Written on the 2nd of oktober:
School only just started, my second year in university began and… I’m out of Belgium after two weeks already. This time I left Belgium for a really particular trip, a real road trip. A road trip through countries I’ve never been before with as destiny Kalymnos, the sport climbing paradise in Greece where I’ll join the The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival.
The Vertical Trip supported by ‘Jeep’ started a couple of days ago in Bergamo, Italy. Together with Jacopo Larcher and a team existing out of a journalist, Manuela, of the magazine Marie Claire Italy, DJ Gross from DJ tv Italy and the crew of spiagames we’re crossing countries like Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece at the end. In every country we tried to climb in one of its best climbing areas. Enjoy the pictures of Alberto Orlandi in this blogpost.
The first stop was Arco, Itay, the amazingly big sport climbing area near the Garda lake. Here we climbed our first day with good weather, a little humid but climbable! I managed to do a classic 8a+, Randa second go where after Jacopo did an athletic 8c, Athena which he tried two weeks before a couple of times!
Good start of the trip though! For me it’s also super motivating to climb with Jacopo, it pushes me a bit more to try harder routes!
After Arco we drove towards Osp, Misja Pec in Slovenia where we climbed half a day in the big overhanging wall. Regardless the rain and thunderstorm we were able to climb on dry rock! Because of the long drives we still had to make we only climbed a couple of hours but it was worth it! I managed to do a short resistance 8b in my third go while Jacopo could do an 8b+ next to it. Both great lines and most of all… dry! To end with, Jacopo still managed to do the 8b I did, strong little Italian this guy!
With pain in my hart I have to write that this was the only climbing we’ve done so far. The following two days we drove and drove and drove… The third stop was Paklenica in Croatia with its famous multi pitch walls of 350 meters. With a lot of rain the big limestone walls were soaking wet, we made a little hike through the national park of Paklenca and studied the walls we could see. This is an amazing place to come back to and as I always say is… I will go back to it .
So we drove on towards Smokovac, Montenegro. But again… No success, driving through the Balkan we had extreme rain every single minute. Waking up the next day we looked around and saw so many good rock but it was all wet. Smokovac is a limestone sport climbing area that is still underdeveloped.
The guidebook showed us 10 routes on every sector but it looks like a lot of classics and hard lines are still waiting to get bolted. Who’s up for it?
So on we went in the direction of Greece. That fourth day we crossed Albany, an underdeveloped country that is also still completely under construction. They are building houses everywhere and routes are still in construction. From driving 2 km at a speed of 100 km/h on asphalt you may expect to be driving on a dirt road at a speed of 20 km/h soon.
This went on for 700 kilometres, it was a long and epic drive through Albany. It’s amazing to travel like this, I opened my eyes and observed the life and the people like I never did. This trip made me psyched to once in life use my thumb and hitchhike through the Balkan to live the real Balkan life.
Now we’re on our way towards Kleisoura in Greece. For the moment the weather looks great, so today… we CLIMB!!!
Thanks for the pictures Alberto!
The next post follows soon… If you already want more stories and practice your italian, have a look on marieclaire.it