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Jacopo Larcher - Strange Heroes
If you haven't decided yet where to spend your vertical holidays and you are looking for inspiration, our ambassador Niccolò Ceria suggests the 5 best boulder spots in Europe (and not only)
Speaking about spots that never go out of beauty, Fontainebleau wins the game, hands down.Everything in Font is cushy and, in some ways, everything is easy, even for those who are not trained, or for those who have never climbed. Maybe the weather is not so easy, as the it is often bizarre and unpredictable, so it's a little tricky to choose this location for limited periods of time. I love the Forest for many aspects, but the main one is the shape of the boulders. The climbing style that you can create is unique and this sync between rock and movement identifies one of the finest vertical expressions I have ever expired. Well, even crepes and i pan au chocholate are no less of quality compared to the stunning sandstone of the place. So even the local Gourmandise can be included into the high-points list of the location. Even if you weigh a few extra pounds in Font is not a problem!the only negative point is the high attendance, which is natural being a destination so classic: unlike granite, the soft sandstone of Font, with high consumption, wears before and several passages are now "deteriorated" in an obvious way compared to the past. (If you are interested in this topic, clic here for reading more)
Less-known areas are always attractive, as they remain marginal for the masses. Perhaps due to the lack of existing guides, in Northern Europe there are only a few climbers that use to practice them, and this aspect gives you breath taking views in total silence, without too much noise typical of the humblest areas.All the Scandinavia is covered with conifers and boulders, though they are very scattered among themselves. The stones I say, certainly not the conifers. So to be true, there are no large identified areas, but small areas spread out for the green and cold territory of Northern Europe.
Talking about the discovery I don’t think it should be appropriate to advise a specific place. Otherwise, where's the fun in that? There are several areas waiting for pioneers and climbers interested in the most artistic aspect of bouldering which is, for me, to bring new lines to light. Any existing area, or at least most of them, offers new frontiers to explore, as in the case of the Italian regions of Sardinia and Basilicata. But besides these, I'm sure there are still areas that are still to be developed, which can make true the dreams of different, new vertical explorers.
Even if it is not so far from where we live, once you get to Prilep you are catapulted into another world. Thanks to the nice pink and purple Wizz Airplanes, Prilep is only a couple of hours away from Milan and is definitely the most exotic area I’ve ever visited. The rural landscape of the hills creates a striking contrast with the city and the mix of colors makes the area even more original. The quality of the rock is not the best, but the fragrances and colors of the markets in the city are really typical and fascinating, as are the thousands of tobacco dryers scattered around the periphery streets.
Going out of Europe, I think that Red Rocks, in the US, may be my favorite, although it is certainly one of the less coveted areas for European climbers, considering the long approaches that the stones require.To be honest, I'll count 10/15 interesting lines throughout the entire area and all away from any parking lot. I know that 15 lines are not a lot, but these few I think are the best I’ve ever seen all over the world. "Less quantity and high quality" was the motto of the weeks I spent in Las Vegas.At Red Rocks, I've always felt comfortable in the incredible desert and wilderness. This environment offers the rare feeling of being part of a natural sphere completely detached from the chaotic and frenetic rhythm of the city, which, from the top of the canyons, looks far from static and silent as belonging to another world.
As for the rock shoe, my favourite and the one that I use the most is the Speedster, since they are the most versatile on the sandstone and I find them perfect for my climbing style. Otherwise, the Skwama are certainly the most complete model of my range, which being soft is good for both the sandstone of Font, but also for that kind of Red Rocks.Another model that cannot miss in the suitcase of a globetrotter climber, remains the Solution, the most rigid climbing shoe one of my range that I use sometimes for granite and the most powerful heel on the sandstone.
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