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Jacopo Larcher, belayed by Paolo Marazzi, making the first free ascent of Così parlò Zarathustra, Vallone di Sea, Italy
Photo by Paolo Sartori
Paolo Marazzi, belayed by Jacopo Larcher, making the first free ascent of Così parlò Zarathustra, Vallone di Sea, Italy
Photo by Paolo Sartori
Jacopo Larcher and Paolo Marazzi in Vallone di Sea, Italy
Photo by Paolo Sartori

Photo by archivio Maurizio Oviglia

Larcher and Marazzi free Così parlò Zarathustra in Vallone di Sea, Italy

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On 28 July 2017 Jacopo Larcher and Paolo Marazzi made the first free ascent of Così parlò Zarathustra, a A3 aid climb in Vallone di Sea established in 1983 by Isidoro Meneghin and Daniele Caneparo.

Towards the end of July Italian climbers Jacopo Larcher and Paolo Marazzi opted against their original plan of climbing in the Mont Blanc region due to the poor weather forecast, and instead chose to visit Vallone di Sea, the granite valley above Turin which in some respects seems to be enjoying a new lease on life.

Larcher and Marazzi focused their attention on Così parlò Zarathustra, established in 1983 by Isidoro Meneghin and Daniele Caneparo that, with difficulties up to 6a+ and A3 aid, climbs the obvious corner on the Trono di Osiride wall.

Larcher told planetmountain.com "Così parlò Zarathustra had seen only a few attempts in its 35 year history and had never been climbed free… it wasn't difficult for Paolo to convince me. And as soon as I got out of the car, I realised what he was talking about. It was impossible not to see the route, the line is so obvious!"

While dodging the rain drips the duo repeated the climb in two days in order to see whether it might go free. During the repeat they came across bolts on pitch 3 belonging to a new route that crosses Così parlò Zarathustra, and also bolts higher up on the crux pitch.

Larcher commented "I couldn’t understand why someone had placed bolts right next to the crack! Apparently someone had tried to free the climb a few years back and placed them then. When Paolo arrived at the belay station, we briefly talked about this and we both agreed that we had to chop them: we really wanted to respect the vision and ethics of the first ascensionists, who didn’t place any bolts and climbed the route with really old school gear."

After removing the bolts on the crux pitch the duo worked the line for another day. "Luckily all the pitches seemed to be climbable and protectable with trad gear (nuts, friends); we just had to leave some fixed gear (2 beaks, 1 rurp, 1 short knife blade ) on 2 pitches as it wasn’t possible to place any other gear there."

On 28 July Larcher climbed the first three pitches and then the two continued upwards swinging leads."With difficulties up to 7c the route isn’t the hardest" Larcher explained "but all the pitches were incredibly good to climb: I would give them 5 stars!"

As to the chopped bolts, Larcher reiterated their intentions "We didn’t want to create any controversy, we simply wanted to respect the vision of the guys who climbed this beautiful line back in the ’83… why should things be different now?"

Info: jacopo-larcher.comwww.lasportiva.com , FB Paolo Marazzi, FB Jacopo Larcher

TOPO: Così parlò Zarathustra in Vallone di Sea

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