In Bilico

Scalate scelte nel Massiccio Centrale delle Pale di San Martino” edited in 1983 has been the first book where Cima Tognazza and Mount Totoga were mentioned. That book has been also an attempt to explain the importance of what had happened in the years before in terms of climbing evolution. An evolution I would call new and very different than anywhere else. Cima Tognazza was a well known place already but here I took what I was already doing on the high mountain. There I had tried to go “free” where before only aid climbing had been used. Even at Tognazza I tried, taking there a more sport attitude. For me Mount Totoga has been a laboratory where I tried to push the limit of high difficulty climbing. Both the places and the performances were still very much effected by the the strict mountain ethic and attitude: no bolts and no other compromises. Only a bit later I realized the contradiction. I was leaving the mountains in order to find a more sport climb style and a safer one but in the end I was finding myself in a more dangerous situation. Somehow I was not that alone. The new climbing generation was looking at sectors like Castel Pietra e San Silvestro with a more playful attitude. There, even if at lower level in terms of difficulties, this generation began a personal exploration of new places. Thanks to them today we can climb in so many different sectors. “Appigli ridicoli” is my first book of 1988 about all the sectors of the valley. By the end of the work it turned to be much a bigger job than I had expected. My stubbornness forced me to climb almost all the routes, this to be precise and honest with the readers. The more I was working at the editing of the book the more I was realizing the potential of the valley and what it was still offering. In fact as I finished the book I got the feeling it was already an old guide. Fifteen years have passed between that one and this one. A bit too many years. But this interlude has guaranteed few nice realities. As before it has been a difficult task to get together all the information, news, grades, dates, names, anecdotes somehow lost in the memory and pc’s files. My effort has been to summarize the history of these rocks as well as the one of the persons that with dedication have contributed to what you can find in the valley and enjoy. Many young climbers assume that everything there since the beginning. Clean, prepared, equipped. Some criticize instead of acknowledging the powerful job accomplished in more than 30 years. The task of few crazy ones who never had any support somebody else got in less important places. Not even in economical terms. Can we call them crazy ones? A curiosity: a pitch equipped with an average of 10 bolts and a steel belay has a cost of € 40! The Primiero Valley is not comparable with Arco or Finale but its more than 50 sectors, totally equipped, represent an invaluable heritage for the next generations. This should have to bring the ones in charge of this valley to think carefully and work for a better use of the valley. For sure the lack of easy sectors and routes penalize the place in terms of big numbers of climbers coming here. On the other side the importance in the history of climbing is a unique in the Italian picture. All together this seams unbelievable. Introducing each sector I have tried to tell a short anecdote, or few historical information, curiosities. May be they have little to do with the climb itself but they might concur in explaining the transformation, develop and evolution of the region where they sit. I hope any mistake might be forgiven. My real and last hope is this book to represent a starting point especially for the new generations. Manolo
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