being a refuge for brigands in the 18th century. In spite of the incredibly fascinating shapes of these sandstone castles, no one had thought to climb them. Only Alessandro Gogna, who in 1981 saw the potential of the area and included it in his collection of climbs in the south of Italy: “Mezzogiorno di Pietra”. And it is this book, published by Zanichelli, which inspired our third XP in search of the climb that wasn’t there.
Often, the crumbly nature of the rock has sent us back, but our wish to give a climbing importance to those rocks hasn’t beaten us and at the end of a 3-day search, plus 5 days of preparation and a week of climbing, we were able to give a form to what we had imagined, completing the first part of a climb that will be.
Bolting, mapping, discovering, and cleaning... all of these are synonymous with creating.
To understand the world around us, we tend to give it a shape, according to the frame of reference we find most suitable. In actual fact we are surrounded by ambiguous figures. In the famous Rubin vase, do we see two women’s profiles, facing one another, or a vase? In a railway carriage, can we see a means of transport or a “problem” to climb?
Almost everything we see around us can be climbed, but when does it become a route?
By brushing, and by chalking the holds; when there is a peak and someone climbs it … And
then spits or bolts, or friends or knots, or even just a name, or whatever you want…
The route exists.
Our route has become a voice; it is what we want to communicate, what we want to show.
Michelangelo used to say that the figure was already inside the block of stone, and to show it, you had to remove what was around it …
I say that the “route” is already there in nature, and by mapping it out, we can speak through it.
Utopia and passion often go hand in hand, and this XP could only be an opportunity to bring them together, risking a kind of marriage by proxy. So, with my bishop’s crook becoming a drill, I loaded my apostles into a couple of Fiat Doblòs, telling them that the kingdom of heaven was exactly 1013 km south. If the euphoria of a week’s holiday could sweeten the bitter pill of such a long journey, it would not have been enough to make up for the sheer hassle and my apostles, who soon turned into conquistadores, couldn’t wait to get their hands on the southern gold. Shame that I didn’t have an exact idea of where that was; although I was sure we would find it somewhere. Maybe….