Petzl RocTrip 2011 in Getu Valley,China and FA of Coup de Bambou 9a!
Here I am again after a couple of weeks since my last post...
During this time I've been far away from home... China exactly, Getu Valley to be more precise! In this not so well know area was held the annual Petzl RocTrip! Getu is a small rural village in perfect Chinese style... but for about a week it has been transformed in a real climbers base camp...
Petzl did a huge work to make this RocTrip possible and at the end I would say It was one of the best event I took part in my life! A huge community of climbers and friends lost in the heart of China... Every day was just waking up, noodle breakfast, climbing a muerte all day long on the beautiful crags, rice dinner and party every night with videos,slideshows and of course local beer and baijiu rice wine!!
Rock climbing in Getu is just amazing! The huge arch is definitely one of the most impressive things I've seen. It's so massive you can't even imagine until you are there! Since I didn't have many days I climbed every day here... and I got very syked with a project!
The route is called Coup de Bambou! It's a direct start of an 8c/+ called Polvo Tecnico. Michael Fuselier bolted this direct version and started trying it with Enzo Oddo a couple of days before I got there! Since I saw the route for the first time I've been inspired! Watching Mike and Enzo trying it, the route seemed to suit my style really well... at least the first part! The style and the features of the rock remind me a bit of my projects back in Trento!... Plus the desire to make a hard first ascent so far from home is big! So I said to myself...why not?
First day I climb on easier stuffs and learn the style. I decide to attack on my second day!
Already on my first try I'm able to do all the moves... as I thought the bottom part suits well my climbing... about 30° steep wall, big but precise moves, pinches, edges and a few balls features! And of course very bouldery!
Second part is pretty hard for me, less steep,not so hard moves but alot of them and very pumpy with slopers,bad footholds and a few kneebars... basically all my weak points!!
After a couple of days of work with all the homies, Dave,Enzo,Mike,Jon,Gerome etc I have found all the sequences that work for me and I have the top part figured out pretty well! I start to feel ready for some serious links!
One day I fall at the last move of the first part and I know It could go in the next tries but I am running out days... Two more to be precise.
So I decide to rest one and go crush mode on the last one!
On my last day I wake up well rested and syked! At breakfast I meet Jon that looks as syked as me for his project and we get to the Arch pretty early! The Petzl RocTrip is over two days before so we are almost alone at the crag!
I decide to warm up straight on the project to practice the moves one more time! Jon does the same and on his second try he fall at the very last move on his project Polvo Tecnico!! I'm sure he will crush it easily before he leaves!
On my second go of the day I feel very good but I slip on the bottom crux... it's still morning and some holds are humid and greasy. I decide to wait a few hours and try it again with better afternoon conditions! The luck seems to be on my part in fact a nice wind started blowing after my attempt!
Some hours later I'm ready one more time at the start of the route... Jon at the grigri, Juju Nadiras behind the camera and a huge support crew of good friends: Dave,Joe,Mel,Sean and many others! First part goes well and I'm at the crux. I execute the crux perfectly and I'm at the weird last hard move of the first part where I fell two days before! This time I barely stuck the move and I move fast till the kneebar rest.
I probably rest five minutes and I think I have to give 100% if I want to send the project!
So from here I start to climb precisely and try to remember every hand and foot placements. Everything goes well and after another couple of shaking points I am at the last sequence, the redpoint crux. Here I try to be as focused as possible... I don't want to fuck up at the last few meters! Even if it's hard and technical and I start to feel really fatigued I don't want to fall!
I pass the hardest move and one more time I try to climb so precise. The last moves go perfectly and I am at the chain in a great state of euphoria!! Coup de Bambou is done and I am proud of this great first ascent!
About the grade as always is difficult to say but many world class climbers tried it in these days and the consensus seems to be 9a so the hardest route in China with Spicy Dumpling by Ethan Pringle in Yangshuo!!
Big thanks to Petzl for make this trip happen,Five Ten, team USA for make me feel part of the crew, team France, Jon for the early start, Dave for the kneepad, Mike for bolting this great route, Marcos for the warmup multipitch, Enzo,Mel,Princess Ricola,Mimin and Zorbey and all the climbers and new friends I met!