When I’m asked if I’m the best climber in the world, I answer no, I’m not. I think to be the most efficient, if it’s possible to say that. This efficiency comes from my physical training only partly. What really matters is the mental condition, the goals I set, the limits I am able to go beyond, and my ability to stand up after being defeated. This is something I’ve learned by myself, falling down many times.
My parents have been really important to me, they’ve passed me down the passion for climbing, and I’ve had their full support since the beginning. But they have never overheard me with training schedules or something else. I’ve always been my trainer, I’ve shared the exercises with my friends, at most. Maybe it’s not so usual as a method, and I was surely a different kid from the others, but to me it has worked.
Somehow, the fact of having to take care of this aspect makes you feel responsible, grow wiser, and when it’s time it helps you to choose the goals. They must be ambitious, that’s obvious, pushed over the edge, but at the same time they should be realistic. Your duty is to grow up together with your challenges.
Nowadays, I travel around the world with the competitions and my climbing projects, but I really like to come back here, on Lake Garda, where I came to climb when I was a kid and where I have had great satisfaction for my career. In the last twenty years, things have changed a lot. I remember that, at the end of the Nineties, Massone was amazing, one of the few overhanging cliffs which offered extremely though and athletic moves.
But the routes were only a few and, with an increasing number of climbers, all of them became oily with a consequent deterioration within a short time. Some friends of mine from the Czech Republic even stopped to come here. Now things have changed: the Sarca Valley is undergoing a second heyday. A lot of new practice cliffs have been opened, as the one in Padaro, where it is possible to find easy levels for those beginners who want to take on this sport, but also very difficult and high-level routes, like 9a or even higher.
The style is also different, now people look for more modern and physical routes, favoring more spectacular transitions on tubes or stalactites to the classical progression.
Nowadays, when I touch the rocks, even if the levels are different, I am able to be moved as when I was a child. I think the secret is basic: I like to do what I do, and to be honest I also enjoy climbing easy levels, because I love moving on the rocks, for whatever reason.
I know I need more and more challenges, and climbing helps me in this sense, because every route, even every single hold, is something unique and never tried before.
The efficient climber
While winding around the Garda Trentino peaks, the Garda Trek Top Loop trail meets many world-famous cliffs, like the Massone Policromuro and the Belvedere in Nago. Exactly here, on the Sarca Valley faces, many important pages about the history of sport climbing have been written: from the beginnings with Manolo, Bassi and Mariacher until the present days with Adam Ondra and other champions. Here, they can still find new challenging routes to be opened, real challenges beyond the bounds.
Since 2016 Adam Ondra has been the Garda Trentino Climbing Ambassador, but he has been frequenting this area since he was a child, appreciating the countless opportunities for the climbing lovers. Just a few weeks ago he opened the first Garda Trentino 9b route, named Queen Line, together with Stefano Ghisolfi – another champion who has chosen Arco as his house and practice cliff.