a discipline I had never tried before. There was kicking crampons in plywood, strange metal holds and a whole lot of technique that wasn't involved in what I knew: outdoor drytooling.
Let's just say my performance didn't last too long, but that jump in the deep end was the spark for what happened in the following years: cause that day I met Lele (Gabriele Bagnoli)
Lele had heard there was a guy trying this crazy ice climbing league, something he had wanted to do too. But back then there weren't Italians in the circuit. So he came up to Rabenstein to watch me trying and we quickly became friends. From that day we started to talk about how cool would've been to have a team to train with, to travel with and share the experience.
It's hard to dream alone. It's a bit easier to dream together.
So we were meeting every year to climb together in the biggest caves of the Alps. We were rough outdoor drytoolers, in love with the big routes. Powerful moves and a lot of stamina. And we were making a name for ourselves in this game but the dream to compete was always there. And in fact during these years, this little thing slowly grew. We attracted other guys and finally we managed to put together a team meeting in Rabenstein to train for a weekend and to make plans for the future. It was October 2021 and that's when BLACKYAK also entered the picture.
Now we're timidly approaching the sport, one or a couple of competitions every season. Understanding what is this about, how to prepare for it. We have a big problem though: there are no facilities in Italy were we can meet consistently and train this specific discipline. You can get so strong in the caves but if you don't put a lot of time into learning these tricky holds and all the weird facets of the sport, you're doomed to fail.
As I always say: it's like playing tennis to train for a ping-pong tournament.
But we're learning every try and we're already miles ahead of that first competition where we first met.
And one day we'll be there for the next young talent who would want to measure himself on the world stage of ice climbing. He'll have a place to start.
So this is just our prologue and the next few years will be full of surprises!
Tag along to see